2005 Season Preview

Brett's Preview

Football West Saturday State Premier League

In the past decade no less than eight different clubs have raised the Premier League trophy come seasons’ end. 2005 is the forty-fifth year of semi-professional football in Western Australia and the first under the banner of Football West, the state’s new peak body. Western Knights have been widely tipped to claim back-to-back regular season titles but they’ll need to be on guard as there are plenty of teams waiting to trip them up. This week Brett Klucznik takes a critical look at the semi-professional game, assess each clubs strengths and weaknesses, and goes out on a limb with a few predictions as to how 2005 will play out ...

Rival clubs would do well not to read too much into Western Knights failure to make it past the group phase of the Night Series. Possessing arguably the league’s most talented squad the dual champions are anchored by a defence that has Evan Wallace, Jason Williams and the ever-safe hands of Tommi Tomich at its heart. The strings will be pulled in the centre of the park by the tireless Daniel Trim, young gun Andrija Jukic and Danish import Claus Nielsen as Stuart Montgomery keeps opposing defences on high alert. The loss of Ivan Zuvela and Carl Medica has been offset by the signing of Jon Higgins and Barry Wood with the return of Nielsen and Leon Russell adding further depth. A formidable home record - in three seasons they’ve lost just twice at Nash Field - coupled with a balanced, focused squad has installed the Knights as red-hot favourite to win their second regular season title in as many years.
In - Barry Wood (Kilkenny, Ireland), Jon Higgins (E.C.U. Joondalup), Doug Ithier (Chengdu, China), Claus Nielsen (long-term injury), Leon Russell (long-term injury)
Out - Paul Byrne (Wanneroo City), Carl Medica (retired), Ivan Zuvela (Melbourne Knights)

There is little doubt that the years’ big improver will be Inglewood United. Mid-table last year, the inner city club kicked-off 2005 with a barnstorming Night Series campaign that jettisoned them to amongst the favourites for regular season glory. Coach Eddy Hodgkinson has coped with some notable off-season departures by revitalising the squad with the recruitment of Dean Apelgren, Andre Sarpe and Kevin Griffiths. Taking his place between the posts is Oliver Taseski who’ll marshal a defence composed of captain Shaun Kilkelly, Daniel Stoitis and the much under-rated Daniel Kovacevic. Jason Colli, Michael Baczynski and Griffiths provide the drive across the centre with the task of putting the ball away falling to Greg Sharland and Sarpe. Having learned from the mistakes of last year, and with a squad of tremendous depth, there is absolutely no reason why Inglewood won’t be challenging Western Knights for top honours.
In - Dean Apelgren (Fremantle City), Scott Blackmore (E.C.U. Joondalup), Darren Broxton (E.C.U. Joondalup), Kevin Griffiths (Bassendean Caledonian), Jake Harman (Stirling Lions), Albert Osei-Tutu (Fremantle City), Jason Razmovski (Stirling Suns), Andre Sarpe (Stirling Lions)
Out - Dinko Ahmetanovic (Bayswater City), Scott Campbell (Swan I.C.), Bobby Despotovski (Perth Glory), Jamie Goodman (retired), Farrell Hedges (Sorrento), Alan MacKenzie (retired), Nick Stone (Armadale)

The process of turning Cockburn City into a major force in the top flight continues at Dalmatinac Park. Head coach Kevin Elliott has done a fine squad of maintaining a balanced squad by bringing in Alan Dunlop, Gary Faria and Anthony Periera to replace summer departures Dino Pacella, Antonio Naglieri and Scott Miller. If the club are serious about improving upon the second place earned in each of the past two of seasons then they’ll need to tighten things up at the back where Dusan Macura, Australian youth international Liam Lilly and Dunlop form the basis of a sound defence. Michael Mirco, Shane McNally and Faria providing ammunition with the task of scoring goals coming the way of lively striker John Mirco. The stability afforded by having much of last year’s squad still on board puts Cockburn in a strong position, and the fact they’ve secured several quality recruits only adds to their championship potential.
In - Alan Dunlop (Bassendean Caledonian), Gary Faria (Fremantle City), Dean Gartside (Armadale), Abdul Kamara (Fremantle City), Anthony Periera (Fremantle City)
Out - Roberto Colalillo (Fremantle City), Boza Erakovic (retired), Scott Miller (Perth Glory), Antonio Naglieri (Perth S.C.), Dino Pacella (work)

Last season was the just the ninth time in their long history that Perth S.C. failed to appear in the play-offs. An inability to convert chances into goals lead Graham Normanton to dip into the transfer market over the summer with the end result being Andreas Oliveira, Matt Danskin, Antonio Naglieri and Jeff Bright will all wear Perth colours in the new season. However, not all the news from Dorrien Gardens is good as loyal servants Todd Howarth, Rob Giorgi, Perry Ielati and Robert Scarparolo all moving on. Competition for places in arguably the league’s best defence will be red-hot between Aaron Cole, Michael Icanovski, Dino Djulbic and English import Daniel Brown. In midfield it’ll be Robbie Puca, David Micevski and Naglieri who control play with Oliviera an early favourite to win this years’ Golden Boot. How quickly the many new arrivals gel will determine how far Perth go in 2005, and with such a talented squad there is no reason why they won’t be up there come seasons’ end.
In - Jeff Bright (Fremantle City), Daniel Brown, Matt Danskin (Fremantle City), Peter Lord (Fremantle City), Antonio Naglieri (Cockburn City), Andreas Oliveira (Floreat Athena), Gianni Papalia (Bayswater City)
Out - Shane Crampton (Cringila Lions, New South Wales), Rob Giorgi (travel), Rhys Graham (study), Todd Howarth (England), Perry Ielati (retired), Boima Karpeh (Bayswater City), Paul Natale (study), Ryan Newhill (E.C.U. Joondalup), John Nicolaou (retired), Robert Scarparolo (retired)

The return of Trevor Morgan to the Sorrento helm midway through last year sparked a dramatic turnaround in the clubs fortunes that took them all the way to the play-off final. The Gulls long-serving coach knows what it takes to get the best out of his players and will no doubt have them firing on all cylinders come the opening round of fixtures. Never ones to sign players en masse from outside the club, Sorrento instead rely on their fertile youth ranks to build depth. Even so, there have been a few changes with Stuart Banks, Michael Ord and State Schoolboys goalkeeper Chris Ramsey joining as Jamie Harnwell and Brad Hassell move on. The stability offered by Danny Hill, Richard Watson, Steve MacDonald, Glen Thomas, Jared Love and Simon Harland means Sorrento will be very difficult to stop once they get into stride.
In - Stuart Banks (Manly, New South Wales), Matt Battigelli (Kingsway Olympic), Farrel Hedges (Inglewood United), Jesse Higgins (Kingsway Olympic), John Mills (Swindon Supermarine, England), Michael Ord (Guiseley, England), Chris Ramsey (Swan I.C.)
Out - Brett Colombera (Kingsway Olympic), Matt Donlevy (E.C.U. Joondalup), Jamie Harnwell (Perth Glory), Brad Hassell (long-term injury), Ryan Jeans (Bassendean Caledonian), William Kirkpatrick (Ashfield), Scott McIlroy (Morley Windmills), Phil Straker (Fremantle City), Tom Straker (Fremantle City), Aleksander Vrteski (Wolverhampton Wanderers, England)

Unpredictability has been the one obstacle preventing E.C.U. Joondalup from becoming one of the competitions most feared sides. As long as Paul Simmons is in charge the northern suburbs outfit will remain fiercely competitive, however, over the years they’ve developed a terrible habit of slowly imploding over the second half of the season. In an effort to bring a halt to that familiar pattern Simmons has added Anthony Jones, Ryan Newhill, Oliver Hilton and former Liverpool apprentice Steve Porter to his artillery. On the flip side Peter Roberts has left along with a handful of youngsters including Jon Higgins, Scott Patterson and Rhys Williams. Players of the calibre of Jamie Kuzmanovich, Keith Brown, Anthony Jones, Dale McCulloch, and Garin Collins provide the foundations of a strong season for the northern suburbs side. But even of greater importance will be the teams ability to stay relatively injury and suspension free.
In - Gareth Davies (Wanneroo City), Oliver Hilton (Wanneroo City), Matt Donlevy (Sorrento), Anthony Jones (Floreat Athena), Ashwin Nair (Wanneroo City), Ryan Newhill (Perth S.C.), Steve Porter (Vauxhall Motors, England)
Out - Scott Blackmore (Inglewood United), Darren Broxton (Inglewood United), Scott Bushby (Wanneroo City), Carmelo Genovese (Stirling Lions), Daniel Glasspool (Wanneroo City), John Greenwood (Wanneroo City), Jon Higgins (Western Knights), Scott Patterson (Armadale), Darryl Platten (Armadale), Peter Roberts (Heidelberg United, Victoria), Rhys Wiliams (Middlesborough, England)

After seeing their team scrape into the top five last year Stirling Lions supporters shouldn’t set their sights too high for the coming season. On paper the club have what amounts to a fairly strong squad but the overwhelming feeling is they simply don’t have what it takes to match it with the heavyweights. There will be two crucial factors in deciding their season - who will replace Australian youth international Nick Ward in the playmaker role, and finding a striker capable of finding the back of the net on a regular basis. Goalkeeper Jordan Conti will play a key role along with Darko Ilmanovski and veteran Riste Stefoski, big things are expected of Irish import Aaron McKee and Mohammad Komaderic has shown great potential in pre-season. Not likely to the vying for the title, seemingly safe from relegation and with no play-off series this year, the Lions will have little to play for as the season comes to a close.
In - Jordan Conti, Paul Dickson (Crusaders, Northern Ireland), Mark Donnelly (Swan I.C.), Carmelo Genovese (E.C.U. Joondalup), Ian Griffiths (Bassendean Caledonian), Aaron McKee (Crusaders, Northern Ireland), David Murphy (Ards, Northern Ireland), Ross Tsounis (Hellenics, Northern Territory)
Out - Keegan Ashley (Balcatta), Derek Cooke (Kingsway Olympic), Rob Crerar (Rockingham City), Michael Filipou (Bayswater City), Jake Harman (Inglewood United), Vince Matassa (retired), John Monterosso (Ashfield), Adam Rains (Balcatta), Andre Sarpe (Inglewood United), Eugene Singeorzan (Floreat Athena), Nick Ward (Perth Glory), Toby Wright (Balcatta), Alen Zilic (Stirling Suns)

Going solely on the calibre of players in the Swan Valley you'd have to rate Boral Cup holder Swan I.C. as one of the leagues strongest sides. However, with a defence that concedes far too many goals coupled with a shocking home record - seven wins in three years - and the picture suddenly become clear why few see the black and whites as a real danger. True, Gary Marocchi has added depth with a number of important signings but the fact none of these players are defence minded is of concern. Goalkeeper Corey Hugo will once again figure prominently, the teams drive comes from the inspired pairing of Scott Campbell and Miki Vujacic, and leading them into attack is Golden Boot winner David Foster. With a squad brimful of talent young the feeling is Swan’s best is just a little further down the track.
In - Rodrigo Aguirre (Floreat Athena), Michael Bushby (Armadale), Scott Campbell (Inglewood United), Damien Catalano (Bayswater City), Daniel Grosso (Ashfield), Jonathon Mathers (Bassendean Caledonian), Rob Monterosso (Armadale)
Out - Daniel Agudelo (long-term injury), Mark Donnelly (Stirling Lions), Carlos Echieverra (Bayswater City), Elton Holmes (England), Christian Marocchi (work), Chris Ramsey (Sorrento), Carlo Scali (retired), Daniel Webb (Bayswater City)

Floreat Athena had problems all over the park last year, from strikers who struggled to find the net to a backline that rained goals. Unfortunately only one of those problem areas has been sufficiently addressed in time for the new campaign. The arrival of proven goalscorers Branimir Mikulic and Eugene Singeorzan, as well as those of midfielders Bajo Savic and John Carbone, should provide Floreat with plenty of options when going forward. However, their Achilles Heal remains a young and comparatively inexperienced defence which last year conceded at an alarming rate. Coach Michael Roki will be hoping State representative Adrian Sutton remains injury free to provide guidance at the back, while much of their creativity comes from Savic, Carbone and Paul Vlachou. If their pre-season form is anything to go by, not to mention a dire home record over the past couple of years, then Floreat fans are in for a very long and trying season.
In - John Carbone (Brisbane Lions, Queensland), Luke Croxall (Wanneroo City), John Migas (Fremantle City), Branimir Mikulic (Fremantle City), Bajo Savic (SV Spittal, Austria), Eugene Singeorzan (Stirling Lions), Jarred Smith (Wanneroo City)
Out - Rodrigo Aguirre (Swan I.C.), Dejan Djukanovic (Dianella White Eagles), Anthony Jones (E.C.U. Joondalup), Sasa Kilibarda (Bassendean Caledonian), Josip Magdic (NK Slavonija, Croatia), Anthony Mori (Dianella White Eagles), Steve Nauer, Andreas Oliveira (Perth S.C.)

It’s been a summer of dramatic change at Fremantle City. No longer on the scene are over half of last years senior list, players of the calibre of Gary Faria, Dean Apelgren, Matt Danskin, Branimir Mikulic, Jeff Bright and Anthony Periera. In going about the task of re-building his squad Steve Parkinson has first and foremost promoted from within the clubs fertile youth ranks with added depth coming in the form of Paul Robinson, Dale Wingell and David Rodgers. While adjusting to so much upheaval presents a significant enough hurdle, Fremantle have the added pressure of shaking the unwanted tag of the league’s worse defence, an ‘honour’ they shared last year with Bayswater City. In a season of consolidation the experience of long-serving defender Craig Surtees, Robinson, Marc Wingell and Kevin Correia will prove an invaluable asset. Fremantle are in for a rocky time and the best they can hope for will be a place somewhere near the middle of the table.
In - Daniel Barlow (Rockingham City), Roberto Colalillo (Cockburn City), Garth Lecky (Leeming Strikers), Paul Robinson (University of Portland, United States), David Rodgers (South West Phoenix), Wes Ryder (Forrestfield United), Phil Straker (Sorrento), Tom Straker (Sorrento), Dale Wingell (Leeming Strikers)
Out - Jordan Andrews (Colo Colo), Dean Apelgren (Inglewood United), Llewellyn Bake (Suburbs United), Jeff Bright (Perth S.C.), Michael Cross (study), Matt Danskin (Perth S.C.), Gary Faria (Cockburn City), Abdul Kamara (Cockburn City), Peter Lord (Perth S.C.), Michael Basilio, John Migas (Floreat Athena), Branimir Mikulic (Floreat Athena), Albert Osei-Tutu (Inglewood United), Anthony Pereiera (Cockburn City), Chris Wylie (Canning City)

As was the case last season, the focus at Bayswater City will be on keeping their head above water and extending their stay in the top flight. The departure of Wes Mitchell, Damien Catalano and Gianni Papalia, coupled with injury to Gareth Healy, has put the club in a weakened position than they ended 2004. And while they’ve recruited well Bayswater lack depth in a couple of positions, most notably up front where the need for a proven goalscorer to partner Scottish import Ross Barnes is still lacking. The club have some very talented players within their number - Steve Grant, Jason Lawton, Cormac Dawson, Andy O’Neill and Barnes to name a few - but it’s difficult to see the team being able to achieve the consistency required to be truly competitive. Last year they had the element of surprise on their side and one wonders what trick they have up their sleeve to help them stave off the drop in 2005.
In - Christian Alvarez, Dinko Ahmetanovic (Inglewood United), Carlos Echieverra (Swan I.C.), Michael Filipou (Stirling Lions), Steve Grant (Bassendean Caledonian), Boima Karpeh (Perth S.C.), Sal Marrapodi (long-term injury), Daniel Naumovski (long-term injury), Alex Novatsis (Ashfield), Daniel Webb (Swan I.C.)
Out - Daniel Arias, Damien Catalano (Swan I.C.), Gareth Healy (long-term injury), Wes Mitchell (Scotland), Gianni Papalia (Perth S.C.), Lynden Pywell, Daniel Vangelovski (work committments)

Armadale’s first ever season in the State's top flight is probably going to be the toughest since they turned semi-professional in 1985. The squad which romped their way to the First Division title last year has been decimated by the departure of Dean Gartside, Michael Bushby, Paul Colkin, Nick Twyman, Luke Morris and goalkeeper extraordinaire Ken Fytengenious. Although Peter Vukmirovic and to a lesser extend Nick Stone, Daryl Platten and Scott Patterson lend experience to the reds line-up they have a squad by and large unfamiliar to playing at this level. Armadale’s defence will find themselves under pressure more often than not so the contributions of Stone, Platten and Craig Anderson will be crucial in how their season pans out. Going the other way they’ll rely heavily upon the talents of Jason Goodwin, Greg Newcombe and John Dixon. They failed to excite in pre-season and it’s difficult to see them anywhere but struggling to avoid the drop.
In - Mo Atak (Mandurah City), John Dixon (Wanneroo City), Michael Kelly (Rockingham City), Kodi Madeley (Gosnells City), Scott Patterson (E.C.U. Joondalup), Darryl Platten (E.C.U. Joondalup), Nathan Smith (Rockingham City), Nick Stone (Inglewood United), Peter Vukmirovic (Bassendean Caledonian)
Out - Jamie Bell (Canning City), Fraser Brown (Rockingham City), Michael Bushby (Swan I.C.), Paul Colkin (Rockingham City), David Forsythe (Stirling Lions), Ken Fytengenious (Balcatta), Dean Gartside (Cockburn City), Rob Monterosso (Swan I.C.), Luke Morris (Rockingham City), Craig Olenjik (Rockingham City), Nick Twyman (Rockingham City), Luke Woods (retired)

Premier League Prediction

 1. Western Knights
 2. Inglewood United
 3. Cockburn City
 4. Perth S.C.
 5. Sorrento
 6. E.C.U. Joondalup
 7. Stirling Lions
 8. Swan I.C.
 9. Floreat Athena
10. Fremantle City
11. Bayswater City
12. Armadale

Football West Saturday State First Division

Promotion and relegation between the Saturday Premier League and First Division remains a one-up one-down policy under Football West. However, under the new governing body amateur clubs are able to move up into semi-professional ranks, and vice-versa. In order to have leagues at all levels consist of twelve teams next year Football West are likely to relegate four sides from the Saturday semi-professional First Division to allow for the promotion of the Sunday amateur Premier League champion. So the pressure will be on from day one for the Saturday 'lesser lights' to be up to speed ...

Wanneroo City kept pace with eventual title winner Armadale for much of last season only to fall way over the closing months. That experience has only increased the northerner's hunger for success and to ensure the club won't go through the same heartache this time around Stuart Currie has added considerably to his options. Phil Bell, Paul Dundo and Darren Williams will more than offset their losses and complement an already talented line-up which includes Stuart Collins, Scott Bulloch and State Schoolboys defender Chris Currie. Wanneroo are the popular choice to be the team lifting the trophy come mid-September.
In - Phil Bell (Leeming Strikers), Scott Bushby (E.C.U. Joondlaup), Paul Byrne (Western Knights), Aaron Cowdrey, Paul Dundo (Queens Park), Daniel Glasspool (E.C.U. Joondalup), John Greenwood (E.C.U. Joondalup), Richard Mills, Steve Mills, Darren Williams (Queens Park)
Out - Luke Croxall (Floreat Athena), Gareth Davies (E.C.U. Joondalup), John Dixon (Armadale), Nick Edwards (retired), Oliver Hilton (E.C.U. Joondalup), Adam Kiley (long-term injury), Sam Miller (work), Ashwin Nair (E.C.U. Joondalup), Steve Petrig (retired), Jarred Smith (Floreat Athena), Mark Wiseman (retired)

A strong recruitment campaign has installed Balcatta as Waneroo's most obvious threat to claiming silverware. Brilliant young goalkeeper Ken Ftynogiannis and Adam Rains have been brought in to add muscle to a defence marshalled by veteran Tony Paolino. Alley Di Nuzzo and Mark Gentile are joined in the centre of the park by Toby Wright and Nigel Comito with the job of scoring goals falling to ace marksman David Moschilla. There is little doubt that Balcatta will end the year in the upper reaches of the First Division table.
In - Keegan Ashley (Stirling Lions), Nigel Comitto (Kingsway Olympic), Ken Fytengenious (Armadale), Jason Healy (Beldon), Sveto Njirich (Stirling Suns), Adam Rains (Stirling Lions), Jim Vasiliou (Kingsway Olympic), Toby Wright (Stirling Lions)
Out - Scott Broadley (retired), Colin Lees, Greg Lione

The third team with the potential of going all way to the top are Canning City. Written off by many last year, Frank Longstaff took what really was a quality young squad to within a hair's breadth of second place. The club have benefitted greatly from the demise of neighbouring Leeming Strikers by picking up Adam Horsley and Simon Versaico who'll slot nicely into a starting line-up which already boasts the talents of Paul Oliver, Mick Van Dongen, Patrick Fitzgerald and Alex Seed. Canning are a sure bet for a top three finish.
In - Jamie Bell (Armadale), Daniel Butler (Western Knights), Adam Horsley (Leeming Strikers), Shane Laing (Leeming Strikers), Adam Parmenter (Mandurah city), Dan Purcell (Canning amateurs), Michael Smerilli (Leeming Strikers), Ciaran Summerton (Leeming Strikers), Simon Versaico (Leeming Strikers), Chris Wylie (Fremantle City)
Out - Mohammed El Sayed (Queens Park), Robbie Meyer, Chris Platt (Queens Park)

There'll be a new-look to the Mandurah City line-up following the off-season departure of Andrew Rennie, Steve Adam, Dean Hayes, Mo Atak and English import John E. Platt. Instead of bringing replacements in from outside coach Cliff Kearns has looked to within and promoted from the Peel regions' fertile youth structure. Christian Paschkewitz, Jordan Rhodes, Gary Collins, John Transfield and goalkeeper Michael Green form the basis of a side which, while not as strong in previous seasons, still have the depth and balance to be amongst the league's frontrunners.
In - Alan McKay
Out - Steve Adam (work), Mo Atak (Armadale), Daniel Baker (work), Adam Boone, Shane Connor, Dave Dawson (England), Dave Jackson (work), Dean Hayes (Rockingham City), Jamie O'Reagan (work), Adam Parmenter (Canning City), John E. Platt (England), Andrew Rennie (work)

Morley Windmills are shaping up to be the First Divisions big mover courtesy of an active recruitment drive. Goalkeeper Dusan Martinovic and seasoned campaigner Grant Learmont will partner Simon Messenger in plugging the holes in what has been a leaky defence. Adrian McBride joins Steve Waycott in the centre of the park while Morley's new-look strikeforce consists of Ray Rose and Phil Russie. If James Herbert can quickly get the side working together as a cohesive unit then Windmills are in line for a top five finish.
In - Alberto Medrano (CN Canning International), David Boffa (Bassendean Caledonian), Dan Evans (Queens Park), Adam Kulavac (Stirling Suns), Jamie Lapatiat (Bayswater City), Grant Learmont (Queens Park), Adrian McBride (Queens Park), Scott McIlroy (Sorrento), Dusan Martinovic (Bayswater City), Christian Ottolini (Bayswater City), William Robb (Queens Park), Ray Rose (Queens Park), Phil Russie (Kingsway Olympic)
Out - Rydeen Botha (Bassendean Caledonian), Matt Darling (study), Willie Lyall (retired), James Madden (North Perth United), Ryan Martins (work), Jon Pfaff (long-term injury), David Sherington, Ryan Taylor (England)

The relegation of Bassendean Caledonian from the top flight has lead to a number of high profile players seeking greener pastures, amongst them Kevin Griffiths, Jonathon Mathers and Alan Dunlop. As the club go through a re-building phase they'll be looking to the leadership qualities of experienced quartet Jason Van Rooy, Dom Ando, Kevin Smith and Aaron Moschopolous. Ryan Jeans adds to their attacking options as does Lucas Whitehouse, while teenage Corey Herrington takes over between the posts. Bassendean should do well and finish upper mid-table.
In - Rydeen Botha (Morley Windmills), Shane Fitzpatrick (Kingsway Olympic), Corey Herrington (Sorrento), Ryan Jeans (Sorrento), Sasa Kilabardi (Floreat Athena), Joel Powell (Ashfield), Joe Marrapodi, Sam Scutti (Kingsway Olympic), Lucas Whitehouse (Leeming Strikers)
Out - David Boffa (Morley Windmills), Alan Dunlop (Cockburn City), Ryan Frisina (Inglewood United), Steve Grant (Bayswater City), Ian Griffiths (Stirling Lions), Kevin Griffiths (Inglewood United), Jonathon Mathers (Swan I.C.), Vince Matteo (Ashfield), Craig Naven (retired), Maikol Taseski (Ashfield), Peter Vukmirovic (Armadale)

A minimum of movement within the Dianella White Eagles squad means the club head into the new campaign with much the same playing roster as last year. This stability allowed Dianella to perform above expectations in the Night Series, and with Miladin Gurovski, Zoran Barovic, Petar Mrdja and new goalkeeper Anthony Mori on board they have a lot going for them. On their day Dianella are capable of matching it with even the toughest of opponents, but an uncanny knack of dropping valuable points to lesser teams will cost them dearly.
In - Dejan Djukanovic (Floreat Athena), Dejan Mlinar (Springvale White Eagles, Victoria), Anthony Mori (Floreat Athena)
Out - Phillip Smiljanic

Expect to see an improvement in the fortunes of Rockingham City following the return of Billy Russell. Having taken Armadale to the top flight Russell will be hoping to work the same magic at Rockingham to whom he's brought Rob Crerar, Nick Twyman, Fraser Brown and Luke Morris. In addition to providing stability and depth Russell will be keen to tackle the team's dreadful home form which has produced just four wins in the past two years. They won't set the world on fire but Rockingham will be a much more competitive outfit in 2005.
In - Fraser Brown (Armadale), Paul Colkin (Armadale), Rob Crerar (Stirling Lions), Craig Donnell (Scotland), Dean Hayes (Mandurah City), Kevin McGiven (England), Luke Morris (Armadale), Craig Olenjek (Armadale), Nick Twyman (Armadale)
Out - Daniel Barlow (Fremantle City), Michael Kelly (Armadale), Nathan Smith (Armadale)

Gosnells City exceeded even their own expectations last year when a superb home record underpinned the club claiming sixth spot. The retirement of seasoned campaigners Jonathon Cook and Alex Grindley, both key figures last season, will expose their weaknesses at the back and hamper attempts to improve upon the achievements of 2004. Veteran goalkeeper Jayson Mehnert and club captain Sean Cowman face the difficult task of holding together a new-look defence with Mark Edwards and Brian Cairney having key roles in midfield and attack respectively. A mid-table finish beckons for Gosnells.
In - Andy Giles (England), Brian Murphy (Leeming Strikers), Mark Edwards (long-term injury), Oscar Dono Burgos, Spencer Wilson (England), Todd Scanlan (long-term injury), Tristan Carroll (Western Knights), Robert Thorogood
Out - Jonathon Cook (retired), Alex Grindley (retired), Stuart Indge (retired), Kodi Madeley (Armadale), Tony Pritchard, Alex Vo (study)

Forrestfield United will be out to make an impression on their return to semi-professional ranks. New coach Tony Hall knows what it'll take to make the club truly competitive at this level and added to the existing squad a sprinkling of quality players to bolster his options, namely Carlo Di Toro, Nathan Watkins and skilful midfielder Glen Noblett. In goalkeeper Scott Radford they have a very safe pair of hands while at the opposite end of the park Irish import Keith Byrne and Quenten Sharpe form a lethal attacking partnership.
In - Keith Byrne (Ireland), Carlo Di Toro (Leeming Strikers), Steve Hyland (Ireland), Glen Noblett (Queens Park), Craig Ruthven (Leeming Strikers), Quenten Sharpe (Mandurah City amateurs), Nathan Watkins (Queens Park)
Out - ???

It's going to be more important than ever that Ashfield collect maximum points when playing on home soil. With four teams expected to make way for a twelve team competition next year, Ashfield will find themselves in the relegation mix when the pointy end of the season arrives. Tom Kilkelly has once again assembled a squad whose focus is on youth development with Wayne Culverwell, Joe Kendall and Ben Harris the pick of the bunch. Their ins and outs are pretty much balanced and a lower to mid-table placing is the best they can hope for.
In - Ciaron Allen (Leeming Strikers), Carl Chaney, Doug Grant (Albany), William Kirkpatrick (Sorrento), Vince Matteo (Bassendean Caledonian), John Monterosso (Armadale), Adam Purcell (Kingsway Olympic), Mark Purcell (Kingsway Olympic), Maikol Taseski (Bassendean Caledonian)
Out - Adam Ashworth, Andy Cornmell, Daniel Grosso (Swan I.C.), Alex Novatsis (Floreat Athena), Brad Pochroj (North Perth United), Matt Pochroj (work), Joel Powell (Bassendeen Caledonian)

Last season South West Phoenix were led by David Rodgers who accounted for close to half their goals and was a deserved winner of the First Division Player of the Year. It's no secret the Bunbury based club are going to find life very difficult without their star midfielder whose stepped up to the top flight. New coach Micky Cairns will be looking to club stalwarts Greg Hayes, Steve Suttie, Trent Hathaway and Reece Braithwaite to steady the ship in what looms as perhaps their most difficult campaign since joining semi-professional ranks.
In - Gareth Harker (Collie), Ryan Murray
OUT - David Cantoni, Vince Grooby (Queens Park), Michael Jennings (Queens Park), David Rodgers (Fremantle City), Shane Russell, Damien Trim (work)

The glory days are long gone for Kingsway Olympic. The cupboard is looking a little bare for the once mighty Green Machine following a rash of summer departures which include Nigel Comito, Phil Russie and Jesse Higgins. The efforts of Steven Dimitrovich, Scott Evans, Steve Bretti, Sota Iwasaki and summer signing Derek Cooke will be crucial as to how their season pans out, and they may even escape the drop should they be able to improve upon last years abissmal home record. A spot near the foot of the table beckons for Kingsway.
In - Brett Colombera (Sorrento), Derek Cooke (Stirling Lions), Jono Doherty (E.C.U. Joondalup amateurs), Andy Rowlands, Dean Sinno (Inglewood United), Joseph Woodin (Sorrento)
Out - Matt Battigelli (Sorrento), Michael Borromei (work), Nigel Comito (Balcatta), Shane Fitzpatrick (Bassendean Caledonian), Oli Foster (long-term injury), Jesse Higgins (Sorrento), Adam Purcell (Ashfield), Mark Purcell (Ashfield), Phil Russie (Morley Windmills), Sam Scutti (Bassendean Caledonian), Jim Vasilou (Balcatta)

2005 is going to be one very bumpy ride for Queens Park. The majority of the club's senior list drifted away over the summer - players of the calibre of Darren Williams, Grant Learmont, Paul Dundo, Adrian McBride, Glen Noblett and Ray Rose are all no longer on the scene. With news of new recruits scarce it's difficult to see how Queens Park will be able to maintain their position as a power in the First Division. To put it bluntly - only a minor miracle will prevent Queens Park from relegation.
In - Phil DeSouza (Leeming Strikers), Mohammed El Sayed (Canning City), Vince Grooby (South West Phoenix), Michael Jennings (South West Phoenix), Chris Platt (Canning City), John Sherrington (Leeming Strikers)
Out - Paul Dundo (Wanneroo City), Dan Evans (Morley Windmills), Grant Learmont (Morley Windmills), Adrian McBride (Morley Windmills), Glen Noblett (Forrestfield United), Nathan Watkins (Forrestfield United), Darren Williams (Wanneroo City), William Robb (Morley Windmills), Ray Rose (Morley Windmills)

Stirling Suns are also expected to be rooted at the foot of the table for much of the coming winter. The club struggled to compete last year, winning just two of twenty-eight games and stumping up the table from very early on. There's a distinct lack of depth at the Suns and the off-season departure of star duo Jason Razmovski and Sveto Njirich has considerably weakened their stocks. With seemingly little effort put into adding to their playing roster the Suns will in all likelihood be playing in the amatuer ranks next year.
In - ????
Out - Adam Kulavac (Morley Windmills), Sveto Njirich (Balcatta), Jason Razmovski (Inglewood United)

First Division Prediction

 1. Wanneroo City
 2. Balcatta
 3. Canning City
 4. Mandurah City
 5. Morley Windmills
 6. Bassendean Caledonian
 7. Dianella White Eagles
 8. Rockingham City
 9. Gosnells City
10. Forrestfield United
11. Ashfield
12. South West Phoenix
13. Kingsway Olympic
14. Queens Park
15. Stirling Suns

Jacob's Preview

Football West Saturday State Premier League

The Western Knights will be favourites to take out back to back titles this season. Ronnie Campbell has once again got a strong squad to choose his starting eleven from, and if Stuart Montgomery can continue his great form from last season, the Knights will be hard to beat. After a disappointing season last year when Perth failed to make the top five, the Dorrien Gardens based club will be determined to bounce back and will challenge the Knights all the way. The other major title contender will come from Inglewood United. Coach Eddie Hodgkinson has assembled a strong team, and has had great pre-season results, including winning the Night Series. Expect Shaun Kilkelly, Andre Sarpe and Greg Sharland to figure strongly for the club.

Swan IC, Cockburn City, Stirling Lions, Sorrento and ECU Joondalup will be the likely teams to finish mid-table, don't be surprised to see another good cup run by black and white's at Swan.

At this stage of the season it looks like one of four clubs will be in the First Division next season. After their poor pre-season results Armadale look the most likely to go straight back where they just left. Bayswater City surprised most pundits by staying up last season, and they should be safe once again this year. Floreat Athena can play well in patches and if they stay consistent they could finish higher on the league standings. Fremantle City will have a difficult season, and will be happy as long as they avoid the drop.

Final Table Prediction

 1 Western Knights
 2 Perth
 3 Inglewood United
 4 Swan IC
 5 Cockburn City
 6 Stirling Lions
 7 Sorrento
 8 ECU Joondalup
 9 Floreat Athena
10 Bayswater City
10 Fremantle City
12 Armadale

Football West Saturday State First Division

Can Wanneroo City bounce back after last season's disappointing end to the season when they just failed to gain promotion to the Premier League? That will be the question coach Stuart Currie will be asking himself prior to the commencement of this year's First Division season. Wanneroo are favoured by most to play Premier League soccer next year, and with the calibre of players at the club, which includes new signings Darren Williams, Paul Dundo, Steve Mills, Phil Bell and Daniel Glasspool, they should be able to achieve this. Balcatta should be one of the teams that will fight it out with Wanneroo for the title after the club signed a number of quality players over the summer, which includes Toby Wright from the Stirling Lions.

Canning City performed above expectations last season, and have one of the youngest first team squads in the league. Expect Canning to be up there once again. Dianella's main problem last year was their consistency. If they are able to address that for the new term they could be one of the teams to beat.

Morley-Windmills have vastly improved their squad for the coming season. Their major signing is goal scorer Ray Rose from Queens Park. Grant Learmont and Adrian McBride have also left the same club to join Windmills. Many other quality players have also joined from other clubs, including Phil Russie from Kingsway Olympic. If the players can gel together expect the club from Wotton Reserve to make the top 5.

Bassendean Caledonian are back in the First Division after being relegated from the Premier League in 2005. Callies have retained the bulk of their squad, but have lost key player Kevin Griffiths. Striker Rydeen Botha has joined the club from Morley-Windmills.

Mandurah City have lost key players that could jeopardies their chances of winning the title, expect them to finish in the top 8 with Gosnells City. South West Phoniex and Ashfield should all finish mid-table, and expect a better season from Rockingham City with the return of coach Billy Russel to the club.

For the first time there will be automatic relegation to the Amateur League, with at least three clubs, and possibly four finding themselves playing Sunday Soccer in 2006. Forrestfield United have just come up from the Amateur Premier League and will be determined not to go back there, for new coach Tony Hall anything but relegation will be a bonus. The glory years of the Green Machine are well and truly over for Kingsway Olympic, the loss of players over the summer has not helped the club's cause. Queens Park have lost the backbone of their club during the off-season. Darren Williams, Grant Learmont, Adrian McBride, Paul Dundo, Ray Rose are just some of many that have left the club. It will be difficult for Queens Park to avoid the drop to amateur soccer next season. Expect Stirling Suns to struggle once again, the club will only be playing First Division this season due to Leeming's withdrawl. New coach Mirsad Kovacevic will be hoping there will not be a repeat of last year's record scorelines, but with some new signings over the summer they should be able to avoid this. The drop still seems likely though.

Final Table Prediction

 1 Wanneroo City
 2 Balcatta
 3 Canning City
 4 Dianella White Eagles
 5 Morley-Windmills
 6 Bassendean Caledonian
 7 Gosnells City
 8 Mandurah City
 9 South West Phoenix
10 Rockingham City
11 Ashfield
12 Forrestfield United
13 Kingsway Olympic
14 Queens Park
15 Stirling Suns

Football West Sunday Amateur Premier League

With promotion now possible to the semi-pro leagues under the new Football West banner has made the Amateur Premier League even more interesting this year. After the loss of coach Nik Silsby, Shamrock will find it more difficult to emulate last season's record performance but should still be up there challenging for the title. Stirling Panthers will be one of the favourites for the league and are determined to get their club back to the semi-pro leagues after a decade's absence. The club have signed Nick Paone and Rob Icanovski from Bayswater City which will help their cause. Other title challenges will be newly promoted Lynwood Colts, who have got the services of a host of players from the Leeming Strikers. University of WA will be also up there once again, as will 2004 Amateur Cup winner Spearwood Dalmatinac. Hamersley Rovers, Perth Azzurri, Colo Colo and CN Canning International should finish around mid-table. Murdoch University may have a difficult season, but the relegation spots will more than likely be occupied by Kwinana United and South Perth United.

Final Table Prediction

 1 Stirling Panthers
 2 Shamrock Rovers
 3 Lynwood Colts
 4 University of WA
 5 Spearwood Dalmatinac
 6 Hamersley Rovers
 7 Perth Azzurri
 8 Colo Colo
 9 CN Canning International
10 Murdoch University
11 Kwinana United
12 South Perth United

Football West Sunday Amateur First Division

Fremantle United find themselves out of the Amateur Premier League for the first time since 1985 following last season's relegation. But with new players at the club, expect them to return quickly to the Amateur Premier League for 2006. BB United are newly promoted to the Amateur First Division and one of the club's of the future, BB probably have one of the largest groups of supporters in Western Australia and have excellent facilities at their Beechboro ground. The club will be confident of promotion this season. Other possible promotion candidates will be Subiaco United, Kingsley and Joondalup United. Suburbs United, WA Maccabi amd Belmont Villa should finish around mid-table. While it will be two of either North Perth United, Balga, Morley-Windmills Amateurs or Ballajura that will be relegated.

Final Table Prediction

 1 Fremantle United
 2 BB United
 3 Subiaco United
 4 Kingsley
 5 Joondalup United
 6 Suburbs United
 7 WA Maccabi
 8 Belmont Villa
 9 North Perth United
10 Balga
11 Morley-Windmills Amateurs
12 Ballajura

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This page was last updated on the 24th February 2006