Archived News : January-December 1999



The Soccer Administration of Western Australia was set up in 1990 with the support of the State Government to coordinate, plan and direct the sport in Western Australia. Since that time, member organisations have continued to run their own affairs as disparate bodies almost as if the Soccer Administration of Western Australia did not exist. This situation has resulted in SA W A being beset by internal division to the point where it has become dysfunctional.

The Ministry for Sport and Recreation suggested to the key stakeholders in 1997 that an external task force be established to review the current administrative and management structure of the sport and to make recommendations for an organisational structure to deliver the best outcomes for the sport in this State. In mid-1998 the board of SAWA agreed to this proposal and a task force was appointed soon after. Since the appointment of the task force, the sport has continued to experience administrative difficulties.

In December 1998 the board of SAWA was unable, because of internal division, to elect a president. This culminated in one faction of the board taking the other faction to the Supreme Court in August 1999. An administrator was appointed by the court following mediation in September 1999 to attend to the financial aspects stated and to amend the constitution.

Determination of the Review: With the agreement of the key stakeholders in the sport, it was determined that an external, experienced and independent task force should be appointed to complete the review. The terms of reference for the review were to review the current organisational structure of the sport of soccer in Western Australia and report to the Minister for Sport and Recreation on the structural, managerial and organisational needs necessary to adequately advance the sport of soccer for the benefit of the community in Western Australia.

The review did not include the operations of Perth Glory, which is a privately-owned club competing in the National Soccer League run under the auspices of Soccer Australia. The chairman of the task force was Gavin Fielding, senior commissioner of the W.A.Industrial Relations Commission. The members of the task force were Lydia Dowse, event development manager with EventsCorp, sports lawyer and a former general manager of Sydney Olympic, and Lloyd Stewart, chairman of the W.A. Lotteries Commission.

Process Undertaken: The task force sought submissions from interested persons and organisations regarding matters pertaining to the terms of reference by placing advertisements in The West Australian in October 1998 and the Sunday Times in November 1998. At the same time, the task force wrote to the principal stakeholders in the sport seeking their comment. Late in October 1998 the task force commenced interviewing most of those who made written submissions and met with a number of people who had not made a written submission but who it considered had a key stake in the sport. This included representatives from SAWA, Soccer Australia and the chief executive officer of the West Australian Football Commission. In all, the task force received 25 written submissions and met 48 persons including representatives of 18 organisations involved with the sport. These meetings were conducted over a period of eight months and involved 29 separate interviews. In addition, the task force commissioned Ernst and Young to obtain factual information regarding the sport in this State.

Task force Findings: The task force has concluded that because of gross inadequacies in the current administrative structure, the sport is not achieving its true potential, particularly in light of the recent successful introduction of the National Soccer League in this State through Perth Glory. There will be significant benefits to the State and the community generally if soccer were to achieve its full potential - if only because it is seen as a "world game".

After examining the submissions and conducting the interviews, the task force is of the opinion that SAWA should be disbanded. The task force concluded that SAWA has never really achieved the purpose for which it was established and is now so discredited among most of the stakeholders in the sport that it cannot be restructured. The task force advocates the existence of a body separate from, and fully independent of, the various stakeholders to both control and manage the sport in this State. It proposes that a new incorporated association known as Soccer Western Australia be established to promote, control, manage, develop and encourage the sport of soccer, including indoor soccer in this State. It should be noted that many of the existing and successful clubs had indicated to the task force that they support the introduction of a structure of the kind that the task force recommends.

The recommendations are -

1. That SAWA be abolished and replaced with a newly incorporated association to control and manage all aspects of the game in this State.

2. That the new association be known as Soccer Western Australia.

3. That Soccer Western Australia be the sole Western Australian affiliate of Soccer Australia.

4. That the members of Soccer Western Australia consist of five persons. The initial members of the association should be those nominated by the Minister for Sport and Recreation in consultation with the Chairman of Soccer Australia or his nominee.

5. That the affairs of Soccer Western Australia be managed by a board of directors consisting of all five members of the association.

6. That the members of Soccer Western Australia - and therefore of its board of management - should have no previous connection, direct or indirect, with any of the stakeholders in the sport of soccer in this State.

7. That members of Soccer Western Australia should retire after three years but be eligible for reappointment.

8. That vacancies in membership of Soccer Western Australia be filled by the board of management.

9. That the existing clubs, rather than the existing associations, be affiliated with Soccer Western Australia.

10. That the constitution of Soccer Western Australia make provision for an unincorporated body known as the Soccer Council to advise the board of Soccer Western Australia on matters relating to the control and management of soccer in this State.

11. That the Soccer Council comprise two representatives of those associations currently members of SAWA - whether ordinary, affiliated or National Soccer League members - and any other association of clubs, players or other interested persons approved by the board of Soccer Western Australia.

12. That Soccer Western Australia establish a professional secretariat staff, including the employment of a full-time chief executive officer with business and management expertise, to manage effectively and responsibly the affairs of Soccer Western Australia

13. That the State Government suspend further financial assistance to soccer in this State unless and until the recommendations contained in this report are put in place or at least an undertaking is given by the key stakeholders to implement the recommendations.

Summary: This review has been conducted responsibly and professionally. It was carried out with the agreement and cooperation of the key stakeholders in the sport. Soccer Australia has been involved in the review process and was invited by the task force to comment on the proposals before the report was finalised. Soccer Australia indicated that it reviewed the report in a positive manner and is looking forward to its successful implementation. The report provides guidance to the State Government and those involved with the sport about the direction of soccer in Western Australia to achieve its true potential.



There has been some confusion for the past couple of months on which method decides the league championship, some have been saying its the normal first past the post system (team that finishes top after the home and away season) and others have said its the top 5 play-offs.

Back in early April, 1998, it was reported in "The West Australian" newspaper, that Soccer West Coat had decided to bring back a finals system to decide who would win the championship after a 7 year absence (a finals system was used to decide the league championship from 1989 to 1991).

Throughout the 1998 season, The West Australian reminded readers that the top 5 will play-off for title and also reported when the Western Knights finished on top that they were only called the minor premiers.

During the first week of the 1998 play-offs, Soccer West Coast also reminded soccer followers that these finals would decide the championship. In their programme for the Elimination Final game between Sorrento and Floreat Athena, dated 19th September, 1998, page 3 clearly stated that the winners of the top 5 would be Champions, it said:

"The National Homes Top-Five Cup kicks off today with the competition winner to be named Soccer West Coast champions for 1998", with the 2nd last paragraph saying, "At the end of the day I believe there will be a new name on the championship tropy as only Floreat have had previous success"

It also made a note on page 1 about the Western Knights winning the minor premiership, note the "minor", and on page 10 they had a listing of the Premier League Champions, leaving 1998 blank, because the top 5 still had to decide who would win it.

I also spoke to one of the 1998 Soccer West Coast board of directors via email, who also confirmed that the top team would only be called the minor permiers and that who ever won the top 5 would be Soccer West Coast champions for 1998.

So there is little doubt then that the 1998 Premier League top 5 decided the championship, with the Western Knights as Champions (they finished on top anyway), and Sorrento as Premier League runners up for 1998 (they finished 4th prior to the play-offs).

Now to 1999, once again, The West Australian newspaper reminded readers at times that the top 5 would play-off for the title, but with the season coming to an end, and with the Sorrento vs ECU Joondalup deciding which team would finish on top, all of a sudden the media reported that who ever did finish on top would be declared the champions. Did Soccer West Coast just decide that even though it was the final week of the season? Thats what it seems like, there was no media report earlier in the year that Soccer West Coast had changed their mind.

But during the first week of the play-offs, The West Australian was once again reporting that what ECU Joondalup had won was only regarded as the "minor title". So who knows what Soccer West Coast was telling the media?

Later it was revealed that Soccer West Coast General Manager Paul Tombides had said that ECU Joondalup are the 1999 Champions, and that the 1999 Top 5 Champion of Champions series was regarded as a seperate competition this year. Why are they saying this during the middle of the season?

Soccer West Coast once again showing their true colours, they shouldn't confuse the soccer public like that, they should have set it straight before the season started.



Sorrento defeated the Western Knights 5-1 yesterday to become the 1999 Champion of Champions of Western Australia. It was Sorrento's third trophy this season, after they also won the Night Series and the West Ham Cup.

Sorrento took a 2-1 half time lead after 2 disputed penalties, with Ross Greer scoring both goals.

Within 20 seconds of the start of the 2nd half, Knights player Alex Cummings was sent off for his 2nd bookable offence. The Knights were then reduced to 9 men when Ray Marinovic was sent of due to a tackle from behind after 73 minutes.

Sorrento had taken a 3-1 lead just prior to Marinovic's red card, when Simon Harland scored. The result was then put beyond doubt with Stuart Banks scoring Sorento's 4th goal in the 80th minute, and then Glen Thomas made it 5-1 for Sorrento in the 93rd minute.

Swan I.C. became First Division Champion of Champions after defeating title holder Rockingham City 3-1. Bini Botha scored twice for Swan I.C, with Justin Hugo being the other goal scorer. Lee Hallams scored for Rockingham City.



Two first half goals from Ross Greer set Sorrento down the road to their first Champion of Champions series win with a resounding 5-1 trouncing of Western Knights who were endevouring to make it back-to-back title wins. But it almost wasn't to be for the Seagulls who started poorly and received an early scare when Knights midfielder Scott Devine shot wide after being set clear by Ramon Westerberger after 5 minutes. Sorrento breathed another sigh of relief five minutes later as John Nicolaou got goal side of his marker but was unable to fully connect with the cross, allowing goalkeeper Mike Harkness to gather possession. Two minutes later came Sorrento's first chance with Stuart Banks firing into the side netting. The deadlock was broken in the 13th minute when Nicolaou powered in a header from a perfectly delivered cross by Ray Marinovic from the right. With Richard Turnbull marshalling their defence, Sorrento stood firm as the Knight's launched wave after wave of attack. In the 32nd minute referee Angelo Nardi awarded Sorrento a penalty after goalkeeper Tommi Tomich clattered into Greer who picked himself up to convert fromthe spot. Eight minutes later Tony Carbone's defence-splitting pass found Todd Harnwell who was brought down inside the area by Rick Antunes for a second Sorrento penalty, Greer blasting past Tomich to give Sorrento the upper hand.

It was all action from the start of the second half as both teams traded shots on goal. The Knights suffered a body when Alex Cummings received his second yellow card for a crude challenge on Harnwell. Marinovic looked certain to score but hesitated a moment too long and Steven Love blocked the shot. On the hour Sorrento took command of proceedings. Harnwell cut the ball back to Simon Harland but his volley was superbly blocked by Tomich. A minute later Banks's attempted lob beat Tomich, but shaved the wrong side of the right post. It was a case of third time lucky for Sorrento when Harland received a Banks throw-in, turned sharply and shot powerfully under Tomich's body to make it 3-1 after 62 minutes. Eleven minutes later the hard-working Marinovic received his marching orders for a crunching tackle on Banks as the Knights hopes of clawing their way back into the match evaporated. With one hand now on the trophy, Sorrento added to the tally in the 81st minute through a scorching left-footer by Banks which resulted from some fine lead-up work by Harland. Three minutes into stoppage time Glen Thomas finished off a good exchange of passes by netting his side fifth goal from close-range. Victory was made all the more sweet for Sorrento who, having claimed the West Ham League Cup only a matter of weeks ago, avenged last season's 1-3 Grand Final loss to the Knights.



The Western Knights moved into their 2nd Grand Final in a row, with a 4-1 win over minor league champions ECU Joondalup today in the Preliminary Final. The Knights dominated most of the match, and were 2-0 up at half-time before scoring another 2 goals later in the game. There were also 4 sending offs in the game, with 3 Joondalup players receiving their marching orders and 1 from the Knights.

The Knights will now have the chance to defend their title against Sorrento, the same team they beat in last years Grand Final. For ECU Joondalup, who finished on top of the league, which is regarded as the minor title, will be disapointed not being in the Grand Final, not only will they miss out on being Champion of Champions of Western Australia, but also the huge prize money that comes with it by Soccer West Coast sponsor National Homes.

Rockingham City now also have to chance to win back to back titles, as they beat Balcatta 4-0, in the First Division Preliminay Final. They will meet minor premiers Swan I.C, who beat them 2-1 in the Second Semi Final and will be favourites for the Grand Final.



A best on ground performance from Stuart Banks had lead Sorrento to victory over northern neighbours E.C.U. Joondalup and into a second successive appearance in the Final of the Champion of Champions series. The Seagulls took the lead after just 10 minutes when Ross Greer slipped a pass wide to Todd Harnwell who delivered the perfect cross for Simon Harland who made no mistake from close-range. Despite winning the Premier League title, Joondalup never really got into stride this afternoon and quickly found themselves two goals down. Tony Carbone slotted a free-kick to Banks who beat advancing goalkeeper Gareth Deeg to the ball and poked it into the exposed net. Joondalup reshuffled and the introduction of Peter Vukmirovic at half time had immediate impact, the big striker blasting home from 15-metres to drag the side back into the contest after 52 minutes. Ten minutes later Sorrento's two-goal buffer was restored by Banks when he bundled the ball over the line in a goalmouth scramble. Joondalup had their chances to reduce the deficit only to be let down by slopping finishing as Vukmirovic, Scott Halpin and Gerry McEwan all missed opportunities. Joondalup will now face Western Knights in next Saturday's Preliminary Final with the winner of that match facing Sorrento in the series decider. The Knights made their way into next week's do-or-die match by defeating Fremantle City 3-1 on penalties after their Semi-Ffinal had ended locked at 1-1.



Sorrento have taken out the West Ham League Cup with a 2-0 defeat of Bayswater City at Kiev Sports Ground this afternoon. The northern suburbs side were well served in the decider by their younger brigade who provided a goal early in each half and effectively blunted their opponents forwardline. Sorrento grabbed the lead in the 12th minute with a devastating set play from their first corner of the match that resulted in Kevin Murphy blasting in pass Bayswater goalkeeper Robert Zabica. Three minutes into the second half the Seagulls increased their lead as Simon Harland calmly brought under control a high cross before coolly placing his shot to the right of Zabica and into the bottom corner of the net.



Perth Glory have swept aside the West Australian Under-23 side to take out the Rotary Charity Shield at Litis Stadium this afternoon. The State side dominated the opening exchanges before a superb Con Boutsianis free-kick was headed in by Glory defender Dion Valle after 18 minutes. Minutes before half-time teenage star Ivan Ergic made it 2-0 by waltzing past the State defence to slot home. The Under-23 side fought their way back into the game after the break and were unlucky when Robbie Gaspar's free-kick was cleared off the line by defender Rob Trajkovski. In the 63rd minute another fine free-kick from Boutsianis found the target from 23-metres to seal victory for Glory. The State team continued to search for a goal of their own and were rewarded when Jamie Harnwell handled inside the area and 17-year old Adrian Caceras stepped up to net from the spot in the 78th minute. The State side could have further reduced the margin later in the game but the usually reliable Trim Morgan failed to convert. Glory's Brazilian trialist Edgar was particularly impressive in the match along with promising teenager Ergic, while for the State team there were strong performances from Gaspar, Gary Faria, Scott Broadley, Aaron Beattie and Caceres.



Coached by Paul Wormley, the West Australian Under-23 team have accounted for National Soccer League newcomers Parramatta Power 3-2 in a friendly played under lights at Kiev Sports Ground. Two goals by Adrian Caceras and a third by Gary Faria gave the State side victory over Power for whom Australian youth international Mile Sterjovski scored twice.



ECU Joondalup beat Sorrento 2-1 today to finish 5 points clear on top of the table and win the minor premiership. Sorrento took an early lead, but Joondalup fought back hard and got the 2 goals they wanted to take out the minor title. Fremantle City missed its chance to finish 2nd and grab the double chance in the play-offs after it only drew 1-1 to Cockburn City. The Western Knights and the Bayswater City Panthers played for a spot in the top 5, but it was the Knights who won 3-2 and now have a chance to defend their title in the play-offs.

In other games, Inglewood Falcons and Floreat Athena played out a 2-2 draw, the Stirling Lions beat Ashfield/Bunbury 3-2, while Perth defeated already relegated Kingsway Olympic 2-1.

ECU Joondalup will be favoured to make it to the Grand Final, their first game in the play-offs will be against 2nd placed Sorrento in the Second Semi-Final, the winner advancing to the Grand Final, the loser will have another chance in the Preliminary Final. Floreat Athena will play the Western Knights in the Elimination Final, with the loser out, and the winner to play Fremantle City in the First Semi-Final.



Needing only a draw from the last game of the season to wrap up the Premier League title, E.C.U. Joondalup fall behind to second-placed Sorrento when Kevin Murphy finds the back of the net. Joondalup equalised late in the first half when Carl McDarby, who is playing with a broken foot, ran onto a through ball and drove a low shot past goalkeeper Mike Harkness. In the 70th minute a dangerous in-swinging corner from Scott Halpin snuck in at the far post to give Joondalup their first ever Championship after only four seasons in the professional ranks.

Fremantle City take out third place after being held to a 1-1 draw by lowly Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. Floreat Athena's 2-2 draw with Inglewood Falcons gives them fourth spot on the final standings, one points ahead of Western Knights who defeated Bayswater City 3-2. Ashfield/Bunbury went down 2-3 at home to Stirling Lions, and Perth S.C. ended their year on a positive note with a 2-1 win over Kingsway Olympic who finished the season well adrift at the bottom of the heap.



Gary Murray and Carl McDarby snare a goal each to firm up E.C.U. Joondalup as favourite for the Premier League title with victory over Western Knights. With their eyes also on the title, Sorrento knock off Kingsway Olympic 2-1 with goals from Trevor Morgan and Ryan Jeans. Fremantle City's silverware hopes are extinguish by Perth S.C. who win 2-0 at Dorrien Gardens. Peter Coci picked up a hat-trick when Floreat Athena overwhelmed Cockburn City 5-1 at the Litis Stadium. Bayswater City fought out a 1-1 draw with Ashfield/Bunbury, while the spoils were also shared at Macedonia Park as Stirling Lions drew 1-1 with Inglewood Falcons.


ERGIC A WINNER FOR GLORY (from the "West Australian")

A new star was born at Dorrien Gardens this afternoon when 18-year old Ivan Ergic blasted four brilliant goals in Perth Glory's 9-0 win over the State amateur team. And the teenager, who had never played senior football before, put himself hot in the running to be involved in the Glory side that will kick off the Natiomnal Soccer League season against Gippsland Falcons early next month. "If Ivan keeps his feet on the ground he could be pushing hard for a place in that team," said assistant coach Mich d' Avray. Ergic was only involved in Saturday's game because of injuries to strikers Bobby Despotovski, Peter Buljan and Vas Kalogeracos. "What was pleasing was Ivan's quality on the ball," d'Avray said. "He's deceptive - you don't know what he's going to do. He did some things you just can't teach. It's instinctive."

The game, Glory's first in a five-match build-up to the new season, was little more than a training run against the willing but totally outclassed amateurs - but Ergic's stunning individual effort turned it into a mouthwatering treat. His first goal, after eight minutes, was flicked in with the outside of his right foot. His second, in 33 minutes, was coolly finished off after an excellent cross from the superb Rob Trajkovski. Ergic's third was a brilliant chip from the edge of the area in 37 minutes, even bringing applause from beaten goalkeeper Andre van Lieshout. His fourth, in 50 minutes, was a glancing near-post header. The youngster also played a hand in one of the two goals scored by Alistair Edwards. The other Glory goals came from Trajkovski, John Carbone and a stunning Con Boutsianis volley from a Trajkovski cross.



Ashfield/Bunbury shocked league leaders ECU Joondalup with a 4-3 win on Sunday and dented its hopes of winning the minor premiership. Fremantle City joined ECU Joondalup on the top of the ladder with 42 points after a 4-0 thrashing of bottom of the table Kingsway Olympic, with veteran Steve Bourne scoring 2 goals. Cockburn City grabbed a 2-2 draw with Stirling Lions to ease its relegation fears. Floreat Athena kept its place in the top 5 with a 3-2 win over Perth, with Peter Coci scoring the winner from the penalty spot. Sorrento won a dramatic game over the Western Knights, which saw 2 players sent off for the Knights, Ryan Jeans scored a late winner. The Bayswater City Panthers, in 6th place, kept up its hopes of making the championship play-offs when earning a 0-0 draw with Inglewood Falcons, the Falcons have now all but lost its hopes of making the top 5.


Swan I.C. continue to dominate the First Division after a 6-1 win over struggling Southside United. Swan I.C lead the table by 11 points. 1998 Grand Finalists Rockingham City and Wanneroo City had a scoreless draw in their battle for 2nd spot. Queens Park had a shock 3-2 win over the Dianella White Eagles, while Armdale Park won only its 3rd game of the season in a 3-1 defeat of the Stirling Suns. In other results Bassendean Caledonian and Balcatta drew 0-0 and last year's one team, now seperate teams, Perth City and Leeming Strikers had a 3-3 draw.


Murdoch University lead the Premier Division by 6 points with 3 games remaining, after a 2-0 win over WA Maccabi. Shamrock Rovers, in 2nd place, lost 3-1 away to Hamersley Rovers. Fremantle United continue its poor form with a 3-1 loss to Kwinana United, while Mandurah City were relegated to the First Division after they lost 3-1 to Spearwood Dalmatinac. Joining them in the First Division next season will be Canning/Langford, they lost 3-0 to Forrestfield United. Morley Windmills beat South Perth United 2-1.


The ECU Joondalup Amateurs missed the chance to go 2 games clear on top of the First Division when they were 2 goals up against Balga on Sunday, Balga pulled one back late in the 2nd half, and then got the equaliser with seconds to go. Perth Azzurri, the Cockburn City Amateurs and Cloverdale Chindits are all on 40 points with wins on the weekend, and 4 points behind ECU Joondalup as the promotion race hots up, Balga are now all but out of the running in 5th place on 34 points with 3 games to go. With the First Division being reduced to 12 teams next year, it means the 4 bottoms teams will be relegated, currently last years Second Division Champions North Perth United are 5th bottom with 18 points, Naval Base Wescoa have 16 points, Colo Colo 15 points, Lynwood Chile 14 points, and Beechboro White Eagles look almost certain for the double drop on 10 points after being relegated from the Premier Division last year.


Carlisle look likely to win the WAASSA Second Division championship and promotion to the 4th top senior league in the state, the other team likely to join them in the WAASSA First Division next season will come from either Geraldton La Fiamma, Willeton or Canning Suleymaniye, who all still have an outside chance of taking over top spot from Carlisle. The Floreat Athena Amateurs lead the Third Division, with Beldon close behind, while the Condors took out the Fourth Division Championship which ended last week, 1998 Soccer West Coast team, North Lake Espanol finished 2nd on goal diference.



E.C.U. Joondalup's title hopes suffered a set-back when they went down 3-4 at home to Ashfield/Bunbury whose goals came via Brett Norrie (2), Kim Sue and Steve Gillibrand. Sorrento and Fremantle City kept the pressure on Joondalup by recording good wins. A goals five minutes from the end by Ryan Jeans gave Sorrento the points over Western Knights when the score was 3-2, while Fremantle had a confidence boosting 4-0 win over Kingsway Olympic. Floreat Athena defeated Perth S.C. thanks to a late penalty converted by Troy Bernard. Cockburn City scored twice in the last five minutes to draw 2-2 with Stirling Lions. And Bayswater City shared the points with a scoreless draw against Inglewood Falcons.



E.C.U. Joondalup thumped Inglewood Falcons 5-0 in the northern suburbs as Sorrento inflicted a 2-1 loss on Fremantle City at Percy Doyle Reserve. Western Knights enjoyed a 6-2 win over Ashfield/Bunbury, while at Macedonia Park Dean Nicalaou scored both goals as Stirling Lions downed Perth S.C. 2-1. Floreat Athena beat Kingsway Olympic 2-1, and Bayswater City drew 1-1 at home with Cockburn City.


ERGIC FOLLOWS LONG ROAD TO GLORY from the "West Australian")

Young Perth Glory recruit Ivan Ergic has travelled a long way in a short time. Just two and a half years after leaving his home city of Belgrade, he has gone from Carnarvon to the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra before being lured back to Western Australia by Glory. 18-year old Ergic can play as a striker but is more comfortable on the right side of midfield and will be vying for one of several positions with the Glory. The club's development manager, Mich d'Avray, said if he fulfilled the potential he had already shown he would be a valuable signing for the club. "It's early days yet but he's a very determined boy, " d' Avray said. "If he's prepared to listen and learn, and if he's prepared to work hard at his game he could go a long way. Only time will tell. I think he could surprise a few people this year. And I also think the fans will take to him because he's an exciting player."

After arriving in Carnarvon with his parents in 1997, Ergic was quickly drafted into the State Under-16 team and played a key role at the Lion City Cup campaign in Singapore later that year. Officials at the A.I.S. recognised his ability and after a two-week trial he was offered a scholarship. "The institute is just the best place," said Ergic. "At the start it was hard but once I got to know everyone I had the time of my life." The youngster had to adjust quickly to the heavy training schedule but came through in style. "In Carnarvon there is only the local league and I didn't train much," he said. "So, when I got accepted at the institute it was pretty hard to get used to the professional life. Getting up early and training twice a day was hard." The regimen has served him well and will be vital to his chance of success with Glory. "I'm just working hard now and trying not to get injured," he said. As for his prospects of playing a regular role, he was equally reticent. "That's what every player wants. I'll just have to see." He said the professionalism of the club and the chance to play in front of the big Perth crowds were key factors in his decision to sign for Glory.



Fremantle City slipped up at home where they went down 2-0 to Floreat Athena as E.C.U. Joondalup made up valuable ground with a 2-0 defeat of Cockburn City. Sorrento remain in the hunt for silverware after hitting Ashfield/Bunbury 5-2, Ross Greer (2), Tony Carbone, Ryan Jeans and Kevin Murphy netting for the Seagulls. Inglewood Falcons added to the woes of Western Knight with a 2-1 victory, Bayswater City beat Perth S.C. 1-0, and Kingsway Olympic overcame Stirling Lions 2-1.



It's hotting up as the Premier League season comes into the home straight. Fremantle City held on to top spot with a 2-0 away win over Stirling Lions thanks to goals from Gary Faria and Michael Mirco. E.C.U. Joondalup keep up the pressure with Carl McDarby scoring twice in their 2-0 home win over Perth S.C. Sorrento lost ground by going down 1-3 at home to Floreat Athena. Kingsway Olympic recorded just their second win of the campaign with a 2-1 scoreline over Bayswater City, Ben Percival and Jamie Trandos scoring for Olympic. Inglewood Falcons beat Ashfield/Bunbury 2-0, and Western Knights knocked off Cockburn City 3-1.



Fremantle City stay top after a tight 1-0 defeat of Bayswater City. E.C.U. Joondalup registered a comfortable 3-1 victory over bottom team Kingsway Olympic to move into second place. Glen Thomas scores the only goal of the match to give Sorrento a 1-0 win over Inglewood Falcons. Western Knights lost ground on the title when they were beaten 2-0 by Perth S.C. at Dorrien Gardens, Mark Pottier and Adrian Caceres scoring for the Blues. James Afkos, Peter Coci and Boza Erakovic were on target for Floreat Athena in their 3-2 win over Stirling Lions. Cockburn City beat Ashfield/Bunbury 4-2.



Fremantle City and E.C.U. Joondalup fought out a one-all draw in the northern suburbs. Carl McDarby gave the home side the lead after 6 minutes only to have young midfielder Gary Faria level the game after the break. Goals from Ryan Jeans (2), Glen Thomas and Ross Greer give Sorrento a 4-2 win over Stirling Lions for whom Toby Wright and Keegan Ashley are on target. Western Knights sneak home by 3-2 against Kingsway Olympic. Bayswater City account for Floreat Athena 1-0 to consolidate fifth spot on the table. Inglewood Falcons go down at home to Cockburn City by 5-2. At Dorrien Gardens Perth S.C. lose 1-2 to Ashfield/Bunbury.



Five of the six Round Fourteen fixtures ended with the points shared. The only side to emerge triumphant was Fremantle City who managed a 2-1 win over Western Knights. An 88th minute goal from midfielder Robert Puca salvaged a 1-1 draw for Perth S.C. against Inglewood Falcons. Cockburn City hold Sorrento scoreless at Dalmatinac Park. A late goal from Peter Coci gave Floreat Athena a point against E.C.U. Joondalup where the final score was 2-2. Stirling Lions held Bayswater City scoreless, while bottom team Kingsway Olympic draw 2-2 with Ashfield/Bunbury.



A staggering 11-0 win by Fremantle City over Ashfield/Bunbury keeps them at the top of the Premier League table. Sorrento slip five points behind the competition pacesetters when they draw nil-all with Bayswater City. Western Knights score a 3-1 away win over Floreat Athena, while Inglewood Falcons keep their play-off aspirations alive with a 2-0 defeat of Kingsway Olympic. Second half goals from Aaron Cole and Michael Vassiliou carried Perth S.C. to victory over Cockburn City. E.C.U. Joondalup take the points from Stirling Lions by 3-1.



Bayswater City's hot and cold run continues with a 2-1 home win over E.C.U. Joondalup. Joel Peacock scores twice for Bayswater with the towering Peter Vukmirovic netting the visitors solitary goal. Kingsway Olympic pick up their first point in nine weeks by drawing 1-1 with the visiting Cockburn City side. Fremantle City return to the top of the standings after beating Inglewood Falcons 1-0 through a Michael Mirco goal in the 75th minute. Floreat Athena move away from the drop zone with a solid 3-1 result against Ashfield/Bunbury. Two goals by former Perth Glory player Paul McVittie gave Western Knights a share of the points with Stirling Lions. Simon Harland's first half goal is enough for Sorrento who account for Perth S.C. by 1-0.



The northern suburbs derby ends in a 2-1 win to E.C.U. Joondalup as a Carl McDarby goal after 83 minutes sours the Seagulls day. Stirling Lions continue their erratic form with a surprising 5-2 home win over Ashfield/Bunbury. In another local derby, Fremantle City and Cockburn City fought out a tense 2-2 draw. A goal after 7 minutes from Daniel Harrop looks to have got Bayswater City over the line against Western Knights, only for Trim Morgan to equalise in the 85th minute. Stuart Montgomery's second half goal is enough for Inglewood Falcons to beat Floreat Athena at Litis Stadium. Perth S.C. beat Kingsway Olympic 3-1.



E.C.U. Joondalup knocked Western Knights from the top of table with a stylish 5-1 away win. Fremantle City remain third after defeated Perth S.C. 2-0, while Sorrento are forced to dig deep before overcoming home team Kingsway Olympic 4-3. Floreat Athena ground out a 3-2 away win over Cockburn City, Inglewood Falcons slam four past Stirling Lions without reply, and Ashfield/Bunbury toppled Bayswater City 4-0.



Leaders Western Knights and Sorrento battle out a tight one-all draw at Percy Doyle Reserve. E.C.U. Joondalup take over second place from their northern neighbours by beating Ashfield/Bunbury 3-0 with goals from Carl McDarby (2) and substitute Scott Broadley. Joe Vaz scored twice in Fremantle City's 2-0 win over Kingsway Olympic. Perth S.C. held off a determined Floreat Athena outfit to win 2-1. Toby Wright (2) Troy Halpin and Zoran Milner find the net as Stirling Lions beat Cockburn City 4-1, veteran Gerry Christie the scorer for Cockburn. Bayswater City beat Inglewood Falcons 2-0.



A five point lead opens up for Western Knights following their 4-0 defeat of Ashfield/Bunbury. Both the Knights nearest rivals lose, Sorrento 1-2 to Fremantle City, and E.C.U. Joondalup 0-1 to Inglewood Falcons. A Terry Georgianis hat-trick leads the way as Floreat Athena go on a goal scoring spree by hitting five without reply against Kingsway Olympic. Bayswater City knock over Cockburn City 2-1, and Perth S.C. record just their second win of the season with a 3-1 scoreline over Stirling Lions at Dorrien Gardens.



Western Knights go top of the Premier League for the first time this year after beating Inglewood Falcons 3-0. They overhaul Sorrento who are held to a 2-2 home draw by Ashfield/Bunbury. Goals from Garry Murray (2), Sean Fallon (2) and Scott Broadley enable E.C.U. Joondalup to score a convincing 5-1 over Cockburn City, who are humbled for the second week in a row. Fremantle City hold on to fourth place with a 3-3 draw against Floreat Athena at Litis Stadium. The revival continues for Stirling Lions who have an easy 5-0 win over Kingsway Olympic. Perth S.C. fight back to score a late goal and earn themselves a share of the points with Bayswater City.



It's another four goals as they come home with the points from Floreat Athena by 4-1. Stirling Lions collect their first points of the season with a surprise 3-1 away win over Fremantle City, while Perth S.C. fight out a tough scoreless draw with E.C.U. Joondalup. Alan MacKenzie and Nick Mrdja are on target for Bayswater City as they beat Kingsway Olympic 2-0. Inglewood Falcons score a comforting 3-0 victory over Ashfield-Bunbury courtesy of goals from Alex Josifovski (2) and Ryan Newhill. Western Knights have little trouble in accounting for home team Cockburn City. Trim Morgan contributes a double with one each from Ramon Westerburger, Carl Medica and Eugene Singeorzan in the 5-0 win.



The top four of Sorrento, E.C.U. Joondalup, Western Knights and Fremantle City continue their good form into Round Five. Sorrento take their goal tally to twenty-three by hitting six without reply past a hapless Inglewood Falcons, the Seagulls goals coming from Simon Harland (3), Todd Harnwell, Ross Greer and Glen Thomas. Fremantle City have an easy 4-1 away victory over Bayswater City. Stirling Lions miserable start to the year continues when they go down 0-3 at home to Floreat Athena. Ashfield/Bunbury are finding the Premier League to their liking as they pick up their third win by a 2-1 scoreline over Cockburn City. Western Knights beat Perth S.C. 4-1 at home, while E.C.U. Joondalup are 4-0 too strong for Kingsway Olympic.


BIG OCCASION CAN LIFT FRANKEN (from the "West Australian")

Playing in front of 25,000 at the WACA Ground tomorrow night will be a breeze for Perth Glory's veteran goalkeeper Tony Franken. Nearly half a lifetime ago he made his international debut for Australia against Mexico with a crowd of 110,000 screaming in his ears in the massive Azteca Stadium in Mexico City in 1983. It was the opening game of the world youth championship and ended in a 1-1 draw. "That was quite an experience, I was only 18 at the time," recalls Franken, now 34. "Saturday night shouldn't be a problem - it's just been a long time since I had so many eyes watching me."

His biggest audience since then was when he played for Sydney Croatia (nee United) in the National Soccer League grand final against Marconi at Parramatta Stadium in 1988. "About 25,000 watched that game and, unfortunately, we lost it on penalties," said Franken, whose dream before he eventually hangs up his goalkeeping gloves - which will not be for a while yet - is to pick up an Ericsson Cup winners' medal. "I've had a good career, played 25 games for Australia, including 12 at senior level, but it would be nice to get a championship medal," he said. Franken thinks tomorrow's big crowd will play an important part in the Glory beating Adelaide City and marching on to the play-off round. "I think once you get a crowd of anything over 10,000 people, the atmosphere does lift you," he said. "We've had 18,000 at Perth Oval, but I think we'll notice the difference with another 7,000 at the WACA. To have them all barracking for you, will obviously be a plus."

Franken, who was born in WA and played for East Fremantle Tricolore as a youngster, attended the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra. His first N.S.L. club was Canberra City and he also played for Sydney Croatia, Parramatta Eagles, Apia Leichhardt and Sydney Olympic. He joined the Glory at the start of last season and came into the side midway through when Tommy Maras was injured. He kept his spot from there on. This season, he was regarded as number two behind young star Danny Milosevic, but a string of sensational performances enabled him to claim the top berth in recent weeks. He realises Milosevic is the future of the club but will take every chance he can get to extend his soccer career, which he juggles with his commitments as a schoolteacher. "The mentality in Australia is that once you're over 30 you're history, but I still like to keep fit and inte ested and I'm glad I came back to Perth and got involved with Perth Glory," he said. "Hopefully, I can compete at this level for some time to come. I've got no reason to stop. I've got another year of my contract and I'll assess things at the end of next year, I'll keep going as long as I can. For goalkeepers, if you can keep injury- free, you can keep going on your experience."

He may not be the quickest player at the club, but there is nothing wrong with Franken's reflexes as he underlined with two world-class saves in last week's 0-0 draw with Adelaide. "I'm not so good in the sprints, but I think the coach understands," commented Franken. "The last time I took part in the sprints I think I pulled a hamstring. But I get by." Glory's goalkeeper coach, Willie McNally, who was with Adelaide City for seven years during the 1980's and often played against Franken, reckons the modest 'keeper is as good as ever. "Technically, Tony is still the best in the N.S.L.," said McNally. "Some of the saves he makes in training are extraordinary, never mind what he does during a match. A lot of top keepers in Europe keep going well into their 30's. Tony could be playing in the N.S.L. when he's 40 - he's that good."



Sorrento were amongst the goals for the second successive week by thumping Stirling Lions 6-0. Ross Greer bagged three for the Seagulls whose other goals came from Simon Harland (2) and Trevor Morgan. Western Knights returned to the winners circle with an emphatic 5-0 victory over the luckless Olympic Kingsway. Ashfield/Bunbury scored the only goal of their clash with Perth S.C. who have now lost three on the trot. The points were shared between Bayswater City and Floreat Athena, likewise Cockburn City and Inglewood Falcons. E.C.U. Joondalup inflicted Fremantle City's first loss of the season with a deserved 3-1 away win courtesy of goals from Joe Kelly, Carl McDarby and Sean Fallon.



The goals flowed in the third weekend of Premier League competition for 1999. Sorrento crushed Cockburn City 7-2 with talented young midfielder Glen Thomas bagging a hat-trick. Down the road Sean Fallon (2), Carl McDarby, Garry Murray and Scott McLeod got themselves on the scoresheet as E.C.U. Joondalup dumped Floreat Athena 5-2. Fremantle City maintained their perfect start to the season and went three points clear at the top of the standings with a narrow 3-2 win over Western Knights. Ashfield/Bunbury registered their first win of the campaign by downing Olympic Kingsway 3-0. Inglewood Falcons also took maximum points for the first time by easing past Perth S.C. 3-0. There was a comfortable win for Bayswater City who cruised home by 4-0 against struggling Stirling Lions.



Trim Morgan took his season tally to five goals in two games by bagging all three of Western Knights goals in their 3-2 victory over Floreat Athena. A Ryan Jeans double gave Sorrento their first points with a 2-1 win against Bayswater City for whom Nick Mrdja scored in the first half. Stirling Lions were humbled on home soil 4-0 by E.C.U. Joondalup whose goals came from Carl McDarby (2), Scott Broadley and Sean Fallon. Kingsway Olympic picked up a valuable point with a 2-2 draw against Inglewood Falcons for whom Alex Josifovski scored twice. A goal by Chris Dornan was enough for Cockburn City to secure the points at Dorrien Gardens against Perth S.C. Fremantle City picked up their second win by defeating Ashfield/Bunbury 2-1 at Fremantle Oval. Steve Bourne scored for the port side in the first half and an own goal by Steve Rogers secured the points before Savo Garic netted the visitors consolation goal.



The 1999 Premier League started with a total of 31 goals scored in just six games. Eight of those goals came from Ashfield Reserve where Savo Garic bagged hat-trick for Ashfield/Bunbury but could not prevent the side from going down 5-3 to Floreat Athena. Bayswater City took out the points over home team E.C.U. Joondalup by a 3-1 margin, a double from Nick Mrdja ensuring victory. John Mirco scored twice for Fremantle City in their 3-2 away win over Inglewood Falcon where all five goals came in the opening 45 minutes. Kingsway Olympic opened their season with a 3-2 victory over Cockburn City, while Western Knights down Stirling Lions 3-1 with Trim Morgan netting twice. Goals from Craig Naven, Mark Pottier and Andres Oliveira gave Perth S.C. a 3-2 win away at Sorrento 3-2 for whom Trevor Morgan snared two.



Under an agreement with Soccer West Coast, Perth Glory will make their entire playing squad available to the State League teams for the 1999 season. Soccer Australia approved the scheme under which Glory players will have dual registration with Soccer Australia and Soccer West Coast, enabling them to participate in both National Soccer League and local competitions. The draft will operate from 1st March until the end of May, when Glory squad members will be forced to take a four month rest over the winter. It will re-commence on the first weekend of October and run until the end of the State League season in early November.

The draft - the first of it's kind in Australia - saw each of the local clubs choose one player from the Glory squad in turn. The allocation of choices was based on the reverse order of last season's final Premier League table with newly promoted Ashfield/Bunbury having first choice. The only club to turn down the opportunity of selecting players were Sorrento whose targets Tony Carbone and Jamie Harnwell, both former Sorrento players, were taken in the early rounds.

The full draft allocations are -

Ashfield/Bunbury - Tony Carbone and Gianfranco Circati Kingsway Olympic - Jamie Harnwell and Bobby Despotovski Stirling Lions - Troy Halpin and Vasko Trpcevski Bayswater Panthers - John Carbone and Vas Kalogeracos Inglewood Falcons - Alistair Edwards and Paul Strudwick Perth S.C. - Gareth Naven and Rob Trajkovski Cockburn City - Scott Miller and Tony Franken Floreat Athena - James Afkos and Danny Milosevic E.C.U. Joondalup - Michael Garcia and Vinko Buljubasic Fremantle City - Con Boutsianis and Danny Hay Western Knights - John Markovski and Gavin Wilkinson

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This page was last updated on the 31st December 1999