2002 Premier League All-Stars

(Perth S.C.)

Richard WATSON
(E.C.U. Joondalup)

(Floreat Athena)

Aaron COLE
(Perth S.C.)

(Western Knights)

(Future Glory)

(Perth S.C.)

(Western Knights)

(Perth S.C.)

(Perth S.C.)

(Floreat Athena)

The selection of this team is purely subjective and has been made going on those performances that I witnessed over the course of the 2002 W.A. State League season. - Brett Klucznik

The Starting Eleven

Robert SCARPAROLO (Goalkeeper) - Like a good bottle of red wine, Perth S.C. custodian Robert Scaraparolo keeps getting better with age. Often over-looked when the plaudits are being handed out, the shot-stopper was at his brilliant best in 2002, producing eight regular season clean sheets and a further two in the top-five series as Perth ended the winter with four of the five trophies in their possession. Having started out with Bayswater City, Scarparolo joined Perth for the 1998 season and hasn't looked back. Razor-sharp reflexes and a superb command of the 18-yard box have meant Scarparolo has been one of the first names on Graham Normanton's teamsheet over the past three seasons. And, at the age of 31, that looks set to continue as Scarparolo enters what is widely regarded as a goalkeeper's golden years.

Adrian SUTTON (Sweeper) - New Zealand-born Sutton arrived in Perth late in the 1999 season and immediately set about establishing himself in the top flight with Floreat Athena. In no time at all the versatile defender had become a regular in the Athena line-up and over the past three years has rarely been out of the starting eleven. After some commanding performances in the pre-season Night Series, the 29-year old made his State debut against South Australia in March and continued to turn on the style once Athena's home-and-away campaign got underway. Sutton ended 2002 on a high by claiming the Siena Cafe/"Sunday Times" Play of the Year award, finishing equal second in the Gold Medal count, and the winner of Athena's Fairest and Best award for the third consecutive time.

Richard WATSON (Central Defender) - Big defender Watson had a superb season for E.C.U. Joondalup, picking up four best-on-grounds in the Gold Medal count to finish in joint third place. After time in the National Soccer League with Heidelberg United and Canberra Cosmos, Watson headed west to join Joondalup in 1997 and two years later won the Giardini Cafe/"Sunday Times" Player of the Year award in a season in which the northern suburbs side were crowned regular season champions. A pillar of strength at the back, Watson has given his all to Joondalup and this year cit short a holiday in the United Kingdom in order to take to his place in the club's Boral Cup winning side.

Aaron COLE (Central Defender) - A product of the fertile Perth S.C. youth system, Cole has been one of the club's most consistent performers since he won the 1999 Gold Medal and Rookie of the Year awards. 2002 saw him gain senior State honours against South Australia and Perth Glory which book-ended solid displays at club level as Perth swept all before them. Dominant in the air, the former Perth Glory apprentice only got better as the season progressed as was highlighted by best-on-ground performances against Floreat Athena (R14) and E.C.U. Joondalup (R19). But it was a brilliant display in the Champion of Champions Final that will be best remembered, Cole keeping Athena dangerman Ryan Newhill quiet as Perth ran away with their fourth trophy of the season. Still only 22, Cole's growing reputation will surely see him make into the professional ranks in the not-too-distant future.

Claus NIELSEN (Right Wing) - Nielsen arrived at the Western Knights early last year and in his two seasons with the club has shown great versatility whether it be as part of the back-three, as a central midfielder, or wide on the right flank. After some good early season form the Danish import was forced onto the sidelines through injury, but his return to the playing arena heralded a resurgence in the Knights' fortunes as they ended the regular season strongly to claim third place. The last month of the campaign saw Nielsen really hit his straps with man-of-the match showings against Future Glory (R20), Inglewood United (R21) and E.C.U. Joondalup (R22), the end result being the 27-year old came in as joint runner-up in the Gold Medal count.

Todd HOWARTH (Left Wing) - Still only 19, Howarth is widely considered the best left-sided player in the state, and realistically one of the best Western Australia has ever produced. Having quickly progressed through the junior ranks at Bayswater City, the midfielder's silky skills and fantastic ball control continually cause problems for opposing defences, making him a firm favourite with the Dorrien Gardens faithful. Howarth overcame a groin injury sustained in the Night Series to take his place in the State Under-19 side which played in France mid-season and marked his return to the local scene with some sparkling performances which included those against Fremantle City (R15) and Cockburn City (R20). The former Australian Schoolboys international was instrumental in Perth taking out the Night Series, Premier League, E.C.U. Centenary Cup and Champion of Champions trophies, and capped his fine season with a stunning goal for the State team in the meeting with Perth Glory earlier this month.

Shaun KILKELLY (Midfield) - Teenager Kilkelly was a regular fixture of Future Glory's starting eleven in their successful inaugural season. With a great first touch and superb distribution, the 18-year old found himself utilised as sweeper at club level but is more suited to a central midfield role, as displayed while on duty for the State Under-19 side in France during May. One of few Future players to have experienced first team football prior to this season, Kilkelly stamped his class over the mid-season clashes with Cockburn City (R7) and Ashfield (R10) and was named the Sony Player of the Month for August. Undoubtedly Future's most consistent player, it comes as no surprise that the highly-rated teenager signed professional papers with Perth Glory recently.

Jamie COYNE (Midfield) - 21-year old Coyne capped a brilliant 2002 by taking out the local games highest individual honour, the Gold Medal - despite missing the last two fixtures of the season. The Perth S.C. midfielder, who was also named the W.A. Soccer Website Player of the Year, began the year with trials in England at Luton Town and Carlisle United before returning to inspire Perth to victory in the Final of the Night Series. His excellent form continued into the regular season at the end of which Coyne gained State representative honours after playing a leading role in Perth's successful winter. Having started out as a junior at Kingsway Olympic, Coyne spent a lengthy period as an apprentice with English side West Ham United before returning down under to join up with Perth three years ago. Under coach Graham Normanton he went from strength-to-strength and recently stepped up to the National Soccer League by agreeing terms with Perth Glory.

Stuart MONTGOMERY (Midfield) - Western Knights were pleased as punch when they finally secured the signature of talented young gun Stuart Montgomery last summer. After spells with Kingsway Olympic, Inglewood United and E.C.U. Joondalup, the 24-year old began his time with the Knights on the right foot, netting five times in four successive Night Series outings to cement his place in Ronnie Campbell's starting line-up. Montgomery continued to make the most of his chances once the regular season got underway, winner of the Sony Player of the Month for July and ending the winter with 14 goals in all competitions. Part of the Knights dangerous three-man attacking formation that also featured Carl Medica and Eugene Singeorzan, the attacking midfielder was rewarded last month with a State team call-up for the friendly with Perth Glory.

Andres OLIVEIRA (Forward) - Born in Chile, Oliviera started 2002 in scintillating form with best-on-ground performances against Future Glory (R3) and Cockburn City (R5) in which he scored hat-tricks on each occasion. He continued to find the net with regularity over the early part of the season, acculumating 12 goals in Perth's opening eight games only to drop off the pace in the second half of the winter. Most dangerous when running at opposing defences, Oliviera finished the year with 24 goals in all competitions for Perth and figured prominently in the Gold Medal count in which he ended joint third. The lively attacker also turned in some impressive displays in State colours, making his senior debut against South Australia in March, part of the Under-19 squad that travelled to France mid-year and, most recently, scored goals in both friendly meetings with Perth Glory.

Ryan NEWHILL (Forward) - Newhill's second season with Floreat Athena may have got off to a slow start, but it was always only going to be a matter of time before the big striker hit peak form. The former Kingsway Olympic and Inglewood United player turned his season around with a first half hat-trick in the 3-2 win over Swan I.C. to hail the start of a scoring run which lasted nine games and produced in a staggering 14 goals. In total Newhill found the net 22 times over the course of the local season and was a key member of the Athena side that were pipped at the post for silverware on three occasions. Winner of Sony's Player of the Month award for June, Newhill's strong work ethic and explosive shot were rewarded at seasons' end with a State call-up for the friendly against Perth Glory.

Stand-by Squad

Alan DUNLOP (Goalkeeper) - Scottish-born Dunlop made a sensational return to top flight football this season with Bassendean Caledonian after being forced to miss much of 2001 with a serious ankle injury. Having started out with Caledonian as a junior, Dunlop spent three seasons on the books of Fremantle City - where he helped them to the Premier League championship in 2000 - before returning to his original club over the summer. Dunlop was a key member of the Caledonian side that surged to a historic debut appearance in the play-offs, four of his seven clean sheets coming in the club's last six regular season outings. The 22-year old missed just one game for Caledonian, that due to him trialing with National Soccer League outfit Adelaide City Force, in a season that ended with him being named the club's Fairest and Best.

Stephen WILLEY (Sweeper) - Another of the unsung heroes at Perth S.C. this season was club stalwart Willey who has been part of the first team set-up since 1991, his time at Dorrien Gardens punctuated only by a season with the successful Perth Kangaroos in the S-League. A product of his club's fertile youth system, Willey spent several years in the middle of the park before recently shifting to the backline where his experience and reliability have made him the perfect choice as Graham Normanton's preferred sweeper. Composed no matter how hot the pressure, Willey's calming influence is part of the reason why he's been club captain for the past couple of years.

Craig NAVEN (Central Defender) - Part of the inaugural Perth Glory squad, Naven played a crucial role in Bassendean Caledonian making the end of season play-offs for the first time in club history. After taking time away from the game for family reasons, Naven re-established himself last year at Perth S.C. and moved in pre-season to Caledonian when he added experience and muscle to the side. Amongst the highlights of the tough tackling, no-nonsense defender's season were best-on-ground efforts against Cockburn City (R4), Inglewood United (R17) and Fremantle City (R20). Now in the twilight of his career, Naven was near-faultless at the back for Caledonian and ended the season with the club's Players' Player of the Year and Most Consistent Player awards.

Ivan ZUVELA (Central Defender) - A product of the Western Knights youth system, Zuvela has come along in leaps and bounds after being a fringe player for much of last season. The teenager's composure and organisation at the back in the Night Series earnt him a senior State debut in the March clash with South Australia, and shortly after found himself bound for France with the State Under-19 side. On his return to club football Zuvela continued to shine and was an important part of the Knights' side which ended the season with an eleven game unbeaten run to take out third place. A dislocated kneecap suffered late in the winter soured an otherwise fantastic season for Zuvela, who had trials lined-up interstate and overseas over the local off-season. Narrowly edged Swan I.C. defender Justin Everley out of a place in the shadow squad.

Ray MARINOVIC (Right Wing) - After opting to sit out last season, 31-year old Marinovic made some telling contributions for the Western Knights in his return to the Premier League. Part of the Perth Kangaroos side which lifted the S-League title in 1994 and after two years at Perth S.C. (then Italia), Marinovic first pulled on boots for the Knights in 1997 and has been integral part of their on-field success since. Strong on the ball, the right flanker worked tirelessly throughout the campaign with his surging runs into attack a trademark of his - and the Knights - game. While happy playing a supporting role for the striker's, Medica also knows all too well how to get the ball in the back of the net himself.

Andy CORNMELL (Left Wing) - Since his arrival at Inglewood United early last year, Cornmell has made the left wing back position his own. The speedy 22-year old wreaked havoc on opposing defences all winter long, often getting in behind the backline before sending the ball to his advancing teammates. His turn of speed and superb ball control were best displayed when Inglewood hosted the then undefeated Perth S.C. (R7) and, later in the campaign, the Western Knights (R20). A former Rockingham City player, Cornmell also has an uncanny knack of being in the right place at the right time to knock in some important goals for his club, his season tally of 11 in all competitions making him Inglewood's highest scorer in 2002.

Jamie TRANDOS (Midfield) - Trandos joined the Floreat Athena camp over the summer and following some solid performance in the Night Series cemented his spot in the starting eleven. His never-say-die attitude not only earnt him the respect of his teammates, but also a reputation amongst opposing sides as one of the most feared midfielders in the local game. Comfortable whether playing on the left flank or in a more central position, Trandos polled strongly in the Gold Medal when best-on-ground performances against Inglewood United (R8), Future Glory (R16) and E.C.U. Joondalup (R20) took him to joint third place. Voted his clubs' Players' Player of the Year and the Most Consistent Player, Trandos edged out Perth S.C. hardman Mark Pottier for a spot in the shadow squad.
James AFKOS (Midfield) - A creative midfielder, Afkos made a welcome return to the local scene by turning in some sparkling performances for Floreat Athena to earn himself senior State honours at seasons' end. After stints in the National Soccer League with Perth Glory and most recently Marconi Stallions, Afkos linked up with Athena mid-season and set about providing the forward thrust as the club finished the season runners-up in three competitions. His ability to score as well as set up his teammates produced seven goals for Afkos - quite an achievement when you consider he didn't make his first appearance until Round 12! The hard-working midfielder was hampered by injury during the top-five series but, with a strong season behind, word is Afkos will be looking to continue his career in Asia next year.

Robbie GASPAR (Midfield) - A former Australian Schoolboys representative, Gaspar carried the fine form displayed last year into 2002 when he was one of the first names on the Perth S.C. teamsheet. The 21-year old was a crucial member of the Perth side that lifted the Night Series trophy, and once the home-and-away season got underway he really set about making a name for himself. Sony Player of the Month for May, Gaspar was inspirational in mid-season triumphs over Sorrento (R9) and Cockburn City (R16) as his creative touch and eye for goal set Perth on target for yet another Premier League title. Unfortunately, the hard-working midfielder ended his time Perth in less than amicable circumstances and he now looks set to continue his career in Asia.

Branimir MIKULIC (Forward) - After unsuccessful spells with the Western Knights and Fremantle City, Mikulic is enjoying life at Cockburn City where his 20 goal winter saw him to claim the Premier League's Golden Boot award for the second successive year. Absent from the Night Series due to injury, the big striker starting his season in sensational form by hitting six goal in his first four home-and-away outings. A headlines grabbing hat-trick completed inside 16 minutes at Ashfield in Round 15 was followed a fortnight later when Mikulic decided to go one better, netting four second half goals in the 6-2 win over Floreat Athena. With a proven scoring record at State League level, the 23-year old ended 2002 by pulling on State colours for the friendly clash with Perth Glory.

Carl MEDICA (Forward) - Highly rated by his clubs' coaching staff, there is little doubt that 2002 will rank up there with the best Medica has produced in his many years with the Western Knights. Having spent much of his career playing on the right flank, the 30-year old showed his versatility by scoring 17 goals in all competitions after being utilised as an out-and-out striker this season. A hard working attacker who not only scores but also provides for those around him, Medica's winter was highlighted by man-of-the-match showings against Bassendean Caledonian (R5), Fremantle City (R13) and Swan I.C. (R15), along with a mid-season hat-trick on home soil over Floreat Athena. Coming equal fourth in the Gold Medal count and winner of his club's Players' Player of the Year trophy were a just reward for one of the Knights longest serving, and most consistent, players.

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This page was last updated on the 24th February 2006