Archived News : September-October 2014



Influential midfielder Collette McCallum and star striker Samantha Kerr will return to the Perth Glory Women squad for Sunday’s Westfield W-League clash against Melbourne Victory at Lakeside Stadium. McCallum, who had knee surgery last season, was rested against the Lady Reds last week and Kerr had not recovered sufficiently from a hamstring problem to take part in a match Glory lost 1-0, ending a run of six successive victories. But the pair has trained well this week and coach Jamie Harnwell has included them in the travelling party. “You’re always going to miss players of their calibre but we have a very good squad and losing to Adelaide was a bit of a wake-up call for us,” said Harnwell, who is aiming to lead the team to only their second Westfield W-League finals campaign. “We didn’t play particularly well as a team and unfortunately they scored from a ball over the top to win it 1-0. But the players know how important it is to get back into good form and they are capable of doing that this week.”

Harnwell, who experienced success with Perth Glory in the old National Soccer League, knows better than most what is required to get back to winning ways. An immediate response to last week’s loss is essential to regain the momentum needed to push towards finals. Harnwell’s side head into the round on top of the table with a five-point buffer over second-placed Sydney FC, who play tomorrow.



Perth Glory young gun Daniel De Silva is seemingly destined for much bigger moments on the international stage, but he won't forget his FFA Cup debut in a hurry. The 17-year-old prodigy, who is bound for Italy's Serie A, had been on the pitch for less than 30 minutes in the quarter-final against Melbourne Victory on Wednesday night when he changed the course of the match by firing the West Australia side into the lead.

The calm and well-placed low shot earned De Silva the match ball, complete with the signatures of all his teammates. "I was just happy that I scored," he said. "I saw it hit the back of the net and it was just an overwhelming feeling. I saw my teammates running towards me and it's good to share it with your team. It was good that my family was here to see my first goal as well."

De Silva will join Italian powerhouses AS Roma next year in a deal that could end up being worth up to $2.5 million to Glory. But the former Stirling Lions junior, who has spent plenty of time away with the Young Socceroos this year, is eager to prove himself at home before heading abroad. "It was my first minutes for the season for Glory and it was really good," De Silva said. "I scored and that was a good feeling and hopefully there's more minutes to come."

Coach Kenny Lowe has taken a cautious approach with De Silva since taking the reins late last year. "He's still young, he's got to be protected," Lowe said. "But if he does that every week he'll probably play 90 minutes. Dan's come on and it's a fairytale job. He came on and affected the game. It's good for him, good for the club and good for the team that it shows that he can cope and we have options."

De Silva has worked hard to improve his physical attributes in a bid to compete with bigger opponents while he is still developing. "It's a bit different from the physicality side of it because you're playing against big boys and men, but I'm a little bit used to it now," De Silva said. "I'm starting to try and get myself stronger and I think it's working." De Silva's mid-week heroics will give his coach food for thought leading into Saturday's home A-League date with Newcastle Jets.



Kenny Lowe has called on the A-League to provide referees with full-time positions in a bid to reduce costly blunders. Perth Glory were on the right side of the whistle during Wednesday's 4-2 FFA Cup win over Melbourne Victory, who conceded a soft first half penalty and had two men sent off in extra-time. Although there were no refereeing howlers by Alan Milliner on the night, Ben Williams hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons last week when he issued a dubious red card to Sydney FC centre-back Nikola Petkovic in an FFA Cup fixture.

Lowe feels referees need more of a helping hand from the A-League in order to fulfil their potential. "I think they need to make the refs full time," Lowe said. "Those guys have got a tough job. They work 45 hours a week in their normal job, and they probably do 45 hours a week in this. They're getting beat up a bit because they've got certain conditions at work that maybe doesn't suit the work they do. I've only got sympathy for the guys. I don't think it's fair on them. They love the game and are passionate about the game, just like we are as coaches and players."



Perth Glory have set their sights on knocking Adelaide United off their perch as the race to win the inaugural FFA Cup heats up. Kenny Lowe’s team advanced to the final four of the FFA Cup with a dramatic 4-2 extra-time win over nine-man Victory in Perth last night. The semi-final draw will be conducted on Friday night, with Glory, Adelaide United, Central Coast and Bentleigh Greens the remaining clubs. Semi-professional Victorian club Bentleigh shapes as the easiest opponent for the other three A-League teams.

But Glory coach Kenny Lowe - a big fan of beautiful football - said he would love to take on Adelaide in the semi-finals. Glory know all too well about Adelaide's class after losing to them 2-0 last weekend. "They're a good team. They play super football. It would be a good Cup game against Adelaide," Lowe said. "We treat (the competition) very seriously. We want to win it. We've said that from day one. It's the first one. To get that honour would be very, very special."

Irish striker Andy Keogh continued his hot form against Melbourne, scoring twice to take his tally to nine goals across six league and cup games. "Andy's got to stop doing that … just calm down a little bit, maybe just get one a game instead of two or three," Lowe joked. "We are looking for blue-collar players with character, but who are good footballers, who are going to affect the team and add value. We signed Andy Keogh because he ticked all the boxes that we want. He’s surpassing all the things we envisaged we were going to get.”



Perth Glory moved into the Semi-Final of the Westfield FFA Cup, after a hard fought, extra time 4-2 win against Melbourne Victory at the nib Stadium on Wednesday evening. Victory hit the front early through Fahid Ben Khalfallah, but Andy Keogh levelled from the spot on the quarter hour. It looked like Keogh had won it for the Glory, when he headed home nine minutes from time, but Gui Finkler levelled with a stunning free kick in stoppage time. But extra time goals from De Silva, his first senior goal for the club, and Nebojsa Marinkovic won it for Kenny Lowe’s side. “It’s my first goal in a proper game for Glory so it’s a great feeling to get the goal which puts us in the (semi-finals),” De Silva said.

“Hopefully that’s just the start and I get a few more minutes. I showed what I can do today and hopefully the coach was impressed and I can get a few more minutes for the rest of the season.” The result wasn’t the only problem for the visitors, Archie Thompson felt ill during the warm up and didn’t take part, while star striker Besart Berisha limped off just before half time, and they also had skipper Adrian Leijer and Daniel Geogievski sent off in extra time. It was a perfect start for Kevin Muscat’s side, and they were ahead after only seven minutes. Jesse Makarounas picked Ben Khalfallah, and the Turkish striker smashed home from 25-yards, giving Danny Vukovic no chance.

The Glory equalised seven minutes later, when referee Alan Milliner spotted a tug by Leigh Broxham on Youssouf Hersi. It looked a little harsh, but Keogh sent Nathan Coe the wrong way from the spot to level. Both sides had chances before the break, Berisha played in Kosta Barbarouses, but the New Zealand internationals shot was deflected wide. Moments later Jamie Maclaren sent Hersi racing down the left, his low cross was well claimed by Coe, with Keogh ready to pounce at the back post.

It was an even second half, but it was the Glory who took the lead on 81 minutes. Scott Jamieson’s in-swinging corner picked out the unmarked Keogh, who headed home at the back post. It looked like the winner but in the first minute of stoppage time the Victory won a free kick 20-yard’s from goal. Finkler stepped up and curled the ball superbly into the corner of the net to send the tie to extra time.

Hersi’s long-range shot crashed off the bar five minutes into the first period of extra time, and then the Victory were reduced to ten men when Georgievski was given a second yellow card for a tackle on Jamieson, and the Glory made their numerical advantage count in the 102nd minute. Keogh was the provider this time picking out de Silva on a quick counter attack, and 17-year-old midfielder drifted past his marker, before finishing clinically low past Coe. The tie was wrapped eight minutes later, and Keogh was a gain at the heart of the move. He was sent down the right by De Silva, the Victory defence looking for the offside flag that never came, before cutting the ball back to Marinkovic who finished low past Coe. The Victory was then reduced to nine men when Leijer was given a second yellow card for dissent.



Perth Glory are eyeing their first silverware in a decade and won't be holding anything back in tonight's FFA Cup quarter-final clash with Melbourne Victory at Perth Oval. Despite the club's hectic schedule of three games in seven days, coach Kenny Lowe vowed to pick his best available side. He named a strong extended squad yesterday, with young gun Daniel De Silva and Matt Davies added to the team which was beaten in Adelaide on Sunday. Team captain Michael Thwaite was also included despite battling soreness and did very little at yesterday's light training session.

Glory are yet to win a major honour since claiming the final National Soccer League championship in 2004 and are eager to advance in the FFA Cup, seeing the fledgling knockout competition as a chance to give their long-suffering fans something to cheer about. "It means a lot," goalkeeper Danny Vukovic said. "It's the first year of the competition and it would be great history to make, to win it the first time. We've had a good run so far and we certainly want to extend that. It's the first real silverware up for grabs this season and we would love nothing more than to win it."

Albanian marksman Besart Berisha leads a star-studded Melbourne attack, which includes Archie Thompson, Kosta Barbarouses, Gui Finkler and Carl Valeri. "They've been the standout attacking team," Vukovic said. "Everyone in that starting eleven is a great player and certainly in their front third they've got attacking prowess that I'm sure every other team envies. (Their pace) is a huge strength for them, but I'm very confident in the boys in front of me - the defenders and the team as a whole - to nullify their attacking abilities. We'll have to be at our best but I'm confident we can do it."



She might have to bide her time at club level but Perth Glory Women goalkeeper Gabrielle Dal Busco has rocketed into international selection with the Young Matildas. Dal Busco, 17, attended a national team training camp in Canberra last week where her impressive performances was rewarded with a place in Australia’s squad for the Under-19 Asian Football Confederation qualifying tournament. “I’d been to an Australian training camp a few years ago, but I’ve never made it into the squad before,” Dal Busco said. “As you can imagine, I’m overwhelmed and excited and feeling very proud to be representing Australia.”



Highly-rated Sunderland defender Tom Beadling has extended his contract at the Stadium of Light. Beadling, 18, has penned a new deal with the Black Cats which will keep him at the club until the summer of 2017. The teenager, currently on the sidelines with injury, is understood to have impressed Sunderland’s hierarchy with his development after being part of the academy set-up since the age of eight. Beadling is the third member of Sunderland’s Under-21 squad to agree a new contract during the last month, following Martin Smith and Duncan Watmore in extending their stays.



Spanish attacker Sergio Cirio scored again as Adelaide United burst Perth Glory's bubble with a 2-0 win in Sunday's A-League fixture. Substitute Awer Mabil also goaled to ensure Adelaide join Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC as the competition's unbeaten clubs after three games. "They are a difficult side to play against, they're a good side," said Glory coach Kenny Lowe in conceding his players were outclassed by the Reds. "At times you have got to take you hat off to people. They have got a bit of quality and some very good players."

Adelaide hit the front after 18 minutes when Marcelo Carrusca stole possession from Scott Jamieson and slid a delightful 20-metre through-ball to Cirio, who didn't break stride in slotting first-time past Danny Vukovic. The away side tried to peg one back but an unmarked Andy Keogh’s shot from a Josh Risdon was wide. And just before the break Dino Djulbic's header from Scott Jamieson's centre was blocked by the Adelaide defence.

A sloppy second half had Glory desperate to equalise, and Adelaide quick to push forward in an effort to kill off the game. The result was secured in the 68th minute, Craig Goodwin laying the ball off for Mabil to drive inside the 18-yard before cleverly striking inside the near post. Mabil should have added another late on when Cirio’s square pass found the substitute in space but he inexplicably ballooned over the crossbar from all of a metre. The loss slips Glory down to fifth on the A-league ladder.



Perth Glory Women remain clear at the top of the W-League despite their first loss of the season. Kristy Moore’s goal on the hour gave Adelaide United a 1-0 win today at Adelaide Shores Football Centre. Coach Jamie Harnwell was disappointed with the performance but conceded his side had created few chances despite enjoying plenty of possession. “We didn’t play well and it’s always disappointing to lose a game like that,” he said. “But it’s a wake-up call and we’ve got to respond against Melbourne Victory next week.”

The visitors were missing influential midfielder Collette McCallum, who was rested by Harnwell, and injured star striker Samantha Kerr, who continues to recover from a hamstring strain. Harnwell had anticipated a tough match against the Lady Reds after Glory had scored a hard-fought 3-1 home win over Ross Aloisi’s side last month. And so it was with captain Moore making the vital contribution after latching on to a ball over the top and slotting in with 60 minutes on the clock to breathe new life into Adelaide’s season. Glory are five points clear of second-placed Sydney, who take on Western Sydney tomorrow.



A-League pacesetters Perth Glory will cross the Nullarbor as the team to beat this weekend, when Kenny Lowe marshals his troops to take on Adelaide United on Sunday. Glory will be looking to maintain its perfect record against the fourth-placed Reds, who are on a high after beating Sydney FC 3-1 in the mid-week FFA Cup quarter-finals. The South Australians were also unlucky not to defeat Melbourne Victory last weekend, Fahid Ben Khalfallah scoring late to cancel out Sergio Cirio’s impressive effort four minutes earlier.

Glory boss Kenny Lowe is wary of the threat Adelaide pose to the Glory’s top-of-the-table position. “They play quality football coming out the back, they’re dangerous upfront, they’ve got some very good midfield players,” Lowe said. “You’ve seen them play well against big teams already; they’ve played Sydney, they’ve played Brisbane and top teams, so they’ll do very well. They play a fantastic brand of football … they’ve got five European players that are top notch, and they are a super side. They’ll be up there.”

Glory has not beaten Adelaide since March 2012 and the task ahead has been made all the more difficult by injury to defender Josh Risdon. “We have the same squad more or less; Rizzo’s got a tweak which he’ll be out for a week maybe,” Lowe said. “He’s tweaked his ankle. I think when he came down on Sunday, he stood on (Luke) Brattan’s foot and just got imbalanced and just rolled over on it. Hopefully it’s not too bad.” A win for Glory will keep them on top of the ladder and, dependent upon other results, may increase their buffer to four points.



Coach Jamie Harnwell is confident Perth Glory Women can continue their record start to the W-League season against Adelaide United tomorrow despite the absence of two star players. Matildas duo Samantha Kerr and Collette McCallum will miss the game in Adelaide, which marks the 50th W-league appearances of star striker Kate Gill. Kerr, who was ruled out before last weekend’s game against former club Sydney FC, continues to recover from her hamstring injury and McCallum, who had a knee injury last season, has been rested.

Despite these absences, Harnwell is confident Glory have the depth to cover. “It’s obviously disappointing to be missing players like Sam and Collette, but we showed last week that we can cover the loss of any player,” he said. “Gabe Marzano stepped in last week and did very well, and we will be looking for a similar performance from whoever replaces Collette this weekend. We’re hopeful of Sam being fit for next week’s game (away to Melbourne Victory). For Collette, it’s just a case of managing her through the season.”

Adelaide are on a high after downing Canberra United last weekend and will be aiming for another three points against a Glory side which has won six in a row. “Adelaide are going to be chock full of confidence,” Harnwell said. “They made it difficult for us here and we had to be very professional to grind out the win. Going to their home ground I expect them to try and press us and make a statement of intent early, but if we continue to play as we have been we are confident we can come away with the result.”



Perth Glory have moved a step closer towards establishing a new high performance training and administration base after entering into formal discussions with the City of Joondalup. Glory's A-League, National Youth League, W-League and National Premier League teams are all currently housed at separate locations around the metropolitan area, but the club is keen to bring them all together. Perth Glory and the City of Joondalup will now develop a Memorandum Of Understanding to explore the potential for Percy Doyle Reserve to become the club's future base.

Glory's facilities would be part of a redeveloped north-east corner of the venue, separate to those of NPL club Sorrento. Jason Brewer, Glory’s chief executive, said an elite training and administration base would allow the club to better serve Western Australia's elite and junior footballers. "The MOU would allow us to develop Percy Doyle Reserve into Western Australia's most advanced and progressive elite football training base for the club and for the broader football community," Brewer said.

Glory and Football West have long campaigned for government funding to build soccer-specific facilities, highlighting public money spent on other sports such as basketball, rugby union and netball. In May, Football West appointed consultancy firm Davis Langdon Australia to prepare a business case for its "Home of Football", separate to Glory's plans. Brewer said the City of Joondalup had earmarked funding for the overall redevelopment of Percy Doyle Reserve and Glory would look to generate its share through the private sector.



Perth Glory will enter their busiest week of the new season to date with at least four players unlikely to feature due to injury. Josh Risdon (ankle) and Chris Harold (quad) have been added to an injury list that already comprises Sidnei Sciola (calf) and Ruben Zadkovich (back). Glory are the only team left boasting a 100% win record after trumping Wellington Phoenix and Brisbane Roar in the opening rounds of the new A-League season.

Glory visits Adelaide United on Sunday before an FFA Cup quarter-final clash with Melbourne Victory and an A-League home clash with Newcastle Jets next week. Coach Kenny Lowe said he would have to manage the squad’s workload at training and would assess where several players were at after the Adelaide match. He was confident his injured quartet would be back in action early next month. “Those guys are just a week or two. I think everyone’s very close, but we just don’t want to risk anyone,” Lowe said. “We don’t want to rush anybody back.”

Adelaide have had to juggle their own busy schedule after being forced into extra time in a 3-1 FFA Cup win away to Sydney FC this week. Lowe felt the five-day break would be enough for Adelaide to recover for the Glory clash. “They’ll still be up. I think they’ve got a decent enough break between the games,” Lowe said. “They’ve got five European lads in there and they’re used to playing that, so it’ll be nothing for them. It won’t affect them whatsoever.”



Mandurah City have appointed former Premier League coach Doug Hesketh to lead its 2015 push for National Premier Leagues status. Hesketh transformed former club Stirling over a seven-year period, culminating in several under-18 championships and a senior minor premiership in 2013, before taking a break from the game last season. Hesketh has been teamed with former Armadale and Rockingham City coach Steve Robinson for next season, the pair replacing Billy Russell and Tom Kilkelly.

Hesketh is looking forward to taking the helm of Mandurah. “I was very impressed with what Mandurah had to say and their plans for a strong junior program will benefit football in the region,” Hesketh said. “We will be looking to add some quality to the current senior squad, bring on the youth players and have a crack at the State League title next season.”

Mandurah president Peter Rowe feels the appointment of Hesketh is a massive step towards the NPL for his club. “It is essential Mandurah and the Peel region has an NPL set-up so our youngsters have the right pathways to achieve their goals,” club president Pete Rowe said. “Doug has been there and done just that with Stirling so when we started to look for a Head of Football that met all the coaching criteria he was the perfect fit.”

The clubs playing stocks have also been strengthened with former captain Andy Brown signing on for the 2015 season. “It’s like the return of the prodigal son,” Rowe said. “Andy will be a massive boost and leader on the field in 2015.” Brown played under Hesketh at Stirling and was that club’s captain when they won then minor premiership. “We have a long-term plan to get this club back into elite football in WA, but short-term what we can promise is some exciting football – that is what the fans want to see.”



Midfielder Rostyn Griffiths has hailed the impact of striker Andy Keogh, saying the Irish import’s intensity has lifted Perth Glory. Keogh played across the top three divisions in England and has 30 international caps for the Republic of Ireland to his name. After a prolific pre-season, the 28-year old marksman has netted four goals in his first two A-League games, including a hat-trick in the weekend win over defending champions Brisbane Roar.

Griffiths told that Keogh, who joined the club from Millwall in the off-season, has inspired his teammates. “He’s been on fire and it’s exactly what we needed in this team - someone who’s going to put the ball in the back of the net,” the defensive midfielder said. “It sounds simple but it’s obviously so crucial. He’s sharp around the box but, for me, the thing I’ve been most impressed with is that he lifts his intensity of the game and brings people along with him.”

Griffiths believes Brisbane, which has lost both of their opening two matches, will bounce back. “We are absolutely buzzing after coming twice from behind to beat the reigning champions,” he said. “That’s what they’ve been doing to teams for the last few seasons so it’s a good feeling, especially because the whole team worked hard for it. They’re still a top class team and will be right at the top end of the table come the end of the season.”

Glory’s next test is an unbeaten Adelaide United and Griffiths says Glory are keeping a lid on expectations following their winning start to the A-League campaign. “We aren’t getting carried away just yet,” he commented. “The positive thing for us is we’re still not at 100% so we’ve still got more to give and can really only get better. Adelaide will be another tough test for us, they’re looking really good, especially at home. But then again there’s no easy games in this league so we will prepare how we have for every game and worry more about ourselves than the opposition.”



Leyton Orient defender Shane Lowry feels things are getting better ‘slowly but surely’ after the his team’s goalless home draw against Milton Keynes Dons. The point picked up at Brisbane Road against the league’s top goalscorers up until Saturday follows on from the 2-2 draw at Sheffield United the previous weekend. “It’s been two draws in very tough games,” said Lowry. “We played with ten men against Sheffield United for a good 20-25 minutes and that game took a lot out of us and we went down to ten again on Saturday … slowly but surely we are starting to put things right.”

It was frustrating day at the office in front of goal for the O’s where they failed to make the most of their chances. And while disappointed it didn’t work out well up one end of the field, Lowry was delighted with their defensive showing against a side who have scored plenty of goals this season. “A clean sheet is a massive thing personally and as a back four we have been conceding too many goals recently,” he added. “We’ve scored goals in the last few games but we’ve been leaking too many and their keeper made some decent saves.”

Lowry also came close to scoring on Saturday when he let fly from long-range, only for goalkeeper David Martin make the save. “I was just going to pump it back into the box and I thought ‘you know what I will have a little dig’ and once you catch it in that sweet spot I thought it was going top corner but the keeper read it quite well and made a good save,” he commented. “I love to have a few strikes and I am confident in myself that when I catch it sweetly I can score a couple of goals.”



Perth Glory are the A-League’s only team with a 100% win records following yesterday’s defeat of Brisbane Roar. Every hero needs a sturdy sidekick, and striker Jamie Maclaren shapes as the perfect foil for star recruit Andy Keogh this season. Keogh is the toast of the A-League after netting a hat-trick in Sunday’s dramatic 3-2 win, the 28-year old taking his regular season tally to four goals from two games.

Glory coach Kenny Lowe knew he secured a gem when he signed Keogh to a two-year deal. But to get the most out of the former Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leeds United and Blackpool striker, Lowe knew he would need to pair the Irishman with a classy offsider. Glory hoped Nikita Rukavytsya would fill that role, but those plans were scuppered when the former Socceroo signed for Western Sydney Wanderers last week. Enter Maclaren.

Maclaren scored just two goals from 18 appearances last season, but the 21-year old has been influential off the bench this campaign after getting into prime shape over the winter. The former Blackburn Rovers striker scored the late winner in Perth's 2-1 triumph at Wellington Phoenix, and Maclaren helped turn the tide against Brisbane on Sunday after being introduced into the fray after half-time.

Lowe has hinted Maclaren may come into the starting eleven for next weekend’s trip to Adelaide United. "You've got to take your hat off to the boy," Lowe said. "He came back from pre-season six kilograms lighter and beat all his records with our testing. He can only keep doing that (scoring goals and setting others up) for so long on the bench, because the gaffer has got to get his finger out and maybe select him."



Perth Glory could play an A-League fixture in Singapore this season as part of Football Federation Australia's push into Asia. The fixture would be part of a proposed three-year deal to play A-League matches in Singapore. Glory had been due to play one of their 14 home matches this season in regional Western Australia but no regional venue was considered up to A-League standard. Glory owner Tony Sage said his club was considering moving one of its home matches to Singapore in March or April.

Sage does not expect a final decision on the fixture until late next month, with several hurdles still to be overcome. "It's not in concrete but it's something they want to be able to do as part of a three-year deal, with one A-League club going up there each year," Sage said. "Because we're closest, they're just seeing if it will work. It might not." Sage has sought the advice of WA basketball great Andrew Vlahov, who was the driving force behind the Perth Wildcats' move to play two ‘home’ games in Singapore in 2005.



Goalkeeper Brad Jones admits he’s disappointed at not playing a bigger role at Liverpool. Jones has had to be content with a spot on the bench behind Pepe Reina (Spain) and Simon Mignolet (Belgium) for much of his time at Anfield. Nonetheless, the 32- year old feels he is worthy of a place in the Liverpool line-up. “Before every game, I will be honest, I'm disappointed if I'm not playing,” said Jones, who has made just 22 senior appearances since joining the Reds in mid-2010. “It might sound stupid but that's how I work during the week.”

Despite his lack of action on the field, Jones says Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard inspires him to work hard during every training session. “One thing people find when they come to the club is how hard training is - how intense it is,” he added. “Players don't do down days and that comes from Stevie. I don't think I have ever seen him walk around in training. He is one of the hardest workers - so when your captain is like that, everyone follows. And it is something that has probably improved a lot of people's games.”



Perth Glory have twice come from behind to record a late 3-2 win against Brisbane Roar at Perth Oval. Andy Keogh was the man of the moment with a match-deciding hat-trick to give Glory their second win from as many starts. Brisbane went in to the break one-nil up thanks to Mensur Kurtisi but Glory drew level early in to the second period with Keogh sending Jamie Young the wrong way from the penalty spot. Henrique put Brisbane back ahead soon after with a powerful finish from outside the box but the lead did not last. A Keogh shot deflected of James Donachie to put Glory level again and, in stoppage time, the Irish international popped up from a corner to head in the winner.



A hat-trick from Irish striker Andy Keogh has given Perth Glory a come-from-behind 3-2 win against champions Brisbane Roar at the nib Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The former Millwall and Wolverhampton Wanderers front man headed home the winner in the second minute of stoppage time, to set off wild celebrations both on and off the pitch, and send the Glory to the top of the table.

The Roar appeared on track for their first win of the new season after Albanian striker Mensur Kurtisi's first A-League goal and a great strike from Henrique had given the visitors at 2-1 lead in the 55th minute. But Keogh, who levelled proceedings on 49 minute from the spot, levelled again on 79 minutes, his shot hit the net after deflecting off Roar defender James Donachie, before winning it late.

It was an even first half with both sides struggling in the final third. Youssouf Hersi went close in the opening minutes, but his low shot was well blocked, but it was the visitors who were making the better opportunities. Matt Smith’s shot on 35 minutes was saved low by Danny Vukovic, before Dino Djulbic saw his block flash inches past Vukovic’s left hand post. But the visitors’ pressure was rewarded on 39 minutes with the lead. Steve Lustica found Henrique on the right hand side, and he crossed to Kurtisi to fire low past Vukovic.

The home side made a perfect start to the second half and were level five minutes in. Keogh raced clear and fell under the challenge of Jade North, and referee Shaun Evans pointed straight to the spot. Keogh picked himself up and sent Jamie Young the wrong way from the resulting penalty. But the Glory was only level for six minutes before Henrique scored one of the goals of the season. Thomas Broich picked out the Brazilian, who was given too much room on the edge of the penalty area, and he unleashed a powerful shot that flew past Vukovic.

The Glory went close to levelling moments later, but half time substitute Jamie Maclaren saw his header flash inches over the top. But they did equalise on 74 minutes, Josh Risdon picked out Keogh on the edge of the box and his goal bound shot deflected off Donachie, wrong footing Young and nestled in the back of the net. It looked like the points would be shared but Keogh had other ideas. Scott Jamieson’s corner picked out the Republic of Ireland international striker who headed down into the ground, the ball bouncing over Luke Bratton on the line and into the net to set off wild celebrations in the Shed.



Perth Glory Women extended their lead at the top of the W-League to five points with a hard fought 1-0 win over Sydney FC at Ashfield Reserve. The only goal of the afternoon was a bullet-like strike into the top corner by Marianna Tabain early in the second period. Glory midfielder Caitlin Foord was delighted to stretched her teams’ winning start to six games, particularly as the latest triumph came against her former club. “It was very weird, to be honest,” she said of playing against Sydney for the first time. “I was obviously more nervous for this game than any of the others but I’m just glad we got the win.”

The first half presented very few clear cut chances with Glory edging the play and flashing a handful of shots at goal, the majority of which failed to trouble Sydney goalkeeper Casey Dumont. Glory's best chance of the first half came as Gabe Marzano slotted Tabain in on goal but she put her shot comfortably within Dumont's reach. The deadlock was broken six minutes after the interval with Tabain lashing into the net following a short corner. Sydney fought back Amy Harrison was unlucky not to find the net after going one-on-one with Mackenzie Arnold. The result leaves Glory as the league’s only unbeaten side, while Sydney remain second.



Perth Glory FC has urged its fans and supporters to get behind the team for tomorrow’s A-League encounter with reigning champions Brisbane Roar. The Perth-Brisbane rivalry has intensified following Glory’s heartbreaking loss to the Roar in the 2011/12 Grand Final and Irish import Andy Keogh can’t wait to see what all the fuss is about. “There’s a vibe amongst the boys that tells me this game is about more than just three points,” Keogh said. “Obviously there is history between the two clubs with the Grand Final loss in 2012, but we know that is in the past now. It still won’t stop some of the boys like Vuka (Daniel Vukovic) getting fired up I’m sure.”



A brace from Perth Glory Youth striker Joe Knowles has opened their 2014-15, National Youth League campaign in style, coming from 2-0 down to beat the FFA Centre of Excellence 3-2 at Ashfield Sports Club on Saturday morning. The visitors had raced to two goal lead after only 17 minutes, before Knowles pulled one back on the stroke of half time. The former ECU Joondalup striker added a second six minutes into the second half, and the comeback was complete ten minutes from time when Borbor Sambindi scored.

“I thought we started slow but once we got going we looked really good,” Knowles said. “We had some great passages of play and kept the ball really well at times. We showed a great attitude and desire to win, coming back from 2-0 down so early. It was a great performance against a good AIS side. It was a well-deserved win and a great way to start the new season.”

The visitors were on top early and Daniel Arzani opened the scoring after only eight minutes, firing home from long-range, giving Jack Duncan no chance. It was 2-0 just after the quarter hour mark. Arzani was the provider this time, winning the ball on the edge of the penalty area, before picking out Charlie Devereux, who eased past his marker and fired low past Duncan. But four minutes from half time they were given a lifeline. Knowles pounced on some hesitate defending to nip in and roll the ball into the net past keeper Brandon Osipov.

It was a different Glory side that came out after the break, led well by skipper Jacob Collard, and they were level on 51 minutes. A poor clearance from Osipov fell straight to Knowles, and the striker, who scored six goals for the Perth Glory NPL side last season, fired home from the edge of the penalty area. The Glory was well on top and it wasn’t a surprise they hit the front on 84 minutes. It was a great team move, which saw them complete ten passes, finishing when Knowles picked out Sambindi, whose delight first touch took him clear of his marker, before firing low past Osipov, to give them all three points.



Perth Glory FC has urged its fans and supporters to get behind the team for tomorrow’s A-League encounter with reigning champions Brisbane Roar. The Perth-Brisbane rivalry has intensified following Glory’s heartbreaking loss to the Roar in the 2011/12 Grand Final and Irish import Andy Keogh can’t wait to see what all the fuss is about. “There’s a vibe amongst the boys that tells me this game is about more than just three points,” Keogh said. “Obviously there is history between the two clubs with the Grand Final loss in 2012, but we know that is in the past now. It still won’t stop some of the boys like Vuka (Daniel Vukovic) getting fired up I’m sure.”



Perth Glory will be looking to make it back-to-back victories to begin the 2014-15 Hyundai A-League season, when they take on reigning Champions Brisbane Roar at nib Stadium on Sunday (2pm WA Time). The Roar suffered a first up 2-1 defeat at home to Adelaide United in round one, while the Glory won over the ditch against Wellington Phoenix.

Glory new recruit Andy Keogh started life in the competition with a bang, scoring the opener in Wellington, and his partnership with both Mitch Nichols and Youssouf Hersi paid immediate dividends for Kenny Lowe’s side. Keeper Danny Vukovic was the star in the 2-1 win, making a number of fine saves, which must be a concern to Lowe, as the Phoenix managed to cut through the Glory backline on a number of occasions, and they will need to be on their toes as the Roar will be out to put the first round defeat behind them.

Brisbane head to the West without skipper Matt Mackay who was sent off for dissent last week, and his drive from the middle of the park will be sorely missed. New Albanian striker Mensur Kurtisi had a quite debut for the club last week, replaced midway through the second half and picking up a booking. But debutant keeper Jamie Young was in fine form, and like his Glory counterpart was their man of the match. Mike Mulvey will be looking for an improvement from the defence, after errors cost them dearly against Adelaide.

The midfield battle will go a long way to settle this one. Brisbane’s German midfielder Thomas Broich, Luke Brattan and former Glory midfielder Liam Miller will be vital if they are to leave with all three points, but Glory trio Richard Garcia, Rostyn Griffiths and Neboojsa Marinkovic, looked compact last week and will be relishing taking on the League Champions.

The last time the two sides met in Perth was in round 15 last season, when they fought out a 0-0 draw. Besart Berisha was sent off after only 30 minutes, but the Glory couldn’t make their numerical advantage count.



Perth Glory Youth John Gibson has stressed the importance of his team making a positive start to their new season. The Glory youngsters open the 2014/15 campaign at home to the Centre of Excellence, formerly the Australian Institute of Sport, on Saturday morning at Ashfield Reserve. “It’s vital to start with a good performance; it’s a nice boost and lifts the boys going into the remainder of the season,” Gibson said. “This is the elite of the elite and it’s going to be exciting and challenging to compete with the nation’s best youngsters week-in week-out.”

Gibson has run the rule of the best young talent Western Australia has to offer in assembling his squad for the summer. “We have held open trials over a two-month period. Players have been invited from Perth Glory’s NPL squad, from other WA-based NPL clubs and from interstate,” the coach explained. “We have signed eleven young players to NYL contracts this year and these include former Joeys captain Jack Iredale, promising 19-year old Mitch Oxborrow (ex-Newcastle Jets), Jordan Franken (ex-Ballarat Red Devils) and Todd Norris (ex-Brisbane Roar).

Gibson says this season’s team has improved with healthy competition for places, including a crop of new promising youngsters coming into the team. “The club wanted me to restructure the program and provide a clear pathway for our most talented players,” he said. “There has been a fair bit of a change that’s for sure. There’s new blood and new life in the team. The NPL and the NYL teams are an important pathway to Perth Glory. We need our youth teams to be strong and competitive - hopefully that will flow onto the club’s senior team.”

The new season Glory Youth squad features Nathan Costello (Armadale), Jordan Franken (Ballarat Red Devils), Todd Norris (Brisbane Roar), Mitch Oxborrow (Newcastle Jets), Ali Gholami (Stirling Lions), Gian Albano, Jacob Collard, Jack Iredale, Borbor Sambindi, Joe Knowles, Slobodan Vulin (Perth Glory NPL). Glory Youth kick-off the new season against the Centre of Excellence at Ashfield Reserve (10.30am) on Saturday.



The records have tumbled for Jamie Harnwell’s Perth Glory Women’s side this season and they will look to continue that when they host Sydney FC at Ashfield Sports Club on Saturday. Glory’s best ever start to a Westfield W-League season has taken them to the top of the table, but Sydney, just two points behind, are breathing down their neck.

The Coach has called on fan groups to lend their voices to the cause as his side go in search of a sixth successive victory for the first time in the club’s history. "There are a lot if expectations being placed on the players but as I have maintained our aim is a top 4 finish. Sydney will give us another test of where we are at and given the attacking nature if both sides it should be a great encounter."

Midfielder Elisa D’Ovidio is looking forward to the big game. “This week’s top of the table clash against Sydney will be a very exciting but a huge challenging game for both teams,” she said. “We are hoping to continue our winning streak making it 6 wins in a row and holding our position on the table at the top of the ladder. However Sydney have always been a tough side with some quality players so we will definitely not be taking the game lightly.”

Fans can expect plenty of action with striker Kate Gill looking to add to her 10 goals in five matches and Glory averaging four goals per game so far. There will be added incentive for Matildas Samantha Kerr and Caitlin Foord, who will take on their former club for the first time. Show your Glory Hyundai A-League membership for free entry. The match kicks off at 3pm.



Nikita Rukavytsya says Western Sydney Wanderers huge ambition and the quality of coaching staff were the reasons he chose the club to help re-launch his career. The 27-year-old striker touched down in Sydney yesterday after joining the Wanderers on a one-year deal from German club Mainz FC. Originally from Perth and starting his career at the Glory, Kenny Lowe’s side were thought to be favourite to snare Rukavytsya’s signature but he opted to link up with Tony Popovic on the east coast.

“It’s a great club," Rukavytsya said on his move to Sydney. "I’ve followed the league for the last couple of years and the team's been doing great and obviously now they are in the final of the Asian Champions League and its very good for Australian sport. They are a very ambitious club and have a good coach. It’s very good for me to keep improving my game and improve as a player. I make choices on what’s best for my career.”

Rukavytsya admitted his first preference was to remain in Europe but believes Western Sydney is the perfect place to show potential suitors he still has something to offer abroad. “I still want to go back to Europe - that's my plan," he said. "I’m pretty young and coming back to Australia wasn’t on my radar. At the moment I haven’t been playing regular football for some time so I just want to get that playing feeling again and I think it’s a great club to do that.”

Despite not figuring at all in the Bundesliga this season, Rukavytsya says he’s in “good shape” and hopes to be in the squad for Saturday night’s near-sold out Sydney derby at Allianz Stadium. “It’s a big game and I always want to be involved in these games,” Rukavytsya said of playing against Sydney FC. “That’s why I play football to play as much as possible. I heard (the derby) is pretty big and a lot of people are coming, about 40,000 come to the games and obviously it’s a Sydney derby so it must be big.”



Jamie Maclaren's match-winning strike in last week's A-League season opener is unlikely to earn him promotion to a starting role for Perth Glory against champions Brisbane Roar this weekend. Maclaren was used off the bench as a replacement for Richard Garcia in the final ten minutes away to Wellington Phoenix and made the most of his opportunity, firing a stunning left-foot shot into the top corner to seal all three points for Glory.

Coach Kenny Lowe indicated he would use high-profile off- season recruits Andy Keogh and Youssouf Hersi up front against Brisbane, but had taken notice of Maclaren's performance. "I'm pleased for young Maclaren, it was a great finish. He's a young boy, he's still learning his trade," Lowe said. "He's got a good pedigree, he's played at youth international level and he's had time in Europe. We'll probably start with Hersi and Andy again, but if he (Maclaren) scores every week it might give me a problem. There's a driver for him."

Brisbane enter Sunday's game without Matt McKay, who was banned for two matches for his expletive-laden outburst at referee Ben Williams last week. Young Socceroos trio Daniel De Silva, Riley Woodcock and Jordan Thurtell will re-join Glory this week but are unlikely to play against Brisbane. Glory are still on the lookout for one more player after missing out on striker Nikita Rukavytsya, who joined Western Sydney Wanderers this week.



WA has produced some talented players in recent years, and Perth Glory midfielder Brandon O’Neill is keeping the tradition alive. The 20-year-old has come up through the ranks of WA football with ECU Joondalup, NTC and Glory Youth, and his journey to a professional football player has been a dream comes true for a boyhood fan of the club. “It means everything; I’ve grown up supporting them since I was a young boy,” he said. “I love the club and it’s a team I want to help bring success to.”

Following a season riddled with controversy for the club last term, manager Kenny Lowe has brought the feel-good factor back, and O’Neill, who worked with Lowe in the NTC programme, is hoping to press for a starting role in weeks to come. “It’s always good playing with Kenny. There is good banter with him and I’ve known him and Andy Ord, the assistant, for years now and every training session is a good laugh,” O’Neill said.

O’Neill said the coaches had struck a great balance between the enjoyment and professional side of football, and he has improved as a player and his versatility a huge plus for the club, after slipping back to a centre half role in some games last season. “We have a great mix of banter, but when we train it’s always game on, and we work very hard,” he said.

After a hard fought 2-1 victory against Wellington Phoenix last weekend, O’Neill said mixing in a distinct local flavour in the squad was providing renewed hope for the team. “I think Perth has always pride themselves on that,” he said. ““We’ve always produced good young talent even from the early age. Glory has tried to keep good WA talent here and I think for future years it’s a good thing to keep doing that.”

O’Neill is a product of the well-renowned ECU Joondalup set-up, which has produced players like Australian international and former Middlesbrough captain Rhys Williams, and Chris Herd at Aston Villa. He said the local club played a pivotal role in his transition from semi-professional to professional football. “The way ECU went about their business especially with me was unreal,” he said. “Going from playing first team at 15 for ECU then going to NTC, then the youth league and obviously now Glory, they made that transition really good for me.”



The Young Socceroos were good enough to qualify for the quarter-finals of the AFC Under-19 Championships according to Fulham defender Cameron Burgess. Australia were unbeaten from three Group B games but failed to advance to the last eight – and, more importantly, failed to qualify for next year’s Under-20 World Cup – due to being edged out on goal difference by the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan, both who finished level with Australia on five points.

Burgess is adamant the team deserved to go further in the tournament. “We are disappointed we didn’t qualify from the group as we feel our performances deserved that, and we are talented enough to be in the quarter-finals for sure,” Burgess said. “All the lads dug in throughout the tournament. They’re a great bunch of guys and each and every one of them will go far in the game. We’re gutted not to get the result we needed in the end and it is hard to swallow, but we showed that we can play good football.”

Australia scored first against Uzbekistan and the UAE by conceded late goals in both games to scrape out a 1-1 draw. Burgess, one of a handful of overseas-based players in coach Paul Okon’s squad, feels luck wasn’t on the Young Socceroos side. “We just needed that little bit of luck tonight and also against the UAE and that would have seen us cruise the group,” he said following the game with Uzbekistan. It is only the third time since 1981 that Australia has not qualified for the Under-20 World Cup.



Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe has vowed to keep his side's attacking mojo flowing in Sunday's home clash with Brisbane Roar. Glory made a perfect start to the season with a 2-1 win at Wellington Phoenix, with strikers Andy Keogh and Jamie Maclaren bagging goals. Gaining three points away from home was a huge confidence booster, but the fact Glory were able to find the back of the net twice was arguably even more important for a team that scored a league-low 28 goals last season.

Brisbane will enter Sunday's game on the back of a shock 2-1 home defeat to Adelaide, and Lowe warned the defending premiers to expect another tough battle. "We had the most shots out of any A-League team on the weekend. They say fortune favours the brave, and we went for it," Lowe said. "It's our first home game now. We want to send the message out there that this is what you can expect every week … Whether we're home or away, we're not going to change this year - we are going to try to win football matches."

Although Brisbane failed to fire in the opening round and will be missing Matt McKay (suspension) this weekend, Lowe said he was wary of the talent-laden outfit. "They're the benchmark. Let's see where we stand at the end of the game," Lowe said. "Fingers crossed we get a result and we catch them on a bad day." Winger Sidnei (calf) looks likely to remain sidelined for a further two weeks, while Lowe will look to ease star youngster Danny de Silva back into the fold after his return from Young Socceroos duties.



Australia have suffered their first ever loss to Qatar, going down 1-0 to the gulf nation on a steamy night in Doha. It completed a disappointing Middle East swing for the Socceroos, who were held to a scoreless draw with the United Arab Emirates last week. Despite the results coach Ange Postecoglou saw positives in both games, which he said are about challenging his squad and blooding new players. "I'm making these decisions and I'm making them for a reason and that's probably costing us in terms of performance and in terms of fluency," Postecoglou said. "But it is what it is and I take responsibility because I'm making these decisions."

The Socceroos dominated for large periods of the game but lacked a killer punch in attack. James Troisi drove too close to goalkeeper Qassem Burhan, who also kept out Robbie Kruse’s shot. But the only goal of the game arrived at the other end of the park, Chris Herd’s pass across the face of goal leading to a scrappy exchange on the end of which Khalfan Ibrahim swept into the net with 61 minutes gone. Substitute Brad Smith had the best chance to equalise in the dying minutes but scuffed his close-range shot. West Australian youngster Herd was replaced after 63 minutes.


BANKS ENDS HIS CAREER ON A HIGH (courtesy of ECU Joondalup)

ECU Joondalup keeper Andy Banks ended the season on a high, taking out the 2014 Football West NPL WA First Team Goalkeeper of the Year at the Gold Medal Night at the Crown Ballroom on Saturday night.

It was a perfect end to the 38-year-old playing career after announcing his retirement from the game at the end of the season. Banks joined ECU after playing in the UK with Preston North End, Bury FC, Morecambe, Lancaster City, Fleetwood Town and Bamber Bridge FC, but bowed out of the game on a high. “It was a real surprise to win the Goalkeeper of the Year award, and to win in my last season in the NPL-WA is really special, and humbling,” Banks said.

“I’ve managed to stay injury free this season, well on a Saturday I was, but training was a different matter. It’s why I’ve decided to hang up the gloves and concentrate on coaching. “But I’d like to thank everyone at the club for their support over the years, and I’m delighted to have ended my playing days on such a high note.”

It was a great night for the club at the end of season awards with skipper Jon Higgins’ season also being recognised, finishing only three votes behind the eventual Gold Medal winner Clark Keltie, and one behind second placed Ludovic Boi on the night. ECU coach Dale McCulloch was proud of the players and their contributions to the club over a number of years. “It is a great reward for Andy, who has been a real stalwart to the club, and his overall form in 2014 was outstanding and his award was really deserved,” he said.

“Higgy has also been a long time servant of our club, and he had a great season for us. His leadership on the pitch, and guidance of our younger lads in the team was second to none, and to go so close to taking out the Gold Medal was a great achievement.”

McCulloch also added if Higgins had won the car it would have been interesting. “We were talking on the night to the rest of the players and said it’s a good job he didn’t win the car, as it would have gone into the players’ pool for the end of season trip,” he joked.



Former Perth Glory, Chelsea and Arsenal captain and defender William Gallas has announced his retirement from football. The 37-year-old made the announcement on French television yesterday, saying: "It is not an easy thing to announce. You always tell yourself that you can keep going, but, I think today I cannot go on any longer."

Gallas played for Caen and Marseille before joining Chelsea for £6.2 million in 2001. He then spent five years there before moving to Arsenal as part of the deal that saw Ashley Cole move the other way. He was made Arsenal's club captain in 2007 and left three years later for a three-year stint at Tottenham before joining Australian club Perth Glory as their marquee player for a final season last year, which was cut short due to injury.

He made over 150 appearances for Chelsea and over 100 for Arsenal. At Chelsea he won the Premier League title twice, as well as the League Cup and Community Shield in 2005. Gallas debuted for his national team in a Euro 2004 qualifier against Slovenia and was in the team that lost the 2006 World Cup final to Italy on penalties. After 84 caps and five goals he retired from international duty last year.



Fringe Socceroo Nikita Rukavytsya will play the coming summer with Western Sydney Wanderers after agreeing terms on a one-year deal with the A-League club. Rukavytsya, who played on loan with FSV Frankfurt from Bundesliga club Mainz 05 last season, is expected to join his new teammates for training on Wednesday and may make his Western Sydney debut as soon as this weekend’s derby clash with Sydney FC. The versatile attacker adds depth and quality to Western Sydney’s attacking third where he’ll compete with Tomi Juric, Brendan Santalab and Labinot Haliti for a starting spot.

Western Sydney chief executive John Tsatsimas was thrilled with the capture of the 27-year-old, saying Rukavytsya will be an exciting inclusion to Tony Popovic's squad. "This is a class acquisition for the club" Tsatsimas said. "Nikita will give us options across our frontline, has a strong pedigree and is familiar with the A-League. We are at the beginning of a hectic season schedule and it is important that we add to the depth of our squad. The fact that he is an Australian player is a bonus in our view and can only be good for the Wanderers and the Australian game.”



Teeboy Kamara’s efforts in the final third of the park have been recognised with the National Premier League’s inaugural Dylan Tombides Young Player of the Year award. Liberia-born Kamara, 18, joined Inglewood United early in the home and away series and in next to no time was the team’s focal point in attack, scoring six goals in 15 league appearances while creating numerous opportunities for those around him.

“It was quite surprising to win the Young Player of the Year, especially as I missed almost half the season,” said Kamara of his return to competitive to football from a two-year absence. “I wasn’t at my best for most of this season, I was a bit nervous to be playing again. With my first season over I feel I’ll be more relaxed next year, and with a complete full pre-season I’m looking forward to having a better year in 2015.”

“Thanks so much to everyone at Inglewood for their support in getting me back on the pitch again, it really meant a lot,” Kamara added. The Dylan Tombides Young Player of the Year is awarded to the NPL’s best first team player under the age of 20. Tombides, who played for Perth SC and Stirling Lions in his youth and had broken into the West Ham United first team, passed away in April from cancer.



Promising defender Trent Sainsbury is firming for an Asian Cup call-up as he makes the most of his opportunities with the Socceroos. Central defence is the most hotly-contested position in Ange Postecoglou squad ahead of January's tournament in Australia and Sainsbury appears to be giving himself an edge on some of his rivals. The 22-year old was one of the Socceroos' best in last week's scoreless draw with the United Arab Emirates, helping to keep the nation's first clean sheet in almost a year.

Sainsbury's performance in Abu Dhabi came not on the heel of an impressive debut against Belgium last month and the PEC Zwolle defender is growing in confidence at international level. "This was my second match now so I was a bit more relaxed and calm on the ball," said Sainsbury, who started out with Armadale. "I'm just trying to assert myself in the group and it was another good experience for me but I've just got to keep preparing myself like every game could be my last."

Sainsbury moved to Europe from A-League side Central Coast Mariners in January and has enjoyed linking up with his former teammates Wilkinson and goalkeeper Mat Ryan in the national team. "We've got a good triangle at the back there and a good understanding with each other," Sainsbury said. "I've just got to keep doing the right thing for myself and try and keep clean sheets for the boys. At the end of the day if my performances warrant another call-up, that's great, but if it doesn't I know I've got to work on things."



Perth Glory rediscovered their goal-scoring mojo with a composed 2-1 win over Wellington Phoenix in their A-League season opener at Westpac Stadium in New Zealand. A steering header by Andy Keogh in the 32nd minute and a rifling shot into the top left hand corner by super-sub Jamie Maclaren with four minutes remaining got Glory’s 2014/15 campaign to the best possible start. “It’s always hard coming here to Wellington, it’s a long road trip but we are very excited and proud to walk away with three points” Glory’s Scott Jamieson said. “But let’s not forget it’s only a win in the first match, not the title.”

The first half was evenly poised in terms of possession but it was Wellington that should have gone into the break ahead with new signing Roly Bonevacia going close to getting on the score sheet. Just before the half hour Nathan Burns found himself one-on-one with Danny Vukovic, whose desperate lunge turned the ball wide. Three minutes later Glory’s Mitch Nichols clipped the ball to the top of the 6-yard box where Keogh got between two defenders and placed his glancing header beyond goalkeeper Glen Moss.

Wellington pressed relentlessly for an equaliser after the break and on 73 minutes it finally arrived, Burns cutting the ball back to Michael McGlinchey who had the simple task of tapping in. Both teams immediately set about crafting the deciding goal. Nichols called Moss into action in the 84th minute with a stinging half-volley. Two minutes later substitute Maclaren, who after receiving the ball from Youssouf Hersi in the middle of the park, drove forward and blasted into the roof of the net.



Perth Soccer Club skipper Clark Keltie wrapped up a fantastic 2014 National Premier League WA season by taking out the coveted McInerney Ford Gold Medal as the fairest and best at last night’s awards ceremony at the Crown Perth Grand Ballroom.

It was another huge night with over 900 people attending, and Keltie held off Floreat Athena midfielder Ludovic Boi and ECU Joondalup skipper Jon Higgins to take of the most prestigious award in the state. “Obviously it's nice to be recognised individually but without the other ten players around me it wouldn't be possible,” Keltie said. “I think all who were there to see it tonight, could appreciate how much of a close knit group the Perth SC club are. I’m overwhelmed and it’s a very proud moment for me, and now we’re looking forward to next season.”

Perth Coach Taki Nicolaidis was thrilled his skipper took out the major player award in the state. “Clark has been outstanding this year for us and a deserved winner of the Gold Medal,” he said. “He is well respected by his team mate and his professionalism and leadership has been integral to our success this season.”

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Perth SC defender Clark Keltie is the owner of a new Ford Fiesta and the coveted Gold Medal after a sensational National Premier Leagues season. Keltie was awarded the Gold Medal as Western Australia’s footballer of the year at last night’s season finale at Crown Perth’s Grand Ballroom in front of more than 900 guests. The Perth defender secured 25 votes in his 19 appearances, including five man-of-the-match performances, to edge out Floreat Athena’s Ludo Boi by just one vote for the prestigious award. Keltie joins previous winners Gavin Knight (2013), Jack Clisby (2012), Steve Burton (2011), Marc Anthony (2010), David Micevski (2009) and Antonio Naglieri (2008) to receive the keys to a new car courtesy of McInerney Ford.

Keltie, 31, led by example at the heart of the Perth defence as they pushed Bayswater City all the way in the race for grand final success. In a team with an average age around 24, Keltie provided experience and leadership as a revitalised Perth finished second on the table. Boi played in all but one of Floreat’s 22 games, picking up maximum votes on four occasions and featuring prominently in many other games to fall just short of taking out the main prize. ECU Joondalup captain Jon Higgins had an outstanding season, picking up 22 votes to finish third, while Bayswater City’s David Heagney (21 votes) and Sorrento’s Reece Vittiglia (20 votes) rounded out the top five.

Inglewood United striker Teeboy Kamara was the inaugural winner of the Dylan Tombides Young Player of the Year Award, which is given to the best first team player under the age of 20. The Coach of the Year went home with Chris Coyne (Bayswater City) as expected, while Andy Banks (ECU Joondalup) picked up the Goalkeeper of the Year and David Micevski (Stirling Lions) the Golden Boot. Armadale’s Mitch Castrilli was awarded the Goal of the Season. The Under-20 Player of the Year was taken out by Stefan Valentini (Balcatta) with Robert Petkov (Stirling Lions) collecting the Golden Boot. Adam Carlino (Perth) scooped both the Under-18 Player of the Year and Golden Boot.

There was double delight also for Morley Windmills attacker Kyle King who received the Division One Player of the Year and Golden Boot. Shamrock Rovers boss John O’Reilly was presented the Coach of the Year. Adam Buckley (Joondalup United) scored the Division Two Player of the Year and Golden Boot with the Coach of the Year going home with Daniel Smith (Joondalup United). Match officials were recognised with Adam Fielding (Golden Whistle), Josh Mannella (Assistant Referee of the Year) and Arvin Shanmuganathan (Referee Encouragement Award) the winners. Anna Caratozzolo (Bayswater City) took out the Volunteer of the Year and Brad Forbes (Subiaco AFC) the David Schrandt Administrator of the Year.



A double from Kate Gill has extended Perth Glory Women’s winning run to five games courtesy of a 3-0 triumph over Canberra United at Ashfield Sports Club. Shelina Zadorsky opened the hosts account early with Gill netting twice in the second half, but Glory were equally as indebted to goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold who made a string of fine saves to thwart the Canberra attack. “We knew it was going to be a challenge coming out against Canberra United but we all pulled together well and we’re really glad to get our first clean sheet and a win,” Arnold said.

Arnold’s heroics started after just 4 minutes when she denied Ashleigh Sykes and over the next forty minutes she also kept out shots by Nicole Begg and Lori Lindsey. But while Canberra enjoyed the better share of possession and chances during the early exchanges, Glory were more clinical in front of goal. Zadorsky broke the deadlock after 14 minutes by heading in at close-range after ‘keeper Chantel Jones failed to hold on to Bronwyn Studman’s effort. Canberra did get the ball in the net after 23 minutes but Michelle Heyman’s effort was disallowed for offside.

Matildas attacker Caitlin Foord was first to threaten in the second half but her 52nd minute shot hit the side netting, much to the relief of the Canberra ‘keeper. Two minutes later Glory breathed a sigh of relief when Heyman’s shot from a tight angle clipped the outside of a post. Samantha Kerr was brought down by Jones soon after prompting the referee to point to the penalty spot from where Gill increased Glory’s advantage. With seven minutes to go Gill took her season tally to ten goals by lashing in after Jones had saved her initial header.



Australia have been held to a dour 0-0 draw by the United Arab Emirates at a hot and humid Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium. In a game of few clear cut chances, the Socceroos struggled to mount any serious pressure in the attacking third but coach Ange Postecoglou will surely be pleased by an improved defensive showing. The central defensive partnering of Alex Wilkinson and Trent Sainsbury performed well, ensuring the Socceroos managed their first clean sheet in nine matches.

Mathew Leckie fashioned the first chance inside two minutes by out-pacing Mohamed Ahmad only to place wide of the mark. It wasn’t until 25 minutes in that the hosts threatened, Ali Ahmed Mabkhout beating the offside trap and dinking the ball over goalkeeper Mat Ryan but Wilkinson was on the line to head to safety. Australia would have taken a lead to the break but Mark Milligan’s glancing header to Jedinak’s free-kick was just past of the post.

Leckie managed to test Ali Khaseif early in the second half after being freed up on the edge of the box by some nice build-up play from Milligan and Massimo Luongo. Just after the hour Milligan piked out Leckie’s incisive run in behind the defence but his first-time shot was well saved by Khaseif. Tim Cahill put a late trademark header off-target before Sainsbury squandered a gilt-edged close-range chance at the death. West Australian Sainsbury played the full 90 minutes.



Perth Glory Women will look to make more history by continuing their winning start to the season when they take on Canberra United at Ashfield Sports Club tomorrow. The Glory girls have made their best ever start to a W-League campaign with a 100% record from four games, however, they are yet to beat Canberra in seven seasons. The two sides have met ten times with Glory on the receiving end of seven defeats with only three draws to show for their efforts. But this season’s strengthened squad hopes to end that trend and take three points for the first time against a Canberra outfit sitting third on the table.

Although Kate Gill achieved a personal milestone last weekend when she became the first player to score five goals in a W-League match, the striker is more concerned with continuing the team’s excellent start than individual achievements. “Canberra are a top-four side and it’s going to be a real test for us,” Gill said, of facing a team featuring the W-League’s all-time leading scorer Michelle Heyman. “Although we won quite convincingly against the Wanderers, there are areas we need to work on. We were disappointed to concede a goal last weekend. It’s important we don’t lack focus as that could cost us the game against teams like Canberra.”

Gill, who has scored eight goals this season to take her W-League tally to 37, is hot on the heels of Heyman’s 45 career goals. The Australian international opened her tally with both goals in a gritty 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar in round one and was on target in a 3-1 victory against Adelaide United. Glory have plenty of attacking options alongside Gill with Samantha Kerr and Caitlin Foord both scoring twice against Western Sydney in their 50th W-League appearances. Coach Jamie Harnwell has been able to field a settled side in the opening rounds but will consider bringing into the mix Wales international Carys Hawkins this weekend.



Perth Glory opens their 10th A-League season with optimism, both on and off the pitch. The internal problems that the club had to deal with last season has been resolved and Coach Kenny Lowe has brought in some quality signings, and their long suffering supporters will be looking for an improvement from last season’s eight place finish.

They open the season with a trip to Wellington to take on the Phoenix at the Westpac Stadium on Sunday (12 noon WA time). They don’t have a good record over the ditch, but new signing Youssouf Hersi knows they need to get a good start to the campaign. "We have to start well, and we know how vital this game is ... it's all we’re talking about the club," Hersi said. “It's great to win at home, of course, but the big problem for this club has been away and we have to put that right. Otherwise there is little chance of success.”

Glory collected only six points outside WA last season - with just a single win and Hersi knows that has to change. “The last couple of years we have struggled all over the country, it has been a big issue and we can't afford to let it continue,” he said. “We have to find a way to win games away from home at places like Wellington. We are all hungry and we know we have a lot to prove."

New signings Hersi, Andy Keogh, Richard Garcia, Dino Djulbic and Mitch Nichols are in the squad, but Ruben Zadkovich, who has missed most of the pre-season due to injury, will likely miss out. The club will also be without Brazilian winger Sidnei Scoila, who tore a calf in training.

The depth of the 2015 squad is deeper and that is something they lacked last season, when injuries took their toll. But are they strong enough to challenge for the title that is the big question. Club owner Tony Sage has put his faith in Lowe, but there are still concerns from certain quarters he isn’t the man for the job. He brought a new belief to the club last season, after the departure of Alistair Edwards and he won the support of the player group, if not some of the Glory supporters, but he will be hoping for a good start if the vultures are not to circle.

Lowe has had the backing of the clubs hierarchy, but the ball is defiantly now in his court. He has been successful in the junior ranks in WA football, heading the NTC programme in the state, he will now look to turn the Glory’s fortunes around, and with the squad he has at his disposal, a spot in the finals this season is a must.



A new era has begun for Western Australian football with the announcement of Michael Thwaite as captain of Perth Glory. The 31-year old Brisbane-born defender was unveiled as the team’s new leader at a packed season launch at Perth Oval this morning. “I am deeply humbled and proud to be given such a privilege” Thwaite said. “It’s a tremendous honour to be named captain of Perth Glory and I will do my best to lead by example and help inspire my team mates and ensure the team is taken to unchartered territory in season ten of the A-League.”

Glory coach Kenny Lowe said there were a number of contenders for the captaincy but at the end of the day he felt Thwaite would bring in the experience and leadership required in this season’s new look team, which boast seven new players. “This is Michael’s third season at the club, he’s played overseas and being a young father, he’s got the skills to get through to players in the heat of battle and inspire them to pick up their game,” Lowe said. Thwaite, capped thirteen times by Australia, won the Most Glorious Player award in the 2013/14 and was part of the A-League All-Stars team which faced Italian giants Juventus in August.



When former Socceroo Richard Garcia lines up for Perth Glory this Sunday, it will be an event 18 years in the making. Garcia was just 15 years old when he left his hometown of Perth to join English club West Ham United. The talented winger spent the next fifteen years in England playing for the Hammers, Colchester United and Hull City before returning to Australia to feature for Melbourne Heart and Sydney FC.

Perth Glory wasn't in existence when Garcia first left Perth, but he has kept a close eye on the club through their glory days in the National Soccer League to the tougher times in the A-League. The 33-year old always hoped that one day he would be able to pull on a Glory shirt, and that time has now come after he inked a two-year deal at the end of last season. Garcia is set to feature in Sunday's season opener against Wellington Phoenix, and hopes he can help Glory taste success in the near future after they only narrowly avoided the wooden spoon last season.

"I left Perth as a kid before Glory came about. But once Glory were formed, I always thought I want to play for my home-town team," Garcia said. "And they were killing it back then in the NSL. I used to come back from England and think 'wow, this is great'. My brother (Michael Garcia) played there as well. So for me it's almost like a dream come true coming home to play. I'm happy to be back in Perth. My wife's from Perth as well, so the extended family is happy too."

Garcia joins Irish striker Andy Keogh, Youssouf Hersi, Mitch Nichols, Ruben Zadkovich, Diogo Ferreira and Dino Djulbic as new arrivals at the club. Although Perth will boast a strong squad on paper, Garcia warned that it may take the new-look side some time to gel. "It's going to take us a while to really hit our stride," Garcia said. "Hopefully we can start this weekend at Wellington and get a good result, and progress slowly from there. We want to be playing in the finals."



Perth Glory expect to know by the end of the week whether their bid to lure fringe Socceroos striker Nikita Rukavytsya back to Western Australia has been successful. Chief executive Jason Brewer has maintained throughout the pre-season the club would not use either of its two vacant marquee spots this season. He said the existing roster, including Republic of Ireland international Andy Keogh and seven other new recruits, had been signed under the $2.55 million salary cap. But the possibility of signing Rukavytsya, 27, to partner Keogh up front has changed the club's stance on the eve of the season.

Glory went close to signing Rukavytsya on loan last season and has put a new offer to the striker, however, they face opposition for his signature from Asian Champions League finalists Western Sydney Wanderers. "He's a favourite son of the club and he's got a great relationship with everyone at the club," Brewer said. "We have been talking to both him and his agent about getting him over here for this season and beyond this season. We've been putting in various offers to him and we are aware that he's been talking to another club over east. He would be a fantastic addition to the club."

Ukranian-born Rukavytsya initially played with Inglewood United and Perth SC before breaking into Glory's first team, scoring 16 goals in 42 appearances. The lightning-fast forward joined Dutch side FC Twente in 2009 and has since moved to Hertha Berlin, Mainz and FSV Frankfurt. Brewer felt a move home could help Rukavytsya push his case for a Socceroos call-up for next year's Asian Cup. "He's keen to come back to Australia because he still believes he can break back into the Socceroos," Brewer said. "We're obviously doing our utmost to try and see how it can work and we'll continue to do that."



Perth Glory are aiming for a home final this season after an aggressive off-season recruiting drive that has the club well placed to return to the top six. Glory finished eighth last year, just two points clear of bottom side Melbourne Heart, scoring a league-low 28 goals and picking up just four points away from home. Former caretaker coach Kenny Lowe was given the permanent role in April and immediately set about rejuvenating the team. Proven A-League players Mitch Nichols, Youssouf Hersi, Ruben Zadkovic, Richard Garcia, Dino Djulbic and Diogo Ferreira all joined Glory along with Republic of Ireland international Andy Keogh and young goalkeeper Jordan Thurtell.

Griffiths, who has overcome knee injury and is eager to play the season opener away to Wellington Phoenix on Sunday, said the players had set the bar high and were aiming for a top-four spot. "Finals for this team is minimum," Griffiths said. "We’ve got a good enough squad that you could practically go out and just play and hopefully be good enough to make the finals. But amongst ourselves we want to be pushing for that home final. We want to be up there at the top of the (ladder) because, like I say, with the squad we’ve got we should be strong enough to do that."

Griffiths said the biggest changes from the end of last season were certainty over Lowe’s role as coach and greater depth in the playing squad. He also pointed to the better support being afforded to the players off the field after the football department underwent a revamp over the off-season. "The club has been doing the right things in the background," Griffiths said. "We've brought in different people to do different roles and just give us that extra support that possibly we didn't have in seasons past. Everything's just been run a little bit more professionally this season. As a player you just want that 'no excuse' environment and that’s something that we've had so far"

Griffiths missed a large chunk of the pre-season but has played Glory's last two games - the FFA Cup win over St Albans and a friendly match against Melbourne City - and is nearing full fitness. He is ready to put his hand up to play against Wellington if called upon this week. "I'm probably about 85 per cent of where I want to be," Griffiths said. "I've got a little bit more to go and will probably get that from games. It was just a little bit of a knee issue that I had cleared up in the off-season. It was nothing too serious, I didn’t really need to do it, but it was something that they thought for the long term of my career would benefit me."



The bookies have all but written them off, but Perth Glory believe they can buck the odds by winning this season's A-League title. Glory only narrowly avoided the wooden spoon last season in a campaign marred by infighting and a player-led revolt that resulted in the mid-term sacking of coach Alistair Edwards. Although tensions have since eased under new coach Kenny Lowe, the West Australian club are again tipped to struggle despite an impressive recruiting campaign that has netted proven performers Andy Keogh, Youssouf Hersi, Mitch Nichols, Richard Garcia, Ruben Zadkovich, Diogo Ferreira and Dino Djulbic.

Scott Jamieson is also back on board after missing most of last season with a torn Achilles tendon, and the defender says his team should not be written off. "We look at our squad on paper, and it's as good as anyone in the league," he said. "We have to gel together, we have to be together as one and look to win this year … I don't want to finish my career with one Grand Final loss with Adelaide United. I'm at this club to win things, and that's what it should be about."

Jamieson was in career-best form and on track to earn a dream World Cup call-up before rupturing his Achilles tendon last November. The speedy left back has since made a successful return during the Glory's pre-season and FFA Cup campaigns, and – perhaps not surprisingly – Jamieson is looking to this weekend’s long trek to Wellington Phoenix for the opening game of the new campaign. "I can honestly say I was never really a fan of a Wellington trip prior to this injury, but I'll probably be the first one on the plane this time because I'm dying for it," he said.



Fulham centre back Cameron Burgess says the professionalism and the camaraderie within the Australian camp helped swing him to choose playing for the green and gold over Scotland. Aberdeen-born Burgess, who moved to Australia at the age of 11, has played for Scotland at youth level in the past and was involved in a Young Socceroo camp in Dubai earlier this year. Burgess’ family have deep roots in Scottish football, his father Stuart played professionally for Falkirk and Kilmarnock while his grandfather, Campbell Forsyth, accrued four international caps for Scotland and wore the club colours of St Mirren, Kilmarnock and Southampton.

Given those connections, Burgess admits it wasn’t an easy decision to choose Australia over Scotland. “It was a hard decision for me and I had a lot of help from my family but whatever I chose they would support me,” he said. “And at the end of the day, it was ultimately my decision. I went away with the Aussie squad at the back end of last season and it was a great experience. The squad was full of great lads and everything is done professionally. This is a perfect environment to play football.”

Burgess, who was a junior with Celtic, Aberdeen and ECU Joondalup, has made four first team appearances for Fulham this season. The Cottagers have struggled, with manager Felix Magath sacked, but the 18-year old believes the tide is turning for the west London club. “The team is taking lots of positive steps and we are in a good place now,” Burgess said. “We had a tough start to the season but we know that positive results will come and that will kick start our season.

Burgess is currently in Myanmar with the Young Socceroos for the AFC Under-19 Championship, where the four semi-finalists qualify for next year’s Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand. “I’m happy to get a call-up and yeah excited to get the tournament started,” said Burgess, one of only three overseas-based players were chosen in the 23-man squad. “I don’t know too much about the kinds of opposition we will be playing apart from a little about their style of play. But we have a good chance at going far in the tournament provided we are on our A game.”



Goalkeeper Lewis Italiano has set his sights on an A-League debut after committing to Wellington Phoenix through to the end of the 2015/16 season. Italiano, who made his first team debut for Inglewood United as a teenager, put an injury-riddled first season with Wellington behind him last week by signing a new one-year contract with the New Zealand club.

The door for Italiano to come into A-League reckoning will open when regular goalkeeper Glen Moss travels with the New Zealand national team during the coming season. “I have to make sure I am fit and ready to play well when Mossy is away,” he said. “I will be working hard to put pressure on him because that will bring out the best in both of us."

Italiano had hoped to make his A-League debut last season but was denied that chance by injury. “It was really frustrating," said Italiano, who joined Wellington from Victorian side Oakleigh Cannons. “I’d had a good season at Oakleigh and got the injury five minutes from the end of my last game. When I got over the ankle injury I damaged the tendons in my wrist and that basically finished my season.”

Coach Ernie Merrick made Italiano one of his first signings upon taking the reins last June, and the Wellington boss every confidence the shot-stopper has what it takes to make the grade. “We wouldn’t re-sign him if we didn’t think very highly of him,” Merrick said. “He’s been playing and training really well, he’s only 23 years old and we see him having a future here.”

Italiano got his first taste of senior football when he came on as a late substitute in July’s 2-1 friendly win over English club West Ham United. His night was made complete by a superb diving save which maintained his teams slender lead, and which will be remembered by Wellington fans for many a day. Now he hopes he will get more chances to show them what he can do week in week out.



ECU Joondalup will go into next season with a great deal of optimism and first team Coach Dale McCulloch has finalised his coaching line up for 2015. He will again be assisted by Craig Stephenson as his team manager, but Mark Windeatt and Danny Stevens have been rewarded for their efforts over the last two years with the under 18’s by taking the Under 20’s coaches role.

“Mark and Danny did a superb job with our youngsters last season, and their expertise and enthusiasm will help in the under 20’s,” said McCulloch. “Mark and Danny will step up and help me identify the young talent we have available, and his input will be great.”

Ex first team coach Steve (Syd) Amphlett has returned to the senior set up by accepting the newly formed U16/U18 Development squad. He will head a group of coaches looking to develop the younger age groups, alongside the likes of experienced coach Willie Herd who takes the U14 and U15 NPL teams. Amphlett is delighted to accept the role and expressed his desire to continue the good work done by his predecessors. “The club wants to take a slightly different direction and we plan to reduce the average age in the U18 team as we believe this is the age group that will be identified for overseas trials,” he said.

“We are now aware of a serious flood of players joining the Perth Glory/NTC set up, but we want ECU to concentrate on what they are good at, which is developing the younger players who want to go overseas or push for a spot in the NPL first team.” If past history is to go by, ECU will continue to find and develop these players and recent additions the Professional ranks include Jordan Lydon at Aston Villa and Cameron Burgess at Fulham FC.

McCulloch has also introduced his own footballing philosophy into the club culture and the signs were there last season when seven ex-Academy players made their first team debut, and he said the experienced players at the club are vital for the development of his players on match days. “The likes of ex professional Footballers like Charlie Comyn–Platt, Carl Rodgers, Tommy Amphlett and John Higgins, will only help the younger players coming through,” he said. “Our club is all about development and I want all the coaches to express my own feelings, and continue to demand the development of our own players, which will only benefit the club in the future.”



Forrestfield United Soccer Club is taking its role as a leading regional sporting organisation seriously by providing a pathway for most talented football players within their region. On the back of a very successful season at semi-professional level, Forrestfield United is re-establishing one of the most respected and successful football Academies in the state, the "FUSC Football Academy".

The club have spent the last 2 years on re-structuring, and are pleased to say that although they have perfected some of their own unique development philosophies over the years, it is important to know that they have aligned with "The FFA Curriculum". For more information on Forrestfield's new academy, click on the notices page.



Perth Glory Women maintained their perfect start to the new W-League season with a record-breaking 10-1 away win over Western Sydney Wanderers. The nine-goal margin set a new club record and was the second-biggest in W-League history, falling just short of Sydney FC’s 11-0 thrashing of Glory three years ago. Kate Gill put away five goals as Samantha Kerr and Caitlin Foord struck doubles with Alanna Kennedy grabbing the remainder. Helen Petinos scored Western Sydney’s consolation early in the second half. Glory now have four wins from as many starts and sit three points clear at the top of the W-League.

It wasn’t until the stroke of half-time that Glory opened their account, Kerr heading in from a Collette McCallum corner. And there was enough time for Kerr to double the lead in similar fashion before the break. Gill netted her first four minutes into the second half by converting a Marianna Tabain cross. Petinos fired in soon after but before the hour was out Gill had her hat-trick and Foord lashed in. Gill got another before Kennedy headed in against her former team. With twelve minutes left Shannon May teed-up Gill for her fifth goal after which Foord took it to double figures.



North Perth United ended a successful 2014 by taking out the Sunday Cup Final with a 4-2 win against a 10-man Gwelup Croatia at Intiga Stadium yesterday. Man-of-the-match Eamonn Kelly said his club’s “united” approach on and off the field made the difference. “We’ve fought for each other all season and have got the rewards,” he said. “The medal is nice but it’s all about the team and the victory. We fought hard as a team this season, we’ve won as a team, we’ve lost as a team and we will be celebrating as a team.”

North Perth had to do it the hard way after three goals were scored early. Ray Moloney gave United the lead after only 10 minutes before Gwelup hit back with a Gavin Knight penalty before Sebastian Munoz put them ahead. Gwelup had influential defender Ian O’Sullivan sent off on the stroke of half-time with Mark Curran converted the resulting penalty. United took control in the second half to take out the league and cup double with goals from Kelly and skipper Stephen Henry putting the icing on the cake.

Coach Alex Carter was thrilled with a victory which made amends for last season’s cup final defeat. “It was an exceptional effort from the players tonight and we had some unfinished business from last season,” Carter said. “The pitch didn’t help our style of play but I thought the boys handled it well. They followed the instructions we gave them to a tee, and they’ve done it all year and that’s why they’ve got the success.”

League-winning North Perth had hit the front with Moloney’s long-range free kick deflecting off the Gwelup wall and wrong footing keeper Simon Madaschi. Gwelup hit back six minutes later when Knight raced into the area and fell under the challenge of Michael English. Referee Matt Southern pointed to the spot and Knight scored past Andrew Stewart. Gwelup hit the front on 19 minutes when a John Cafferkey free kick was not dealt with by the United defence and the ball fell to Munoz, whose shot from the edge of the penalty area flew into the net.

North Perth went in search of the equaliser and on the half hour Kelly’s free kick picked out Robbie Phelan at the back post but the striker’s half-volley was well saved by Madaschi. On the stroke of half-time the game took a turn for the worse for Gwelup. A long ball over the top sent Henry racing clear with O’Sullivan in pursuit. Henry was pulled down in the box and the referee awarded a penalty and deemed it a straight red card for the Gwelup defender. Curran stepped up and sent Madaschi the wrong way to send the sides in level at the break. Gwelup suffered another blow at half time with skipper Knight not being able to continue after pulling his hamstring late in the first half and he was replaced by Dinko Ahmetanovic.

The 10 men started the second half well and Stewart had to be alert to tip over Andrej Balic snap shot two minutes in. United hit back and Kelly’s long-range shot on the run whistled over the top. Phelan then drifted in from the left and saw his shot deflected past the far post. From the resulting corner Phelan saw his back post header cleared off the line by Jordan Costanzo. North Perth were well on top and their pressure told when they hit the front on 73 minutes. Moloney took a free kick on the left and rolled the ball into the path of Kelly, whose shot flew into the net from 18 meters. The game was put out of the reach of Gwelup five minutes later. Henry was given far too much space on the edge of the penalty area and he lashed his shot past Madaschi.



Chris Harold believes he has given himself every chance of being Andy Keogh's striking partner up front for Perth Glory when it kicks off its A-League campaign away at Wellington Phoenix on 12 October. New signing Keogh, a Republic of Ireland international, has drawn rave reviews for his pre-season form and is bound to be a key player for Glory this season. But there is an opportunity to play alongside him in Glory's formation and Australia youth striker Harold is among those in the running for that role.

Harold has previously mostly been seen as a wide attacker on the right for Glory, but he says he is more comfortable playing closer to the middle of the front line. "We've been playing with two up front and not so much width during the pre-season," Harold said. "I've been playing in that striking role alongside one of the other guys. We've all had a chance there. I've enjoyed it, because in my junior days I was always a central striker. The last couple of years I've had to adjust to being able to play out wide as well, but I do enjoy playing as a striker more than anything."

"Andy is here and we've also got myself, Jamie Maclaren and Sidnei competing to be in the team, Harold continued. "If you want a successful team there's got to be serious competition for every spot on the park and I think myself, Jamie and Sidnei have all proved that we can do a pretty good job in the A-League. It's really competitive for spots up front and that's only going to make us push ourselves harder to perform. I'd love to start in that first game against Wellington, but I suppose only (Glory coach) Kenny (Lowe) really knows the answer to that question."

Harold says he feels like his combination with Keogh is developing well. "The structure and the system the coach has implemented only helps us do that," he said. "I was a bit surprised when I heard Andy had signed for us, because a lot of players from Europe come here in their early to mid-30s whereas Andy is still in his 20s. He's reaching his peak and that's really exciting for us. It's been great watching him at training. He's clever, especially around the box. He's got really good awareness and can get a shot away under heavy pressure and in not much space. I think he'll be very successful in the A-League this year."

There was a large turnover of players on the Glory roster after last season, but Harold says the long pre-season has given the players valuable time to familiarise themselves with each other on the pitch. "There is generally a high turnover of players at most A-League clubs at the end of a season. That's just the way the A-League is," he said. "The fact we do have such a long pre-season gives the players and the coaching staff the opportunity to do a lot of work together. Kenny is established in the job now as well, so we've had time to settle on our structure and get used to how he wants us to play."

"We'll be well prepared for round one," Harold continued. "Apart from the normal pre-season trial games we've had a couple of FFA Cup games against Newcastle Jets and St Albans and while people might think it's not strong opposition when you play a non-A-League club, it's still a competitive match. The fact we got through those games and played really well was a big positive and I think everyone's pretty confident heading into the first round. Everyone's trying to be patient while we wait for it to actually come around now."

Lowe's tactics after taking over as coach midway through last season were fairly conservative but Glory fans can expect a more pro-active approach in games. "I think we'll be pretty free-flowing going forward," Harold said. "Scoring goals has been a bit of an issue for us in the last couple of seasons, but I feel that will be something that we can change this year. The other thing is away form. I'm sure every Perth Glory player says it (but) the reality of the situation is that we have to do a lot of travelling and we've got to just get on with it and deal with it."



Perth Glory Women will be paying scant regard to the W-League table when they take on Western Sydney Wanderers tomorrow. The Glory girls have won their opening three games of the campaign whereas rock-bottom Western Sydney remains pointless. But midfielder Elisa D’Ovidio said the league had already thrown up a few surprises and Glory would need to be on their toes to continue their record start to a season. “We’ve had a good start and we want to keep that going but it won’t just happen,” D’Ovidio said. “We’re going to have to work hard for every result and we’ll be ready to do that.”

D’Ovidio believes a pre-season schedule, which included a team bonding trip to Broome, has been crucial in the squad achieving peak fitness. “I think all the girls have gelled really well,” she said. “We’re probably the fittest we’ve ever been and we’re going into every game with every player wanting to win and we’re dragging each other along. But the W-League has had a few surprises this year and you have to be on your game every week.” Glory, who have beaten Brisbane Roar, Newcastle Jets and Adelaide United in their best ever start to a W-League season, are placed second on goal difference behind Sydney FC.



It’s the Sunday League Cup Final this weekend with North Perth United and Gwelup Croatia meeting at Intiga Stadium on Sunday afternoon (5pm). United will be looking for a league and cup double, after a Ray Maloney brace saw them beat Fremantle Croatia last week to take out the title. “So far it has been a big year for the club,” United Coach Alex Carter said. “We had to battle our way to league success on the last day of the season, which shows the character we have in our squad. The opportunity to now lift a second trophy this year has not been lost, and we have all been very focused all week on achieving this goal.”

Carter knows Sunday is going to be a tough encounter against a side that have got a number of their injured players back. “Everyone knows that Gwelup have an excellent squad and that shows their ambition not only for Sunday but in the future, but we are all looking forward to the challenge,” he said. North Perth has been the most consistent team this season, and Carter believes that will give them the edge on Sunday. “The whole squad has been immense this year especially in some very trying times,” he said. “The way our system works is if one player fails on their duties we find ourselves behind the eight ball. If win the majority of the one on one duels out there we believe we have the class to get ourselves over the line.”

Gwelup Coach John Thornley has a fit squad to choose from, for the first time in a while. “We've had a huge injury list throughout the season only this week we've been lucky enough to have almost a full squad to pick out of for the game on Sunday,” he said. “We've trained hard this week, hoping we can get something from the final knowing that North Perth has been the best team in the league this year, we go into the game as under dogs, but that suits us.”

Thornley, who took over the club midway through the season, is expecting a tough game, but believes his side can win it. “North Perth was in this situation last season, and they will not want the double to slip like last year. But we all know cup finals are different and it depends on the day, who can lift enough to pull it off. We have done our homework on them and after watching them last week we know it will be a tough game, as they are very strong all over the field.”

“We welcome back Ian O’Sullivan at the back, who has been outstanding keeping the defence tight and Gavin Knight has led the attack he is such an honest player and always gives 100%. “Young Jordan Costanzo has been the big improver throughout the year and Seb Munoz has returned from injury just at the right time and links up well from midfield, so were hoping we can take the cup back to Gwelup and cap our year off in style.”

In the earlier games Premier League sides East Fremantle and Liberties Celtic meet in the Metro Cup Final at 10am, North Division Three side WestNam United take on Premier League Bassendean Caledonian in the Masters Cup Final at 12.15pm, while North Perth United take on Division One side North Beach in the Sunday Reserves Cup Final at 2.30pm



Promotion and relegation will be introduced to the National Premier Leagues for the first time at the end of the 2015 season. After input from NPL and State League clubs, as well as the State League Standing Committee, and following the circulation of a subsequent discussion paper, the Football West has decided to introduce a system of promotion and relegation between the last-placed NPL side and the winner of Division One after next season.

Other decisions affecting the 2015 football structure include the continuation of a twelve team NPL and two twelve team State League divisions for next year; promotion and relegation between Division One and Division Two of the State League to be maintained; separate Night Series competitions for the NPL and State League; the State Cup will act as the preliminary FFA Cup rounds. Further details of the NPL and State League competition changes.



Fulham winger Ryan Williams has joined Barnsley on an initial one-month loan deal. The 20-year old is expected to make his debut for the Tykes in Saturday’s League One match at Rochdale. Williams started his professional career with Portsmouth before moving to Fulham in January 2012. Last season he played on loan to Oxford United, netting eight goals in 42 appearances for the club. "He (Williams) gives us some extra quality in wide areas," said Barnsley manager Danny Wilson.

Williams, a former ECU Joondalup junior, has made three appearances for Fulham this season but has not featured since the late August Cup game against Brentford. "Ryan's someone we've targeted for a long time," Wilson added. "His skills vary in terms of working in the supply line. He can run the ball well and is quick, he can also put the ball into the box well. He knows the other side of his game and is very conscientious of helping out defensively and positional-wise."



It’s been a disappointing 2014 for NPL-WA referee David Costello, after a calf injury sidelined him for the majority of the season. The 32-year-old managed to get back on the paddock towards the end of the season, referring Division one and two games, and also Sunday Premier League, and he is looking forward to next season and pushing for a spot in the NPL. “The most disappointing element of the injury was not being a part of the inaugural NPL for the majority of the season,” Costello said. “Not refereeing/training week in and week out alongside my colleagues and good friends was hard. I’ve been working with these guys at the top level for many years now and to be on the sidelines was more than frustrating. “I’m grateful however for the ongoing support from Dave Currie and Steve Muldoon. These guys have been constantly supportive of my career, not just as trainers/coaches, but mentors and referees I greatly admire. Even when I was not able train at all, they kept close tabs on where the injury was at and made sure I stayed on track heading towards recovery, while I was real pleased with the amount of players contacting me to see how I was going, which was fantastic boost for me.”

The injury came in round 7 in the local derby between Balcatta and Stirling Lions at Grindleford Reserve, but he is back and raring to go for a big pre-season. “It was around the half hour mark, and I took off on the left leg and my calf popped literally like a balloon,” explained Costello. “Luckily Josh Mannella was one of my assistants that day and he took over, and it was 18th year of refereeing football, and it was the first time I didn’t finish a match.” “It’s improved out of sight, but not before what has been a long recovery. It was a complete tear (Grade 3) which required a lot of physio, and being completely off it for at least 5-6 weeks. I ended up going down to Royal Perth the night of the incident, and made the decision there and then I was going to fix it, and fix it properly the first time without any chance of re-injury. I worked very hard on the calf along with the rest of the body to return to full strength and fitness, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a difficult time though.”

Costello had been recognised for his form, with a spot on the National Referees Panel, and he is hoping to get the opportunity again. “I’m really looking forward to 2015; it’s no doubt going to be bigger and better. Over the past few seasons, personally there have been ups and downs with the whistle, but having the injury, whilst certainly not ideal, has been a springboard to re-launch my career in 2015,” he said. “Before the injury I found myself thinking retirement may have been a rite of passage. Fortunately, this season being ‘forced’ to take time out injured has helped me realise the enjoyment in being a part of the league (and football specifically in this state). I can happily state I’m back o n track to get back where I want to be in 2015 and beyond. If A-league opportunities come around again, I’ll grab them with both hands.”

The standard of refereeing in the state has been on the improve in recent seasons and it’s a huge boost to have the likes of Eddie Lennie and Mat Cheeseman at the helm, and Costello knows getting young referees into the system is easy, keeping them is a different thing. “What Eddie and Mat have done, along with Dave Collier and Matt Southern, over the past 7-8 years has been fantastic. Refereeing numbers are at an all-time high, and regular coaching and development for referees has become the norm, which has certainly been noticed nationally,” he said. “Over the years, Cheesy and I have often discussed how to raise refereeing numbers and it was always our shared view that ‘recruiting’ referees was easy, ‘retaining’ them was hard. This is still the case for some new referees who start out, possibly have a negative experience and packing it in, but with the support offered, particularly in WA, there is every chance new referees will succeed and continue to develop.

“Along with this support from the Football West personnel, having Dave Currie and Steve Muldoon on the training paddock twice a week has been very positive in creating an environment where referees of all levels can train, as well as discuss issues and ask advice. Former NSL assistant referee Frank Moretti heads up the WA refereeing academy for referees coming through the ranks. After witnessing how it operates, and being a mentor for some of these guys, I believe the State league refereeing future is in good shape.”

As a youngster Costello played the game in NSW, as a midfielder, but made the decision to pick refereeing at the age of 20, and he has enjoyed going back to the amateur games this season, to get his career back on track. “I realised I was a better referee than I was player, and was starting to gain selection as a referee in junior national tournaments in NSW and QLD “It wasn’t a hard decision to make the complete switch and whilst I like to think my ‘touch’ is still ok, I never looked back,” he explained. “It has been great returning to Sunday Premier League matches, it’s a league very different to the NPL for many reasons, but there certainly is no less passion. When young up and coming referees ask me for advice on their own careers, I always tell them, go and referee on Sundays, it’s where a referee really learns how to get the job done.”



Four West Australians have gained selection in the Young Socceroos squad for this month’s AFC Under-19 Championship. Perth Glory pair Daniel De Silva and Riley Woodcock along with Scott Galloway (Melbourne Victory) and Cameron Burgess (Fulham) are amongst coach Paul Okon’s 23-player squad to wear the green and gold in Myanmar between 9-23 October. Another local product, Aston Villa’s Jordan Lyden, wasn’t considered due to a hamstring injury. Australia play the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Uzbekistan in the group stage of the tournament, which serves as a qualifying event for the 2015 Under-20 World Cup.

The Young Socceroos squad for the AFC Under-19 Championship is Paul Izzo, Awer Mabil, Mark Ochieng, Benjamin Warland (Adelaide United), Shayne D’Cunha (Blacktown City), Brandon Borrello, Shannon Brady (Brisbane Roar), Liam Rose (Central Coast Mariners), Cameron Burgess (Fulham), Chris Ikonomidis (Lazio), Stefan Mauk (Melbourne City), Jordan Brown, Scott Galloway, Dylan Murnane (Melbourne Victory), Daniel De Silva, Jordan Thurtell, Riley Woodcock (Perth Glory), Peter Skapetis (Stoke City), Anthony Bouzanis, Hagi Gligor, Christopher Naumoff (Sydney FC), Daniel Alessi and Jaushua Sotirio (Western Sydney Wanderers).



The stage has been set for one of the toughest match-ups in Australian football with Perth Glory hosting Melbourne Victory in next month’s quarter-finals of the FFA Cup. Standing in the way of Glory’s place in the last four is Melbourne’s enigmatic Besart Berisha, who has already scored four FFA Cup goals. Berisha is no stranger to breaking the hearts of Glory fans, the Albanian finisher scoring a controversial penalty in the dying moments of the 2011/12 A-League Grand Final to sealing the championship for Brisbane Roar.

Glory defender Josh Risdon played in that game and says it remains as a massive sore point for the club. “It was devastating, we worked hard all year to make it to that final and to lose it in the last five minutes was heartbreaking,” said 22-year old Risdon. “We got that rivalry from Brisbane playing against him and he’s always a good test and a fierce competitor, and getting a win over Victory at this FFA cup match will be like a win over Berisha.”

Glory advanced to the final eight of the inaugural knock-out competition after a resounding 4-1 win over Victorian second division side St Albans Saints. Two stunning goals, including a cracking free-kick, by Nebo Marinkovic coupled with a goal each by Andy Keogh and Jamie Maclaren helped Glory cruise to victory. Glory is the sole West Australian team remaining in the competition after Stirling Lions and Bayswater City bowed out in the first round.



Chris Herd is no stranger to struggles so trying to earn a new deal at Aston Villa will hardly come as a shock to the system. The 25-year old played his first game of the year for Bolton Wanderers during their Capital One Cup defeat at Chelsea last week. Herd is hoping his one-month loan spell with the Trotters will provide him the regular football that he desperately craves, and also show manager Paul Lambert he is worthy of a place in Villa’s first team.

With less than a year remaining on his current contract, Herd certainly has one eye on the future. But the defender insists his immediate thoughts are on performing well enough for Bolton after Dougie Freedman took him out of the Villa wilderness. “I’ve been over in the UK for ten years now,” he said. “I left Perth and found myself dropped in the middle of Birmingham at 15 years old. It was a massive difference. I moved over here without my family, and without a friend, and I’ve been here ever since. I’m used to living away.”

“I’ve been out on loan to League Two, League One and now the Championship – I’ve been kicked, booted and shoved all over the place,” he continued. “I need regular first-team football and I wasn’t getting that at Aston Villa – Bolton came in for me and I couldn’t resist such a big club. All I’m thinking about now is performing and playing in as many games as I can. My contract runs out in the summer but at the moment I’m just looking forward to testing myself at Bolton. I’m just excited to be playing football again.”

Herd made his Australia debut last month but has not played a single minute of football for Villa this season. But within a day of making his move to Bolton he was handed his first start at Stamford Bridge and enjoyed the experience. “If you’re a footballer you’ve got to want to test yourself and be ambitious,” he added. “If you start getting comfortable and not wanting to stretch yourself then people should ask questions of you. To go and make my debut against Chelsea was great. I can only benefit from the experience of playing against these sort of players.”



Perth Glory’s fantastic start to the Westfield W-League continued with a 3-1 win against Adelaide United at the Ashfield Sport Club. Elisa D’Ovidio gave them the lead on the stroke of half time, before Adelaide levelled in the first minute of the second, with a stunning strike from Lisa-Marie Woods. But Samantha Kerr capped off a superb performance putting them back in front before Kate Gill added the third.

The win created history for the club, their third straight win to open the season and Coach Jamie Harnwell thought they deserved the points, but they need to be more ruthless in front of goal. “It wasn’t an ideal performance but the weather didn’t help but we will take the three points,” he said “We defended well and we are always going to create goals and we put three away to today, but could have a few more.”

Adelaide coach Ross Aloisi was pleased with his side’s effort but thought the Glory are the best side he has seen for a while. “We have a very young side, and it’s always going to tough over here especially with the line-up they have and I thought Sam Kerr was different class this afternoon,” he said.” “They were good today, the best running off the ball and movement I’ve seen from a team for a while, they are going to be very hard to beat.”

The home side dominated the early exchanges with Sam Kerr a constant threat. The Matilda’s striker fired into the side netting early before hitting the woodwork on the half hour. Adelaide was hitting on the counter attack and Katie Holtham long-range shot was saved by Mackenzie Arnold. Gill had the ball in the net on 34 minutes, but the flag was up for offside. Kerr should have opened the scoring on 38 minutes, Caitlin Foord made space down the right picked out Gill, who laid the ball back to Kerr, but somehow she blazed over from close-range.

Adelaide keeper Melissa Barbieri then denied Kerr’s header, before she did even better tipping over D’Ovidio shot on 44 minutes. But from the resulting corner the Glory hit the front; the ball was cleared only as far as D’Ovidio, whose long-range shot flew into the top corner of the net giving Barbieri no chance. The visitors made a great start to the second half; Woods stunning long-range shot gave Arnold no chance. But the home side edged back in front on 56 minutes, Sarah Carroll’s cross turned home by Kerr. The points were made safe on the hour, a cross from the left caused confusion in the Adelaide defence and Gill nipped in to lob the keeper from eight meters.

To Adelaide’s credit they continued to press forward and on 73 minutes Woods’ shot deflected kindly for skipper Kristy Moore, whose shot from the edge of the penalty area was saved low by Arnold. Glory went in search of a fourth; Kerr raced clear and fed Foord, but Barbieri stood tall and saved. The Adelaide custodian was in the action again moments later, saving well to deny Kerr’s long-range shot.

Perth Glory: GK Mackenzie ARNOLD, 2 Sarah CARROLL, 4 Bronwyn STUDMAN (5 Shannon MAY 78’), 6 Alanna KENNEDY, 9 Caitlin FOORD, 12 Kathryn GILL, 13 Elisa D’OVIDIO, 14 Collette MCCALLUM (C) (8 Shawn BILLAM 81’), 15 Shelina ZADORSKY, 17 Marianna TABAIN (7 Gabrielle MARZANO 72’), 20 Samantha KERR
Subs not used: Gabrielle DAL BUSCO
Yellow Cards: Foord 90’

Adelaide United: GK Melissa BARBIERI, 4 Lauren STEER, 6 Dylan HOLMES, 7 Katrine PEDERSEN, 8 Emily CONDON (10 Alexandra CHIDIAC 64’), 9 Lisa-Marie WOODS, 11 Isabel HODGSON (17 Tiarn POWELL 64’), 12 Daila-Tais BORG (18 Georgia CAMPAGNALE 74’), 15 Jenna MCCORMICK, 16 Katie HOLTHAM, 23 Kristy MOORE (C)
Subs not used: RGK Sarah WILLACY
Yellow Cards: Moore 45+2’, Woods 90+2’

Referee: Lara Smith
Assistants: Joanna Charaktis and Zac Picciacco
Fourth Official: Matthew Southern



Bronwyn Studman is under an injury cloud as Perth Glory Women aim for a record start to a W-League season. The Glory girls have won their first two games of the new campaign to equal their best start in 2012/13 they went on to reach the finals for the only time in the club’s history. A win or draw against Adelaide United tomorrow at Ashfield Reserve will set a new standard for Jamie Harnwell’s side, whose perfect record two seasons ago was ended by defeat to Western Sydney Wanderers.

But after being able to name the same squad for the first two games, Harnwell might have to make a change to the side as Studman struggles to overcome a thigh strain. “She will have a fitness test before I make a decision on how we’ll go into the game against Adelaide,” Harnwell said. “If Bron isn’t right to play then we’ll look to bring in Shannon May, who has been unlucky to miss out so far. There’s real competition for places and both Bron and Shannon are capable of doing a very good job for us.”

Adelaide have been beaten by Canberra United and Sydney FC in their opening two matches of the season but Harnwell knows not to expect an easy afternoon against the team coached by former Socceroos midfielder Ross Aloisi. “We’re happy with the start that we’ve had but we’ve had a look at the video and it highlighted some things that we need to improve on,” Harnwell said. “We know it will be a difficult game … they will be compact and they’ll be hard to beat, just as they were last year when we got a very late goal to win 1-0.”



West Australia pair Chris Herd and Trent Sainsbury have been named in the Socceroos squad to play the United Arab Emirates and Qatar next month. Coach Ange Postecoglou named a 23-man squad for the up-coming friendlies in continued preparations towards the 2015 AFC Asian Cup. “We are still giving players we’ve identified for the National team an opportunity to experience international football to ensure we create a deeper pool of players to call on for the Asian Cup and beyond,” Postecoglou said. “These two games give us a few more to throw into the mix with an experienced core group of players to see how they cope with the training intensity and the demands of international football.”

The Australia squad to play the United Arab Emirates (10 October) and Qatar (14 October) is Mark Bresciano (Al Gharafa), James Holland (Austria Vienna), Chris Herd (Bolton Wanderers), Mitch Langerak (Borussia Dortmund), Mat Ryan (Club Brugge), Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Joshua Brilliante (Fiorentina), Mathew Leckie (Ingolstadt 04), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls), Adam Federici (Reading), Massimo Luongo, Brad Smith (Swindon Town), Bernie Ibini-Isei (Sydney FC), Ivan Franjic (Torpedo Moskva), Tommy Oar (FC Utrecht), Jason Davidson (West Bromwich Albion), Tomi Juric, Nikolai Topor-Stanley (Western Sydney Wanderers), James Troisi (Zulte Waregem) and Trent Sainsbury (P.E.C. Zwolle).



The Sunday League Premier Division championship goes on the line this Sunday at Woodville Reserve when defending champions North Perth United take on current leaders Fremantle Croatia. Croatia have never won the Amateur title and only need a draw to claim the trophy. North Perth are currently one point behind, and will be going all out for the win to take home their second consecutive league championship. The main game kicks off at 3pm.



Rostyn Griffiths is already looking forward to next month’s FFA Cup quarter-final meeting with Melbourne Victory at Perth Oval. Perth Glory swept aside St Albans 4-1 last night and focus has quickly switched within the camp to the round of eight showdown against one of the A-League’s traditional powers. “Melbourne are a good side but so are we and it’s our home advantage so we need to make that count,” Griffiths said. “Making the semi-finals (would be) massive (but) we want to be in the grand final, it would be a great occasion for the club and the fans.”

Griffiths, who played the opening 67 minutes against St Albans, described the visit to Knight Stadium as a difficult 90 minutes. “It was a good atmosphere at the stadium, the crowd made plenty of noise and were definitely behind St Albans. The pitch from our perspective was difficult to play on but as always it was the same for both teams,” he said. “The game was tough, they were a physical side who played to their strengths. It was a good win for us because we had to defend well and not allow them to get a foothold in the game. We played well in parts and ground them down and put some good goals away.”



A brace from midfielder Nebo Marinkovic has helped Perth Glory secure a FFAQ Cup quarter-finals berth after disposing St Albans Saints 4-1 at Knights Stadium in Melbourne. Coach Kenny Lowe praised a solid all-round performance from his side which was highlighted by Marinkovic’s double and singles from Jamie Maclaren and Andy Keogh. “It was a good performance by us,” he said. “The first fifteen minutes were genuine and honest and they made us work ... but hopefully we’ll improve the way we play and we’ll try to move the ball better and have a successful year.”

St Albans gave a good account of themselves early on only to go a goal down after 37 minutes to Marinkovic’s stunning free-kick from the edge of the box. Young gun Maclaren entered the fray on 61 minutes and sixty seconds later lobbed in goal number two. St Albans captain Ryan McGuffie reduced the deficit six minutes later from the penalty spot after a handball call went against Dino Djulbic. Richard Garcia teed-up Keogh for the simplest of tap-ins soon after, and a superb stoppage time chip by Marinkovic rounded out the scoring.



Perth Glory have been warned against complacency in tonight's FFA Cup round of sixteen tie away to third-tier Victorian club St Albans. The Saints are in turmoil, having sacked coach Toby Paterson and his midfielder son, Brodie, less than a fortnight ago following an altercation with Richmond players during a National Premier Leagues game. But coach Kenny Lowe highlighted recent FFA Cup upsets, such as second-tier Adelaide City's shock win over A-League powerhouse Western Sydney Wanderers, as reasons to stay focused with a spot in the last eight on the line.

Lowe said the A-League side couldn't afford to slack off against its unfancied opponents. "If we don't treat those guys with ultimate respect and we don't go about our job correctly and professionally with real diligence, we'll get caught out," Lowe said. "We understand that and it's already happened in the FFA Cup. That's the romance of it all and we don't want to be another statistic in this round." In tonight's other games, Sydney United 58 host Sydney FC in a highly-anticipated derby clash, while Palm Beach Sharks meet South Springvale and Adelaide United entertain Brisbane Roar in an all A-League affair.



Australia defender Chris Herd is set to sign with English Championship club Bolton Wanderers on a one-month loan from Aston Villa. Herd is yet to feature for Villa this season but a move to Bolton deal - the defender's fourth loan stint in six seasons at the Birmingham club - could provide him the regular game time he's been lacking. Should the move be approved in time, 25-year old Herd may make his Bolton debut as early as Thursday's Capitol One Cup outing with Chelsea. It is understood Herd will be loaned for an initial 28 day period, however, an option exists to extend it towards the end of the year.



Perth Glory are just one win away from making the final eight of the inaugural FFA Cup but first, they must overcome Victorian outfit St Albans Saints tomorrow evening. Attack will be Glory’s focus but striker Andy Keogh has warned his team mates they must not be complacent against an opponent which plays in the second tier of the Victoria National Premier Leagues. “We need to be switched on at the back so we don’t give away a silly goal and we need to be ruthless and make sure we don’t give the opposition anything to cling on to,” Keogh said.

Tomorrow’s FFA Cup tie will be played at Knights Stadium, home of Melbourne Knights with who Glory enjoyed a fierce rivalry in the old National Soccer League. A big crowd is expected at the game to cheer on St Albans, who also has strong ties to the Australian-Croatian community, but Keogh is confidence Glory can get the job done. “It will be a tough game, with a tough crowd, supporting the whole team,” said Keogh, scorer of two goals in last month’s Cup win over Newcastle Jets. “We have a fully fit squad to choose from and we are embracing the opportunity to advance further in the Cup.”



Defender Alanna Kennedy has scored her first goal for Perth Glory Women to clinch a 2-1 win over Newcastle Jets this afternoon at Magic Park. Kennedy, one of six Matildas to join Glory Women for the new campaign, scored in first half stoppage time to add to Marianna Tabina’s opener. “It was really exciting to get my first goal for Glory,” Kennedy said. “I’m back on the east coast and a lot closer to home, so to come here today and score in front of my friends and family felt really good.”

Tabain opened the scoring after 34 minutes by converting a free-kick form just outside the 18-yard box. And when Kennedy doubled the visitors lead it looked as though Glory Women would run away with the game. However, Newcastle had other ideas and in the 62nd minute Tara Andrews slotted in at close-range. Samantha Kerr thought she’d restored Glory Women’s two-goal buffer soon after but referee Kelly Jones disallowed the goal, and the same fate befell Victoria Huster ten minutes later. Substitute Gabrielle Marzano rattled the crossbar with a venomous strike as Glory Women sought to seal the win late on.



Perth Glory continued their strong pre-season with a resounding 5-1 defeat of Sorrento on a warm afternoon at Percy Doyle Reserve. A crowd of over 500 flocked to the ground to pay tribute to Sorrento legend Todd Harnwell on his testimonial game. Glory hit the ground running with Chris Harold netting twice and Cameron Edwards once for a three-goal half-time buffer. Reece Vittiglia reduced the deficit on 81 minutes only for Joseph Knowles and Jacob Collard to add further goals in a late drive. The game was preceded by a legends outing between former Sorrento and Glory players.



Bayswater City Coach Chris Coyne was proud of his players, as his ten men bowed out of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2014 Finals Series, after losing 4-3 on penalties to South Australian minor premiers North Eastern MetroStars in at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday afternoon.

City defender Jamie Coyne was dismissed after only 12 minutes after he tangled with MetroStars striker Perry Mitris. The officials didn’t see the first incident, but the defender retaliated and was given a straight red card by Adam Fielding, after consulting his assistant. “I thought our boys were magnificent today, going down to ten men so early, and we were the side that had the clear cut chances,” he said. “I’m immensely proud of my players, I thought they handled themselves well, and worked their socks off for each other.”

After winning all before them this season in the NPL-WA, Coyne thought the red card shown to his brother Jamie changed the game. “The sending off was right, Jamie has apologised to the players after the game, but the officials missed the first one, but he did lash out and the red card was there, but we had to deal with it and get on with it,” he said. “Yes I’m disappointed, but overall you have to take everything into perspective, and maybe I’m being a greedy bugger and hoping for five, but fair play to them, they won it and they go on to next week. “We showed another side of our game today. We are an attacking football team, but after the sending off we were disciplined and kept our shape well and hit them on counter attack and created some good chances, it’s a credit to the players that they are prepared to dig in and work so hard for each other.”

With both sides locked at 0-0 after extra time, MetroStars keeper Daniel Godley was the hero saving two in the shoot-out to send them through to the next round and a trip to South Melbourne. “It’s a fantastic result for us, and I think everybody was on their last legs in the end, but in a penalty shoot-out anything can happen, I’m just happy to make a couple of saves,” he said. “Perth is never a good place to come to for me. I’ve been here with Adelaide City and the state team, and I’ve never won here in my life, so we’re just stoked to come out on top today.”

MetroStars coach Ivan Karlovic, who is leaving the club after this tournament, was delighted with the result on a hot and windy day. “It was a difficult game in difficult circumstances, but both sides had chances and I thought it was good game all-round, and at the end of the day it’s a lottery in a penalty shoot-out,” he said. “Credit to both sides, Bayswater battled hard with ten men and we did the same, so both sides can walk away with the heads held high. We have another trip to Melbourne next week and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

It was lively opening with both sides going close early. The lively Mitris raced clear after only two minutes, but his lob from the edge of the penalty area drifted wide. Then on five minutes Todd Howarth played Gustavo Giron-Marulanda in on goal, but the Colombian striker’s shot whistled over the top. Bayswater had to reshape their side after the sending off of Jamie Coyne, and the MetroStars began to take control. Mitris found space down the left on 24 minutes, and his deep cross picked out Scott Tunbridge, who fired over from six meters. Devon Spence then came to his sides rescue on the half hour, saving well to deny former Adelaide United midfielder Fabian Barbiero. The Bayswater custodian was at it again before the break, this time denying Tunbridge’s snap shot, and then pushing Joseph Olisena’s shot around the post.

Bayswater opened the second half well and Howarth played in David Heagney, and with the MetroStars defence looking for an offside flag, that never came, Heagney’s lob from 10 meters drifted inches past the far post. It was a great game with chances at both ends. MetroStars were denied by Spence again on 56 minutes, the keeper reacting well to tip Mitris’ shot over the top, and from the resulting corner skipper Adam Van Dommele fired inches wide. Moments later Heagney’s long-range shot flashed inches wide. City were hitting on the counter attack, and when Adam Bachiller found space and played in Heagney, Godley stood tall to deny the striker. The visitors pressed late in normal time, but again Spence denied them. First on 71 minutes, second half substitute Lawrence D’Arrigo raced clear from the impressive Barbiero’s through ball, but his shot was well saved by Spence, and moments later Spence denied Antony Solagna’s shot on the run.

In extra time both sides were out on their feet as the hot weather took its toll. But the visitors should have broken the deadlock on 104 minutes. Steven Grelli’s free kick picked out the unmarked Mitris, who headed over the top from three meters, with the goal at his mercy. Godley then saved well from James Isaia’s shot from the edge of the penalty area in the second period of extra time, but they couldn’t be separated and it was on to the penalty shoot-out. Both sides scored their opening three spot kicks but Godley guessed correctly to save Sam Mitchinson’s fourth, and the MetroStars custodian then saved Trent Kay’s fifth to win it.

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 2 Declan HARGREAVES, 3 Adam BACHILLER, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 8 Paul MCCARTHY, 9 Gustavo GIRON-MARULANDA (10 Damien CATALANO 69’), 13 Trent KAY (C), 16 Jamie COYNE, 20 Sam MITCHINSON, 21 David HEAGNEY (18 James ISAIA 87’), 23 Chris SALDARIS
Subs not used: RGK Joel DRISCOLL, 14 Harry BISSETT, 19 Aaron DELANEY
Yellow Card: Marulanda 64’
Red Cards: Coyne 12’

Northern Eastern MetroStars: GK Daniel GODLEY, 2 David MENECHELLA, 5 Lee ROBERTSON, 6 Anthony SOLAGNA (16 Andrew ORPHANOU 110’), 7 Michael D’ALOISIO, 9 Steven GRELLI (15 Lawrence D’ARRIGO 63’), 11 Scott TUNBRIDGE (10 Andrew CIARLA 85’), 18 Fabian BARBIERO, 19 Joseph OLISENA, 21 Adam VAN DOMMELE (C), 23 Perry MITRIS
Subs not used: RGK Julian CALI, 3 Stefan CALI
Yellow Cards: Olisena 49’

Referee: Adam Fielding
Asssitants: Josh Mannella and Stuart Muldoon



A first half strike from midfielder Paul Concannon has given Shamrock Rovers a 1-0 win against Canning City at Burradah Reserve and with Ashfield losing at home to Bunbury Forum Force, the goal also gave the club their first Division One title in their history. Rovers Coach John O’Reilly was over the moon, but thanked Ashfield on a good season. “First of all I’d like thank Ashfield and Paul Dundo, for the great battle we have had this year, and to go down to the last game of the season was fantastic for the competition,” he said. “I am very proud of my players; they have been tremendous this year. Games have been tough but they have done the job on many occasions to get themselves over the line.” It’s been a great squad effort with all players having a hand in the success of winning the title. Thank you to all the supporters and the committee, but most of all a big thanks to Mike Ford for his work and assistance this year.”

Shamrock entered this game knowing that if there was any kind of slip up from Ashfield, they needed to do the job at Canning to get over the line on the final day. It was a tight opening with the first chance falling to the home side, Daniel Niederberger was picked out by Paul van Dongen, but his shot was straight at Lachlan McLindon. Soon after Rovers found their stride and started to pick up their game, and on the quarter hour they went close to the opener. Charlie Kenna made space down the right, his cross picked out Nick Little at the back post, whose header flashed inches past the post. Little went close again moments later but Luke Stonebridge denied him.

But on the half hour Rovers hit the front. A corner from Kenna was only half cleared by the Canning defence, and Concannon nipped into to fire home from five yards. It was end to end football with Canning hoping to send seven of their first team players out with a win, after all announcing their retirement, but both defences were on top with Paul Curran and Graham Doran for Rovers and Rory Mouttet and Dean Aplegren for City, outstanding at the back. But at half time Rovers went in as the team at the top of the league, as news filtered through that Ashfield were drawing 1-1 with Bunbury.

The visitor pressed looking for the comfort of a second goal, and they went close on the hour. Will Pender was sent racing down the right, he cut the ball back from the by-line but Alec Robinson miscued his shot to put the ball wide. Then ten minutes later a near identical ball by Mike Pritchard was played into the box, but this time substitute Gary Mahony shot was too close to the Canning keeper. Canning were not settling for a defeat and threatened themselves moments later, which had the Rovers’ faithful biting their nails, Niederbergers’ snap shot from the edge of the penalty area whistled past the post. With ten minutes remaining news came through that Ashfield were losing 3-1, and the Rovers players knew they needed to be resilient to clinch the title.

Concannon and second half substitute Brian Patterson were busy in the midfield, preventing Canning any chance of coming through the middle, but they were still dangerous down the flanks. A deep cross by Mark Trevisiol caused panic in the visitors defence but again they stood firm. Canning was throwing everything at Shamrock, but Dave Murphy, Darren O’Riordan, Doran and keeper McLindon were outstanding to thwart them. There was one final moment of drama in the 88th minute, when Canning had a corner, and even keeper Stonebridge came up to help, but when the ball was cleared it left Mahony and Trevisiol with a race towards the open Canning goal. The ball didn’t bounce kindly for either but it was Mahony who got the shot off, only to see the ball deflected away from his own goal line by Ryan Tucker at full stretch.

News came through on the final whistle that Ashfield had lost 3-2, which sent the Rovers players, coaches and fans into joyous scenes of celebration; although they quickly halted, to show a mark of respect for Canning players, Paul van Dongan, Michael van Dongan, Dean Aplegren, Duncan Hind, Rory Moutett, Daniel Niederberger, and Emlyn Whetnall, who were retiring from the game, and both clubs gave a guard of honour for them as they left the field. Likewise with equal respect, Canning then returned the favour to WA’s new state Division One Champions.



Ashfield’s All Flags State League Division One title dreams were cruelly snatched away from them on the final day as they succumbed to only their second defeat of the season going down to Bunbury Forum Force 3-2 at Ashfield Reserve on Saturday. Instead the championship trophy went to Shamrock Rovers Perth who narrowly won 1-0 at Canning City to spark jubilant scenes at Burrendah Reserve.

Going into the final round both Ashfield and Shamrock were level on 52 points but with their vastly superior goal difference the Reds knew they only needed to win to clinch top spot. But it was not to be as ruthless finishing from the Force's Lee Stewart and Hayden Prosser (two) after Ruben Tristao had given the hosts the lead left them with a mountain to climb, with Tom Kennedy offering a glimmer of hope late on. But Bunbury held firm to take all three points back to the south west.

Disappointed Ashfield coach Paul Dundo said it was a bitter pill to swallow having led the table for half the season and going into the final game at home with the title in their own hands, but tried to remain positive after improving on last year's sixth place finish. "Football's a funny game and today we didn't take our chances and got caught on the break when we were committing numbers forward. Unfortunately if you don't make use of the ball in the final third teams can punish you," Dundo said. "Unfortunately today wasn't our day but when I look back over the season with this squad of players I felt we had a stronger depth, in having players that can come off the bench and can make an impact. "But all credit to Shamrock, they've stuck at, gone about their business in a quiet fashion, not beating teams as convincingly as we did but they've won more games and fair play to them they've won the league. Congratulations to John O'Reilly and everyone at Shamrock.”

Bunbury, who were the early pace-setters before fading away mid-season, can be satisfied with a third place finish after cruelly being denied a place in the inaugural National Premier Leagues WA. Coach Trent Hathaway was delighted to end the season on a high and avenge the 4-0 thumping they endured at home to Ashfield in the reverse fixture. "I told the boys to go out there and do their jobs, they're a passionate bunch and they worked their (socks) off. We denied them the title and ruined their party but at the end of the day we go out to win games. Credit to the boys," Hathaway said.

The afternoon appeared to be going as planned for the Reds when after a quiet opening they surged ahead with the first real chance of the game in the 19th minute. Howard Neighbour teed up Ruben Tristao on the left hand side of the penalty and his low finish gave visiting keeper Ryan Montgomery no chance at his near post. But five minutes later Bunbury found an equaliser after a surging run and cross from the right was converted at full stretch at the back post by Lee Stewart.

The two sides went in at the break all square and Ashfield came out knowing Shamrock were leading and they needed to find another goal, but it was the Force who struck the next blow. Hayden Prosser worked himself some space down the right before playing a neat one-two and bursting into the box at an angle before firing past a largely untroubled John Perkins in the Ashfield goal. The home side had to find a response and despite bossing possession, found the Bunbury defence and Montgomery in no mood to give up their advantage. And Ashfield were dealt a killer blow on 76 minutes after a long ball found Jayden Prosser who struck a sweet first time volley across goal and in off the far post. The home side though were given a lifeline with nine minutes remaining when Force were penalised for handball in the box, and despite seeing Montgomery block Joe Briggs' spot-kick, Tom Kennedy reacted quickest to pounce on the rebound. Ryan Cox had a great chance to level in the 86th minute but Montgomery showed a strong hand to turn his effort over, and with it went any hopes of a Man City-style comeback for the hosts.



Defender Alanna Kennedy has scored her first goal for Perth Glory Women to clinch a 2-1 win over Newcastle Jets this afternoon at Magic Park. Kennedy, one of six Matildas to join Glory Women for the new campaign, scored in first half stoppage time to add to Marianna Tabina’s opener. “It was really exciting to get my first goal for Glory,” Kennedy said. “I’m back on the east coast and a lot closer to home, so to come here today and score in front of my friends and family felt really good.”

Tabain opened the scoring after 34 minutes by converting a free-kick form just outside the 18-yard box. And when Kennedy doubled the visitors lead it looked as though Glory Women would run away with the game. However, Newcastle had other ideas and in the 62nd minute Tara Andrews slotted in at close-range. Samantha Kerr thought she’d restored Glory Women’s two-goal buffer soon after but referee Kelly Jones disallowed the goal, and the same fate befell Victoria Huster ten minutes later. Substitute Gabrielle Marzano rattled the crossbar with a venomous strike as Glory Women sought to seal the win late on.



Sport clubrooms that fail to cater for women are being targeted by Perth councils concerned that women may be dissuaded from playing organised sport. More councils are applying for State Government grants to install facilities such as women's change rooms at ageing venues. City of Stirling councillor Elizabeth Re said facilities for women were "not anywhere near the facilities for men". The issue is also in the spotlight at the City of the Armadale, which recently completed a strategic review that highlighted the need for improvement.

Department of Sport and Recreation director-general Ron Alexander said the department had seen an increase in grant applications citing the need for facilities catering to women. "Some of the older clubrooms may have change rooms not suitable for women, built at a time when women didn't have the opportunity to play particular sports in organised competition," he said. "These days, more women are playing sports traditionally associated with men. We are seeing more applications to the Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund that acknowledge the growth in women's participation and the differing requirements."

Armadale Soccer Club member Eliza Stockey said the lack of women's change rooms at Alfred Skeet Reserve meant players either got changed "in the middle of the oval" or in the toilets. The reserve will soon have female change rooms installed under plans funded by the city and a CSRFF grant. Armadale mayor Henry Zelones said the city had identified key venues to be upgraded in coming years. "It's one of the things that the community expects," Mr Zelones said.



Coach Jamie Harnwell will have the rare luxury of playing an unchanged starting line-up when Perth Glory Women take on Newcastle Jets tomorrow at Magic Park. After a short week on the training track, Harnwell has opted to make use of the same 15 players that took out all the points last weekend over Brisbane Roar. “I think it’s the first time for a while,” Harnwell said. “I don’t think I did it once last season with the same starting eleven, the same squad. It breeds familiarity and confidence but you’ve got to also look at the flipside and be prepared to make changes if they’re necessary. After last weekend’s performance, I haven’t felt the need for it.”

While Glory Women got their season off to a great start against Brisbane, courtesy of a Kate Gill double, Newcastle poses a new challenge after they defeated champions Melbourne Victory in round one. “Three months ago people would’ve looked at Newcastle and seen some of the players who were rumoured to be leaving and they would’ve had that pencilled down for three points,” Harnwell said. “They got one point all of last year and suddenly they’ve knocked off Melbourne Victory. So there won’t be any complacency and we’ve spoken about that this week. We’ve had a fantastic start but there are eleven games and we’ve got to perform like we did last week in every single game.”



Bayswater City will be looking to add to their already successful season when they take on South Australian NPL league winners North Eastern MetroStars in the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues 2014 Finals Series at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday (2pm) Coach Chris Coyne has managed to bring his side down to e arth after their 1-0 win against Perth SC in last week’s NPL-WA Grand Final, and he has done his homework on Saturday’s opponents and believes his side are up for the challenge. “The lads enjoyed last week’s win, it’s not that often you win a Grand Final, and I’m sure there were a few sore heads on Sunday morning, but they have trained well this week and they are ready to go again on Saturday,” he said. “MetroStar’s are a good side with some experienced players, but I’ve had a good chat to Adelaide City coach, and good friend Damien Mori regarding them, and we’ve watched a few videos so we know their strengthens and weaknesses, so it should be a cracking tie and one were looking forward too.”

Bayswater skipper Trent Kay returned for the clubs win in the Grand Final last week, and he said all the players are relishing the challenge. “The boys are looking forward to this one, we've had a great season already but we want to make it five trophies,” he said. “Obviously they are the best team coming out of South Australia so the game will be of great standard, and with them losing their grand final last weekend, they will be looking to bounce back strongly against us. “We'll go into the game with plenty of confidence considering our strong win on the weekend and hopefully come through with the win. We want to show the rest of Australia how strong WA football really is and also get the Bayswater name out there.”

Metro Stars are based in Klemzig a north-eastern suburb of Adelaide, and former Perth Glory pair Shane Smeltz and Adriano Pellegrino played for the South Australian outfit in 2004. They head west after losing the NPL-SA Grand Final last weekend. They have finished top of the table for the last two seasons, but have been beaten in the Championship game on both occasions, and this season they were beaten 2-1 by Croydon Kings. Former Newcastle Jets striker Scott Tunbridge put them ahead after only nine minutes, but a penalty from Shaun McGreevy drew the Kings level before a 69 minute winner from Rocco Visconte won it, their first Championship win in 37-years. Perry Mitris has been in fine form in front of goal for MetroStars this season scoring 25 goals, while Tunbridge has also had a great season for the club and is looking forward to the game. “We’re all excited at the opportunity to play in the NPL, which in my opinion is a great innovative for football in Australia moving forward and I can't wait to test ourselves against the best in WA,” he said.

MetroStars Coach Ivan Karlovic will step down after the NPL playoffs, and he said they go into this weekend’s game to enjoy it and represent the state and the NPL-SA. “We’ll go there and play and we’ll see how we go,’ he said. “It’s unchartered territory for us, but we do know a little about them, we know they are a good side and they wouldn’t be in this position if they weren’t, so we are expecting a difficult game at their home ground. “It is difficult to prepare for the travel because it isn’t something that we are used to. We will do our best to cope with the different surroundings, but we’ll give it our best shot and hopefully represent the state and our league in the best possible way.” The winner of the Finals Series will receive automatic entry into next year’s Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 which will be a huge incentive for the eight competing clubs. The clubs to qualify for the PlayStation 4 NPL Finals Series, are the Premiers of each Member Federation’s respective NPL competition, Cooma Tigers (Capital Football), Weston Workers (Northern NSW Football), Bonnyrigg White Eagles (Football NSW), Palm Beach Sharks (Football Queensland), MetroStars SC (FFSA), South Hobart (Football Federation Tasmania), South Melbourne (FFV) and Bayswater City (Football West).



The Division One title will go down to the final game of the season, with Ashfield and Shamrock Rovers equal on points. Ashfield are in pole position, ahead on goal difference, and they know a win against Bunbury Forum Force at Ashfield Reserve on Saturday will give them the title. “Yes it is in our hands and what a fantastic way to end a long season, with a game at home and chance to be crowned champions,” Ashfield coach Paul Dundo said. “The playing group has worked extremely hard this season to be in this position, so knowing it’s in our own hands with a win against Bunbury is very pleasing. The players all know the importance of this league game and for some it’s the first opportunity to claim a league title, so the preparation for the game has been great this week and players know exactly what is at stake, so I am expecting them all to be more than up for the challenge. “Bunbury will travel to Ashfield this weekend not to solely prove that they shouldn’t have been relegated or excluded from the NPL, but more so to ensure a very competitive encounter and attempt to finish their season on a high.”

Shamrock Rovers meet Canning City at Burrendah Reserve, looking for the win and hoping Ashfield slip up. “We look forward to the challenge on Saturday, and of course we would love Bunbury to a job for us, but we are only focused on the events that we can control,” Shamrock Rovers Coach John O’Reilly said. “Mike Ford and I have really enjoyed working with the player group this year and where we are at this stage is all down to the mix of talent and effort of the players.”

It’s a huge day for Canning City too, with co-coaches Paul van Dongan and Michael van Dongan, along with Duncan Hind, Rory Moutett, Daniel Niederberger, and Emlyn Whetnall all playing their last game before retirement, and O’Reilly wished them all the best but not too much on Saturday. “All the players have played a big part in WA football and we would like to wish them all the best, after the game that is,” he said.

Paul Van Dongan has played most of his football at Canning and is hoping to go out a winner on the pitch. “I’d be lying if I said this club isn’t a part of me. At Canning City I’ve played alongside some greats of the game, and I’ve made friends for life, he said. “I’ve experienced the highs and lows of football and watched the passing of a great coach, Frank Longstaff, who helped this club win its only ever First Division title. “It would be great to see as many people down at the last game as possible. So if you’re free this Saturday to come and support the boys as we say goodbye.”

In other games Dianella White Eagle host Western Knights at the Dianella Reserve, the home side will be missing Milos Pavic, while David Annall and Johny Mirco will play their final game in WA football for the Knights. Gosnells City host Swan United at Walter Padbury Reserve. The home side will be missing the suspended pair Sean Taylor and Trent Blewett, while United will go into the game without Ross Cosgrave, Tim Hill, Lucas Whitehouse and Owen Curtis. UWA-Nedlands entertain Morley Windmills at the UWA Sports Park, while already relegated Wanneroo City travel to the Hyundai Stadium to take on Mandurah City.



The 2014 season ends this weekend, and League Champions Joondalup United will be looking to continue their unbeaten run for the season when they host Kelmscott Roos at Forrest Park on Saturday. It will be an emotional day for United coach Daniel Smith, who will be in charge for his last game, after relocating to the South West. “It’s been a great pleasure to lead the club and I will be hoping we can go out with a bang on Saturday,” he said. “We are all playing with the pressure knowing that one more game without defeat will complete our first season in the state league as an unbeaten side. It’s a great opportunity that the players are taking very seriously as we will be going out to win the game and to finish the season in style.” The home side will be bolstered by the return of Tony Taylor and Stuart Hartmann, but will be without Robbie Bain. Kelmscott will go into the game unchanged and Coach James Coffey said they are looking forward to the contest. “We go into the game to enjoy the day and hopefully be competitive against the team who has displayed all season worthiness to go up,” he said.

Rockingham City wrapped up the runners-up spot last week, and this week they take on Fremantle United at Hilton Reserve. “We go into the game against Fremantle knowing what they will bring, a never say die attitude and a direct, physical style. We felt we let them off the hook at our place earlier in the year and will be to finish 2014 with a win,” Coach Rob Crerar said. “This season has been one of mixed emotions; we are satisfied with our finish as runners up however we definitely feel we could have more points on the board. The club has a nice platform to build on for 2015 and things on and off the pitch is sound so it's an exciting time to be part of Rockingham City FC.” City welcome back Alex Grayson, Matt McDonald and Ryan Kennedy, but Reece Frank is unavailable.

In other games Forrestfield United host Melville City at Hartfield Park, the home side will be without Trent Wood, Jason Feather and Matt Harold. Joondalup City and Quinns meet in a local derby at the Iluka Sports Complex, while Kingsway Olympic do battle with Balga at Kingsway Reserve. In the final game Curtin University makes the trip to Arbor Grove Reserve to take on Ellenbrook United. “We will be looking to finish the season the way started 21 rounds ago and also use our previous encounter with Curtin as motivation to end the season with three points,” United keeper Jake Bungert said. The visitors will have Carlo Chiellini, Eddie Tikoft, Bryce Young and Kristian Bevan unavailable but Rory Binnie, Daniel Young and Nicolay Morland return to the squad.



Sorrento games record holder Todd Harnwell will celebrate a remarkable thirty-year connection to the National Premier Leagues club with a testimonial match against Perth Glory at Percy Doyle Reserve tomorrow. The veteran attacker has played more than 400 senior matches for Sorrento and featured in some of the club's finest moments since starting in the junior ranks as a 4-year-old.

Harnwell had stints at Glory and Sengkang Marine in Singapore but Sorrento was always home, with the family boasting strong links to the club. Todd's father Derek is the club president, while brother and Glory legend Jamie has just completed his first season as co-coach of the Gulls' first team with Trevor Morgan. The next generation of Harnwells is now flowing into Sorrento's junior programs.

The durable Harnwell, who captained Sorrento for six seasons, rates the club's 2012 grand final win and consecutive cup triumphs in 2011-12 as the highlights of his long career. But the 34-year old remains unsure of what the future holds as he prepares for tomorrow's testimonial. "It's still very much up in the air," the Gulls legend said.

"If the club asked me to help out, I'd certainly always do that," Harnwell added. "But work and family commitments are making it more difficult, so it might be in a reduced capacity next year. Possibly still playing, but I might not be able to get to every game or training session every single week. I'm certainly not ready for coaching just yet." Saturday's game kicks off at 2.00pm, entry is $5 for adults and free for children under 16.


NATIONAL PLAN FOR WHOLE OF FOOTBALL (courtesy Football Federation Australia)

Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop has today announced that the game will embark on a National Plan for the Whole of Football. Speaking at a State of the Game address in Sydney, Gallop said the time was right for the stakeholders of Australian football to join forces over the challenges and opportunities for the sport. “Everywhere you look at the moment, you can see that Australian football is enjoying a golden period,” said Gallop. “A lot of our current strength is down to the unity of purpose in the game.

The National Plan will cover all facets of football, including elite player and coach development; national teams; community football; facilities development; national competitions; fan connections and commercial revenues. “It’s time for a National Plan for the Whole of Football that will set us on our way towards making football the biggest and most popular game in Australia,” Gallop said. “This is not a plan just for FFA driven by the national body. As the name says, it's a plan for the Whole of Football and everyone in the game will have a role to play.”

Gallop said FFA would lead a major consultation process with all the game’s stakeholders. “After almost two years as CEO, I’m excited and ambitious for the game,” said Gallop, “but I've come to understand that Australian football suffers from a ‘burden of opportunity’. Football in Australia has a huge growth trajectory and massive potential, but we don't always have the capital, the resources and the structures to harvest the opportunity. The National Plan will set our sights on making football bigger and stronger much sooner.”



Australia have bowed out of the Asian Football Confederation Under-16 championships following a heartbreaking penalty shoot-out semi-final loss to North Korea in Thailand. The Joeys, who sealed qualification for next year’s Under-17 World Cup by reaching the final four, bowed out of the tournament on penalties to North Korea. “The whole country should be proud of the way they played,” said coach Aurelio Vidmar. “We have thirteen months to the World Cup and when we get back to Australia we can closely look at other countries and areas they do well and we don't and look to improve in those parts.”

Australia’s campaign opened with a comfortable 3-0 win over China, courtesy of goals from Jackson Bandiera, Cameron Joice and Kosta Petratos. Charlie Devereux and Jamal Reiners found the net in a 2-0 defeat of Hong Kong before scoring a thrilling 4-2 victory over Japan, Jake Brimmer and Joice netting two apiece. The Joeys downed Malaysia 2-1 in a pulsating quarter-final encounter in which Joice and Daniel Maskin got the goals. Daniel Arzani scored with just minutes to spare to salvage a 1-1 draw with North Korea in the semi-finals but, with no extra-time played at the tournament, the Joeys surrendered 4-1 from the spot.


LIONS APPOINT MILEVSKI AS COACH FOR 2015 (Courtesy of Stirling Lions)

Stirling Lions have appointed Rob Milevski as their senior coach for the 2015 NPL-WA season. Milevski, a former player for the club, has played a part in the club structure as under 23’s coach for many years and successfully led the Lions squad to the Under 23 Grand Final against Perth this season.

Former Lions defender Daniel Stoitis will be the assistant next season, and club President Vick Lazarov said he is delighted both have accepted the roles. “Rob and Daniel have both progressed their coaching career, and we are pleased they have remained at Stirling Lions,” he said. “They have an extensive history with the club and we have been true to our philosophy of promoting home grown coaches who are striving to develop themselves and others.”

They will be aided by Gary Williams who has accepted the role of Football Operations Manager and as a group they will work together to bring success to our club. The Club also liked to thank Don Evans, who recently resigned from his position as Football Operations Manager for his years of service to the club, and they wish Don all the best in his future endeavours.



It’s been a meteoric rise for Joondalup United in West Australian football. After finishing runners-up in the My Solar Sunday Amateur Premier Division last season, they have taken all before them in the State League Second Division, winning the league title with four games remaining. The Forrest Park club have been unbeaten in the league this season and Coach Daniel Smith, who will leave the club at the end of the campaign, said he has been delighted with his players’ commitment and they deserve a great deal of the praise. “It has been an unbelievable effort by the team which leaves everyone at the club very proud,” he said. “To go unbeaten is definitely the goal we have set now and has been since we got through round one unscathed, two games to go but the boys are focused on making this happen.”

It’s not just on the park that the club has taken giant strides, off it to they have been one of the clubs who have utilised the social media sites to spread the word, and Smith believes a strong committee also helps. “In terms of the last couple of seasons we have tried our best to be a respectful club, to other clubs, referees, and anyone we come across. We feel it’s imperative to do things in the right manner, you must win with dignity at this club,” he said. “The committee is now stronger than it’s ever been, we have a mixture of ages that range from 25-50 and it’s growing every year with people wanting to step up and help. I'd like to personally thank every one of them for their support over the season and putting their faith in me to lead the club that I love.”

A tight knit player group have performed well for United, and Smith said it’s been a real squad effort and they have worked hard at training and match days and got their rewards with the title. “Player wise we do not rely on one person, there is no superstar in this team, we are a team full of hard workers who all have the upmost respect for each other on and off the park, if you don't show this conduct for your team mates then you won't fit in regardless of how good you are on the pitch,” Smith explained. “I am very careful of who I bring to the club, it's this method that has allowed for us to recover from losing some of the clubs greatest players like Lee Jones and Neil Middler.”

The away support for the club has been nothing short of amazing, and most weeks they are in fancy dress, and Smith said everyone involved at the club is looking forward to the new challenge in division one. “The club is excited about matching it with the Division One clubs. They will keep the squad together and already have players expecting to sign for next season so I think they will be in a very good position to continue their climb up the leagues,” he said. “The fans have been unbelievable; you can see that they are actually excited about watching us every Saturday which shows that they are real supporters. We have had an amazing group of supporters since from our days playing Sunday League and this season as we have stepped up on the pitch so have the supporters off it.

Smith acknowledged the club couldn’t have achieved their success without the help of his assistant Coaches Rudy Proctor and Nick Jennings. “Rudy and Nick have worked with me this season and yes it's been a pleasure for me to win the league with these great men, he said. “Rudy and myself have been best mates for many years so it was certainly special to achieve this with him. Nick has been my number two since I took up coaching three years ago and our mutual respect for each other and obsession with winning and getting better every week has been the foundations of our success, which includes two cups and now two league titles. I feel extremely lucky to of had the opportunity to work with these guys.”



The long and illustrious career of ECU Joondalup keeper Andy Banks came to a winning end after ECU beat Subiaco AFC 3-0 in the final National Premier League-WA game of the season. Banks, after playing professional football in the UK, said the decision to pull the pin was tough. “It was a tough decision, but the body is not getting any younger and the demand of training two nights a week was the main reason I retired,” Banks said. “The Training these days is very intense and it was taking me longer to recover this season. I have been very lucky to play as long as I have because of being injury free for most of my career.”

The keeper has had a great time at Joondalup and has had many highlights and low lights. “It’s been a great journey at the club and I wouldn’t change a thing,” he said. “Winning the reserve cup final in the first year of being in Australia was great and winning the ’Players player of the year twice, was special too. “But the most disappointing point was this season, when were beaten by Stirling Lions in the semi-final of the FFA cup this year.”

His career began in the UK and Banks has worked with some outstanding coaches. “There have been a number of quality coaches that have had an influence on my career throughout the years,” Banks explained. “Sam Allardyce was my youth team manager at Preston North End, and he was a manager who worked a lot on defensive shape and that helped us get to the FA youth cup semi-final against Everton and the Lancashire cup final twice on the bounce losing to Manchester United on both occasions.

Another coach was Jim Harvey, who gave Banks his league debut as a teenager. “Jim gave me my debut at the age of 19 at Morecambe FC and playing against the likes of Ipswich and Oxford in the FA cup was a highlight. Jim played a passing brand of football that teams couldn't live with and I had the pleasure to play with him as we'll before he hung up his boots. “But the biggest influence on my football his to be my parents. They took me up and down the M6 every weekend, and my mum even gave me her car when I was at Bury FC.”

Banks has been in outstanding form this season and he kept out new signing Jamie Serra, but he believes he will do well in the NPL next season. “Jamie has been first class since joining the club and it's been like when I first joined ECU when Andy Petterson was playing and I had to be patient and wait for my chance,” he said. “He's been really sharp in training and done well in the reserves. With me retiring this is a perfect opportunity for him to be first team keeper next year and years to come.” So what’s next for Andy Banks, he said he will still be around the club to pass on his experience in a coaching position. “I've had a brief chat with Dale (McCulloch) regarding next year and I've agreed to help him out and coach the keepers at the club, which I’m really looking forward too.”



The road to recovery has started for Adam Taggart as he aims to break into the Fulham side and kick-start his career with the Cottagers. The Socceroo striker returned to training on Tuesday, a fortnight after undergoing groin surgery. It’s the first step to what is expected to be at least a four week rehabilitation for the 21-year old, who is yet to make his full debut for the Championship club. Taggart picked up the problem early in the pre-season and while it wasn’t considered too serious, both he and the club decided minor decided surgery was the best option.

Taggart, last season’s A-League Golden Boot winner, made a single appearance for Fulham in pre-season before succumbing to injury. He joined the Cottagers on a three-year deal from Newcastle Jets after making two appearances at the World Cup in Brazil, including starting against Spain. He is desperate to get on the park as soon as possible, especially with January’s Asian Cup just around the corner. Fulham could certainly do with Taggart’s services, currently sitting last in the Championship with just one point from their first six games.



Some of Western Australia’s shining young stars are in line for their Socceroos debuts as national team coach Ange Postecoglou continues to tinker ahead of next year’s Asian Cup. Postecoglou has vowed to extend his senior talent pool and plans to blood as many players as possible before settling on his squad for January’s tournament. Local products Trent Sainsbury and Chris Herd were handed debuts recently against Belgium and Daniel De Silva (Perth Glory), Ryan Edwards (reading) and Ryan Williams and Cameron Burgess (both Fulham) are also on the radar.

While delighted with the progress made since taking over from Holger Osieck, Postecoglou is concerned at the current lack of depth to support Tim Cahill, Mark Bresciano and company. “We’re creating some depth and exposing players to international football. As we get closer to the Asian Cup we will have a bigger pool to choose from,” Postecoglou said. “I want to widen the pool because I still think we are pretty shallow in areas. I know exactly where we’re at and what we have to do.” Australia will play the United Arab Emirates, Qatar (October) and Japan (November) in coming months.



Perth Glory Women got their new W-League campaign off to a flying start with a 2-1 victory over Brisbane Roar this afternoon at Ashfield Reserve. Australia international Kate Gill scored early in each half to set-up the win before Emily Gielnik pulled a goal back in the final minute for Brisbane. “You could see the energy in the first ten or fifteen minutes - they were working so hard and some of the football was superb,” said coach Jamie Harnwell. “You just see that quality we’ve got now in that front third, we’re always likely to score goals.”

It took the home team just 12 minutes to open their account with Gill sliding the ball into the bottom corner after goalkeeper Kate Stewart fumbled a shot from livewire Samantha Kerr. Brisbane didn’t come into the game until midway through the half when Gielnik and Hayley Raso called Mackenzie Arnold in the action. Gill doubled Glory’s advantage after 53 minutes by converting a penalty awarded after Kerr was brought down by Raso. Brisbane had looked unlikely to score until the 94th minute when Gielnik found space to flicked the ball past Arnold.



A second half strike from Bayswater City’s David Heagney has given them a 1-0 win against Perth SC, in the inaugural National Premier League WA Grand Final, in front of 2,000 supporters at Dorrien Gardens. The former Huddersfield Town and St Johnstone striker’s long-range effort clinched Bayswater the NPL-WA championship and fourth trophy of the season to go with the Night Series, Cool Ridge Cup and league, in a historic day in WA football. Heagney was voted the player of the match and was awarded the ‘Gary Marocchi medal’, and he was just happy to do his job in a good team effort. “It’s an amazing feeling today, we played well and I thought we deserved the win,” he said. “We’ve been the best team all season and today we showed that, we all stood up when it was required it was a great team effort.”

The win was built on a good defensive display from Chris Coyne’s side. Perth had beaten them 5-0 in the semi-final two weeks ago, and defensive midfielder Declan Hargreaves was delighted with the win. “We had a game plan and the lads stuck to it, and we deserved to win in the end,” he said. “We needed a bit of confidence in the new system, and the goal came at a great time for us and we then knew if we kept our shape we would be hard to breakdown and that was the case.” “We knew it would be a tight game especially in the middle of the park, as some of their players have played at high level. I real enjoyed the battle, and we never gave them time on the ball and I thought we came out on top.”

It was a great day for football with a big crowd still entering the ground as the game got under way, and Perth dominated the early exchanges. Mark Doninger and Ashley Rosindale both testing Devon Spence, but the Bayswater custodian was up to the challenge. But on 12 minutes Perth should have taken the lead. Tim Robertson was sent down the right, and he outpaced Adam Bachiller and cut the ball back form the bye-line to the unmarked Aden da Luz, who blazed over from six meters.

Then on 18 minutes Spence almost handed the lead to Perth. Mark Pritchard’s corner was spilled by the keeper, the ball heading towards goal, but Spence reacted well to save the ball on the line. Perth was celebrating the goal, but assistant Mathew Cheeseman was well placed to rule the ball hadn’t crossed the line. Bayswater awoke from their slumber and Chris Saldaris’ header was straight at Francis Soale, and on the half hour Gustavo Giron-Marulanda cheeky back heel sent Heagney in on goal, but Soale was out bravely to block his shot. It was Bayswater who ended the half the stronger; Paul McCarthy’s long-range strike was deflected wide, before Soale had to be alert on the stroke half time to save Marulanda’s low shot from the edge of the penalty area.

After the break Bayswater had a strong penalty claim turned down by referee Adam Fielding after only five minutes, after Marulanda was brought down in the box by Clark Keltie, but four minutes later they hit the front. Heagney picked the ball up in the middle of the park and was given far too much room and the striker made Perth pay, rifling home from 25-yards to send their faithful into raptures. Perth were still in the game and on the hour midfielder Andreas Theodosiades sent a perfect ball over the top to Rosindale, whose shot beat Spence, but Kay got back to clear the ball off the line.

Bayswater sat back and let Perth come at them, but with Kay and the rest of the Perth backline outstanding, they struggled to create any clear cut chances, and Bayswater were hitting on the counter attack, with Brian Farrell and Heagney going close. Still Perth pressed and on 84 minutes they went close to the equaliser. Prichard’s corner was headed goalwards by second half substitute Harley Orr, but Declan Hargreaves was alert to clear the ball off the line. That was the final chance of the game and after three minutes of stoppage time the final whistle was greeted with delight from the Bayswater coaches, players and supporters alike, as they wrote themselves into the history book, becoming the first WA side to win four major trophies in a season.

Bayswater assistant coach Stewart Moses knew they had to play different to the way they played in the semi-final and said the team delivered their game plan to perfection on the day. “We had a game plan today and the lads stuck to it, they showed great character, especially after the 5-0 defeat last time we played Perth,” he said. “In saying that that defeat did us a favour, it brought us back to reality, and we worked on things on the training track. “They got in behind us last time, but we worked hard to deny them space and to the lads credit they did it superbly today.”

Perth had begun the game positively and had a number of good early chances that they failed to convert, and Coach Taki Nicolaidis said they were made to pay for their profligacy. “At the end of the day the lads gave me everything, but we couldn’t find the target, especially in the first half when we created a number of good chances but didn’t take them,” he said. “We knew it would be a tough game today and a superb strike from Heagney won it. But it’s all about if’s and but’s, we’ve come a long way from last season and things are looking up for our club and we have to take positives from the season.”

Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE, 2 Josh WILKINS, 4 Craig SIMPSON, 6 Clark KELTIE, 8 Aden DA LUZ, 10 Ashley ROSINDALE, 12 Tim ROBERTSON (13 Alex CASTIELLO 67’), 14 Mark PRITCHARD, 15 Mark DONINGER, 19 Andreas THEODOSIADES (22 Harley ORR 78’), 20 James MAROCCHI (9 Friday ZICO 89’) - Subs not used: RGK Alex DUNN, 5 Laurence GAUGHAN
Yellow Cards: Nil

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 2 Declan HARGREAVES, 3 Adam BACHILLER, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 8 Paul MCCARTHY, 9 Gustavo GIRON MARALUNDA (16 Jamie COYNE 69’), 13 Trent KAY, 15 Brian FARRELL (10 Damien CATALANO 90’), 20 Sam MITCHINSON, 21 David HEAGNEY (18 James ISAIA 78’), 23 Chris SALDARIS - Subs not used: RGK Joel DRISCOLL, 5 Andy REALE
Yellow Cards: Nil

Attendance: 2,000
Referee: Adam Fielding
Assistants: Mathew Cheeseman and Josh Mannella
Fourth Official: David Bruce

Bayswater City are crowned 2014 NPL-WA Champions. (Photograph by Peter Simcox)



A Thomas Southgate goal earned Perth SC a 1-0 win over Stirling Lions in the Under 20's NPL-WA championship decider at Dorrien Gardens. The goal came in the 45th minute and ensured victory for the ladder leaders, who finished 14 points ahead of their opponents. Conceding only 17 goals in 22 games, Perth’s defence again stood strong to ensure the title.

Coach Gavin Tate was thrilled with his team’s achievement. “I’m absolutely delighted,” he said. “We started back in December and there is a lot of hard work that goes into a season from all of the background staff, coaches and players. We’ve got a great bunch of lads who have really enjoyed this season and this is a fantastic way to cap it off. “A big congratulations must go to Stirling who have had a magic season. It’s great for us and them that we both got into the final, as we’ve been first and second throughout. We’ve pushed each other all the way, playing some fantastic head to head games and today was no exception.”

Perth won 19 of the 22 games played, losing on only three occasions and scoring a total of 65 goals. Tate believed justice was done in the final. “I’m from the old school and I believe that if you win the league you deserve to be champions,” he said. “We had to remain focused and concentrate on winning the finals and thankfully we did that. The players have been fantastic. “We created lots of chances today and we sort of felt that it might not be our day especially when the penalty was saved. “However, we spoke at half-time about remaining composed and keeping our lead in the second half. I told them to make sure we were focused on that second 45 and to maintain our physical and mental strength. It’s a long and difficult season and the boy’s hard work finally paid off today.”

Goal scorer Thomas Southgate made an outstanding contribution to the game and he got special praise from his coach. “It’s quite fitting that Thomas Southgate scored as he’s turning 20 this year,” he said. “I brought him to the club when he was 12 years old and it’s a lovely way for him to finish his season as he pushes for a first team place. Nathan De Abreu in the middle was superb, his ball winning and desire was exceptional.”

The early exchanges were littered with nervousness, with both sides struggling to stamp their authority on the game. The final heated up in the 13 minute when Perth’s first meaningful attack led to a penalty. Referee Gabriele Merlacco showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot when Nick Ambrogio was cut down in the box. Ambrogio picked himself up to take the resulting penalty but Stirling keeper Connor Campbell made an excellent diving save down to his left to keep the scores level. The penalty miss brought the game to life with Perth in the ascendency. Jordan Candlish beat two Stirling defenders with a mazy run in to the box. His side footed effort went just wide of the post. Perth looked dangerous on the attack and threatened again in the 26th minute. A clever back heel from Ambrogio found Candlish, who neatly played in Jordan DeLeo. His strike from the edge of the box went well over the bar.

Good build play once again by Southgate, Daniel Tait and Candlish led to a chance for Matt Milenkovic who could have put his side ahead. His effort from inside the area was well saved by Connor Campbell in the Stirling goal. Perth had the better of the play but were unable to break down the Stirling defence. The game was a stop start affair with both teams giving away needless free kicks. Stirling’s best chance of the half came in the 32nd minute. David Filippou’s free kick from the left wing fell to Simon Filocamo in the box, who instinctively poked an effort on goal. Perth keeper Domenic Savoldelli calmly collected after having very little goal threat to contend with. A late challenge by Stirling’s Dylan Filocamo, resulted in a booking and a Perth free kick. Southgate whipped in a dangerous looking ball from 40m, which the Stirling keeper palmed behind. Milenkovic took the subsequent corner, which goal keeper Campbell could only punch away to the edge of the box. An unmarked Southgate had time to weigh up a powerful low drive, which shot through a crowd of players and into the back of the net in the 45th minute.

With Stirling knowing that they had 45 minutes to reclaim the tie, they started the second half on the front foot. They were awarded a free kick in the 51st minute which Alen Patarov took. His effort cleared the wall but also cleared the crossbar. David Da Silva Dias looked threatening down Stirling’s right side as the lions continued to press for an equaliser. Opportunities were limited thanks to a strong Perth defence who were intent on keeping their 1-0 lead. Perth continued to look the mostly likely to score, with Southgate continuing to impress. His driving midfield run, out paced two Stirling players and his inch perfect through ball led to a one on one chance for Ambrogio, whose side footed effort was well saved in the 66th minute.

As the game entered its final stages, Stirling struggled to hold up the ball against a powerful and well organised Perth side. Chances were few and far between with Perth looking the most likely to extend their lead. Perth came close to a second goal in the 89th minute. Southgate’s cross field pass was kept in by substitute Conor Mackay who drove to the by-line and stood up a perfect far post cross for unmarked, fellow sub, Joel Bayobahe. His looping header beat the keeper but rebounded of the crossbar.

Stirling Lions coach Rob Milevski was proud of his team’s effort. “The boys have worked hard all season and it’s obviously disappointing to get to the final and lose but on the other side of the coin it’s great to have the top two sides battling out and Perth deserved it,” he said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game and we knew there wouldn’t be many goals in it. We played them two weeks ago and I thought we created a lot more chances that day, but we just couldn’t break them down today. They were very good defensively, yet again.” Over all the Stirling coach is pleased with how the season has gone. “We rebuilt the team from last year with about 70% of the squad being new faces,” he said. “The boys have gelled together really well from the start and to finish second in the league and make the top four final is a great achievement.”

Perth SC: 1 .D. SAVOLDELLI (GK) 2. M. SANTALUCIA 4. O. LALOVIC (c) 6. A. PIZZATA 7. M. MILENKOVIC 8. D. TAIT (3. C. BECSI 89’) 10. J. CANDLISH (14. J.BAYOBAHE 70’) 13. J. DELEO (11. C. MACKAY 84’) 15. N. AMBROGIO 21. N. DE ABREU 22. T. SOUTHGATE Substitutes not used: 16. A. CARLINO 24. S. WALLIS (GK)
Yellow Cards: 21. DE ABERU 23’ 8. TAIT 39’

Stirling Lions: 24. C. CAMPBELL (GK) 3. D. FILOCAMO 4. M. GAMA (9. J. KESSELL 78’) 5. D. FILIPPOU 7. L. KESSELL 8. A. PATAROV 10. S. FILOCAMO 11. R. PETKOV (c) 12. R. MARIANO 13. J. MATHIANG 14. D. DA SILVA DIAS (6. B. MTWALE 86’) Substitutions not used: 20. A. VACCA (GK) 16. M. PRESCOTT 2. M. SULAIMON
Yellow Cards: 3. FILOCAMO 44’ 14. DA SILVA DIAS 59’ 4. GAMA 77’

Referee: Gabriele Merlacco

Perth win the Under 20's NPL-WA championship. (Photograph courtesy Perth SC)



Perth SC scored in stoppage time to become NPL-WA Under 18's champions, beating minor premiers ECU Joondalup 3-2 at Dorrien Gardens. Perth have now won twenty-one Under 18's Premier League championships since the competition started in 1975, a remarkable statistic.

Bayley Montgomery-Brown and Ronald Rixer put the visitors two ahead but Brody Walker and Alex Silla equalised before Adam Carlino won the game in the dying moments. Perth Coach Richie Abrams said his side had shown character to come back and win. "ECU were determined," he said. "So to be 2-0 down and come back in the second half the way we did was fantastic. "It was disappointing that we were punished for two mistakes. But they sat back a lot deeper in the second half and they invited us on and you can't do that against us because we want to attack."

ECU started strongly with Jake Davies muscling his way into the box but keeper Scott Wallis reacted quickly at the near post. Under 15's player Montgomery-Brown made use of the early pressure when Davis thread a tight pass into the box in the 16th minute for him to fire confidently into the far corner. Perth settled and pushed for an equaliser towards the end of the first half and were almost rewarded but Ash Maynard-Brewer parried Cameron Pique's powerful first-time shot. ECU pressured early after the break and Conor Tucker worked beyond the defence and passed across to Callum Boshell, who pulled the ball from underneath him and tapped home.

But Perth picked up where they left off in the first half and responded with intent, Maynard-Brewer again proving his worth to keep them at bay - first with a low diving save to block Liam Healey's strike, then bravely pouncing to dispossess Airmoson Garley. But captain Walker provided the break-through with a cracking strike from range in the 66th minute. This gave Perth an extra edge and Alex Silla equalised six minutes from time as he met Healey's free-kick. Then Perth man of the match Carlino dispossessed captain Coire McGuigan and struck home to top off a perfect comeback for the league runners up.

ECU coach Danny Stevens said it was devastating to lose after being up 2-0. "We played some great football early on but we put so much energy into it that it was hard to maintain," he said. "To be honest, we'd have happily settled for penalties in the end but I felt we deserved to win for the majority of the game. "The boys have been relentless all year, so we'll learn from this and we'll be back next year just like I said last year."

PERTH SC: 1. Scott WALLIS, 2. Alex SILLA, 3. Joseph MARINO, 5. Brody WALKER (c), 7. Eric BIRIGHITTI, 8. Zach BROWNE (11. Luke GARAS 53'), 9. Adam CARLINO, 10. Cameron PIQUE (13. Michael ZIMARINO 53'), 12. Anthony TOPINI, 15. Liam HEALY, 17. Airmoson GARLEY (14. Joshua CORTES 85') Substitutes not used: 4. Daniel HENRY, 24. Alessandro BIRIGHITTI
Yellow cards: 5. Brody WALKER 67'

ECU JOONDALUP: 1. Ash MAYNARD-BREWER, 2. Richard BUTLER, 3. Bayley MONTGOMERY-BROWN, 4. Coire McGUIGAN (c), 5. Ronald RIXER, 8. Ollie ANNIS, 9. Jake DAVIES (11. Harry GENT 86'), 10. Conor TUCKER, 12. James BRUCE, 14. Callum BOSHELL, 15. Lucas Da LIMA (16. Lee HALLIDAY 46') Substitutes not used: 6. Ayden DRAGUN, 13. Bayley YEOMANS
Yellow cards: Nil

Referee: Tom Dowle

Perth celebrate winning the Under 18's NPL-WA title. (Photograph courtesy Perth SC)


ROCKINGHAM CLAIM SECOND SPOT (courtesy Rockingham City and Forrestfield United)

ockingham City welcomed Forrestfield United to Lark Hill for the last home fixture of 2014, the clash had plenty of meaning with both sides looking to take out second spot on the ladder. Unfortunately for the home side they started their final home game slowly and where under constant pressure from a hardworking and physical away side, it was no surprise when Forrestfield took the lead. A long ball forward caught the Rockingham rear guard napping and Ben Fraser cut inside, his scuffed shot deceived everyone and nestled in the bottom corner of the net.

The constant aerial bombardment was causing Rockingham plenty of problems, Forrestfield looked to extend the lead with a series of set pieces however Rockingham stood firm. Finally Rockingham settled into their stride and neat inter play between Rowland, Laure and Louvie seen a Laure shot expertly saved by Matt Zappacosta in the Forrestfield goal, next up was Taono whose blistering volley was expertly saved by Zappacosta again as Rockingham started to dominate. It was no surprise when the equaliser came, a series of neat passes in the middle of the park set Louvie charging towards goal, he easily side stepped two Forrestfield defenders before striking across the keeper for a superb individual goal.

In the second half it was the home side looking far more comfortable, dominating in possession and creating several good opportunities in a real tussle between two of the top sides. The match may have turned out differently had the referee sent of the last Rockingham defender for a foul with Mitchell Sapsworth clear through on goal. Rockingham where awarded a penalty after strong work from Frank and Laure resulted in Frank being felled inside the box, after a brief discussion Captain David Clark relinquished the penalty to team mate Taono who made no mistake and put Rockingham in the driving seat.

There was time for some late drama as a Forrestfield set piece brought out the best in veteran Sharrock, it was Sapsworth again bringing in a finger tip save onto the bar from a bullet header which kept Rockingham in the lead. Soon after Rockingham burst throw on goal and youngster Josh Mackinder had the ball in the net only for an offside flag to rule that one out and then just before the end Laure rounded the keeper however his shot was placed over the cross bar with an empty net at his mercy and was probably the miss of the year. The game ended with Rockingham winning the game by two goals to one.



Attacking midfielder Ryan Williams believes Fulham will only get better as the English Championship season goes on. Fulham has endured a horror start to its first Championship season in over a decade, after relegation from the Premier League, managing four losses and one draw from its opening five league fixtures. The Cottagers secured their first win of the 2014/2015 campaign with victory over Brentford in the League Cup and take on Reading this Saturday.

Williams, who made his Fulham first team debut in midfield in the 1-0 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers at the end of last month, said the young side is starting to gel. “We’re getting better as the weeks go on because everyone’s getting used to and more familiar with each other,” he said. “We’ve just signed a player, Matt Smith, who’s a big kind of target man, who can add some experience in the Championship. Hopefully he can get us a few goals and help us push up the table.”

William’s Fulham debut came two and half years after he arrived at the west London club from Portsmouth, after experiencing loan spells at Gillingham and Oxford United. “It’s been a long time coming I guess,” the 20-year old said. “But I’ve just been patient and went out on loan and it obviously did me a world of good. I managed to sign a new contract and now I’ve made my debut. I’ve just got to try and stay in the team now.

“I’ve started two out of a potential four games,” continued the winger, who racked up eight goals and five assists in 42 appearances for Oxford United last season. “I’m happy with that at the moment but as far as the team goes, we’re a really young team and half of them have only just made their professional debuts. I think with a few games under our belts and a few more experienced players that hopefully that we can get in will be a lot better for us moving forward.”

Williams, who was deployed in central midfield against Derby and on the right flank against Brentford, said he only felt a few nerves when he walked out at Craven Cottage against Wolverhampton. “Surprisingly I thought I would have been nervous walking out the tunnel but I wasn’t at all,” the Young Socceroo said. “But that’s good as it shows my experience now that I’ve played in a few big games against some big crowds. I was a little bit nervous but as soon as you touch the ball all the nerves go away and the business starts.”

Williams feels the recent League Cup defeat of Brentford can be a turning point and maybe the Cottagers had underestimated the toughness of the Championship. “The way we performed that day was good, we really grinded out a win and I think that’s what we need,” he said. “When our style of football isn’t working we’re going to need to grind the game out and defend as a team and not be so pretty sometimes. I think that’s how the league is.”

“Some games you’ll be able to play nice football and some games you have to sit behind the ball and smash it up the pitch,” he added. “That’s why its caught so many people out … You just don’t get time on the ball in this league compared with the Premier League. In the Premier League you have loads of time, you can turn players and play nice football. But down here it’s just a bit of everything – 100 miles an hour, tackles flying in everywhere. I love it, I like that kind of football, mixed in with a bit of nice football.”



The 2014 National Premier League-WA season comes to a conclusion on Saturday afternoon when Perth SC and Bayswater City meet in the Grand Final at Dorrien Gardens (2.30pm) The game is the highlight on the football calendar in WA, and it has a little extra spice, as the traditional Italian rivals go toe-to-toe.

Perth won hosting rights for the inaugural NPL Championship game after beating Bayswater 5-0 in the major Semi-Final, and Coach Taki Nicolaidis thought they played well that day, even without influential midfielder Clark Keltie. “The skipper missed the game, but on the day the boys stood up and were outstanding, every player played their part. We scored some very good goals at important times of the game,” said Nicolaidis, who took over the reins at the club last season, and missed out on a final berth.

“To be honest it has been a very hard and long road to pretty much rebuild our whole squad and club. We have blended a very good group of youth and experience and exited with the potential our playing list has. We have come a long way since the first game of the season and have kept improving every week. “The players are really focused and hungry to make sure we finish off the season with a trophy. Our win against Bayswater has definitely given us plenty of confidence and belief however our feet are firmly on the ground, as they are an experienced team filled with quality. I'm expecting a much closer game this week.”

In team news for the home side, Jason Barrera and Luka Njegich are struggling with injury, while Clark Keltie has overcome his injury and will come straight back into the starting side.

Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne started his senior football career at Perth, and has a great deal of admiration for the club, but that will be forgotten at kick off, as they look to gain some payback for the big defeat in the major Semi-Final. “I don’t think it was a 5-0 game although I respect the fact that we were beaten well and truly,” he said. “I wasn’t too concerned, the boys did have that tough schedule – four games in two weeks for a semi-professional side is a lot of football, but I won’t have to mention it but the boys will probably use it as motivation.”

The Preliminary Final win against Balcatta took a great deal out of the side, with Steve Burton limping off in extra time and Jamie Coyne struggling with injury but Coyne knows they will prepare well and will be ready for a tough encounter. “The pleasing thing for me is seeing a bunch of players run through 120 minutes and get stronger and stronger as the game goes. I know I don’t have to get them fit. I just have to make sure they are sharp and I know they will be mentally prepared for the game,” he said.

In team news for Bayswater, Steve Burton will miss the game after tearing his medial ligament against Balcatta, while skipper Trent Kay and James Isaia are back in contention after missing last week due to injury.



There are two big games prior to the main match at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday. The action starts at 10am, when ECU Joondalup take on defending champions Perth SC in the Under 18's Grand Final. Joondalup narrowly defeated Perth two weeks ago in the major semi-final. The Reserves (Under 20's) sees Perth SC meet Stirling Lions at 12:15pm. Perth easily finished the season on top of the league by fourteen points, and will be heavy favourites to lift the trophy. The Lions will be looking for their first Reserves title since 2008. This will be the first time that the finals will decide the league championship in the lower grades.



There is only two rounds remaining in the First Division for 2014 season, and Saturday clash between Wanneroo City and Ashfield at Kingsway Reserve has ramifications at both the top and the bottom of the table. League leaders Ashfield, only need to keep winning to take out the title, while Wanneroo sit three points adrift at the bottom and will be desperate for the points. “This week’s game is another cup final playing Wanneroo who are fighting for survivals with relegation, so were are not taking the game lightly,” Ashfield Coach Paul Dundo said. “We are expecting a tough encounter and no one is going to give us the league title, you have to earn it. I am expecting Shamrock to also continue winning their remaining games, so it is in our hands now and the players need to step up and grab it.” Games are running out for The Roos, but keeper Connor Anderson knows they will be giving it all on Saturday. “It’s a huge game for the club, we need to get something from the game,” he said. “We're three points behind Dianella, but Ashfield are chasing the title, so they’re not going to do us any favours. It's going to be tough every game, but the boys need to dig deep and hopefully we can get the right result.”

Shamrock Rovers are hot on the heels of Ashfield, and entertain UWA-Nedlands at Grimrey Oval, looking for the win and will be hoping Ashfield slip up. “UWA will be tough game, they are more than capable of pulling off a result against the top sides, so we won’t be taking them lightly,” Rovers’ Coach John O’Reilly said. “Ashfield are strong favourites to win the title, though they do have a game against a team in the relegation battle, which will be desperate for their own survival, and on the last day they take on Bunbury, who feel they should have been playing in the NPL, and have a point to prove. We have a couple of tricky games too, but all we can do is get a result, and hope Ashfield slip up.”

In other games David Annall and Johny Mirco will play their last games for Western Knights before retirement, when they host Canning City at Nash Field. The visitors hope to have Mark Trevisiol, Simon Versaico and youngster Charlie May back in the line-up, but Paul van Dongen, Tom Gibbins and Simon Correia are unavailable. Bunbury Forum Force does battle with Dianella White Eagles at Payne Park, the visitors welcome back Stefan Drca, while Morley Windmills and Gosnells City go head-to-head at Wotton Reserve. Gosnells will be missing the suspended Sean Taylor, while Ian Maguire is struggling with injury. Swan United host Mandurah City at the Swan Italian Club, and City skipper Craig Young says the club are struggling with injuries. “We have had a number of injuries recently, so the club are giving the younger lads a go, and it will be the same this week,” he said. “It will give them the chance, to show the manager what they have.”



The standout game in the Second Division is the clash between Rockingham City and Forrestfield United at Lark Hill. Both sides are pushing for the runners-up spot behind champions Joondalup United and a draw will give City that honour, but United know a win will put them above their opponents on goal difference. “We go into the game knowing that second spot is up for grabs, however Forrestfield are a talented side who will be out to get one over us after we beat them earlier in the year,” Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar said. “We are in good form and enjoying the challenges that we face each week, and this one will be no different.” City welcomes back Cyril Sharrock, Martin Barnes, Lance Louvie, Reece Frank and Alex Grayson, but Fraser Marr is not available. Forrestfield Coach Rod Banjac also knows the importance of the game and hopes his young side are up for the test. “Rockingham is a physical side, as my lads found out at first hand when we played them early in the season,” he said. “Our problem this year has been the inconsistency, and that is due to immaturity as a squad, and not being able to field the same team two games in a row throughout the whole season, but we go there looking to come away with the points.” The club has a striker problem going into the game, with four out injured or unavailable, meaning former WA State ‘Goalkeeper of the Year’ Brad Eiffie will playing the striker role this weekend, while skipper Trent Wood is struggling with injury and will have a late fitness test.

The round starts tonight when Curtin University and Fremantle United meet at Edinburgh Oval (8.30pm) Fremantle are at full strength and Ty Fenwick is expecting a tough game. “The boys are playing some good football and are looking very strong in this second half of the season and will look to continue that over the next two weeks,” Fremantle’s Ty Fenwick said. “Friday is a tough challenge, Curtin is playing well, but the boys will rise to it.” Curtin welcome back Carlo Chiellini to the squad after injury, while Rory Binnie, who impressed in the reserves last week, will be pushing for a starting role.

In other games Melville City takes on Kingsway Olympic at Len shearer Reserve, while the other three games all have a bearing on who finishes in the bottom two. Bottom of the table Kelmscott host Joondalup City at Frye Park desperate for all three points, and City welcome back Danny Allen from suspension. Likewise Ellenbrook United, who take on Quinns in a ‘Northern suburbs derby’, at Gumblossom Park. Balga, who are fresh off a huge win against Kelmscott last week, host the champions Joondalup United at Princess Road Reserve. United are at full strength as they look to continue their unbeaten run this season, although Josh Whitmore will have to pass a late fitness test.


OLD MATES FACE OFF IN GRAND FINAL (by Jonathan Cook, Football West)

Not so long ago, Craig Simpson and Trent Kay were teammates aiming for glory in the sky blue of Perth SC. On Saturday, the pair will go head-to-head as the respective captains of Perth and Bayswater City in the inaugural National Premier Leagues Grand Final at Dorrien Gardens. Since they last stood shoulder-to-shoulder for Perth in 2012, Simpson has had a season with Inglewood United before returning ‘home’ and Kay has joined a resurgent Bayswater City.

Simpson has recent bragging rights over his mate after Perth crushed Bayswater 5-0 in a semi-final at Frank Drago Reserve but he will be taking nothing for granted when Saturday’s match kicks off at 2.30pm. “We want to be confident but definitely not cocky after that result,” Simpson said. “We took our chances and we managed to stop their chances but this is a completely different game. We really want this because we haven’t won anything this year so this is our chance to get the title.”

Perth finished 10th last season and have stormed to second place under the guidance of coach Taki Nicolaidis. Even though Simpson was confident of a turnaround, he has been surprised by just how quickly Perth has climbed back towards the top of WA football. “It’s massive for the club to have turned it around like it has and to win this weekend would be huge,” he said. “Personally, to be the captain lead them into the Grand Final is a huge honour.”

Kay has been under an injury cloud recently with a hamstring strain but said he was ready to return for the big match. “This is the first Grand Final I’ve ever played against Perth and coming off a 5-0 loss in the semi wasn’t good enough,” said Kay, whose team have already lifted the Night Series, Cool Ridge Cup and league trophies this year. “We’re looking to bounce back and hopefully hit them where it hurts in the final. It was a wake-up call and even during training after that the boys stepped it up a level.”



Western Knights stalwart David Annall will play his final home game for the Nash Field club in Saturday’s game against Canning City. The 33-year-old will retire from the game at the end of the season after 15 years’ service for the Knights, and he believes the time is right. “I'd thought about it at the end of last season and was close to hanging up the boots then, but a few people got in my ear and convinced me to go around one more time,” explained Annall. “At that stage there was still something left in the tank. But it's the right time now. I've got a young family, the body isn't what it used to be and when you start to think you're a bit behind the eight ball, it’s finally time.”

The talented defender has been a part of the Knights successes, over the years and has enjoyed every minute of the highs and lows. “There have been some great moments over the years, and the 2004 league win and top 5 would be up there, we had a great side that year,” said Annall. “The 2008 Cup win is another, especially when we were going into the game as underdogs against the league's champions. Captaining that side to victory was a great moment, made more special with someone like Paul Cooke scoring and retiring on a high.” “The biggest lowlight was being relegated in 2012. We had such an inexperienced side after losing so many players from the season prior. The frustrating thing was we were outplaying sides but weren't getting a break anywhere. The day we drew with Perth SC 3-3, after leading most of the way, was the lowest point - I was physically and emotionally drained, that day confirmed we were being relegated and it hurt.” A number of clubs tried to lure the defender away from the Knights, but he stayed loyal, apart from missing most of 2007 due to travelling. “There’s been a few clubs interested over the years but when it boiled down to it, I was always happy at the Knights,” he said. “The players, coaches, committee and supporters have all been good people, and to move from a club like that was always going to be difficult. Also we were always competitive and in the hunt for trophies, which played a big part in me staying as well.

Annall played with some great players in his time at Nash Field and he reluctantly named his top three. “I feel bad singling out just three players – there were so many great ones. Jason Williams would have to be up there though; he was so consistent it's ridiculous. I think I saw him play one bad game and that was because he played out of position. He was tough as nails and I don't think there was one striker he didn't have in his pocket. He could also ping a ball and find feet anywhere – just a quality defender,” he said. “Stuart Montgomery was all class. He could turn a game on its head with a bit of finesse and out of nowhere. He was the king of nutmegs as well. He taught me everything I know about them, how to do them and not to get done by them. “The last guy would have to be Daniel Trim. He was an absolute unsung hero. Trimmers was such a utility, he could play anywhere and he did so often. His attitude on and off the park was second to none. If you have a player like Daniel Trim in your squad, you’re halfway there.” The one regret Annall had in the game, was he didn’t represent the WA State side enough, and it wasn’t about not been selected. “I was selected a number of times but due to injuries and cancellation of games I actually only ever played once,” he said. “It was really quite frustrating as the years went on because my debut for the state would constantly be pushed back. In the end it was a great honour to represent the state and I’m glad I can say I’ve done it, and it’s not something players should take for granted.”

Annall has played under a number of experienced coaches, but two came to mind immediately. “Ronnie Campbell and Willie Kelly,’ he said. “They coached me for about 10 seasons and were a big influence in the way I played. It was ‘good cop, bad cop’ with them - and it worked so well. Willie wouldn’t hold back and you needed thick skin to take his criticism at times, but you knew not to make the same mistake again. While Ronnie would always be the calm head and chat to you one on one and go into great detail about the game and what he expected. “In saying that, I like to think that I’ve taken knowledge from all the coaches I’ve been under and hopefully I can use that to my advantage if I move into coaching myself.” So what is next for the defender? “At this stage I’m undecided with what I’ll do football-wise. I'd like to think I’ll stay involved, but at the same time there's a part of me that thinks maybe I should just walk away and enjoy being a spectator. Either way I think I’ll be involved in some form of coaching - whether it's juniors with my son, or seniors somewhere else around the traps.”



Perth SC striker Ashley Rosindale is not reading too much into his side’s recent 5-0 thrashing of Bayswater City ahead of Saturday’s National Premier Leagues Grand Final at Dorrien Gardens. Mark Doninger scored all five goals in the semi-final demolition but his Perth teammate Rosindale expects a much tougher outing with the championship at stake. “The semi-final win was a great result for us,” Rosindale told “To keep a clean sheet and score five against any team is an achievement, but to do it to the team that everyone thought was going to run away with the league this year made it even more impressive.

“There were some great individual performances on the day but collectively we were very strong,” added Rosindale, who joined Perth last summer from Balcatta. “Our confidence is high at the moment but finals are usually tight, cagey affairs that are separated by a bit of magic or a mistake and it will come to down to who wants it more on the day. We are happy to have the home ground advantage and I know the club are excited to have the big games hosted back at Dorrien Gardens.”

Coach Taki Nicolaidis has done a superb job in turning around Perth’s fortunes since stepping into the role. “Taki, Ante Kovacevic and Robbie Puca have worked very hard in terms of bringing players in to ensure we had the right mix of experience and youth and our position on the ladder and getting to the Grand Final is a testament to their hard work,” Rosindale commented. “Bringing players in is one thing, but getting a brand new team to gel is another and the coaches and players have worked hard all year to make that happen … we hope to end the season on a high on Saturday afternoon.”

After losing to Perth in the semi-final, Bayswater were made to work hard to reach the showpiece game with Gustavo Giron Marulanda grabbing a dramatic winner against Balcatta. Goalkeeper Devon Spence made a crucial save just moments before Chris Saldaris equalised to send the game into extra-time. “At the time I didn't think much of the save but then we got the equaliser in the next play it put us back in the game,” the 23-year old said. “It was a tough game, a tight contest throughout. The boys dug deep knowing what was on the line, and we all know we deserved to be in the final from our overall season, but we had to work for it.”

Spence, who had two successful seasons at Perth, believes the heavy workload on the Bayswater players, who won the Night Series, Cool Ridge Cup and league title as well as featuring in an FFA Cup match against Melbourne Victory, was partly responsible for the semi-final loss to Perth. “The number of games some of the lads have played definitely took its toll,” he said. “I believe it caught up a little sooner than the game against Perth but we’re not using anything as an excuse. We have recovered well and are looking forward to the game.”



Seven new faces were unveiled at last night’s Perth Glory Women season launch where coach Jamie Harnwell spoke of a team spirit and quality he believes can be rewarded with success this year. Glory Women have reached the finals only once in seven W-League seasons but, with six Matildas signed for the new season and a quality local contingent, Harnwell is optimistic of cracking the top-four again. “I don’t have any doubt that Perth Glory Women are in a better position to have a good go at making the finals in 2014 but no-one at the club will underestimate how much work has to be done to get there,” said Harnwell.

Glory Women’s 20-strong squad includes newcomers Alanna Kennedy, Caitlin Foord, Shelina Zadorksy, Katie Schubert and Gabrielle Marzano, while Sam Kerr and Mackenzie Arnold return to the club. “We’ve got a good squad of players and I’ve been pleased with how the girls have performed in pre-season,” said Harnwell, who has been delighted with how quickly the new recruits have settled in. “The local players have been so important in welcoming the new additions and really making them feel part of Perth Glory.” Glory Women kick-off the new season against Brisbane Roar at Ashfield Sports Club this Saturday at 12noon.



Richard Garcia left Western Australia as a teenager nearly two decades ago to try his luck in Europe, but always knew he would end up playing back home. Two months after joining hometown club Perth Glory in what could be his last move as a player, the veteran attacker has settled in well and is loving life. "Since Perth Glory came on the scene (in 1996), I've always wanted to play for the club," Garcia said. "I made that well known so for me to come home and have this opportunity, I'm really excited and looking forward to having a great season."

Garcia, 33, spent thirteen successful years in England with West Ham United, Colchester United and Hull City before two year ago moving to the A-League, in which he’s played for Melbourne Heart and Sydney FC. He also made 18 appearances for the Socceroos, including at the 2010 World Cup. Garcia adds experience and depth to Glory as part of a new-look squad that has been brought together with the aim of scoring more goals. Andy Keogh, Youssouf Hersi and Mitch Nichols will also add firepower to a team that managed to find the net just 28 times in 27 games last term.

Coach Kenny Lowe still has space in the squad and is on the lookout for another striker. The result of the aggressive recruiting drive so far has been a team that has proved much more potent in the front third during several impressive pre-season performances. "We've assembled a new squad and we're working hard at getting our game together and things are going really well," Garcia said. "We've concentrated on the fitness side of it so far and now, coming towards the back-end of pre-season, we've started looking at how we're playing together and how we're gelling as a team."

Glory's major focus over the next fortnight is an FFA Cup clash with third-tier Victorian club St Albans in Melbourne on 23 September. Despite the Saints being rank outsiders, Glory aren't taking their opponents lightly. Assistant coach Andy Ord was on hand to watch St Albans' National Premier Leagues clash with Richmond SC last week. "It's going to be a tough game," Garcia said. "We've got to go out there in the right frame of mind and keep doing the things that we've been doing well. It's a competition that we want to go far in, so the next game is going to be very important."



Mark Birighitti is in the ‘right mindspace’ to lead the Newcastle Jets to their first finals appearance in five years despite an off-season which included a failed European move and missing the final World Cup cut. The 23-year old shot-stopper is determined to win back the number one shirt at Newcastle after falling out of favour for the final four A-League games of last season following a form slump. That dip came on the eve of a March trip to meet with Bayer Leverkusen officials at which his move to Germany was all but sealed.

However, the Bundesliga switch collapsed three months later in the wake of the sacking of Leverkusen boss Sami Hyypia. The transfer breakdown happened only days after Birighitti left the Socceroos squad in Brazil after missing the final 23-man cut. The twin disappointments might have broken a lesser man, but Birighitti says he is better for the experience. “I’m feeling very positive about this season,” Birighitti said. “Going over to the World Cup in Brazil and being picked in the All Stars to play Juventus, I’ve come out of these experiences a totally different person.”

“I’m in the right mindspace at the moment,” continued the former Perth SC junior. “I don’t want to harp on it too much. The (Leverkusen) coach got sacked and that destroyed things for me, but this is football. It’s about how well you recover from these setbacks. If Europe comes up, it comes up. I’ve got good people looking after me, I’ve got a good agent and my family is behind me. I’m on the right path. Yes I want to end up in Europe one day, but I’m still young and now I’m focused on helping the Jets play finals football.”

Birighitti is likely to be one of the few constants in Newcastle’s starting eleven from last term, with wholesale personnel changes made by new coach Phil Stubbins during the off-season. Adam Taggart, Josh Brillante, Ruben Zadkovich, Craig Goodwin, Zenon Caravella, James Brown, Connor Chapman and Josh Mitchell have departed. In their place the club have added a rich South American attacking flavour in Marcos Flores, Jeronimo Neumann and Edson Montano, while Jonny Steele and Adrian Madaschi have also arrived. Newcastle’s recent pre-season results, which includes losses to Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar, suggest the group is still not yet cohesive.

Birighitti, though, was bullish about their chances of ending the club’s long wait to play finals football. “One hundred per cent (we can make finals),” he said. “We’ve got a good group. A few results in pre-season haven’t gone our way (but) we’ve definitely got enough quality in the team to do well in this league. We’re a team other sides are going to find hard to beat. We’ve made a lot of signings, added a lot of class players …it’s been four years since we made the top six. There’s no excuses. We’ve got all the players and all the resources we need. It’s on us, we need to perform.”



Trent Sainsbury says inexperience is not an excuse for some of the Socceroos defensive lapses in this week’s friendly win over Saudi Arabia. After a superb debut against the might of Belgium four days early, Sainsbury was a little less assured as the Socceroos held on for a 3-2 victory. The PEC Zwolle defender started from the bench but was summoned inside five minutes after Alex Wilkinson succumbed to a glute injury. Partnering debutant Bailey Wright in the middle, flanked by Chris Herd and Jason Davidson, it was a backline with just 17 caps between them.

“You’ve got to gel pretty quickly. We’re all out there trying to cement our own spot in the team and bring leadership to the group,” Sainsbury said. “There’s a lot of inexperience but at the same time the boys have got experience with their clubs. I thought we handled ourselves well. There was a few times myself personally I gave the ball away too cheaply in the middle. But at the end of the day it’s a learning curve and hopefully I’ll come away with the best (from the experience).”

Having helped the Socceroos secure their first win of 2014, Sainsbury says spirits are high in the camp heading towards January’s Asian Cup. “The win justifies everything the boys have been training hard for,” the former Armadale said. “Ange (Postecoglou) is a very smart mind when it comes to football. Sometimes even when he gives his speeches at lunch it can be like a Braveheart moment … and then you’ve got to go eat your lunch and calm down. It’s good because the boys are buying into it and we want to keep doing it on the park and come away with good results.”



Perth Glory hope a new marquee finisher can bring the glory days back to Western Australia. Coach Kenny Lowe wants a marquee striker to finish off his squad as he looks to turn last season's weakest attacking side into a title challenger. Glory look set to play a diamond midfield in a 4-4-2 formation and Lowe is targeting a partner for Irish import Andy Keogh, who has already scored six goals in the lead-up to the 2014/15 A-League campaign, to finish off the work of his impressive group of attacking midfielders.

Lowe has one more spot free in his squad and will be targeting a marquee striker - either international or Australian - to complete his pre-season recruitment. "Whether we fill that or not I don't know, I'm certainly trying to fill it, whether we do fill it or not all depends on personnel, finances, logistics, the usual scenarios," Lowe said. "But yeah, it'd be good if we could get another player up alongside Keogh. I think then you would see a real change ... you add that in there and you could do really well with a little bit of luck."

With marquee wages on offer, Glory could potentially attract a big name such as Portugal international Hugo Almeida and former Brazil striker Nilmar, both who are still looking for clubs this season. Another option could be to try and lure one of the club's favourite sons, Nikita Rukavytsya, back to Perth as an Australian marquee. Rukavytsya, 27, arguably enjoyed the best years of his career in purple but has struggled to settle since moving to Europe in 2009, since when he played for five different clubs.



Australia has finally returned to winning ways by edging out Saudi Arabia 3-2 in last night’s friendly at Craven Cottage in London. Coming off five straight losses, the Socceroos sprinted into a two-goal lead through Tim Cahill and captain Mile Jedinak but had to endure a nervous finale, as debutant Bailey Wright scored the decider between finishes from Hassan Muath and Taisir Al Jassim. “I was pretty happy with the first half, we controlled the game really well for the most part,” coach Ange Postecoglou said. “The second half, it just became a really scrappy, open affair and we just lost our composure a little bit.”

Cahill struck his 35th international goal after only a few minutes, the striker starting a fine team move near the halfway line and finishing it from close-range after Massimo Luongo’s shot was blocked. The Socceroos then suffered a blow with Alex Wilkinson was forced off by injury and replaced by Trent Sainsbury after just 5 minutes. But seconds later the difference was doubled as an unmarked Jedinak rose to head in from Josh Brillante’s free-kick. While the scoreboard looked promising, the performance was less so with Australia struggling to maintain possession and failing to create much more on the way of chances on goal.

Yasir Al Shahrani should have brought Saudi Arabia back into the game early in the second stanza but sprayed wide when found unmarked on the edge of the 6-yard box. Mitch Langerak’s trip on Mukhtar Fallatah after 70 minutes gained the gulf nation a penalty which Muath duly converted. Seven minutes later, and against the run of play, Wright headed in from a corner to seemingly seal the game. However, the Saudis continued to make inroads and on 84 minutes Al Jassam punished some poor marking to post their second goal and set-up a tense finale.



Socceroos striker Adam Taggart will have to wait up to six more weeks to make his Fulham debut after undergoing surgery. Taggart, 21, joined the Cottagers in July but has been prevented from making his first competitive outing by a lower abdominal problem. The former ECU Joondalup junior went under the knife over the weekend and is expected to miss up to six weeks of the Championship season. Taggart’s only appearance for Fulham to date was in a pre-season friendly win over Crawley.



Coach Kenny Lowe has drawn many positives from Perth Glory’s tough pre-season road trip. Glory were forced to come from behind to earn a 1-1 with Adelaide United late last week and on the weekend went down 3-0 to Melbourne Victory. Despite latter result, Lowe was upbeat over his team’s performance. “I thought the performance was okay from our guys, it was a tighter game than the score indicated,” Lowe said. “We did quite well in the second half we just got punished for a lack of quality when we had the ball. They caught us on the break but it was a tight game, a good game.”

The closing stages of Sunday’s game were a testing time for Lowe. Glory played the final 13 minutes with only ten men after defender Jack Clisby fell ill and Scott Jamieson and Josh Risdon succumbed to minor injury. “I think we could’ve put one of the boys back on the pitch to make it eleven verses eleven but I think we got to be mindful of the players’ welfare.” Lowe said. “We didn’t concede with ten men, so it was a good exercise for us.” Rostyn Griffiths, Michael Thwaite, and Nebojsa Marinkovic travelled to Melbourne but did not play against Melbourne.

Lowe praised the ability and character of his new-look squad. “We’ve had a remit this year to go get what I call ‘blue-collar players; lads who have got no ego who are quite prepared to roll up their sleeves and do the work but also are quality players on the ball,” said Lowe. “Andy Keogh has made 40-yard runs to cover for people who have been caught out of position. Mitch Nichols has got great endeavour and great energy. That’s what the drive has been, getting hard working people who are also good footballers and I think you can see that throughout the squad.”



Perth Glory keeper Danny Vukovic was in great form in Sunday’s pre-season friendly against Melbourne Victory, but he couldn’t stop the home side from recording a 3-0 win at AAMI Park. A brace from new striker Besart Berisha and another from Brazilian midfielder Gui Finkler was enough for the home side, while the Glory ended the game with 10 men when Josh Risdon limped off with a knee injury, and with the Glory having used all there subs they played the last 12 minutes one player down. Glory played a 4-1-3-2 formation with new signings Youssouf Hersi, Richard Garcia and Mitch Nichols sitting behind a front two of Irish international Andy Keogh and Chris Harold. Michael Thwaite, Sidnei Scola and Nebojsa Marinkovic were missing from the squad, while Rostyn Griffiths and Ruben Zadzovich were still missing and Daniel de Silva was away on international duty.

Coach Kenny Lowe was happy with the workout as he prepares the side for the FFA Cup game against St Albans at The Knights Stadium in two weeks, but said he might be tempted to head back into the transfer market for another striker. "I thought the performance was OK, it was certainly closer than the scoreline indicated," Lowe said. "We've got one spot left, the marquee position. Whether we fill that or not, I don't know, I'm certainly trying to fill it."

The Victory, who beat NPL-WA side Bayswater City to reach the last 16 of the FFA Cup, started brightly and the crossbar came to the rescue of the Glory after only two minutes. Archie Thompson raced clear, his shot beat Vukovic but the ball crashed off the upright and away to safety. Glory were soon into the game and on five minutes Hersi sent Harold racing down the right, his cross was only inches away from Keogh in the six-yard box. Then on quarter hour mark Brandon O’Neill’s long-range shot was straight at Victory keeper Nathan Coe. The pitch was tricky and uneven after Melbourne Storm’s NRL game on Friday night with both sides passes going astray. There was nothing wrong with Vukovic, who was shining for the Glory and on 23 minutes the Glory custodian saved superbly from Archie Thompson’s close-range shot.

The Glory’s best chance of the half came on the half hour. Harold burst clear down the right, his cross found former Victory midfielder Nichols at the front post, but his shot was well saved by Coe. But there was not a great deal Vukovic could do on 34 minutes when Victory hit the front. Berisha was brought down on the edge of the penalty area by Risdon. Finkler’s free kick took a wicked deflection off the Glory wall and wrong footed Vukovic and into the net. Glory went close to an equaliser on the stroke of half time, Garcia sent Keogh clear, but Coe was out quickly to save at the Irish strikers’ feet. Lowe brought on Cameron Edwards at half time to replace Jack Clisby, with O’Neill dropping into the back four.

The Glory began the second half well and had plenty of possession, but lacked the final ball in the final third of the pitch. Both Kenny Low and Kevin Muscat made a host of changes early in the second half. Jamie Maclaren, Riley Woodcock and former Victory player Diogo Ferreira came on for the Glory, while the Victory brought on youngsters Andrew Nabbout and former Glory player Jesse Makarounas.

Maclaren tested Coe again on the hour as they pressed for the equaliser, before Woodcock’s cross found Keogh moments later, but again Coe denied him. Then on 71 minutes and against the run of play the Victory doubled their advantage. The ball was given away in the middle of the park, and the Glory were made to pay. Thompson found Berisha, and the Albanian striker slide past Dino Djulbic and finished powerfully from the edge of the box. It was 3-0 four minutes later. Thompson was again the provider, his slide rule pass sent Berisha clear, and he was brought down by Vukovic, and referee Shaun Evans pointed straight to the spot. The striker picked himself up to send Vukovic the wrong way from the resulting penalty. With Risdon off for the last ten minutes, Victory dominated and Vukovic kept the scoreline respectable producing stunning saves to deny Makarounas and Nabbout’s long-range shots.

Melbourne Victory: GK Nathan COE, 2 Jason GERIA, 6 Leigh BROXHAM (c), 7 Gui FINKLER, 8 Besart BERISHA, 10 Archie THOMPSON, 11 Connor PAIN (13 Andrew NABBOUT 66’), 16 Rashid MAHAZI (22 Jesse MAKAROUNAS 66’), 17 Matthieu DELPIERRE (28 Milos RIDESIC 71’), 18 Dylan MURNANE, 23 Adrian LEIJER
Subs not used: RGK Lawrence THOMAS
Yellow Cards: Broxham 18’, Murnane 59’

Perth Glory: Danny VUCOVIC (c), 2 Jack CLISBY (22 Cameron EDWARDS 46’), 3 Brandon O’NEILL, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 7 Youssouf HERSI (13 Diogo FERREIRA 57’), 9 Andy KEOGH, 11 Richard GARCIA (26 Harry O’BRIEN 71’), 14 Chris HAROLD (15 Jamie MACLAREN 57’), 17 Mitch NICHOLS, 19 Josh RISDON, 21 Scott JAMIESON (4 Riley WOODCOCK 60’)
Subs not used: Nil
Yellow Cards: Clisby 3’, Keogh 33’
Referee: Shaun Evans



Aston Villa’s Chris Herd is nursing a knee problem stemming from his international debut for Australia. Herd gained his first Socceroos cap in last week’s friendly loss to Belgium, but was forced out of the action in the 44th minute. It was the 25-year old utility’s first competitive outing since Villa’s defeat at Stoke City in December. Herd, who is in the final year of his claret and blue contract, is now in doubt for Monday’s friendly against Saudi Arabia.



Colombian striker Gustavo Giron-Marulanda’s goal late in the second period of extra time has put Bayswater City into the National Premier Leagues WA Grand Final against Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday. Marulanda’s strike sealed a thrilling 3-2 win in the Preliminary Final at Frank Drago Reserve against a Balcatta side who had twice led. The striker, who has been hampered by injury for most of the season, gave credit to his side for their resilience. “We always fight out games and have a mentality of not giving up and today was a classic example,” he said. “We knew if we could find an equaliser we would win the game, that’s the sort of character we have in our side and for me to score the winner was great. We now look forward to next week’s final against Perth and we head there looking to reverse last week’s result against them.”

Perth thumped Bayswater 5-0 in a semi-final encounter just over a week ago. But there was to be no repeat against Balcatta, who were just moments away from reaching their first ever Grand Final with a 2-1 lead that was wiped out by substitute Chris Saldaris’ header. Alex Canigila had given Balcatta the lead early before Andy Reale levelled before the break. It looked like Benny Kouakou had won it for Roman Falzon’s side but Bayswater kept pressing and got their rewards.

Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne was proud of his players’ commitment and character to fight back to set up a showdown against Perth. “Going behind twice to two sloppy goals was frustrating but we showed good resolve and we ran the game out well,” he said. “The boys have been magnificent since I’ve been here. They have given me everything they have. In retrospect, the lads were tired last week. It was a tough two weeks - four games in that period is a lot of football for semi-professional players… it just caught up with them.”

Coyne said Marulanda was getting close to full fitness and is hoping he has peaked at the right time of the season. “Gustavo was out for a long time this season and he has got to understand that,” he said. “Yes he wants to play every week but he is getting stronger each week and we haven’t seen the best of him this year yet. Hopefully he’s saving it for next week.”

Balcatta dominated the early exchanges and created three good chances, the best falling to Kouakou. The striker was sent clear by Kris Gate but his shot was straight at Devon Spence. Their early dominance was rewarded on 23 minutes with the lead. Kouakou was brought down on the edge of the penalty area, and the striker’s resulting free kick crashed off the underside of the crossbar and Caniglia was the quickest to react to fire home from close-range. Conceding the goal lifted Bayswater and Marulanda went close on the half hour before Todd Howarth’s long-range free kick flashed over the crossbar. It wasn’t a surprise that on 38 minutes Bayswater levelled. Howarth made space down the left and his deep cross found Reale at the back post. The defender looped his header over Davies and into the net to send the sides in level at the break.

Balcatta reacted well to conceding late in the first half and were back in front on 57 minutes. Caniglia played in Kouakou, who burst into the box, rounded Spence, and fired home. The home side were not going down without a fight and went close to levelling five minutes later but Reale’s shot on the turn was well saved by Davies. Then 60 seconds later Bayswater won a penalty when former Bayswater defender Patrick Quinn brought down Marulanda and referee David Bruce pointed straight to the spot. Marulanda stepped up but Davies guessed the right way and saved superbly low to his left.

Bayswater were throwing everything at Balcatta but with skipper Adam Tong and Kieron Stallard outstanding at the heart of the defence they held sway. With time running out, and pushing men forward looking for the equaliser, Bayswater almost conceded a third. Caniglia sent Gustavo Catarcione clear on 86 minutes, and he had the chance to seal victory but Spence stood tall to deny the Brazilian striker and keep his side in the game That save became more significant a minute later when Bayswater levelled. Adam Bachiller found space down the left and his cross found Saldaris at the back post, whose header went into the net.

In extra time, both sets of players were fatigued and struggled in the wet and windy conditions. Jamie Coyne was struggling with injury but the former Perth Glory defender continued bravely. It looked like the game was heading to a penalty shoot-out but three minutes before the end Bayswater won it. Declan Hargreaves’ free-kick picked out Marulanda, who kept his composure and fired low past Davies to seal victory for Bayswater.



Shamrock Rovers almost blew a three-goal lead against their hosts Gosnells City but managed to add to their winning streak with a 4-3 win at Walter Padbury Reserve. Shamrock Rovers coach Mike Ford said his side were nervous going into the game with his side level on points with Ashfield but trailing the leaders on goal difference. “(There are) two games to go and it’s good to get a result that we’ve had to earn,” he said. “We thought we cruised it, but the tables turned and we had to find another level, which we did. “(With two games left, you can easily say the pressure is on (Ashfield). If they slip up they lose the league.”

After a scrappy opening 45 minutes the deadlock was broken on the stroke of half-time by Shamrock’s Alec Robinson. Robinson received the ball just inside the area from the right wing and guided his shot with the help of a tricky bounce past Tom Allen in goals. The nerves had settled and Rovers had two goals in three minutes inside the first 15 minutes of the second half. Nick Little beat his marker after a nice pass from Wil Pender and guided his shot from 10m out with only the keeper to beat. Three minutes later Shamrock appeared to have wrapped up the win when Pender worked some space on the right side of the penalty area and blasted his shot into the top right corner of the goal after a quick counter attack.

The Gosnells fight back began when substitute Christwich Mutsram finished off an excellent passing move with one of his first touches of the game. The home side grew in confidence and the away side regressed and with eight minutes to go Gosnells scored again. Sean Taylor converted from the spot after a hand ball was given when two players challenged for a header. Taylor thought he had snatched a point for his side when in the 89th minute he rose highest at the back post and finished his free header after missing a few headed chances throughout the game.

Paul Curren was the unlikely scorer of Shamrock’s fourth when Gosnells failed to clear their area and flicked the ball backwards and into the top corner. There appeared to be a foul on Allen and he was slow to his feet when the header went in but the goal stood. Gosnells coach Chris Bates said his side deserved more from the game. “They gave everything today and we deserved a draw,” he said. “We tweaked things after half-time and it changed the game well for us. It worked but the result was unfortunate.” In other results Ashfield beat Dianella White Eagles 4-1 to remain top of the league, Canning City and Bunbury played out a 0-0 draw, Swan United beat Wanneroo City 5-0, Western Knights beat UWA 2-0 and Morley Windmills beat Mandurah City 3-0.



It wasn’t the result he wanted but for youngster Trent Sainsbury, the Socceroos recent loss to Belgium is something he will never forget. The defender – along with Chris Herd and Brad Smith – made his senior international debut by starting in the heart of defence and, despite a shaky start, was one of the teams’ best in a tough two-goal loss. “I was lying in my bed before the match and I was just giggling,” said an ecstatic Sainsbury. “I couldn’t believe I was at this stage. Six months ago I was out with a fractured knee and I was devastated but to come back and finally get rewarded with a jersey is incredible.”

Sainsbury, 22, partnered former Central Coast Mariners teammates Alex Wilkinson and Matt Ryan at the back and together they stood up well under some intense pressure from the hosts. “We’ve got the bond over the years so we knew a few things that were going to happen between us,” Sainsbury said. “But at the same time I was really just trying to get to grips with the game at the start because I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life. It was incredible. Even though they had some of their bigger names out, the list and the clubs they play for, I was definitely pinching myself to start alongside one of my old partners, it was definitely a good experience.”



Balcatta midfielder Kris Gate has paid Bayswater City a grand compliment on the eve of their National Premier Leagues elimination final at Frank Drago Reserve. Gate, who came through English Premier League club Newcastle United’s academy, is a firm believer in the first-past-the-post system and has no doubt that Bayswater deserve to be regarded as champions, despite their shock 5-0 semi-final defeat to Perth SC. “Bayswater, in my eyes, are the champions,” he said. “But we all know when a good team gets beat by a large margin they usually react, which I’m sure they will be trying to do on Saturday.”

Balcatta go into the clash full of confidence after beating Sorrento 3-1 at Percy Doyle Reserve last weekend. “Saturday’s game was a tough game against Sorrento as it always is,” he said. “We worked hard as a team when you have Gustavo Catarcione up top you know we will score.” Catarcione, who returned from his honeymoon in Brazil two weeks ago, scored twice against Sorrento and will enjoy the opportunity against his former club Bayswater, according to Gate. “Gustavo has been quality all year for us and I’m sure if he never went away for six weeks he would have won top goal scorer and maybe a shout for gold medal,” he said. “I know he is really keen to score… it's always nice to get one over your old club.”

Gate said coach Ramon Falzon, and the outstanding performances of some young players, had been key to turning around the club’s fortunes. “We have had a huge turnover of players this season but we have played some nice football, which Ramon has said he wanted from the start,” he said. “We have young lads playing with the experienced players, and it's working for us… we’ll continue to roll with it.” Balcatta will be at full strength for the big game, with Gate, Keiron Stallard and James Sammut all recovering from slight knocks last weekend. Saturday’s winner will take on Perth in the Grand Final at Dorrien Gardens next weekend.



The Socceroos have again come up short against top-class opposition as Belgium inflicted a fifth straight defeat with a 2-0 friendly international win in Liege. Goals in either half to midfielders Dries Mertens and Axel Witsel proved the difference at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne last night in what was both sides' first post-World Cup outings. "It was obviously a very challenging game for us, they're a very good side," Postecoglou said. "For the most part I think we grew into the game ... there aren't going to be many countries that come here and dominate a game of football."

An internationally inexperienced backline was exposed at times by Belgium's attack but Postecoglou paid tribute to the defensive efforts on debut of Trent Sainsbury and Chris Herd. "We're exposing these guys to the highest possible level and some real pressurised situations," Postecoglou said. "I think Trent Sainsbury for a debut against some quality was very good. He's not going to come to many more difficult places than here." Liverpool youngster Brad Smith also made his Socceroos debut off the bench, completing his change of eligibility having represented England at junior level.

The game began at a high tempo and Australia needed the impressive Mat Ryan to make a great save to deny Mertens in the 12th minute. The opening goal came six minutes later when Mertens shot bounced up over the head of Ryan after Kevin de Bruyne’s powerful effort came back off the crossbar. Australia squandered a golden chance to equalise in the 23rd minute with Tim Cahill side-footing straight at Thibaut Courtois. The Socceroos started the second half brightly but could not fashion any real chances. Witsel sealed the win with a cracking half-volley in the 77th minute.



Balcatta midfielder Kris Gate has paid Bayswater City a grand compliment on the eve of their National Premier Leagues elimination final at Frank Drago Reserve. Gate, who came through English Premier League club Newcastle United’s academy, is a firm believer in the first-past-the-post system and has no doubt that Bayswater deserve to be regarded as champions, despite their shock 5-0 semi-final defeat to Perth SC. “Bayswater, in my eyes, are the champions,” he said. “But we all know when a good team gets beat by a large margin they usually react, which I’m sure they will be trying to do on Saturday.”

Balcatta go into the clash full of confidence after beating Sorrento 3-1 at Percy Doyle Reserve last weekend. “Saturday’s game was a tough game against Sorrento as it always is,” he said. “We worked hard as a team when you have Gustavo Catarcione up top you know we will score.” Catarcione, who returned from his honeymoon in Brazil two weeks ago, scored twice against Sorrento and will enjoy the opportunity against his former club Bayswater, according to Gate. “Gustavo has been quality all year for us and I’m sure if he never went away for six weeks he would have won top goal scorer and maybe a shout for gold medal,” he said. “I know he is really keen to score… it's always nice to get one over your old club.”

Gate said coach Ramon Falzon, and the outstanding performances of some young players, had been key to turning around the club’s fortunes. “We have had a huge turnover of players this season but we have played some nice football, which Ramon has said he wanted from the start,” he said. “We have young lads playing with the experienced players, and it's working for us… we’ll continue to roll with it.” Balcatta will be at full strength for the big game, with Gate, Keiron Stallard and James Sammut all recovering from slight knocks last weekend. Saturday’s winner will take on Perth in the Grand Final at Dorrien Gardens next weekend.



The Socceroos have again come up short against top-class opposition as Belgium inflicted a fifth straight defeat with a 2-0 friendly international win in Liege. Goals in either half to midfielders Dries Mertens and Axel Witsel proved the difference at the Stade Maurice Dufrasne last night in what was both sides' first post-World Cup outings. "It was obviously a very challenging game for us, they're a very good side," Postecoglou said. "For the most part I think we grew into the game ... there aren't going to be many countries that come here and dominate a game of football."

An internationally inexperienced backline was exposed at times by Belgium's attack but Postecoglou paid tribute to the defensive efforts on debut of Trent Sainsbury and Chris Herd. "We're exposing these guys to the highest possible level and some real pressurised situations," Postecoglou said. "I think Trent Sainsbury for a debut against some quality was very good. He's not going to come to many more difficult places than here." Liverpool youngster Brad Smith also made his Socceroos debut off the bench, completing his change of eligibility having represented England at junior level.

The game began at a high tempo and Australia needed the impressive Mat Ryan to make a great save to deny Mertens in the 12th minute. The opening goal came six minutes later when Mertens shot bounced up over the head of Ryan after Kevin de Bruyne’s powerful effort came back off the crossbar. Australia squandered a golden chance to equalise in the 23rd minute with Tim Cahill side-footing straight at Thibaut Courtois. The Socceroos started the second half brightly but could not fashion any real chances. Witsel sealed the win with a cracking half-volley in the 77th minute.



Regular season winners Bayswater City will head into this crunch game against rivals Balcatta (at Frank Drago Reserve - 2:30pm) knowing that a much improved performance on last week will be required if they are to progress to the Grand Final. Bayswater were dealt their heaviest defeat of the season when they were humbled 5-0 at the hands of Perth who had the week off to prepare for the season's showcase event against the winner of this fixture. Five goals from Perth hero Mark Doninger handed Bayswater their biggest loss of the year.

Balcatta came through the Minor Semi-Final by defeating Sorrento 3-1 at Grindleford Reserve. Gustavo Cartcione (x2) and Adam Tong were the scorers for the home side who proved too strong for a plucky Sorrento outfit. Balcatta will no doubt be focussed and mindful of the job at hand this Saturday as they head into the 'Do or Die' fixture against the League and Cup winners. This will be the fourth meeting between the sides in 2014. Bayswater hammered Balcatta 5-0 when the sides met in the Quarter Final of tis seasons Night Series and back it up with a 5-2 victory back in Round Two of the league campaign. Balcatta got themselves some bragging rights when they faced off in the reverse fixture with Balcatta winning 2-0.



The title race in the First Division is in full swing, with Ashfield and Shamrock Rovers battling it out at the top of the table. Ashfield holds the upper hand at the moment but only on goal difference, and this week they make the trip to Dianella Reserve to take on Dianella White Eagles, who need the points at the other end of the table. “We are looking forward to the game, and it’s a must win for us,” Dianella’s Milos Pavic said. “We need our key players to come out and play and I think it will be a tough game and it will be won in the middle of the park.” Ashfield welcomes back Nick Davies to the squad but Chris Thackeray is in doubt for the game, and striker Jamie Burns knows the title is in their hands. “This is as big as any game we have played this year, as it puts us three points closer to the title if we win,” Burns said. “We know Dianella will be right up for it as they have slipped into the relegation battle after the loss to Wanneroo on the weekend and they will be looking to bounce back. But the league is in our hands we win three and we win the league, it's as simple as that, and I hope we can do that.”

Shamrock Rovers travel to Walter Padbury Reserve and a clash with Gosnells City, and Paul Concannon knows they can’t slip up in the title race, and he is expecting a tough game. “Since our loss to Ashfield we knew we would have to win every game if we wanted to win the league. So far we’ve done that, so all we can do is look after ourselves, win the last three games and hope Ashfield slip up,” the Rovers midfielder said. “Every game is a cup final for us now and we have another at Gosnells on Saturday. They (Gosnells) have had some decent results of late, notably the win against Bunbury. So we are expecting a very tough game and certainly won’t be underestimating them.” The home side welcomes back Ian Maguire from injury, while Shamrock will be missing John Hogan and the suspended, Brian Patterson, but Paul Curran returns.

In other games Canning City entertains Bunbury Forum Force at Burrendah Reserve. The home side will be without Mark Trevisiol, Simon Versaico, while Michael van Dongen is in doubt, but they do welcome back Charlie Parry and Paul Van Dongen. Western Knights will be missing the suspended Shaun French when they travel to the UWA Sports Park to take on UWA-Nedlands. Midfielder Luka Jukic is in doubt with injury as the Knights look to end the season strong with three wins. Swan United has Steve Shore, Ryan Treacey and Ross Cosgrove in doubt when they host Wanneroo City at the Swan Italian Club, while Morley Windmills travel to the Hyundai Stadium to take on Mandurah City.



Its round 20 of the Football West Second Division and with Joondalup United already having taken out the title, the battle to avoid last spot takes centre stage. Bottom of the table Kelmscott Roos won for the first time last week since round six, to close the gap, and they will be looking to jump out bottom spot when they travel to Princess Road Reserve to take on Balga in a real six pointer. “We are looking forward to the game, we have our heads down and working hard and looking to continue from our great win last weekend,” Roos Coach James Coffey said. “We’re looking to get off that bottom and this is an opportunity we have to take. It was a good hard fought win by Balga at our place last time we meet, so we’re looking to match them and get a win.” Balga welcomes back Curtis Wreglesworth to their squad, and Coach Martyn Day also knows the importance of the match. “With Kelmscott picking up useful points over the past few weeks we know that it is not going to be an easy game, but we are hoping that our home form will see us pick up the 3 points,” he said

Ellenbrook United host Joondalup City at Arbor Grove Reserve, and they need to start winning, and their last three points was against Saturday opponents back in round nine. Keeper Jake Bungert will be hoping home ground advantage can see them over the line. “Our squad is depleted with absences of key players, injuries being the main factor. However, we do not use this as an excuse for our recent run of defeats,” he said. “We have enough depth and belief within the squad, and will be looking to take more points on offer before seasons' end, starting with this weekend at home to Joondalup, expect the unexpected.” The visitors regain the services of Mark Thornton.

Joondalup United will look to continue their unbeaten season when they entertain Melville City at Forrest Park. Arran Maplestone, James Collins and Josh Whitmore return to the side, but they will be without Alex Wild, Lee Shepperd and Tony Taylor. United coach Daniel Smith says the players must take a great deal of credit to come back to earn a draw at Rockingham last week. “The boys need to take a lot of credit for the comeback against Rockingham to remain unbeaten this season, they showed a great deal of character, which as a coach is pleasing,” he said. “This week will be another tough game, Melville is in great form but it’s one we are fully committed to ensuring we keep our unbeaten run intact.”

In other games Rockingham City makes the trip to Kingsway Reserve to take on Olympic Kingsway, Forrestfield United welcome Curtin University to Hartfield Park and welcome Will Tshabangu to their squad, but Matt Harold and Jason Feather are in doubt, while Fremantle United entertains Quinns at Hilton Reserve



One of WA football's longest serving players will be recognised with a testimonial match at Percy Doyle Reserve. Sorrento attacker Todd Harnwell, who has played more than 400 games for the club, will line up for the Gulls in a September 20 match against Perth Glory as they continue their preparations for the Hyundai A-League season.

The match will kick-off at 2pm with a 12pm curtain raiser between Sorrento and Glory legends. Perth Glory Supporters Club has donated $500 as a man-of-the-match prize. Entry is $5 and free for children under 16.



Floreat Athena’s E&D Litis Stadium has been chosen to host this season’s inaugural National Premier Leagues WA Junior Grand Finals. The 2014 NPL Junior Grand Finals will feature the best teams from the 12 – 16 NPL competitions. Having missed out on a finals berth in the NPL Senior competitions in 2014, Floreat Athena has accepted the opportunity to put on this season’s NPL Junior showcase event on Sunday, September 14.

NPL Manager Chris Beech said: “E&D Litis Stadium was awarded hosting duties after careful consideration was made of several options. It is a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of the best junior players in the state at such a good venue. We are hopeful the players will enjoy playing inside the stadium with a finals atmosphere.” NPL clubs Sorrento, ECU Joondalup, Perth Glory, and Cockburn City have all booked their place in junior NPL Grand Finals after winning their semi final clashes on Sunday, August 31. The winner’s from this weekend’s elimination finals will join these clubs in the hope of being crowned the inaugural NPL Champions in the junior NPL competitions.



Perth Glory came away from Coopers Stadium with a 1-1 draw against Adelaide United in a closed pre-season friendly on Thursday afternoon. Sergio Cirio gave the Reds the lead after 32 minutes, picking up the ball just outside of the 18-yard box and slotting to the right of Danny Vukovic, before Glory captain Thwaite equalised with a looped header over Eugene Galekovic six minutes later.

The Glory went into the game without Sidnei Sciola and Youssouf Hersi, but it was Reds new Spanish signing Pablo Sanchez who had the first opportunity on 22 minutes. His half volley beat Vukovic but the crossbar came to his and the Glory's rescue. But on 32 minutes the home side hit the front. Spanish striker Cirio was given too much space on the edge of the penalty area and he fired low past Vukovic. Their lead only lasted for six minutes, with Glory skipper Thwaite heading back over Galekovic to make it 1-1 The Glory dominated after the break with Mitch Nichols impressing, and Galekovic had to be alert early to deny the former Melbourne Victory striker. The Reds hit the woodwork again on the hour, the lively Sanchez’ snap shot hit the post and away to safety. Richard Garcia looked lively, and the former Socceroo almost won it for the Glory on 80 minutes, his volley whistled just past the post. The Glory will now take on Melbourne Victory at AAMI Stadium on Saturday

Adelaide United – GK Eugene GALEKOVIC, 3 Nigel BOOGAARD, 4 Dylan MCGOWAN, 8 ISAIAS, 9 Sergio CIRIO, 18 James JEGGO, 21 Tarek ELRICH, 22 Pablo SANCHEZ, 16 Scott NAGEL - Subs: 12 Mark OCHIENG, 13 Dylan SMITH, 32 Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 26 Anthony COSTA, 25 Jordan PUDLER, 30 Sergio SERRETT, 15 Ruon TOGYIK
Perth Glory – Daniel VUKOVIC, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 9 Andy KEOGH, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11 Richard GARCIA, 13 Diogo FERREIRA, 17 Mitch NICHLOLS, 19 Joshua RISDON, 21 Scott JAMIESON, 22 Cameron EDWARDS, 23 Michael THWAITE - Subs: RGK Jordan THURTELL, 3 Brandon O’NEILL, 14 Chris HAROLD, 15 Jamie MACLAREN, 26 Harry O’BRIEN



Chris Herd has dismissed suggestions he was ever going to play international football for anyone other than Australia. After a couple of false starts, the Aston Villa utility looks set to start for the Socceroos at right-back tonight against Belgium. Herd was also eligible to play for Scotland but has made it clear pulling on the green and gold of Australia will be “one of the best days of my career”. “I’m feeling really good,” Herd said from Liege. “I’m grateful to be here, grateful to the manager for the call-up. I’m just looking to re-pay his faith in me and do my best for the country.”

Herd, a former ECU Joondalup junior, made it clear his international career was always going to be with the Socceroos. “I think it’s all rumours made up by people who didn’t know the situation,” he said of the notion of playing for Scotland. “I always wanted to play for Australia. Scotland’s never came into my mind. I’ve always wanted to represent Australia. Unfortunately the times I’ve been called up, I’ve been injured. I’ve got over all my injuries now and am looking after my body really well and am feeling as fit as I’ve ever been.”

Coach Ange Postecoglou has every confidence Herd can solve a few problems within the national team. “There’s an opportunity there (for Herd),” Postecoglou said. “We’re certainly keen to have a look at Chris. “We certainly need to create more depth in those (defensive) areas and he can provide that because he can play a number of positions across the back. He looks pretty keen. He’s had a few false starts in terms of his international career, so I’m sure he’s pretty keen to don the green and gold and establish himself as an international.”



Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe took a strong squad interstate today as preparations for the club’s upcoming FFA Cup tie intensify. Glory meets Adelaide United tomorrow before visiting Melbourne Victory on Sunday. The fixtures will provide valuable game time for the Glory squad ahead of the FFA Cup round of sixteen meeting with Victorian club St Albans on 23 September. Rostyn Griffiths travelled with the squad but is unlikely to play as he recovers from a knee injury, while Sidnei Sciola (hamstring), Ruben Zadkovich (knee) and Daniel De Silva (international duty) are unavailable.

Lowe said most of his key players would see some action over the weekend. “I think everybody’s got to get exposed to A-League quality games, if you want to call it that, to get ready for the season,” Lowe said. “We’ve had a good build-up with Newcastle, Malaga and some games against teams from the local competition, which has been great because it allows us to get moving in patterns. The whole focus is the FFA Cup game and then we get a bit of a breather for a few weeks before the lead-in to the A-League season.”

Glory have been doing their homework on St Albans, who play in the third-tier of the Victorian league. The Saints sit third on the league table with four rounds to play and qualified for the FFA Cup round of 16 with a win over Parramatta last month. Glory will send a member of the coaching staff to Melbourne in the coming weeks see their opponents in action. “We’ll take their games in and we’ve spoken to a fair amount of people,” Lowe said. “Someone from the staff will get to see them play.”

Lowe has is happy with where his squad, which features eight new players, is positioned heading into the 2014/15 season. “We’re very pleased with the boys,” Lowe said. “They all came back in a professional manner with minimum weight and skin fold gain. We set targets with regards to (aerobic speed) running and all of those have been exceeded. We use GPS and hear-rate monitors every session and there’s nowhere to hide for anyone anyway, and you can see that in the shape of the boys.”



Melbourne Victory’s push for back-to-back W-League titles has received a massive boost with news star striker Lisa De Vanna is returning to the club. New Melbourne coach Joe Montemurro said De Vanna’s re-signing was significant in light of her contribution of eight goals from fourteen outings last summer. “Lisa is one of the most decorated players in Australian football and we’re happy to have her not only as a player but as a character,” Montemurro said. “She’s a great addition to the team so we’re very excited to have her back.”

Montemurro, whose team kick-off the new season against Newcastle Jets next weekend, welcomed the challenges of taking over the reigning league champions. “I’m actually looking forward to the challenge,” he said. “Obviously the expectations are there and I don’t think that we’ve left any stone unturned in regards to making sure that we’re ready to go for round one. Yes, everyone’s going to come out and try to beat the champions. But I think that’s a massive challenge for me, a massive challenge for the girls and a massive challenge for the club.”



Young midfielder Jordan Lyden is closing in on selection for Aston Villa's first team squad after signing a two-year extension to his existing three-season deal with the English Premier League club. The 18-year old former ECU Joondalup junior will now be tied to the club until mid-2017 as coach Paul Lambert rewards his potential. Lyden has been on Villa’s books since he was twelve and is targeting a senior call up this season, as well as a place in the Young Socceroos side which will head to Myanmar in October in a bid to qualify for next year's Under-20 World Cup.

Lyden is understandably thrilled with his new deal. “At the end of last season I was training with the first team every day and the great thing for me is that the boss Paul Lambert has taken a liking to me, which is a massive boost,” he said. “The boss has basically told me to keep pushing myself, knuckle down and to be ready when the opportunity comes. I'd love to make my debut this season but I will need to keep working hard and hopefully push on from there. My immediate ambition is be a part of the Young Socceroos team in October.”

Lyden considers fellow West Australian Chris Herd as his closest friend at Villa, and is delighted to see him fit again. “We were together at Joondalup and he's a class player. He's been a big influence on me and a bit of a role model in many ways over the years,” said Lyden. “We have been close since we were young and he's been looking pretty sharp in training and I know he wants to grab his chance with Australia, and obviously force his way back into the Villa first team.” Herd was recently named in Australia’s squad for upcoming friendlies with Belgium and Saudi Arabia.

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This page was last updated on the 3rd September, 2014