Archived News : September-October 2015



Melbourne City have maintained their perfect start to the Westfield W-League season with a comprehensive 4-0 win against Perth Glory at Ashfield Sports Park on Saturday afternoon. Former Glory players Marianna Tabian and Lisa De Vanna both found the back of the net in the first half before Larissa Crummer scored a brace in the second to secure City’s third win from as many matches.

The home side were without Matildas’ striker Caitlin Foord (hamstring) and defenders Sarah Carroll (toe) and Danielle Brogan (unavailable), meaning several players had to start in unfamiliar positions. But skipper Sam Kerr said they battled to the end. “It’s obviously disappointing to lose any game, but we don’t think the score reflects the game we played,” she said. “We had girls playing in different positions, but no excuses though. We think we were better than the 4-0 scoreline. I’m really proud of our girls’ effort. When the score is 4-0 it’s really hard to keep playing, but I thought we did that well,”

City looked lively early with returning Matildas quartet De Vanna, Crummer, Laura Alleway and Steph Catley, plus new Manchester City and Scottish international defender Jennifer Beattie, strengthened an already imposing City side, while goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold and Captain Sam Kerr were back in action for Glory. City had the opening chance after only five minutes, but Catley saw her effort drift wide of the post. But on 12 minutes City’s early domination was rewarded with the lead.

Tabain returned to haunt her former club, netting her third goal in as many matches, when she lost her marker and volleyed De Vanna’s low cross past Arnold. It was 2-0 eight minutes later De Vanna heading the ball past Arnold, after a pinpoint cross from the lively Catley on the left. Glory midfielder Shannon May had the best chance for the home side five minutes before the break, but her long-range shot whistled over the top.

The Glory needed a good start to the second half to get back in the game, but any hopes of a comeback were ended when City added a third on 52 minutes. The Glory lost possession in the middle of the park, and De Vanna raced away, before unselfishly playing in Crummer, and the Matildas’ striker made no mistake. City continued to look threatening going forward and Crummer added her second and City fourth just after the hour, her sublime chip left Arnold stranded.

All credit to the Glory they never gave in and Kerr fought valiantly to find a consolation goal, hitting the crossbar and also being denied by some great saves from City keeper Trudy Burke. The City custodian saved the best to last superbly tipping Kerr long-range shot on to the crossbar to seal on 4-0 win for the ladder leaders. City will attempt to make it four from four against last season’s Champions Canberra United at Central Coast Stadium next Sunday while Glory will look to bounce back against Sydney FC at Lambert Park on the same day.



Perth Glory hit the round in week 4 of the Hyundai A-League when they travel to ‘Wanderland’ AEK (Pirtek Stadium) on Sunday (4PM WA Time) After back-to-back 3-1 wins against Melbourne City in the FFA Cup, and Adelaide United in the League, the Glory will be looking for points on the road, something they found how to do last season, winning six on the road including a 2-1 win against the Wanderers in the final game of the season.

They missed out on their first trip going down 3-2 to Central Coast Mariners, but buoyed by their recent form their confidence no doubt receiving a much needed boost. Lowe juggled his squad in the Cup win, bringing imports Diego Castro and Guyon Fernandez off the bench to great success, while the defensive pairing of Dino Djulbic and Michael Thwaite has been outstanding. Antony Golec has recovered from a virus to take his place in the squad, while exciting youngster Jamal Reiners is also promoted to the senior squad.

It’s a return to his former club for keeper Ante Coviv, and it will have a special feeling when he enters the field on Sunday. "For me personally, yeah it's a special game. I'm going to enjoy walking out at Pirtek Stadium," he said. "To come up against them on the first year anniversary of winning the Champions League. It is a special game for me, I can't deny that, but at the same time I'm going back to Pirtek Stadium - a place I called home for three years - with Perth Glory and my only focus is to bring back three points to Perth. There's no softness towards the Wanderers, I'm a professional footballer."

The Wanderers will be without Romeo Castelen, who limped off during last week’s Sydney Derby lose to Sydney FC, but there is better news for former Glory defender Scott Neville, who also limped off last week, but his injury has recovered. Wanderers’ coach Tony Popovic has brought in experienced striker Brendan Santalab and Kearyn Baccus to the squad, with includes four ex-Glory players. Scott Jamieson, Mitch Nichols, Nikolai Toper-Stanley and Neville, all will be looking to get one over their former clubs.



Perth Glory Women’s side will be looking for their first home win of the season when they entertain the unbeaten Melbourne City at the Ashfield Sports Complex on Saturday (4pm). The Glory, who won the opening game of the season on the road against Melbourne Victory, before drawing 0-0 against Newcastle Jets last week, will be looking to grab three points in front of their supporters. “It's definitely a massive challenge with the income of world class players they have already adding to their high quality squad (perfect timing hey) but one we are ready to meet head on,” Glory midfielder Ella Mastrantonio said. “Most games are won through the midfield so if we can get on top of them in the engine room and stop the supply to their forward players we will be in with a shout to get a result.”

The Glory welcome back Matildas trio Sam Ker, Caitlin Foord and Mackenzie Arnold, while Melbourne regain former Glory striker Lisa De Vanna, Steph Catley, Larissa Crummer and Laura Alleway. Mastrantonio said the return of the Glory trio is a massive boost. “It'll be great to have our Matilda's back to strengthen our squad again, but we also will be losing two players to injury at the same time, “she said. “But we have the players who can do a collective job on the weekend and hopefully get the 3 points.” City have started the season well winning their opening two games, including last weeks ‘Derby’ against Victory. Second half goals to former Glory midfielder Marianna Tabain and Aivi Luik proved to be the difference, as Joe Montemurro’s side turned in a dominant performance to win the first ever W-League Melbourne Derby.

Glory Coach Bobby Despotovski said City have recruited well and will be favorites going into the game but he has confidence in his side. “Everyone knows City is the team to beat in this competition. We’re going into the game with the mentality we can get a result because we’re playing at home” said Despotovski. “Everyone they have is a quality player. They have no weak links. They have a full squad of Matildas and young Matildas, but in saying that they travelled to China, going back to Melbourne and going on the flight to Perth to play, so anything can happen, as long as we put together a 100% performance, we’ll have a good chance to collect the three points.”



Former Perth Glory player Scott Jamieson will come up against his old team this weekend. Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe has no intention of underestimating last-placed Western Sydney Wanderers heading into Sunday’s away clash at Pirtek Stadium. A revived Glory are coming off consecutive wins – one to reach the FFA Cup final against Melbourne Victory and the second to open their A-League account.

The Wanderers are in bottom spot with just one point to show from three matches, having failed to gather early momentum coming off a similarly disappointing 2014-15 season where they finished second last. But Lowe said he was wary of the talent in Western Sydney’s squad after an off-season overhaul that included picking up former Glory duo Scott Jamieson and Mitch Nichols. “I’ve looked at all three games they’ve played and they probably should have got something out of all the games,” Lowe said.

“You can hear the noise emanating out of their club that they’re not perturbed. “I remember the Wanderers actually came into the league with a brand new side and I think they had a really slow start if anyone can remember that. Then all of a sudden after six games or so they just went boom. “Is it reminiscent of that? I don’t know. We’ll find out after 27 games. “But they’ve got some fantastic players and a super coach, so they’ll be in a good spot. “They’re massively (better than where they sit). You’ve just got to look at the players and the way they play. They’re a good team.”

Glory have climbed into seventh spot on the back of their 3-1 victory over Adelaide United at nib Stadium last Sunday. Lowe said the squad was pleased with how they were placed, with qualification for the FFA Cup final generating a buzz around the group. “It’s a win, which gives everyone a lift,” Lowe said. “There were some positives and obviously negatives in every single game you play. But we’re pleased.”



After taking all before them in the PS4 National Premier League WA last season, Bayswater City celebrated their season with the clubs presentation night at The Pan Pacific Hotel last weekend. A club is full of quality players, but it was no surprise when Todd Howarth came out on top to take out the “Fairest and Best Award’. He held of Declan Hargreaves to take out the award, while Colombian striker Gustavo Giron- Marulanda won the Players’ Player of the Year and the Golden Boot.

Howarth said he was thrilled to take out the award. “It is a huge honour to receive the award at such a great club. There's so many talented players in the team and it feels good to know I've been contributing along with everyone else to the team’s success,” he said. “2015 was a season the club can be proud of for many years to come. Going undefeated in the league and taking home our third championship in a row is a fantastic achievement. We had our opportunities in the FFA cup and the NPL finals series and unfortunately we didn't make the most of them. We must now plan for next year and work out how we can do it all again.”

Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne said the award went to the right player. “I’m very pleased for Todd to win the player of the season. He was outstanding for the team and some of his displays particularly early on in the season were guaranteed man of the match,” he said. “We all went in unsure of who was going to win it as it could have been one of many. Todd also polled very well in the Football West awards so it is a great testament to his professionalism as to why he has been such a respected player for so many years.”

Coyne said the player’s attitude this season was first class and he hopes it continues next season. “I would also like to congratulate the players on a fantastic season, to remain undefeated was a real achievement and they worked themselves into the ground in the process,” Coyne said. “We are still very hungry and will look to go one better next year and try and win the National NPL completion which will be our long term goal moving forward, but we are also mindful and respectful that that would also mean winning the NPL WA which will be very difficult again with everyone trying to catch us.”

In other awards on the big night Aaron Delaney won the under 20’s Fairest and Best, while Corey Barclay capped off a great season by taking out the runner’s up in the F&B, and also taking out eh Players’ Player and Golden Boot. In the under 18’s Giordano Colli won the Fairest and Best, with Callum Mellowship was the runner up. Simon Lopez picked up the Players’ Player of the year and the Golden Boot.



Sydney FC new recruit Brandon O’Neill is not well known to every A-League fan as yet, but if things continue in the same vein there is every reason to believe the former ECU Joondalup and Perth Glory defensive midfielder is on his way to becoming a household name in the Harbour City. Born in Perth, to parents from Ireland, O’Neill spent some of his time abroad before deciding to pursue a football career in the A-League. Coming through the ECU Academy, he signed with Glory in 2010, but when Sydney FC came calling the 21-year-old grabbed his chance with both hands.

He beat the more experienced Mickael Tavares to a starting spot and put in a Man of the Match performance in their opening 1-1 draw against Melbourne City last weekend, before laying on the goal for Milos Ninkovic to win the ‘Sydney Derby’ last week. O’Neill suggested if the Sky Blues could find a way to victory while in second gear, their best efforts would outdo anyone. "We've got so much room for improvement, it's incredible," he said. "We know deep down that we can play a lot better than what we did last week. You look at our team, and we've only played three games together as a team this season... if we can string results together and improve in performance the sky is the limit for us."

The midfielder, who was helping coach at the ECU Academy last season said it had been a long hard road to success for him. “I probably realised when I made the Western Australian State Under-14 team to compete in the Nationals at Coffs Harbour. I knew then it was hard to make a state team let alone play in the actual team, so when I was selected and played every game over there,” he said. “I remember saying to myself that this is all I wanted to do with my life, which is a big thing to realise at 14 years of age when your friends are getting jobs at fast food restaurants and retail outlets. But football was the only job I ever wanted to do.”

A good upbringing from his family was crucial in his goal to become a footballer, and he said they are still the biggest influence on his football, until Graham Arnold came on the scene. “My family probably played the biggest role of all in helping me realise my professional dream – if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be where I am today. They sacrificed a lot for me growing up, especially when I was making my way through the grades at school, and I can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for me,” O’Neill said. “Arnie is well regarded not only by me but all the players he has coached. He has a way to get the best out of you and makes you go into games feeling confident. I couldn’t speak more highly of him. He’s made me feel so welcome and he’s taken my game to a new level and I love working with him. He’s a laid back character and always smiling. Sure, on the sidelines he’s very competitive, as we all are, and only expects the best, and it’s great for the team.”

The decision to leave Perth Glory was a huge one for O’Neill, but he wasn’t getting the opportunity and when Sydney called he knew what the best decision for his career was. “Glory will always hold a special place in my heart given that I’ve come from Perth – I’ve grown up supporting them. But when the biggest club in the country is knocking on your door, you can’t possibly turn them down,” he said. “The biggest thing I’ve noticed is the professionalism of both clubs, in particular Sydney FC. At Sydney everything is done as a team. From fitness to training and nutrition, everything is well prepared and the environment here allows you to thrive. I wake up with a smile on my face every day.”



When Perth Glory beat Melbourne City to progress to their second consecutive FFA Cup Final, talk immediately turned to the hosting rights. After missing out last year, Western Australian football fans were naturally excited at the possibility of being able to witness the team attempt to lift their first trophy since the 2004 NSL Grand Final. Their hopes were short lived though, as days later the FFA announced Perth would only host the final if state-league outfit Hume City were able to slay Goliath, otherwise known as reigning A-League champions, Melbourne Victory.

The Glory and their fans were incensed last year when the FFA awarded Adelaide with the final. There was no hint it would come and no opportunity to discuss it. The governing body cited Perth’s time difference as the main detractor; sitting three hours behind the rest of the country would have meant the game would not be played until night time in the Eastern states. Given last year’s showpiece event took place on a Wednesday, a night time kick-off would have left the FFA waving goodbye to a sizable portion of their potential viewers.

In truth, last year was never a viable option for Perth to host – but what about this time around? The FFA wisely moved the final to a Saturday, allowing for a bigger TV audience and to avoid completely disregarding one team when considering the host. Getting to one is tough – making back-to-back finals is an achievement in itself. So should the FFA have given the game to the West this year? As compensation for the previous final and as a reward for making the final two years running, it certainly would have made sense and there are few who could have begrudged the Glory for hosting.

There is also a fair argument that Perth had a tougher route to the final. After accounting for the Newcastle Jets on penalties, they beat Queensland’s Lions FC in extra time, before toppling the Western Sydney Wanderers in another shootout and overcoming Melbourne City 3-1. That is three A-League teams defeated, with just one state outfit played. Compare this to Melbourne Victory, who only played one A-League side (Adelaide United) on their way to the final. Muscat’s men rolled Balmain 6-0, survived a scare from Rockdale City Suns and beat Hume City 3-0 in the Semi-final at AAMI Park. To say the Victory had an easy run to the final would be wrong, however, it is hard to argue they had a tougher one than the Glory. It is not unreasonable to suggest Perth should have earned the right to host the final on this basis.

Of course, the Melbourne outfit has their own arguments, equally as strong. The biggest is the guarantee of larger crowds. The Victory have arguably the best fans in the country, they constantly fill both AAMI Park and Etihad Stadium to its rafters and the atmosphere at any game is electric. Despite just over 6, 000 fans turning up midweek, once can almost guarantee that they will fill AAMI Park for a Cup Final. That is the thing, perhaps the most important aspect in the FFA’s decision – there is no guarantee Perth will pack nib Stadium. Years of indifferent performances on-and-off the field have turned droves away. Although the FFA Cup may have won back some fans, the salary cap saga still looms large over the club and for many was the least straw. Last year, the Glory averaged just over 9, 500 in a successful year for the club, the Victory, on the other hand, averaged over 27, 000.

A Melbourne final will also bring money and playing on a Saturday night in Melbourne guarantees a prime time audience. Not only will the majority of Victoria’s vast football population watch, a seven o’clock kick-off also means it will be a perfect time slot for the rest of Australia. The difference between Perth and the East means that the final would be at a later spot for the bulk of Australia and ratings would have suffered, but playing the final in Eastern Standard Time means the whole of the country (Perth included) will be able to tune in at a reasonable time. It is likely ratings will be higher for the Melbourne final than a Perth final, as it gives casual fans more of a chance to watch the game and with high ratings comes more revenue from advertisers, who will provide a boost to the FFA’s bank account. The FFA are a business foremost and want to make use of the most profitable option available.

Is it slightly unfair the Glory will not host the final? Of course. At the end of the day, while they have done a terrific job in reaching the last hurdle two years running, there is no 100% guarantee they will fill their home stadium. The Victory will definitely sell out AAMI Park and Melbourne allows for a wider television audience. Regardless of who prevails on Saturday the 7th of November, one can hope that Perth enjoys another cup run next year and makes the final once more. Because the fans who have stuck with them this far deserve to witness their team fighting for silverware.



Perth Glory defender Josh Risdon didn’t expect to achieve his goal of being picked for Socceroos duties so early in the season after being named as a bolter for next month’s World Cup qualifiers. The 23-year old from Bunbury was one of three inclusions in a 23-player squad named this morning, alongside captain Mile Jedinak and goalkeeper Mat Ryan, for games against Kyrgyzstan (12 November) and Bangladesh (17 November).

It is the first time Risdon has been selected for a final Australian squad. The defender was named by Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou in a provisional 46-man squad for this year’s Asian Cup, but didn’t make the final cut. “I set some personal goals this year to obviously play for the Socceroos,” Risdon said. “I didn’t think it’d come this early. The first few (A-League) games for me have been good, but I think I can do a lot better. So I’m very excited and hopefully my chance comes.”

Risdon revealed the Socceroos team manager had called him on Friday to break the news. “I was a bit shocked when I heard the news,” Risdon said. “I just can’t wait to get into camp. I play this weekend against Western Sydney and then the (FFA Cup) final. Whether it’s in Perth or Melbourne, I’m not sure yet. We’re going into camp after that ... it’s massive. Coming from Bunbury it’s a lot harder from the country. It’s a great achievement … I think my family’s very proud as well. They’re over the moon, so I’m just very happy.”



Goalkeeper Brad Jones has left Bradford City after having his contract cancelled by mutual consent. The 33-year-old shot-stopper joined Bradford on a one-year deal in August but made just three appearances for the League One side, conceding two goals on each occasion. “We would like to place on record our thanks for Brad's time and effort whilst here,” Bradford’s chief operating officer James Mason said.



The Socceroos have received a timely boost with captain Mile Jedinak and goalkeeper Mat Ryan declared fit for Australia's upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Neither have been able to play for their country since the opening game of qualifying in June and their return gives coach Ange Postecoglou added firepower for the games against Kyrgyzstan, in Canberra on 12th November, and Bangladesh, in Dhaka on 17th November. West Australian pair Trent Sainsbury and Josh Risdon have also been named in Postecoglou’s 23-player squad.

Australia’s squad for the two games is Nathan Burns (Tokyo), Tim Cahill (Shanghai Shenhua), Alex Cisak (Leyton Orient), Jason Davidson (Huddersfield Town), Adam Federici (Bournemouth), Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace), Tomi Juric (Roda Kerkrade), Mathew Leckie (FC Ingolstadt), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers), Ryan McGowan (Dundee United), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar), James Meredith (Bradford City), Mark Milligan (Baniyas), Aaron Mooy (Melbourne City), Tommy Oar (Ipswich), Josh Risdon (Perth Glory), Tom Rogic (Celtic), Mat Ryan (Valencia), Trent Sainsbury (PEC Zwolle), Matt Spiranovic (Hangzhou Greentown), James Troisi (Al Ittihad), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai) and Bailey Wright (Preston North End).



Grenada defender David Cyrus is raring to go after agreeing terms with Inglewood United for the winter of 2016. Cyrus, who has 16 international caps for his nation, adds depth and experience to the squad as coach Michael Garcia reinforces his defensive options in preparation for the coming season.

The 26-year old left-sided defender is relishing his latest challenge in the National Premier Leagues, following spells with Perth SC and Balcatta. “I’m really looking forward to pulling on an Inglewood United shirt,” Cyrus said. “It’s a new season, a new environment, a new club … I can't wait to get my head down and get stuck in.”

Cyrus has been impressed with what he’s already seen of Inglewood, the defender saying the clubs’ ambition matches his own. “After meeting with the coaching and managerial staff, I knew that the club and I were on the same page,” he said. “Inglewood have big ambitions and it’s great to be a part of it.”

“Michael (Garcia) made it clear that he believed in my ability and that made my mind up to sign for Inglewood. I didn’t know much about Michael as a coach prior to signing but having met him and heard where he wants to take the club, I’m looking forward to playing under him and the coaching staff.”

Born in Huddersfield, England, Cyrus started his senior career at the age of 15 with Emley AFC. Spells with Bradford Park Avenue and Ossett Town brought him to the attention of Grenada, the birthplace of his father and for whom he debuted at the 2010 Caribbean Cup against Martinique.

The following year Cyrus joined Frickley Athletic where he featured regularly across two seasons and was a member of Grenada’s squad for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers. Upon moving to Western Australia he played for Fremantle Spirit before moving into the NPL with Balcatta and Perth, playing last season with the latter.

For his first season at Inglewood Cyrus is setting some modest goals. “I’m hoping to achieve at least a top four finish, with a good defensive record,” he said. “It would be nice to become the team to fear in 2016.” Cyrus will meet his new teammates when they assemble for pre-season training early in December.



It was a disappointing end to the 2015 season for Cockburn City, but the shining light out of it was the emergence of defender Jonathan Corness, and he was worthy winner of the clubs Fairest and Best Award. The 20-year-old joined the club from Ashfield at the start of the season, and was an ever present in the side.

The runner-up in the award was Conor Kavanagh, while Rory Patterson won the Players’ Player of the Year as well as the ‘Golden Boot’ for top goalscorer. Corness said he was delighted to be named the player of the year. “Taking out the player of the year award was fantastic, considering I was playing Division One Reserves last year,” he said. “I never would have thought my first year in the NPL would be this successful, but a lot of credit has to go the squad. We have a great bunch of lads at Cockburn who made it easy to grow into the team.”

Cockburn City skipper Euen Grant missed most of the season due to injury, but he said Corness was a worthy winner. “When Jonny first arrived he was very shy I don't think I heard him talk for the first few weeks,” he joked. “He stood out in training from the first week but and as the year went on he came out his shell and he thoroughly deserved the award.” The Scottish defender said his injury is on the mend. “I’ve been doing quite a bit rehab feels good still get the odd twinge but so still a bit of work to do,” Grant said. League

In other awards on the evening Daniel Bryant won the under 20’s Fairest and Best, with Brandon De Abreu the runner up. Daniel Santich won the Players’ Player of the Year, with Rory McGrath winning the top goalscorer. In the under 18’s Jacob Young was voted as the Fairest and Best, with David Dos Santos the runner up. Michael De Bellis won the Players’ Player of the Year, and he was also joint top goalscorer along with Ryan Pratt. The President’s Award was won jointly by Jesse Lazzaro and John Loreto.



Guyon Fernandez says he is still adjusting to the A-League after voicing his relief at scoring his first goal for Perth Glory. The 29-year old striker got off the mark on Sunday, sweeping captain Richard Garcia’s cross into the top left-hand corner for Glory’s second in their 3-1 win over Adelaide United. The goal came in the Dutchman’s fifth outings for the club, after two appearances in both the A-League and the FFA Cup.

Fernandez had appeared to be struggling to meet the pace of the competition before Sunday, having arrived in Perth just a month before the start of the A-League season. “I came here to try and score as (many) goals as possible,” Fernandez said. “It was a nice feeling. It [the A-League] is very different to Dutch football ... there’s no rest moments. It’s just go, go, go.”

“It’s a new feeling,” he continued. “I’d like to try and get settled in more. I’m getting there and I’ll try and get used to the game. I’m making steps to getting there and it’s getting better every time we play.” Glory hit the road to play Western Sydney Wanderers this weekend before an FFA Cup final on Saturday week against Melbourne Victory or Victorian National Premier Leagues side Hume City.



The Matildas will return from China winless from their two-match tour after being defeated by England 1-0 in Chonqqing. A lone second half strike from Isobel Christiansen settled the contest, with the Matildas unable to breach England’s net despite long periods of dominance.

Sam Kerr had a couple of early chances for Australia while Emily van Egmond will feel she should’ve done better than head over the crossbar when found 5-metres out. England was not without their own chances with Eniola Aluko firing a shot into the frame of the goal before the break.

England opened the scoring shortly after the interval when Christiansen produced a neat finish after being played into the box by teammate Lucy Bronze. Kyah Simon, Tameka Butt and Alanna Kennedy were all second half substitutes as Australia tried to find an equaliser but the scoreline finished 1-0 to England.



Perth Glory will not host next month’s FFA Cup final unless expected opponents Melbourne Victory are beaten in a major boilover tomorrow night. The West Australian club has been told the tournament decider on 7th November will be played at AAMI Park in Melbourne if Victory beat Victorian team Hume City in their semi-final.

FFA have informed Perth officials that disappointing attendances at Perth Oval over the past week have counted against the bid for hosting rights. Only 7,728 supporters went to Glory’s 3-1 win over Adelaide United on Sunday despite a plea for a show of support to further the bid. Last Wednesday night’s 3-1 victory over Melbourne City that booked Glory’s place in the FFA Cup final also drew a modest crowd of 4,165.

Glory chairman Tony Sage reiterated the club’s push for next year’s final to feature both home and away legs. “At the moment the FFA Cup final is about revenue for the FFA, it’s not about fairness,” Sage said. “The way I’ve suggested, which is backed up by six of the other club owners, is to have the FFA Cup final over two legs — one in each State.”



New Perth Glory Dutch striker Guyon Fernandez says he is still adjusting to the A-League after his move from the Dutch Eredivisie, this after voicing his relief at scoring his first goal for the club against Adelaide United last weekend. The 29-year-old striker got off the mark, sweeping Captain Richard Garcia’s cross into the top left-hand corner for Glory’s second in their 3-1 win

Fernandez had appeared to be struggling to meet the pace of the competition before Sunday, having arrived in WA just a month before the start of the A-League season, but he said he is ready to help the club to success. “I came here to try and score as (many) goals as possible,” Fernandez said. “It was a nice feeling. The A-League is very different to Dutch football ... there’s no rest moments. It’s just go, go, go. I’m getting there and I’ll try and get used to the game. I’m making steps to getting there and it’s getting better every time we play.”

Glory hit the road to play Western Sydney Wanderers at Pirtek Stadium this Sunday, before the FFA Cup final on Saturday week against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park. Fernandez said it was disappointing that Glory will probably have been overlooked to host the tournament decider for the second year in succession. “If you play at home of course more fans will be there trying to support you, but we respect the decision,” Fernandez said.



Perth Glory have applied for Irish striker Andy Keogh to rejoin the club in January as a guest player. Keogh was the clubs leading scorer last season with 12 goals but left in July to play in Thailand in the fall-out from the club’s salary cap scandal. Glory have already filled their quota of having a maximum five foreign players but hope 29-year old Keogh is deemed eligible to return under the A-League’s guest player rule, which allows each club allowed one guest player who can make up to 14 appearances.



Coach Kenny Lowe expects Perth Glory to only get better after registering their first win of the A-League season. Despite playing their third game in eight days, Glory overcame a high-possession game from Adelaide United to post to a 3-1 win yesterday after falling short in the opening two rounds. Imports Guyon Fernandez and Diego Castro both found the back of the net in the convincing win and Lowe expected the pair’s confidence to grow even further once they developed stronger rapport with their new teammates.

“You saw some of the touches from Castro again today, they were sublime,” Lowe said. “You can see Guyon is getting a bit fitter and a bit more lively. He’s starting to chase his own flick-ons. I think there’s a lot left in the team as well. They’re all fairly new to each other and there’s a lot of work to be done, but I think there’s a lot of potential left in the team. Hopefully it’s onwards and upwards.”

Lowe revealed he made a rare appearance in Glory’s change rooms after the win – the club’s second in five days following last Wednesday’s FFA Cup semi-final victory over Melbourne City – and the mood inside was “very buoyant”. “If you had written it down actually what you wanted to achieve out of today’s game – give people a rest, hit the on the counter, etc – you couldn’t have written it any better,” Lowe said.

“We’ve come out with no injuries, we’ve won the game, the foreign boys have scored and played really well, and the game plan worked a treat. Everyone’s pleased in the change rooms. I don’t normally go in after the game, but they’re buzzing a bit in there – and rightly so. They’re through to a Cup final, they’re off the mark (in the A-League) and everyone is buoyed.”

Lowe denied Adelaide’s high-possession game style posed a threat to his weary team, pointing out the Reds only had one genuine shot on goal during the 90 minutes despite having 69% of total possession. “They’re a super team, they play some great football and they ask some real questions of you,” Lowe said. “After the three games in seven days, you give our guys some credit for working their socks off and limiting them to what opportunities they had.”



The Matildas have been held to a 1-1 draw against China in the first game of their short tour. Midfielder Tameka Butt honoured her 50th international appearance by putting Australia ahead early before they were pegged back by Li Dongna’s strike just before the break.

It was a bright start by the Matildas, who were rewarded with a goal on 12 minutes. Michelle Heyman did well down the right, getting to the by-line before cutting it back to an on-rushing Butt to slot it home from close-range. Australia continued to dominate without being able to increase their advantage.

China drew level four minutes before half-time with Li Dongna applying a smart finish. Coach Alen Stajcic made a host of changes as the second half went on, including handing Tara Andrews her international debut. The Matildas next take on England as they ramp-up preparations for the Olympic Games qualifiers in February.



Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe expects his team to only get better after securing their first win of the A-League season, after a 3-1 win against Adelaide United. Despite playing their third game in eight days, Lowe’s side overcame a Reds side, which had plenty of possession, but failed to convert that into goals. Lowe swapped his chargers around starting Guyon Fernandez and Diego Castro on the bench, both coming on in the second half and finding the back of the net in the convincing win.

Lowe expects the pair’s confidence to grow even further once they developed stronger rapport with their new teammates. “You saw some of the touches from Castro again today, they were sublime,” Lowe said. “You can see Guyon is getting a bit fitter and a bit livelier. I think there’s a lot left in the team as well. They’re all fairly new to each other and there’s a lot of work to be done, but I think there’s a lot of potential left in the team. Hopefully it’s onwards and upwards.”

The Coach revealed he made a rare appearance in Glory’s change rooms after the win, and the mood inside was “very buoyant”. “If you had written it down actually what you wanted to achieve out of today’s game – give people a rest, hit the on the counter, etc – you couldn’t have written it any better,” Lowe explained. “We’ve come out with no injuries, we’ve won the game, the foreign boys have scored and played really well, and the game plan worked a treat. Everyone’s pleased in the change rooms. I don’t normally go in after the game, but they’re buzzing a bit in there – and rightly so everyone is buoyed.”

Many thought the Adelaide’s high-possession game style posed a threat to a weary Glory side, after three games in seven days, but Lowe pointing out the Reds only had one genuine shot on goal during the 90 minutes despite having 69% of total possession. “They’re a super team, they play some great football and they ask some real questions of you,” Lowe said. “After the three games in seven days, you give our guys some credit for working their socks off and limiting them to what opportunities they had.”



Perth Glory kick started their A-League season thanks to a 3-1 victory over Adelaide United at nib Stadium on Sunday. After withstanding an Adelaide siege early in the game Brazilian winger, and make shift striker on the day, Sidnei Sciola put the Glory ahead just before half time. After the break substitutes Guyon Fernandez and Diego Castro scored their first goals for the club, while a late Diogo Ferreira own goal was the only consolation for the visitors. Kenny Lowe was delighted for his two imports, after criticism in the week. “You saw some of the touches from Castro again today, they were sublime,” Lowe said. “You can see Guyon is getting a bit fitter and a bit livelier. I think there’s a lot left in the team as well. They’re all fairly new to each other and there’s a lot of work to be done, but I think there’s a lot of potential left in the team. Hopefully it’s onwards and upwards.”

Playing the third game in seven days the Glory were chasing shadows early with Adelaide playing the ball around well , but they didn’t really create any clear cut chances. The best came on the half hour; Mate Dugandzic made space down the right and picked out Sergio Cirio, but the Spaniard’s goal bound shot was well blocked by Marc Warren, the defender starting his A-League game for the club.

The Glory began to get into the game with Richard Garcia and Sciola in the thick of the action and on the stroke of half time they stole the lead. Hungarian midfielder Gyorgy Sandor played a slide rule pass into the path of Sciola, who raced clear of the Adelaide offside trap, and finished clinically past John Hall, and headed off to Samba with the band behind the goal.

Adelaide continued to have the bulk of possession after the break and Osama Malik headed wide when well placed, before Craig Goodwin raced clear of Josh Risdon but his shot drifted the wrong side of the post. The Glory were hitting on the counter attack and Fernandez and Sciola were looking dangerous, and on the hour the Dutch striker showed his class, with his first goal for the club. A poor pass was jumped on by Garcia and he made ground down the left before crossing into the box and Fernandez fired home superbly.

The visitors pressed looking to get back into the game, and went close on 70 minutes, Pablo Sanchez looked certain to score, but Michael Thwaite got in a crucial block to deny him. But the Glory showed them how to do it and made it 3-0 three minutes later. Skipper Garcia was in the thick of the action again, he was picked out by Castro and raced down the left and his low cross was put on a plate for Castro, who had continued his run, and he buried his shot from the 10-yards.

Adelaide pulled one back two minutes later, the unfortunate Ferreira, who had a great game, turned Sergio Cirio’s cross into his own net. The Glory still hadn’t finished and should have added a fourth late on. Fernandez raced clear on the right and pulled the ball back to Castro, but the ball was behind the Spanish midfielder, who still had time to get his shot away, but it flashed inches wide of the post.



Perth Gory is proud to announce it has captured the signature of Western Australian rising star Jamal Reiners on a two-year youth contract. The 17-year old striker, is a product of the National Training Centre, has featured in Australia’s Under-16 and Under-17 tours and tournaments of Italy and Hong Kong. Last year he was based at Football Federation of Australia’s Centre of Excellence in Canberra.

After living interstate for the past 18 months, Reiners has spent the past two weeks training with Glory and has secured a contract with the clubs’ National Youth League team. “He’s young, he’s a forward, and he’s aggressive and quick” said Glory’s head coach Kenny Lowe. “He’s got the pedigree, and I’m sure he’ll be a weapon for Gibbo (NYL coach John Gibson) and if he shows promise, who knows from there" Lowe added.



Sydney FC already look down on their A-League rivals but in-form midfielder Brandon O'Neill has warned the competition the Sky Blues are just warming up. Graham Arnold's side found a late winner in the Sydney derby that put them on top of the league after three rounds. 21-year old O'Neill put a positive spin on the tough win, saying if Sydney could find a way to win while in second gear, their best efforts would outdo anyone.

"We've got so much room for improvement, it's incredible," he said. "We know deep down that we can play a lot better than what we did last night. "You look at our team, and we've only played three games together as a team this season ... if we can string results together and improve in performance the sky is the limit for us." O'Neill has begun the season in sensational form and provided the pass for Milos Ninkovic’s match winner.



Perth Glory and Newcastle Jets have fought out a 0-0 draw in their round two Westfield W-League clash at Ashfield Sports Club on Saturday afternoon. The visitors had the better chances, but debutant keeper Gabby Dal Busco produced a number of fine saves to keep the Jets at bay.

Glory Coach Bobby Despotovski said the result was the right result, but he said they missed their Matildas’ strike force of Sam Kerr and Caitlin Foord. “To be fair a draw was the right result, but we lacked a little bit of quality in the final third, but we were missing Sam and Caitlin and McKenzie Arnold,” he said. “But saying that I thought Gabby did a fantastic job in goal, and the players who came in did a good job and I couldn’t fault them, but we couldn’t find the power up front.”

A plus for the Glory was the performance of new American import Nicole Stanton, who was outstanding on her debut for the club, and the coach said see if a good acquisition. “Nicky is a quality player, a good athlete and is quick,” Despotovski said. “See will be an important player for the Glory going forward.”

It was the Jets’ first game of the season, after having the bye last week, and they opened the brighter and Dal Busco was alert to save from Cassidy Davis long-range shot. The home side’s best chance came on 25 minutes. Stanton sent Carla Bennett down the right, her deep cross was nearly turned into her own net by Sophie Nenadovic, but Jets keeper Hannah Southwell spared her blushes.

It was the Jets who looked the more dangerous, with Caprice Dydasco impressing in the middle of the park, while Megan Oyster was solid at the back. Just before the break Dal Busco was out bravely to save at the feet of Claire Wheeler, before the Glory custodian got down well to deny Jenna Kingsley in stoppage time.

The Glory lifted after the break and Ella Mastrantonio tried her luck from long-range, but her chip drifted over the top with Southwell stranded off her line. Moments later Kathryn Schubert shot was well saved by Southwell. The Jets still looked dangerous going forward, and Dal Busco saved low from Chloe Logarzo shot on the hour, before the Glory keeper denied substitute Adriana Jones.

Jets keeper then produced a good one handed save to thwart Schubert’s volley on 76 minutes, but it was the Jets who looked more likely to score the winner and their best chance came on 86 minutes. Cassidy Davis played in Logarzo, but Dal Busco saved low to earn her side a share of the spoils.

The Glory will now turn their attention to next Saturday’s big game against W-League newcomers Melbourne City at Ashfield Sports Park next Saturday, while the Jets are on the road again, when they take on Melbourne Victory, also on Saturday at Broadmeadows Valley.



When you’ve just been cast four points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership, a visit to Celtic isn’t what most teams would pick for their next outing. But Dundee United striker Adam Taggart isn’t dreading Sunday’s trip to Parkhead, he’s relishing it. Treacherous as the Tangerines’ league position is right now, he believes this is an opportunity for them to show the work being put in under new boss Mixu Paatelainen is already paying off.

And, having made his way to Europe, the 22-year old is determined to enjoy the big stage. “I’ve never been to Parkhead before. I’m really looking forward to it. It has to be a fantastic place to play and it will be a great experience,” he said. “This is what football is about. It’s what you work for and you want to be in these big occasions. As an individual, these games are good opportunities to show what you can do and, as a team, you want to do the same.”

Accordingly, Taggart believes this would be the perfect time and place for him to get his first goal since joining up on loan from Fulham at the end of August. “It’s what I came here to do and it’s what I’m still planning on doing,” he said. “Being a striker, it is good to have someone like the gaffer who’s been a striker. To have someone like that coaching each day, they have a striker’s state of mind and it’s going to help with our goalscoring plans.”

That said, Taggart admits much of the work done so far has been on rectifying a goals against column that shows an average of two goals a game are being lost. “A lot of last week was working on our defensive shape and how we want to start games. That’s normally the first thing new managers do,” he said. “This week it’s gone a little bit more to the offensive play and how he wants us to attack and, so far, it’s looking really good. But we know going to a place like Celtic we have to be organised defensively, and we are.”

He sees the organisation the manager is putting in place as key to United escaping the current predicament. “He is very specific about what he expects and what each individual must do in their position, and that’s going to help us get out of this,” Taggart commented. “Especially at this time when we need to turn things round, it’s good to have a manager who knows the league very well, the club very well.”

Taggart does realise taking points on Sunday will be a big ask. “Celtic being in Europe (in mid-week) is out of our control. People can look at it as an advantage but I think for us we have to look at it as if they’d had five days to prepare like we have,” he said. “We’ve got to be prepared for everything and that’s what we are doing. Our preparations will be as best as we can do. If we can follow the tactics and roles everyone has, we can go out and really give them a run.”



Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe is juggling long-term ambitions with short-term needs entering Sunday's fixture with Adelaide United. Lowe admits he'll need to make some changes for the home match, with several Glory players sore after their mid-week FFA Cup semi-final triumph against Melbourne City.

But despite a pressing need for a first win of the A-League season, Lowe is also keeping an eye on the bigger picture. "We just have got to make sure that we don't lose people because we haven't been smart," he said. "We have got some sore bodies. We just have to address that closer to the game and see how everybody is, but we will probably have to make some changes."

Chief among the concerns is brilliant winger Diego Castro, who was substituted 73 minutes into the Cup tie with a calf complaint. "Castro was great, he's got licence, he's got freedom and you can see that he's an exciting player - even if he just has a couple of touches, they are quality," Lowe said.

" ... The great thing about him, he's got a wonderful work ethic. He wants to roll his sleeves up and have a go and be part of everything that we're trying to do. For someone who has been such a high-profile player, to be so humble and such a team player, it's a joy." Glory and Adelaide both enter the encounter tomorrow’s without a league win this season.



Perth Glory will be looking to bounce back from the opening two A-League defeats when they entertain Adelaide United at nib Stadium on Sunday afternoon (4pm) Glory remains the only team without a point to its credit after the opening two rounds of the season, but Lowe is far from concerned, especially after the good FFA Cup Semi-Final win against Melbourne City on Wednesday.

The Coach will again persist with striker Guyon Fernandez, who has found it difficult to fit in, and Diego Castro, who showed glimpses of his skill in the win against Melbourne City on Wednesday, he is adamant they will be a good signings for the club. “We had some joy, (they) created some opportunities,” Lowe said. “(Fernandez) hasn’t had much game time, the same as Diego. “Diego plays behind, he doesn’t play up front so he’s free to roam. He looked lively, popping up in the box, creating chances. He’ll get better.”

The Glory welcome back Nebojsa Marinkovic and skipper Richard Garcia from the side that lost to Wellington Phoenix last weekend, while youngster Stefan Valentini has been added to the squad. Diogo Ferreira and Mark Warren will be pushing for a starting role, after both impressing in the cup win. Adelaide welcome back Bruce Djite from injury, and have promoted Mark Ochieng and Antoni Trimboli from the side that drew 1-1 with Western Sydney Wanderers last week. They will be without Eli Babalj who has injured his foot, and will still be without skipper Eugene Galekovic and Lacopo La Rocca.

With the Glory playing on Wednesday in the FFA Cup Adelaide winger Craig Goodwin sees that as a definite advantage for Guillermo Amor’s Reds as they chase a first win of the season. “They’ll [Glory] be a lot more tired and it can definitely be one of those games where it might not be won in the first half,” Goodwin said. “They might feel okay for the first half but there’s going to be a point where they are going to get tired. It’s going to be a game where hopefully we can run over the top of them in the last half an hour.”



Perth Glory Women’s side will be looking to build on last week’s 2-1 win on the road against Melbourne Victory, when they host Newcastle Jets in Week Two of the Westfield W-League at Ashfield Reserve on Saturday afternoon. (4pm) Goals from Caitlin Foord and Sam Kerr earned Bobby Despotovski’s side the points last week, but the coach will have to do without them and keeper Mackenzie Arnold this week, all three have been called up to the Matildas’ squad for the tour of China.

The Coach said last week was a perfect start to the league campaign and he is was happy with the girls endeavor. “It was a very good win against a good Victory side,” Despotovski said. “We played well in patches, but the girls dug deep to come from one down and win, and it’s always nice to take three points in your first game away from home, and is a confidence boost for the team. The girls coped really well with everything they throw at us.”

It was a long trip, and it wasn’t ideal that they arrived just before midnight on Friday night, and then travelling back top Perth 90 minutes after the game, but Despotovski said that’s part of the game. “It wasn’t ideal but that’s part of being part of a National competition,” he said. “We have a few girls who are still sore after last week but we want us it as an excuse, all teams has to travel.”

The Glory are hoping for a big crowd will be on hand on Saturday, with all Glory A-League members getting free entry to the W-League games, and Despotovski said it will be a tough test against the Jets’ who had the bye last week. “It’s going to be a hard game, especially after our tough encounter last week and them having the bye,” he said. “They (Newcastle) are always well organised and very well prepared, so we will need to be at our best to get a positive result. We will be without our Matildas players but this opens the door for other players to show Collette McCullum and me what they can do and bring to the team. We will be doing our best to win the first home game of the season, and hope there is a big crowd on hand to watch us.”



It’s been another highly competitive PS4 National Premier League WA season, and the game in the state continues to grow. This week we caught up with NPLWA Manager Chris Beech and he was delighted with the successful season for the game in the west. “NPL clubs have continued to raise the bar, on and off the field and I think we are heading in the right direction,” he said. “We have two seasons under our belt and we have created a great platform on which we can continue to build.”

Bayswater City showed their quality by taking out the title and performing admirably in the National NPL competition and Beech said all the WA sides impressed on the National scene. “They (Bayswater) did have an outstanding season on the park. Their qualification for the NPL Grand Final showed a lot of people the quality of players we have in WA, and also showed the rest of Australia we can compete on the national stage against other state’s NPL sides,” he explained. “Also with Sorrento competing admirably against Hyundai A-League giants Sydney FC in the FFA Cup, and Perth SC going down against Rockdale City Suns from NSW, I think it only goes to show WA football is well placed for future seasons.”

The success of the Frank Drago Reserve club made it hard for Beech and his staff, and they did an outstanding job organising a Semi-Final and Grand Final of the National NPL at short notice. “I think many people see Football West as an organisation that has an abundance of staff and resources. The fact remains we are not for profit organisation that is relatively small and dealing with the requirements of more than 42,000 players,” he explained. “I’m the only person in the organisation dedicated full time to the NPLWA, although when we have big events, we all work together, which has helped foster a very good team spirit within the organisation. The crew we have at Football West are a fantastic bunch of people, who genuinely care about the game in WA, and ensuring it continues to grow.”

The media involved with the NPL coverage has again stepped up this season and the work of Jonathan Cook and Lyndsey Valentine, the reporters and camera operators were all fabulous. “The great thing about the Football West media team is that it involves people who are close to the game. Without the weekly contributions of match reports, camera operators and the club media coordinators the NPLWA couldn’t possibly have the reach it has,” he said. “It’s been particularly pleasing to see the NPLWA Highlights Show has had a 7% growth in views this season and the NPLWA website has had an increase of 59% in total page views. These are some great trends that we will be looking to continue in coming seasons.”

When asked about the highlight of the season, he said there were a number of them but three stood out. “It’s hard to pick highlights from the season that has offered so many, but a few comes to mind,” Beech said. “Pulling everything together in time to see Sorrento take on Sydney FC at nib Stadium on a perfect Perth night was up there. “Also watching the WA State Team taking on Perth Glory in the ‘Call to Arms Cup’ under the new lights at Dorrien Gardens and seeing Bayswater City host the NPL Grand Final and almost taking out the national title, were special nights.”

The season may have ended put Beech is already looking ahead to next season to continue improving the league. “We are always looking at ways to improve the competition and areas in which we can be better. I’m currently drafting the annual season review document for clubs to complete in order to take feedback on board,” he said. “With the expansion of the NPL junior competition in 2016, I think it’s an exciting time to be involved in NPL football in WA. Seven new junior clubs, 600 junior players and 35 coaches will benefit from the NPL in 2016, being based in areas of Perth that have had a great population increases in recent years. With the plan to include a NPL Women’s division in the coming seasons, there is plenty to do and plenty to ensure we get right.”



Perth Glory defender Dino Djulbic says opposition sides are “scared” of his team's set-piece quality after last night’s 3-1 FFA Cup win over Melbourne City sealed their place in the final. Gyorgy Sandor opened the scoring via a corner and troubled City all night from dead-ball situations. Glory could easily have had another couple of goals from a number of corners and free-kicks around the box.

With a final against either Melbourne Victory or Hume City to come, Djulbic knows it’s a big weapon for his side. “We speak about it every day and it’s a big part for us,” Djulbic said when asked about their set-piece ability. “I think last year we scored twelve goals (from set pieces) and this year we have two or three already in three games. This is a big part of our game and I think other teams are scared.”

Djulbic admitted last year’s final loss to Adelaide United still stings but feels the squad deserve their shot at redemption. “Being the only team to make the final twice is unbelievable,” he said. “These boys put the effort in at training and work hard and for me it’s a very personal thing. This time hopefully we can win the trophy and bring it back to Perth.”



Defender Josh Risdon is relishing a second consecutive FFA Cup final appearance after Perth Glory dispatched Melbourne City 3-1 in last night’s semi-final at Perth Oval. Glory took a 2-1 lead to half-time thanks to goals from Gyorgy Sandor and a Ben Garuccio own goal, which came either side of Matt Millar’s header for City.

The visitors tried hard to get back into the contest after the break but it was in vain as Chris Harold added a third for Glory to ice the result. “It was great to get the result tonight and I think the boys deserved it,” Risdon told Fox Sports post-match. “We’re back in another final and hopefully we can go one step further.”

After losses in the opening two rounds of the A-League, Glory’s Cup form might just spark a renaissance for Kenny Lowe’s men in the league. “Our first two games of the A-League haven’t been too good,” Risdon said. “We wanted to stamp our (authority) in this Cup (and) we’ve done that tonight, we’re into the final.”



Perth Glory have a chance at redemption for losing last year's FFA Cup final after advancing to the 2015 decider following a 3-1 win over Melbourne City in the semi-final at Perth Oval. Glory's Gyorgy Sandor opened the scoring before City levelled courtesy of debutant Matthew Millar. The hosts led 2-1 at half-time following an own goal with Chris Harold delivering the sealer for the home side in the 72nd minute.

Both sides came out playing attacking football in the first half, with Sandor opening the scoring in the 24th minute. It was the Hungarian's third goal in three appearances, and it was a cool finish as he picked up the save by goalkeeper Tando Velaphi following an on-target header by Harold.

Aaron Mooy continued to be a threat for City and it was another on-point corner that saw Millar take advantage and score with a header. The half ended in bizarre fashion with an own goal to Glory after City defender Ben Garuccio chipped the ball over his ‘keeper Thomas Sorensen, who’d replaced an injured Velaphi.

City were inches away from an equaliser in the 71st minute with a cracking strike by Mooy, and then just wide in a follow up by David Williams. Straight away Perth went up the other end and, with Diego Castro setting him up, Harold put a shot under Sorensen to send Glory into a second straight FFA Cup final.

Glory captain-for-the-night Dino Djulbic was delighted to have led his team into the final. "It's massive … to bring a trophy to Perth would be unbelievable," he said. "The fans and everyone deserves it and the boys have worked hard. We've played 120 minutes nearly every game except this one, that's how much we want it."



Dino Djulbic will lead Perth Glory against Melbourne City in tonight’s FFA Cup semi-final at Perth Oval. The 32-year old defender has been appointed captain in the absence of Richard Garcia, who was sent off in Sunday’s A-League clash with Wellington Phoenix. “It’s an honour to captain your club, in your home city and state, especially as we are wearing the state colours and flying the flag for WA,” Djulbic said.

It will be the first time Djulbic will start a football match in his senior career wearing the captain’s armband but the Perth-raised centre-back said the only thing that mattered was a result in Glory’s favour. “This is our final, we’re playing it like a final and everyone has to be at the top of their game,” he said. Melbourne comes into the match having put away a dozen goals in three Cup outings.



English defender Steve Purton is the Stirling Lions 2015 Player of the Year, after the clubs awards night at Macedonia Park. He edged out Daniel Micevski to the top award at the club in his first season at the club. “I'm really pleased with getting an award, it was a nice surprise at the end of a mixed season,” Purton said. “My team mates all worked extremely hard throughout the whole season and were a pleasure to play alongside. Our overall goal was to finish in the top four which unfortunately we didn't achieve but Stirling have a bright future with a mixture of young and experience.”

Purton joined the Lions’ from Division One side Western Knights in the pre-season, and he said he fitted in well at the club. “It’s my first season in the NPL, so I set myself some personal targets and one of them was to establish myself in the starting 11 on a consistent basis,” he said. “Some results hadn't gone our way early and the manager could have easily changed the defence so it was good to know the manager believed in us which gave me and my team mates the confidence to play well.”

Lions Coach Rob Milevski said Purton was outstanding during the season and was a worthy winner. “Steve has settled in well in his first year at the club, and was a popular player in the squad and was a worthy winner of the award,” he said. “Steve is an important player for the club, who always gives his best and was a solid contributor for the team this season. He played a part in many attacking moves, setting up and scoring vital goals for the team.”

In other awards on the night James Mathiang won the Under 20’s F&B, with Liam Wood the runner-up, while Jason Rubidge won the Coaches Award and the Golden Boot. In the Under 18’s Rhys MacFarlane won the F&B, WITH Alan Reidy the runner up. Luke Hutchinson won the Coaches Award, Cameron Dalziel the club Award, while Mitch Brown won the Golden Boot.



Perth Soccer Club will head into the new season with Gareth Naven as senior Coach. The former Perth Glory skipper said he’s really looking forward to the new challenge. “I’m really happy to be coaching such a great club as Perth,” Naven said. “I’m grateful to the club for giving me the opportunity and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

The big ambition of the Dorrien Gardens club was a huge factor in Navan taking the job, and the 46-year-old hasn’t been far away from the game watching many NPL games last season. “I have always maintained that connection with the club after playing there, and I’ve always wanted to get back in to coaching, and to be back at my former club is exciting,” Navan explained. “When I was approached it was a perfect fit for me and the attraction to come back to Perth is one I jumped at.”

Born in Wigan in the UK, Naven played 140 plus games for the Glory in the NSL, before playing a number of years at Perth SC, and said he has made many friends along the way at Dorrien Gardens. “I enjoyed my time in the sky blue shirt and the people and friendships I formed remain today, and I can’t wait to get started,” he said.



After a season full of positives in the PS4 National Premier League WA, a number of Perth Glory’s talented youngsters were rewarded at the Football West McInerney Ford Gold Medal night at a glittering ceremony at Crown Perth on Saturday evening. NPL first team striker Stefan Valentini won the Dylan Tombides ‘Young Player of the Year’ Award, after a stellar season that saw the teenager make his senior Perth Glory debut in the FFA Cup. “It’s a great honour to receive such a prestigious award,” Valentini said. “I’ve worked hard on my game, but I couldn’t have done it without the support from my teammates, coaches and family, and I can’t wait for next season.” The 19-year-old bagged seven goals in the PS4 NPLWA last season, and scored in the dramatic penalty shootout win on his senior debut against Newcastle Jets for Kenny Lowe’s side.

Valentini said the Glory youngsters performed well during the season but they didn’t get the results they deserved. “Our position on the ladder last season wasn’t a clear reflection of the way we played, and we finished the season off well,” he explained. “Going forward into next season we are fortunate to have a lot of the same boys around, so we are starting to really gel, understand how each other play and able to carry out the system the coaches want us to play. Personally I’m looking forward to the Foxtel National Youth League and continue to work hard and improve my game." In other awards on the night Abias Bukuru won the PS4 NPL WA Under 18 ‘Troy Bernard Player of the Year’, while Alexander Tanevski won the NPL under 20’s Golden Boot after scoring 23 goals.

Glory NPL senior Coach John Gibson said it’s a just reward for Valentini’s hard work. “I’m really pleased for young Stef, he has worked hard on his game this season and to win the ‘NPL Young Player of the Year’ is a great reward for him,” Gibson said. “It’s great to see a player within the program winning such a major award in WA football, and it makes all the players hard work worthwhile - also congrats to Alex (Taneski) (U20) and Abias (Bukuri )(U18) who also won awards in their respective leagues.”

Gibson said the young forward took his chance when given the opportunity early in the season. “Stef took his opportunity at the start of the season; after we lost leading NYL striker Joe Knowles early due to a foot injury, and Stef and Nikola Talimdzioski formed a great partnership and both went on to have fantastic seasons,” he said. “We were all really pleased with Stef’s improvement, and he is very aware of how much more he needs to improve and get better."



Despite having four teeth knocked out and 40 stitches in his mouth, Newcastle Jets goalkeeper Mark Birighitti has put his hand up to play against A-League reigning champions Melbourne Victory on Friday night. Birighitti suffered the shocking facial injuries in Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Sydney FC after copping a boot in the face by Shane Smeltz.

The young gloveman had two teeth reinserted on Monday as is scheduled to have further dental work on Wednesday to repair the damage. And he hasn’t ruled out suiting up on Friday night when champions Victory come to Hunter Stadium. “My lip is swollen but I’m not in any pain which is a good sign,” Birighitti told the Newcastle Herald.

“I had a chat with the gaffer (coach Scott Miller) this morning and will sit down with (goalkeeping coach) Jess Vanstrattan and Justin Dougherty, the physio, and see where we are at. I’m hoping to do modified sessions throughout the week. I’m not ruling myself out for Friday night, I’m keen to get back out there as soon as possible.”

Smeltz came under fire over the incident but escaped any sanction by the A-League Match Review Panel after referee Peter Green decided the collision was accidental. Despite the severity of his injury, Birighitti says he feels no animosity towards Smeltz. “He got in contact with me on Sunday. We had a good chat,” Birighitti said.

“He wanted to let me know he didn’t do it intentionally and that it was an accident. I’m not one to hold grudges. I know Smeltzy well off the field. Even though he could have done a little bit better, we have ended on good terms.” If Birighitti isn’t given a medical clearance to play on Friday, Ben Kennedy will start in goal against Victory.



Football Federation Australia has been urged to recognise the success of last month’s sold-out Socceroos international in Perth by having next month’s FFA Cup final in the west. Perth Glory have applied to host the match given the success of the World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh at Perth Oval, which drew 19,495 fans.

The bid to host the cup decider on 7th November hinges on Glory winning tomorrow night’s home semi-final with Melbourne City. The host selection criteria is weighted in favour of bigger stadiums, which makes AAMI Park a likely venue as Melbourne Victory take on Victoria’s Hume City in the other semi-final.

Perth chief executive Peter Filopoulos said the club was in talks with Tourism WA to support the bid. “It would be a good opportunity to recognise and engage the football community of WA and continue the momentum that they began with the Socceroos,” Filopoulos said.

“If we do qualify for consecutive FFA Cup finals and are again drawn away from home, we believe there’ll be a public backlash by not only the Perth Glory fans, but also the WA football community.” Glory were sent to Adelaide for last year’s inaugural Cup final where they lost 1-0.



Melbourne City defender Jack Clisby says the prospect of a Melbourne Derby FFA Cup final makes Wednesday’s semi-final with Perth Glory all the more appetising. City is hell-bent on making the most of its place in the final four having never won a senior trophy in the six-year history of the club.

Clisby himself is no stranger to this stage of the tournament, having been a part of the Glory squad that lost last year’s final to Adelaide United. But a derby final at Etihad Stadium on November 7 would be something else.

And after being on the end of a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Victory on Saturday night, Clisby said his teammates would relish the prospect of taking on their arch rivals again so soon. “It’s definitely crossed our minds, 100% it has,” he said.

“We’re obviously taking it one step at a time and playing against Perth before we even consider it, but definitely the thought of a Melbourne Derby final has come across and it would be great to get another stab at them after the disappointment of the weekend. It would be great to rectify that result.”

City is fighting against the odds on Wednesday. Not only does it still have to contend with a hefty injury list, but also a short turnaround and four-hour flight west, while Perth’s weather gods are turning on a 35 degree day for the Perth Oval showdown.

Clisby said his side showed great character in its second half fightback against Victory on Saturday night. And the left back said Wednesday night’s game is another opportunity for the side to demonstrate the strides it has made in the off-season.

“It can go both ways, we obviously get a longer recovery (Perth lost to Wellington at home on Sunday), but the fact that we have to go over there probably suits them more,” Clisby said. “You’ve got the heat as well, but as professionals we’ve got to deal with those situations.”

Clisby said it would be “massive” for City to get in to the Cup final. “Especially for this club, which hasn’t won any silverware as of yet,” he said. “This is something you want to be in, a final of a competition like this, and these are the games that you have to play to get there.”

“It’s another competition that you want to win, it’s not just another add on chucked in there and if you do well then so be it. We’re treating this as seriously as any other game and to get through to the final would be a great feat for the club.”



Captain Lisa De Vanna is confident the next crop of Matildas will establish Australia as a top five nation in women’s football by the next World Cup. Australia has been a consistent top ten country since 2011 but the recent World Cup performance in Canada, headlined by the Matildas’ second round victory over Brazil, has given the team a new level of belief and appreciation from the Australian public.

“The World Cup in Canada has given us more status and I can see in four years’ time with the group we have that the interest in women’s football is going to be massive,” said De Vanna, during the Matildas recent training camp at the Australian institute of Sport. “It’s great that the public got behind us. That’s what we need …It really gives them the encouragement and self- belief to go out and perform.

“I know people doubted me when I said before the last World Cup that they will be very surprised by the way we took on the world. But we really did take it to the world in the last World Cup and I’m confident we are going to be in the top five in the next four years.”

The Matildas are about to head to China where they’ll play the host nation and England in what is currently the last scheduled international friendlies before qualifiers for the Olympic Games qualifiers in Japan early next year. To qualify, Australia needs to finish in the top two in the round robin tournament against Japan (ranked fourth), North Korea (sixth), China (15th), South Korea (17th) and Vietnam (33rd).



Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe will persist with Guyon Fernandez and Diego Castro as an attacking combination despite another uninspiring performance from the star international recruits. Fernandez looked lethargic before being substituted after 66 minutes while Castro struggled to have an impact as Glory conceded a late goal to lose 2-1 to Wellington Phoenix on Sunday.

Neither the Hungarian nor the Spaniard, both of whom were signed on big contracts during the off-season, have found the back of the net in Glory’s opening two games of the new season. “We had some joy, (they) created some opportunities,” Lowe said. “(Fernandez) hasn’t had much game time, the same as Diego. Diego plays behind, he doesn’t play up front so he’s free to roam. He looked lively, popping up in the box, creating chances. He’ll get better.”

Glory remains the only team without a point to its credit after the opening two rounds of the season, but Lowe was far from concerned. His team will need to bounce back quickly ahead of Wednesday’s FFA Cup home semi-final against Melbourne City. “We’ve just got to make sure our rest and recover is top-notch and everybody is fit and raring to go on Wednesday – and they will be,” Lowe said. “You saw the level of commitment from the players, they were focused today. They wanted to win that desperately. To get done the way they got done is disappointing.”



Armadale midfielder Darren Francis has won the Armadale Soccer Clubs ‘Fairest and Best Award’ at the Crown Ballroom. Francis said to win the award was a huge surprise. “Yes I’m really stoked to have won the clubs fairest and best,” he said. “We had a tough season, but we showed signs of improvement under Paul Price and hopefully we can carry on next season.”

The midfielder said it was a disappointing when Lee Bamber pulled the pin early in the season, but he said he understands the reasons. “We had a really good pre-season, but things didn’t go to plan and it was disappointing when Lee resigned, but we all understood the reasons,” he explained. “Peter Lord came and steadied the ship before Pricey took over. We now know what Paul and Tony (Castiello) are all about and we will head into the new season with a great deal of optimism.”

Francis also won the ‘Players Player of the Year’ and Coach Paul Price said he led by example on the pitch. “Darren deserved his awards for last season. His example on the field, to never say die, and to lead the team even when not fully fit was inspiring,” Price said. “He split his forehead open in one game that required over 20 stitches, and played within two weeks when l thought he would be out four to six, but that’s just the sort of player he is.” Jake Sardelic won the ‘Young Player of the Year, while Danny Hodgson won the Golden boot.

In other awards on the night Broden Brown won the under 20’s ‘Player of the Year’, while Kade McNamara won the Coaches ‘Player of the Year’, with Brendan McCamley winning the ‘Most Improved Player of the Year’. In the under 18’s Alec Radonich won both the ‘Player of the Year and Coaches Player of the Year’, while Nazirul Daiby won the ‘Most improved Player of the Year’



The Pacific School Games takes place in Adelaide in November, and it’s a chance for thousands of primary and secondary school students from around the region to compete in a number of sports including football. WA under 12’s state school girls’ team will be travelling to SA to take part in the games, under the tutelage of former Perth Glory striker Scott Halpin. The Pacific School Games began in Brisbane in 1982 as a lead-in to the Commonwealth Games and has been an annual event since. Teams from all Australian states, plus New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Canada, and other nations from around the Pacific Rim will take part in the eight-day tournament.

Halpin believes it’s a great opportunity for the girls to take on players from other states and countries. “The opportunity to represent WA is a wonderful chance to play against the best players for primary School age students not just in Australia, but across the Pacific countries,” he said. “Traditionally NSW, Victoria and Queensland present excellent opposition for the players and they have the chance to play against future top class players. The more the girls can play against quality players, the more experiences gained. Unfortunately in WA, we don't have the opportunity to play in regular quality, high class Tournaments so this opportunity will be highly valuable.”

Like all School Sports events the competition is high, and Halpin believes November’s event will be no different. “The schools competition, particularly in the Eastern States is always very competitive and highly valued. Growing up in NSW, all students can't wait to trial for their regional side and then participate at the State titles. This competition in itself is an extremely high level and competitive Tournament. To make the State side is then very much treasured,” he explained. “We have been fortunate this year that the Tournament is in November with great support from Football West and the NTC and SAP programs as well as NPL clubs and other clubs. We therefore are able to send a very good squad with highly talented and well coached players. We also place great emphasis on student’s trialling whom don't have the exposure to programs and have uncovered some wonderful talent over the years that have gone on to play at a good level.”

Playing for your state is a great honour, and the competition for places was high and Halpin said it was a difficult decision to pick the 15-player squad. “Selecting the squad was very tough and after six trial sessions, a final squad of 15 travelling players and six stand-by players were chosen. Over 65 registered for the girls’ trials alone which was outstanding to see and a great experience for all. School sport opened up the trials to include 10/11year olds which help strengthen the squad and talent across the boys and girls teams,” he said. “Several of these younger players were selected in this year’s team which bodes well for next year with half the squad eligible for selection in next year’s team. The 2016 Tournament will be hosted by WA and held at Lark Hill. School sport is a wonderful opportunity for identification of talent and inclusivity for players. These players will make lifelong friends and will be able to reflect upon the huge achievement of representing their state at such a prestigious tournament, with the opening ceremony alone will have 15,000 attending.”



Wellington Phoenix came from behind to beat Perth Glory 2-1 in week two of the Hyundai A-League at a wet nib Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Gyorgy Sandor put the home side ahead early, but Wellington hit back immediately with Roy Krishna scoring. The Glory lost skipper Richard Garcia after he received a second yellow card on 84 minutes and five minutes later Vince Lia bagged the winner, to give Ernie Merrick’s side their first points of the season. “A win’s a win and it’s a very tough place to come here to Perth so to take three points I’m pretty happy,” Merrick said. “We were a bit unlucky not to go ahead in the first half and in the second half we were pretty confident but unlucky to hit the post with a header, then we had the offside goal and then Vince scored his third goal in 150 years.”

The defeat was hard to take for Glory coach Kenny Lowe who was very disappointed with the sending off of his skipper. “It was shocking (Garcia’s second yellow card). It was one of a number of things that baffled me, I don’t think there was really a bad tackle out there,” he said. But Lowe said he can’t fault the player’s attitude and endeavour, but he knows they have to be better. “They were really focused and wanted to win that game desperately, but they are being underdone by other factors outside of their performance,” he said.

Wellington Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante missed the clash, also Glory midfielder Nebo Marinkovic, who was replaced by youngster Mitch Oxborrow. Both sides lost the opening round games, and it was the home side that began the game the better and they were ahead on seven minutes. Oxborrow’s corner was headed down by Dino Djulbic, and Hungarian midfielder Sandor fired home from eight-yards. The Glory fans were singing in the rain, but two minutes later Wellington put a damper on their celebrations by levelling. Krishna was sent racing down the right and the Fijian international held off Michael Thwaite, before firing low past Anti Covic.

The Glory went close to the lead again on the half hour. Oxborrow’s corner slipped through the hands of veteran keeper Glen Moss’ hands, but Jeffrey Sarpong was in the right place to clear the ball off the line. Wellington looked dangerous on the break and Covic had to be alert to save the lively Krishna’s shot moments later. Both sides had late chances. Djulbic headed wide for the Glory before Roly Bonevacia shot flashed inches wide of the post, but it was 1-1 at the break.

Golec headed over the top earlier in the second half for the Glory, before Doyle’s cross on the hour was flicked on by Krishna, and it went agonizingly past the post. Sandor almost added his and Glory’s second on 64 minutes, but his shot was saved low by Moss. The Wellington custodian then saved low from Oxborrow’s free kick. The game was becoming a real battle in the middle of the park, and it looked like the next goal would win it.

The Glory were reduced to ten-men on 84 minutes, when Garcia’s sliding tackle was deemed a second yellow card from referee Steven Lucas and he was sent off. Wellington went for the kill, and they thought they had the lead two minutes later, Tom Doyle’s saw his effort crash off the post and Ben Sigmund bundled the rebound home, but the flag was up for offside. But in the final minute Wellington got the winner, Michael McGlinchey’s corner fell to the unmarked Lia, who fired home from eight-yards giving Covic no chance.



Floreat Athena’s Ludovic Boi has won the 2015 McInerney Ford Gold Medal as WA’S best player, after a fantastic season in the PS4 National Premier League WA, at a glittering ceremony at Crown Perth on Saturday. The 26-year-old, who also claimed the keys to a new Ford Fiesta car, missed out on the 2014 medal by one vote to Perth’s Clark Keltie, but this season the Floreat skipper, was man-of-the-match on nine occasions, accumulating 35 votes to finish eight ahead of Bayswater City’s Todd Howarth. The midfielder had an outstanding season, creating a number of opportunities for his team mates, but also scored 13 goals himself.

The former Perth Glory midfielder picked up 16 votes in six matches during a mid-season spell as Floreat tried desperately to overhaul eventual champions Bayswater City, said to win the award is something he’s always wanted to achieve. “It's still so surreal, I'm so proud to win the gold medal, and being able to see all the hard work pay off,” he said. “It's a great achievement and a personal goal of mine to accomplish this, so it's a great feeling and weight off my shoulders. The car is a massive bonus and it still hasn't sunk in yet. I think being recognised for being a Gold Medal winner is a huge honour and it's a proud moment for me and all the family and friends who support me.”

Boi said he couldn’t have won the award without his teammates and thanked them, and is hoping they can continue on with their form next season. “We had a great season, unfortunately couldn't hold that 2nd spot but there is always room for improvement and hopefully we go higher and achieve more in the future. We have a great bunch of boys and all the people at Floreat doing all the hard work in the background, it's great to see it work,” he explained. “Personally I didn't do anything different. I just try to enjoy myself as much as I can on the field and let my love for the game do the work. It was a great season as a team, as a club and for me personally.”

Todd Howarth pushed Boi all the way for the award, finishing with 27 votes. The midfielder was a key member of a Bayswater side that won the title and also reached the PS4 NPL National Grand Final. Perth’s Clark Keltie had 25 votes, but was out of the running to win the medal having been sent off during the season, and his teammate Mark Pritchard earned 21 votes.

In other awards Perth Glory’s Stefan Valentini won the Dylan Tombides ‘Young Player of the Year’, after a stellar season that saw the teenager make his senior Perth Glory debut in the FFA Cup this season. The Select Goalkeeper of the Year award was shared between James Morgan (Sorrento) and Ryan Montgomery (Subiaco), while Joondalup United’s Lee Jones was the All Flags State League Division One player of the year and Rhys Loxley claimed the honours for Forrestfield in Division Two. “It has been a superb year for the club winning the state league division two and winning player of the season is a credit to our great season,” Loxley said. “I am very privileged to be a part of an amazing squad of players as there are probably seven or eight other players in the team that deserve this award as much as I do. The club is in a really great position to build on this year’s efforts and will hopefully have a successful season next year back in the state league Division One.”

Full list of winners

McInerney Ford Gold Medal winner - Ludovic Boi (Floreat Athena)
PS4 NPL WA The West Australian Goal of the Season - Caleb Dixon (Armadale)
PS4 NPL WA First Team Ron Tindall Coach of the Year - Chris Coyne (Bayswater City)
PS4 NPL WA First Team SELECT Goalkeeper of the Year - Ryan Montgomery (Subiaco) and James Morgan (Sorrento)
PS4 NPL WA First Team Golden Boot – Gustavo Giron Marulanda (Bayswater City)
Dylan Tombides Young Player of the Year – Stefan Valentini Perth Glory
PS4 NPL WA Fair Play winners - Perth SC
PS4 NPL WA U20 Player of the Year - James Atkins (Inglewood United)
PS4 NPL WA U20 Golden Boot - Alexander Tanevski (Perth Glory)
PS4 NPL WA U18 Troy Bernard Player of the Year - Abias Bukuru (Perth Glory)
PS4 NPL WA U18 Golden Boot - Airmoson Garley (Perth SC)
All Flags State League Division One Player of the Year - Lee Jones (Joondalup United)
All Flags State League Division One Coach of the Year - Doug Hesketh (Mandurah City)
All Flags State League Division One Golden Boot - Angel Andres (Dianella White Eagles)
All Flags State League Division One Fair Play winners - Shamrock Rovers
All Flags State League Division Two Player of the Year - Rhys Loxley (Forrestfield United)
All Flags State League Division Two Golden Boot - Rhys Loxley (Forrestfield United)
All Flags State League Division Two Coach of the Year - Rod Banjac (Forrestfield United)
All Flags State League Division Two fair play winners - Forrestfield United
Consolidated Energy Amateur Premier League Player of the Year – Benny Kouakou (Gwelup Croatia)
Consolidated Energy Amateur Premier League Golden Boot – Benny Kouakou (Gwelup Croatia)
Consolidated Energy Amateur Premier League Coach of the Year - Mike Ford (Gwelup Croatia)
Consolidated Energy Amateur Premier League SELECT Goalkeeper of the Year - Thomas Dixon (Gwelup Croatia)
Consolidated Energy Amateur Premier League fair play winners - Southern Spirit
Disabilities in Football Player Achievement Award (David Cantoni Medal) - Christopher Minutillo (Cockburn City)
David Schrandt Administrator and Volunteer of the Year - Athan Tsirigotis (Wembley Downs)
Bankwest Women's State Premier League Player of the Year - Abbey Meakins (NTC)
Bankwest Women's State Premier League Coach of the Year - Conrad McKelvie (Northern Redbacks)
Bankwest Women's State Premier League SELECT Goalkeeper of the Year - Gabby Dal Busco (NTC)
Bankwest Women's State Premier League Golden Boot - Katarina Jukic (Beckenham Angels)
Bankwest Women's State League Division One Player of the Year - Lindsay Jobling (Leeming Strikers)
Bankwest Women's State League Division One Coach of the Year - Felim Rugel (Fremantle City)
Bankwest Women's State League Division One Golden Boot - Sheridyn Graham (Wanneroo City)
Bankwest Golden Whistle Award - Adam Fielding



Perth Glory started their Westfield W-League campaign under new Coach Bobby Despotovski, with a come-from-behind 2-1 win against Melbourne Victory at Broadmeadows Valley on Saturday afternoon. Laura Spiranovic scored early to give the home side a perfect start, and then Sam Kerr saw her penalty saved three minutes from half time. But Caitlin Foord levelled in first half stoppage time, and Kerr made up for her miss bagging the winner on 69 minutes, and they hung on to take the three points despite from late Victory pressure.

“It was very nervous start to the game, but after we went behind we settled in to the game and slowly took control of it,” Despotovski said. “After the break we introduce fresh legs and things start happening for us, and we took control and got the right result in the end.”

The Coach has already turned his attentions to next week’s first home game of the season, were he will be without his Matildas’ players. “We are now shifting our attention to the next week and first home game against Newcastle Jets,” he said. “We will be without Sam (Kerr), Caitlin (Foord) and Mackenzie (Arnold), but hopefully the girls can put in a good performance and continue our good start to the season.”

The Glory opened brightly, and Foord raced into the box in the opening minute, but a well-timed tackle from Victory defender Alex Natoli cleared the danger. But the home steadied and Glory’s Matildas keeper Mackenzie Arnold produced a superb point-blank save to deny Selin Kuraley’s shot four minutes later.

But on eight minutes the home side hit the front. Christine Nairn’s shot was blocked by Arnold and Spiranovic fired home the rebound from close-range. The Glory looked to hit back and Ella Mastrantonio forced a smart save out of Melissa Barbieri on the quarter hour. The Victory custodian was in the action again five minutes later. Kerr found space down the right and squared the ball to Foored, but Barbieri produced a great save to deny her.

The Glory were now on top, and Kerr snap shot flashed wide of the target, but on 42 minutes the Glory had a great opportunity to level. Kerr was brought down in the penalty area by Natoli and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Kerr picked herself up to take the penalty, but Barbieri guessed the right way and saved her spot kick. But the visitors weren’t to be outdone and they levelled in stoppage time, Foord weaved her way through the Victory defence, and showed great composure to finish past Barbieri, to send the sides into the break even.

Both sides had chances early in the second half, Kuraley’s header from Bria Palmer’s cross flashed just wide of the target, before some desperate defending from Natoli denied Kerr at the other end. Kerr was having an outstanding game, and her shot on 54 minutes was well held by Barbieri, but on 69 minutes the Glory hit the front. Foord made space down the flank and cut the ball back to Kerr, and the Glory skipper made no mistake past Barbieri. The game wasn’t over and Nain’s long-range chip had Arnold scrambling, while Kerr tried her luck from long-range but Barbieri saved. But time ran out for the home side and it was the Glory celebrating three valuable points on the road, and sending them to the top of the Westfield W-League table.



Newcastle Jets boss Scott Miller has criticised an “outrageous” tackle which sent goalkeeper Mark Birighitti to hospital in this evenings’ last-gasp 1-0 loss to Sydney FC. Birighitti copped a boot in the face from Shane Smeltz in a challenge, forcing the former Perth SC junior to exit the game with blood streaming from his face. It’s understood Birighitti will have surgery on his teeth in a Newcastle hospital tonight to repair the damage.

“That’s nothing short of outrageous that challenge if you look at (Birighitti’s) mouth,” an angry Miller said. “That’s not on, in life or in football. Irrespective if it’s a mistake or unintentional, it’s not right. I’m not blaming (Smeltz), it’s a consequence of football and the actions relevant to it. But it’s about the decision making.”

“There’s a borderline competitive side to a football match and then there’s outrageous and reckless. We need to be sensible in our challenges regarding goalkeepers and head injuries. We’ve seen the outcome of Petr Cech and numerus other goalkeepers, and the consequences far outweigh teeth and a win. It’s someone’s livelihood of any challenge to the head. We need to be clear of that one.”

The incident proved to be a crucial point in the match, given Birighitti had been a thorn in Sydney’s side. The visitors enjoyed over 60 per cent of the possession but could not find a way past the former Perth SC junior, who turned away at least five Sydney opportunities throughout the match. The game was decided in the 88th minute when Alex Brosque headed in a near post corner.



The title of Western Australia’s greatest soccer export is one that Stan Lazaridis cherishes, but is equally anxious to shed. Lazaridis will be inducted tonight into the WA Hall of Champions in tribute to his extraordinary professional playing career that spanned almost two decades. Although he opened a door many others have since tried to walk through, he remains the State’s highest achiever in his chosen game.

Lazaridis was part of four World Cup campaigns for Australia in 13 years and was also an English Premier League star for West Ham United and Birmingham City. After a short stint with Perth Glory, he retired in 2008. The boy from Balga said he was keen for the day when another young WA star would rise through the ranks and surpass the achievements of his storied career.

But he was concerned the changing structure of international recruitment for Australian players may prolong his wait. “It doesn’t sit well with me because I want more and more West Australians to go on and do better than me, but the truth is that it’s very difficult,” Lazaridis said. “It’s not easy to leave your home town to go and play in the big league and to sustain it in a competition where you’re so heavily marked and judged each week.”

“I really hope someone else will go beyond what I did soon, but it’s getting tougher England has shied away from Australians a little bit and we’ve been redirected into Asia now, where a lot of players are getting driven because there’s more money. So it really needs someone super special to come along and bypass all that and shock everybody. I think in the end if you’re good enough, you’re good enough.”

Although Lazaridis said he was glad to have forged an international path from WA to show anything was possible, the reality of making a career out of it was not easy, especially at the start. “Even though we’re English speaking, I was still deemed a foreigner and you have to adjust,” he said. “The guys around my age were much more street-wise and ferocious than I was and you have to learn that pretty quick. In training I was getting attacked by my own teammates, they didn’t really invite me to anything and they didn’t want someone foreign taking their position.”

Lazaridis’ last of four World Cup campaigns in 2006 earned him an esteemed place in Socceroos history as part of what is now known as the golden generation. “Making it to the World Cup in 2006 really kicked on the development of the game in Australia and it’s grown immensely since then,” he said. “I remember when I started playing with the Aussie team, even our own supporters were coming mainly to watch the opposition. Argentina would come to Sydney and get their feet massaged and we’d go to places overseas and get beaten up and food poisoned.”

Lazaridis knows he made a lot of his own good luck through hard work, but also was given his fair share — even off the field one night in a dark Birmingham alley. “We’d won a game and a couple of mates of mine were over from Australia and we went for dinner,” he said. “We took a short cut, which was absolutely the worst thing we could have done and three guys popped out of nowhere with balaclavas yelling, ‘Gimme your money’.”

“I told them we didn’t want any trouble and one guy ripped off his balaclava and said, ‘Stanley, what you doing walking through ’ere?’ He goes, ‘I’m your No.1 supporter, you’re going to get killed walking through here’. We told him we were just going to get a drink, he said he knew the owner and escorted us there. I never went walking through there again.” The 43-year-old said he was humbled and honoured by his Hall of Champions induction, which he saw as a reward for his family and wider support network.



Perth Glory defender Dino Djulbic has vowed to thousands of Perth Glory members and fans this Sunday will mark a new beginning for the club. The team hosts New Zealand rivals Wellington Phoenix in the first home game for the 2015/16 season in what will also be Round One of the new and exciting ‘Long Distance Derby Cup’. Both clubs have collaborated to launch the cup concept in a bid to celebrate the longest road trip (5255km) in top flight world football.

Djulbic says Sunday provides an opportunity to press the reset button following last week’s lost to Central Coast Mariners. “I think the boys are alright and everyone has the confidence in each other,” he said. “We have three games at home now. Wellington is the first one and then the (FFA) Cup game and we want to go in the finals, and then Adelaide at home, so we want to make our fans proud and achieve the most points that we can”.

Sunday is the start of a gruelling schedule for Glory, who plays three games in seven days. Djulbic said he was looking forward to all three matches and wasn’t bothered by the tight turn around. “Bring it on, love it,” he said. “I could play every second if it was up to me. We only had three or four pre-season matches so it wasn’t much but that’s the way we wanted to prepare to give the other guys at training a chance to gel together but like I said I’ll play every second”.

Djulbic said while there had been changes in the line-up during the off-season he was confident the backline remained strong and formidable. “Michael (Thwaite) and I are a good partnership and I have a good partnership with Rizzo (Josh Risdon), and (Antony) Golec is coming in and he’s got experience, he won the (Asian) Champions League with Western Sydney so It’s good” he said.



Perth Glory Women’s quest for championship success begins on Saturday when a new look team kicks-off its W-League campaign at Melbourne Victory. After finishing last year at the top of the table and reaching the W-League Grand Final in December, expectations are high heading into this season. The team was administered by Football West for the past seven years but now it sits with the Perth Glory family, joining the A-League and National Youth League teams.

Taking over as head coach is former Glory striker Bobby Despotovski, who most recently coached the Perth Glory NPL Under-20’s to a championship. “The dynamics of coaching in itself and explaining the systems is exactly the same,” Despotovski said of his transition from the men’s game to the women’s. “I was driving my under-20’s to win every game that they possibly can, and I’m going to do that with the girl’s team as well.”

The team will be counting on new captain Samantha Kerr to help drive them to wins too. The 22-year old Fremantle native will have a key role in midfield and attack, and will be expected to be a creative hub for the team, whether employed on the wing or in the middle. She is one of several Matilda regulars flanked in support by goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold, forward Caitlin Foord and defender Kim Carroll but the squad is mainly made up of talented Western Australians.

After collecting the Premiers Plate for the first time in club history last year, the club fell one step short of the championship, losing in the Grand Final against Canberra United. Despotovski said that makes the goal for this season very clear. “Winning the championship is the driver. We want to win as many games as we can, get into the top four and win it from there,” he said. The title chase begins on Saturday away to Melbourne Victory at Broadmeadows Valley Park in Melbourne.



The 2015 Football West Gold Medal night takes place at the Crown Casino Ballroom on Saturday evening, and the race for the most prestigious awards in the state will again be close run event. After another outstanding season of football, today takes a look at the players who we believe will pole well on the big night.

Bayswater City have taken all before them this season in the league, and defender Jamie Coyne, midfielder Todd Howarth and striker David Heagney will all poll well, but leading goalscorer Gustavo Giron-Marulanda is ineligible. Last season’s winner Clark Keltie is also out of the running, but will poll well, while his Perth SC teammates Dean Evans and Reece Vittiglia have also had good seasons. Sorrento took out the State League Cup and finished fourth in the league, and Gull’s Player of the Year Lewis Hall and Jack Salter will be in the mix, while third placed Floreat Athena’s skipper Ludovic Boi and Ayrn Williams will also poll well, although Williams is also ineligible.

Every year there is a dark horse for the Gold Medal, and this season will be no different. Cockburn City duo Devon Gibson and Jonathan Corness have both had outstanding seasons, likewise ECU Joondalup midfielder Joe Smith and Balcatta striker Gustavo Catercione. A few others who have performed well this season are Inglewood United winger Ryan Clarke, Stirling Lions defender Nathan Bowden-Haase and Steve Purton, who is ineligible. Armadale midfielder Darren Francis, Perth Glory skipper Jacob Collard and Subiaco duo Kevin White and Danny Milne, and don’t be surprised if there is more players who have caught the eye of the officials after another entertaining NPLWA season. In the Goalkeeper of the Year Sorrento’s James Morgan, Perth Glory’s Jordan Franken, Inglewood’s Aleks Vrteski, Subiaco’s Ryan Montgomery and Balcatta custodian Clint Davies will be in the mix, all have performed well in 2015.

In the Division One State Player of the Year, Mandurah City’s skipper Andy Brown, midfielder Jordan Rhodes and defender Ollie McGee will poll well for the Champions, while for Ashfield Brian Patterson and Liam Merigan will also be in the mix. Joondalup United’s Josh Whitmore and James Bosdet will be others to poll well, along with Shamrock Rovers’ pair Paul Concannon and Will Pender. Others we believe will be in the mix are South West Phoenix’s striker Lee Stewart, Kieran Kavangh and 17-year-old Sam Guthridge, Gosnells City’s Sean Taylor, and Wade Farmer, Dianella White Eagles Igor Novakovic , Western Knights Paul Lloyd, UWA Nedland’s Clive Stopper, Swan United’s Ryan Tracey, Morley Windmills David Paone and Canning City’s Laurence Cheyne

In the Division Two State Player of the Year Champions Forrestfield United’s Rhys Loxley is amongst the favourites, along with his teammate Jordan Hart. Rockingham City young striker Sean Boyle and Ryan Kennedy have performed well this season, along with Fremantle City striker Danny Clapham. Others who will be in the mix are Melville City striker Simon El Chami, Wanneroo City pair John Monterosso and Stuart Siddall and Curtin University duo Clive Stopper and Ben Reynolds. Quinns FC’s Steven White, Curtin University’s Kye Middleton, Ellenbrook United’s Dylan Rooney, Balga’s Jonathan McGahern and Denis Fekovic and Kingsway’s Bill Kirkpatrick.



Perth Glory will be looking to bounce back for their first round defeat at Central Coast Mariners, when they host Wellington Phoenix in ‘The long Distance Derby Cup’ at nib Stadium on Sunday afternoon (4pm). Despite the 3-2 loss against the Mariners, the new look Glory side played some good football and were unlucky not to take anything from the game and they will go into Sunday’s encounter confident they can kick start their season.

The two clubs have collaborated to form the Long Distance Derby Cup which acknowledges the 5255km between the two cities, which is the longest distance any club travels in world football. With the Glory and the Phoenix playing each other three times each season the trophy will be decided over those games with wins, draws and goal difference deciding the winner. Glory skipper Richard Garcia applauded the move and said the initiative had been a long time coming. “We have derbies in AFL, State of Origin and the A-League, all mainly on the east coast,” Garcia said. “The distance between our two teams is something that needs to be honoured and celebrated in the competition and I think it’s fantastic that both clubs have put their heads together and have come up with something the players and fans can get excited about.”

Phoenix captain Andrew Durante, who limped off last week in the loss to Newcastle Jets with a calf injury, also welcomed the new trophy, saying it was appropriate given the distance each club travelled for the games. “You have the Sydney Derby, the Melbourne Derby and the F3 Derby between Central Coast and the Newcastle Jets,” he said. “In the tradition of derbies those clubs are close together and this will be a derby with a difference. “We might be over 5000km apart but there is a bit of a bond between us and Glory because of it. I think it is a great initiative to get it up and running and we will be aiming to get off to a winning start in Perth on Sunday.”

The Glory will be at full strength for the game, and winger Chris Harold believes they will be up for a massive week in front of their home fans, and he hopes it will act as a catalyst to kick-start a bumper Hyundai A-League season. After the Wellington game the Glory welcome Adelaide United to Perth in Round 3, with a blockbuster Westfield FFA Cup semi-final against Melbourne City sandwiched in between on October 21. “If we get a couple of good results, get ourselves in the [FFA] Cup final, it’s going to be a drastically different outlook come the end of next week,” Harold said. “Everyone will be really buzzing and positive. Everyone’s excited to get out and get results. It’s always a tough trip playing away from home the first game of the season.”

Three games in a short space of time isn’t ideal but Harold said he is looking forward to the challenge. “Yes we’ve got three games next week, all at home, and it’s a really good chance for us to make a big stamp. I think the whole team is excited to play in front of our home crowd.” Over the last couple of seasons the 23-year-old hasn’t been able to cement himself as a regular starter, but he said he hopes his performances can change that. “It’s probably about time I stepped up and cemented myself in the starting XI every week,” Harold explained. “I want to be creating and scoring more goals…I think I have the capability to do that. “This week, three games in quick succession is a good chance for me to get my name out there and prove to everyone that I’ve got the ability to do it.”

Like the Glory, the Phoenix will be looking to bounce back from a first round home defeat, and skipper Andrew Durante is doubt with a calf injury, but they will have new signing, 21-year-old central defender Dylan Fox, who has joined them from New South Wales NPL champions Bonnyrigg White Eagles. But Wellington Coach Ernie Merrick is hopeful his skipper will be fit to travel to Perth. “It usually takes a couple of days to see if there’s any internal bleeding and perhaps a scan to check if it is a tear. Initial indications are that it’ll be okay,” he said. Merrick also revealed new Dutch striker Jeffrey Sarpong had picked up and injury since arriving in Wellington as well as lacking match fitness, but he was pleased to see make his debut off the bench, but was unable to make a major impact.



Perth Glory Women’s team begin their new Westfield W-League season on Saturday when they take on Melbourne Victory, under the guidance of new Coach Bobby Despotovski. It is a big test first up, when they travel to Broadmeadow Valley to take on last season’s runners-up, but it is one Despotovski and the player group are looking forward too. “We have done everything we possibly can to be ready for the first game of the season against a good Victory side,” he said. “The whole squad is looking forward to the game, and personally it’s my first as coach in the W-League, and I’m looking forward to it on two fronts. “One, to see how prepared we are for the first game, and two, for me to see the standard and the speed of the W-League and hopefully learn as much as I can.”

The Glory fell agonizingly short of the title last season, but Despotovski said the playing group are determined to go that one step further this season. “Last year was a very good season for the side, and we will try to do everything in our power to go one step further,” he explained. “The first step is to qualify for the finals that will give us a chance to try and win it from there, that’s the plan we hope it goes that way.”

The squad has been without its Matildas’ player over the past two weeks, but Despotovski said that’s part of football. “It’s never ideal to have your international players missing the pre-season and preparation, but at the end of the day they have been called up to the National side for one reason, they are the best players around in the eyes of the National Coach, and they have been training in camp,” he said. “We will have them this week, but they will miss our first home game against Newcastle Jets, as they are all in the Matildas’ squad to play in China, and that’s not ideal, but on the other side it will give someone else the opportunity to step in and show us what they can do. This kind of situation will be a good test to see the depth of our squad.”

It’s the first game in charge of the W-League side for Despotovski, who led the Perth Glory PS4NPLWA under 20’s to the title last season, and he said it’s an exciting time. “I’m looking forward to my first game in charge of the side, but the focus changes completely for me from winning the NPL under 20’s title,” he said. “As the under 20’s coach you are more in the development of the players, and when they make mistakes you tolerate that, as long as the player learns from it,” he explained. “The Women’s team is all about competition, were we try to eliminate as many mistakes we can from our game and we try to win every game possible or at least put us in good position to win games of football. “We have some experienced players in the squad, but we also have a lot of young players as well, so we must not forget about their development as well. Obviously we have to take a different approach with these girls, so it’s a fine between the two aspects of the game.”

Last season the Glory came away from Melbourne with all three points, after goals from Alanna Kennedy, Elisa D’Ovidio and Caitlin Foord giving them a 3-1 win. In the Victory squad that day was Ella Mastrantonio, the WA midfielder has returned back to Perth this season, and she is looking forward to taking on her old team mates. “The first game of the season is always a big one, as our season is so short, so every game and points counts, so we would love to hit the ground running,” she said. “Victory is a quality side, and it will be a bit weird playing against former team mates, but that’s football. “We’ve retained 80% of the squad from last year and also added some extra international quality and experience, which will hold us in good stead to hopefully have a great season and go one further than last season.”



Perth Glory new recruit Ante Covic says he is enjoying life at the club and is confident the side have what it takes to challenge for honours this season. The veteran goalkeeper, was signed by Kenny Lowe, along with Frank Tyson, after Danny Vukovic left at the end of last season, this after Western Sydney Wanderers decided against renewing his contract.

But 40-year-old insists he has moved on from that and is focused on giving his all for the Glory. “The club has been great since my transition here from Western Sydney, everyone has been fantastic, there’s a good vibe in amongst the playing group, and the coaching staff has been great and I’m settling in quite well and really enjoying being here,” Covic told Four-Four-Two magazine. “Everyone knows what happened last year – on the pitch, though, they had a successful year. There have been a lot of changes but they have also brought in quality players who have come in with a lot of pedigree.”

The Glory lost their season opener away to Central Coast Mariners 3-2 but Covic is convinced Glory will be in the mix come season’s end. “It’s a matter for us to gel as we haven’t really had that much game-time, but we’ll look to continue the season positively,” he said. “We want to be in the finals come the end of the year, push as high as possible, and nothing is out of reach as long as we keep a good mentality. No one is expecting us to do that much on the field and we want to prove our doubters wrong. As long as we stick to our goals and work hard, nothing can stand in our way.”

Despite being cut from the Wanderers, Covic claims he still has a lot of respect for the club and insists it was Lowe’s genuine personality that convinced him to join the Glory. “I’m a footballer who wants to play at the highest level with a lot left in me right now,” he said. "Everyone at Western Sydney knows the reason why I departed. I left during a successful period when the fan base grew massively and I have a lot of respect for them. I had three great years there but I’m with Perth Glory right now and I’ll give them 110%, I’m Glory through and through.”

The veteran custodian said from his first chat to Lowe, he knew the Glory was where he wanted to be. “From the first time I spoke to Kenny, you could sense how genuine he was. He’s got drive and wants to be successful and he’s an honest guy who has good man-management skills,” Covic said. “He wants the atmosphere around the team to be positive and strong and he’ll do whatever it takes to become close with the players. Tactically, he’s very astute, and his intense sessions seem to get the best out of each individual player.”



An experimental Western Australian side scored a 2-0 win over the State Amateurs in this evenings’ friendly at under lights at Dorrien Gardens. Gustavo Giron-Marulanda put the National Premier Leagues’ representative team ahead midway through the second half with his Bayswater City teammate Trent Kay doubling the difference soon after the interval.

State team debutant Purton was pleased with how the game panned out. “It was my first call up for the State team, so I was very happy for our team to get the win and to be part of the match,” he said. “We had a lot of possession and the amateurs were very well structured and hard to breakdown. But we knew we had to be patient and be well-organised at the back. We created many opportunities which we were unable to capitalise on.”

Nick Ambrogio threatened to give the State an early lead when his shot on the turn flashed wide. Purton was next to fire a shot anger but his effort was also past the target. The State team made their possession count on 29 minutes when Giron-Marulanda lashed in after Ambrogio’s close-range effort was blocked by a defender. The Amateurs showed glimpses of their potential late in the half but struggled to construct any meaningful attempts on goal.

The Amateurs opened the second half brightly, Nick Tatasciore volleying wide just four minutes. Soon after Borbor Sam Bindi rounded goalkeeper Kevin Flavin but with the goal at his mercy the State attacker blazed high and wide. Kay showed him how its’ done in the 56th minute by drilling the ball in following a Giron-Marulanda free-kick into the penalty area.

Western Australia (squad): Alex Dunn, Declan Hargreaves, Hanafi Ghazali, Trent Kay, Steve Purton, Borbor Sam Bindi, James Sammut, Gustavo Giron-Marulanda, Teeboy Kamara, Nick Ambrogio, David Sesay, Ryan Mongtomery, Shane Pickering, Nathan Diaz, Josh Booysen, Harry O’Brien, David Heagney

Western Australia Amateurs (squad): Kevin Flavin, David Martins, Daniel Dyson, Matt Bennion, Jeremy Bill, Steve Geoghegan, Ago Mujic, Eamon Kelly, Juan Cabrera, Nick Tatasciore, Gavin Knight, Greg Montenegro, Ian Cleary, Declan Peters, Dave Morris, Dave Prescott

Bookings: Nil

Dismissals: Nil

Referee: Steven Gregory



After a stellar first season for Inglewood United, English midfielder Tim Gould has taken out the clubs Player and Players’ Player of the year at the clubs award night at Crown Casino Ballroom. Gould edged out skipper Jovo Pavlovic for the award, while David Micevski won the Golden Boot. Gould said to win the award was a huge honour and he hopes to continue with his form next season. “I’m honoured to be recognised for the season’s efforts, especially by my fellow players,” Gould said. “This season was all about getting back into football for me, after a spell out of the game and I’m really pleased with how it has gone, although it is a shame we couldn’t push ourselves further up the table. Results didn’t go our way this year, but the group of players we have so far retained for next season, with a few additions alongside the clubs ambition, should position us well to challenge better in 2016.”

The 29-year-old played at Solihull Moors in the Conferenace North League in the UK, before heading to Green Gulley in the Victoria in 2010. He left the game for a while with work commitments in London, but returned to Perth and did the pre-season with Bayswater City, before heading to the Inglewood Stadium. “It looked as though they (Bayswater) had too many visa players and it looked like my opportunities there would be limited,” Gould said. “I was then put in touch with Michael Garcia, who invited me down to training and the rest is history.”

Inglewood Coach Michael Garcia said Gould had a great season. “Tim was a worthy winner, though I dare say he would have slightly pipped Jovo Pavlovic for the top spot, both players showed outstanding leadership qualities all year,” he said. “Gouldy was consistent all season at a high standard and was the rock in our midfield. He came over from Bayswater and missed the first few games of the season, which makes his performance’s stand out even more.”

In other awards on the night striker James Atkins won the Under 20’s Player of the Year, and also picked up the Golden Boot, while defender Mark Barnett was runner-up. The Under 18’s Player of the Year was taken out by Thomas Pellizzari, with Ryan Sardi the runer-up, while the Golden Boot was shared between Paul Zimarino and Jordan Fresher. Zimarino also picked up the clubs Rising Star Award, and the Club person of the Year was shared by Colin and Rae Lewis.



Floreat Athena defender Aryn Williams capped off an outstanding season by taking out the clubs Fairest and Best Award, at the clubs Presentation night in the Black Tie event at The Litis Stadium clubrooms. The defender pipped Floreat skipper Ludovic Boi for the trophy, while Bobby Wilson won the Coaches Award, with Lewis McMahon taking out the Golden Boot.

The 22-year-old, who is currently trialing at Perth Glory, was a standout for Floreat and he was over the moon to win the award. “It is an honour to win Best and Fairest award, at Floreat Athena, being such a renowned club in WA football,” he said. “But I definitely couldn’t have done it without the help of the rest of the team this season. It is great to be named player of the year and it gives me confidence that we can push on next season and win more trophies.”

After a few season’s in the wilderness Floreat bounced back in 2015 and Williams said Coach Glen Grostate was a huge part of their improvement. “Glen did magnificently to bring all of us together and make us gel as a team, which everyone enjoyed watching, and it was fantastic season, with a great bunch of players,” he said. “We had a great season off the back of a disappointing 2014, winning the Night Series Grand Final and then remaining in the top two spots throughout the season was a lot more than we all first expected.”

Grostate believes Williams has all the attributes to play in the A-League. “Aryn was outstanding last season and lead by example, and was a worthy winner of the clubs Player of the Year award,” he said. “In my opinion he is one of the best defender in the NPL and deserves a chance to play at the next level. He is an athlete and will have no problem adapting to the pace of the A-League, he just needs to be given a chance.”

In other awards Andrew Xydas won the Under 20’s Fairest and Best, with Nathan Grostate the runner-up, with Geordie Papathanassiou winning the Golden Boot. Devon Rindel won the Under 18’s Fairest and Best, with Spiro Dimitriou the runner-up, with Raed Alanzi winning the Golden Boot. The Troy Bernard Award, for the up and coming Player of the year was won by Mathew Franken.



Former Stirling Lions Coach Gary Williams is back in football after a year out of the game, after being appointed under 18’s coach at Bayswater City. The 46-year-old said he’s happy to be back in the game. “I’m delighted to join the coaching staff at Bayswater City, and I’m looking forward to the challenge,” he said. “I met Chris Coyne, Oriano Colli and Greg D’Orazio early this week, and they made my decision to join the club very easy. During those discussions I could see the drive and motivation to keep Bayswater at the top and to set the benchmark for all other clubs in the state.”

He takes over the under 18’s role from Chris Barbas, who has taken over the under 20’s, and Williams is looking forward to unearthing some talent to feed the first team in years to come. “My role at the club will be assisting the club maintain its high standards of professionalism and developing young players, who will no doubt be the future of the club,” he said. “One of the main objectives of the club is to produce locally based players and promote them through the various stages and ultimately into the senior side.”

Williams, who currently holds a FFA B Licence, has a wealth of experience in the game on and off the park. He played for Hitchin Town, Hayes and Bedford Town in the UK, before heading down under in 2003. He soon went into coaching in Perth in junior and senior football, and was appointed head coach at Stirling Lions in 2013, leading them to State League Cup Final and the inaugural FFA Cup round of 32.

Bayswater have been the standout in the league over the past three seasons, and Williams joins the experienced coaching staff at Frank Drago Reserve, which will be the envy of the other clubs in the league. “The coaching group, led by Chris (Coyne) has a wealth of experience which cannot be matched by any other club in the league, which will benefit the players who wish to improve and who wish to progress,” he said. “This combined with the investment they have made into match analysis and sports science is second to none at this level and makes the club an attractive proposition to any aspiring young players.”

Trials are being held at the present time and Williams said they have had a number of new players attend but spots are still up for grabs. “I have enjoyed getting back into football and I have enjoyed the trial process this week. We have attracted some great young kids and coupled with the core of players from a successful side last year, I believe we will be very competitive in 2016,” he said. “There are still opportunities available for players next week, when we continue our trials on Monday and Wednesday and I would encourage new participants to attend, just go to the clubs website and fill in the Bayswater 2016 trial registration form.”



It was a season of celebration for Forrestfield United Soccer Club in 2015, the club rising from the ashes to win the All Flags Division Two title. The Hartfield Park club had slipped into the division after pressing for a Premier League spot for a number of years, this after aligning themselves with then EPL side Leeds United, but they now have ambitions to play in the state’s top league. A number of players have come through the clubs successful academy and left to play at the highest level of the game in the state,

But two years ago former Coach Rod Banjac returned to the club and didn’t like what he saw, and started the regeneration of the club. Along with a high quality coaching team, Banjac has put plans in progress, and enticed a number of their former players back to the club, with a vision of Forrestfield playing NPL in the next two years. “Finding the club in complete contrast to when I left it was heart breaking,” he explained. “But in saying that, the experience gained along the way was priceless and our club will be better for it in the long term. I have given up on personal accolades a long time ago and have been taking my role as a football educator, role model and mentor very seriously, where complete transparency is of integral importance. Although I am privileged to work alongside some of the most intelligent coaches in the state, it is our ability to work collectively and complement each other's strengths that young coaches and players benefit from the most.”

The first part of the ambitious plan was completed at the end of September after a tense 1-0 win against their nearest rivals Rockingham City in front of a massive crowd at Lark Hill saw them lift the title and winger Rhys Loxley is one of the favourites to win the Football West Division Two player of the year. “We have just completed the third season of a five year plan where winning means very little unless it is done with style and developing young players along the way is imperative,” Banjac said. “Winning the league in front of a massive vocal crowd was the icing on the cake, but the cake is Forrestfield United. The league title is dedicated to every single volunteer and member within our community, but special thanks must go to all the players and coaching staff who ensured that celebrations continued till early hours of the morning at a packed club house. I personally never turned away from a challenge, and although always the first to roll my sleeves up, it takes an army of dedicated volunteer’s to elevate the club to this level, and as a member of the Forry family I am humbled, humiliated and proud.”

Banjac, who played a huge role at Future Glory under former Socceroos’ Coach Frank Arok, said the club are ambitious and they are all pushing in the same direction. “The "professor" is a genius, and a walking encyclopedia of football,” Banjac said of his former mentor. “He now resides in Serbia where I was his guest in 2013 and we have been in touch all these years. It was Frank who told me ‘Go back home to your Forrestfield, they need you, and you need them’, how right he was. I can't possibly express how satisfying it was to work alongside, and learn from such a footballing genius. Amongst many things I have learned how important it is to be honest, caring and punctual when working with young players in particular. Also extremely important is to have a comprehensive understanding of young players’ physical and physiological development throughout their evolvement from juniors to youth, and eventually into adulthood. We worked to a curriculum before FFA existed, but out of all that I have learned from Frank, love of football would be the single stand out. If played with the right attitude and in spirit of the game, football is beautiful where skill will always beat brutal strength.”

Banjac now has the National Premier League in his sights, and he knows the work the club have implemented must continue. “We’re all extremely satisfied with where we are now, but NPL is where we will end up,” he said. “We just hope that the governing body stops changing the goal posts and gives us a clear direction to aim for in regards to junior development. We will always endeavour to be leaders in junior and youth development where football teachers (not coaches) will be supported and held in high regard, ensuring that the standard of education is at the highest level.

The last two years in particular have been exceptionally demanding, and not only on the pitch, where every position within the club infrastructure has been held accountable, including coaches, players, managers, committee members, administrators, and all the way through to the pitch markers. Where 75mm lines were not good enough, they had to be 100mm wide and straight. It is these sorts of details that got us to this point and provide solid platforms for future challenges.”



Winger Chris Harold is hopeful a massive week in front of their home fans will act as a catalyst to kick-start a bumper season for Perth Glory. On Sunday, Glory host Wellington Phoenix in their first home match of the new A-League season, the first of three games in seven days at Perth Oval. They also welcome Adelaide United to Perth in the third round, with a blockbuster FFA Cup semi-final against Melbourne City sandwiched in between on 21 October.

“If we get a couple of good results, get ourselves in the Cup final, it’s going to be a drastically different outlook come the end of next week,” Harold said. “Everyone will be really buzzing and positive. Everyone’s excited to get out and get results. It’s always a tough trip playing away from home the first game of the season. But we’ve got three games next week all at home and it’s a really good chance for us to make a big stamp. I think the whole team is excited to play in front of our home crowd.”

While Glory are hoping to make a statement over the next seven days, Harold is hoping to do similar on a personal basis. “It’s probably about time I stepped up and cemented myself in the starting eleven every week,” the 23-year old admitted. “I want to be creating and scoring more goals … I think I have the capability to do that. This week, three games in quick succession is a good chance for me to get my name out there and prove to everyone that I’ve got the ability to do it.”

With searing speed and ability to play in a good cross, Harold made an encouraging start to the seson by teeing up Richard Garcia’s goal on the weekend against Central Coast Mariners. But it was another tale of woe in Gosford for Glory, who went down 3-2. “I don’t think we played poorly at all and offensively we created plenty of chances,” Harold said. “If we don’t have that goal disallowed in the first two minutes it’s a completely different game.

“I think our new players did really well, (Diego) Castro showed the technical quality he’s got, Gyorgy’s (Sandor) a big engine in midfield. The more they train and play with us, the more cohesive we’ll be. They are going to get fitter, adapt to the Australian conditions that are drastically different to what they have played before. Gui (Fernandez) is a big unit but he’s also quite mobile as well so I think he’s going to be a huge asset. With guys like Nebo (Marinkovic) and Castro in behind us they’re the kind of players we want feeding us in behind and I think we’ll cause teams problems.”



Perth Glory Women have signed 27-year old defender Danielle Brogan on a one-year-deal. With seven caps for the Matildas, Brogan has previously represented Sydney FC and Adelaide United in the W-League, while also enjoying a stint with English side Notts County Ladies. The Sydney-born defender has also represented Australia at youth level, playing in the 2004 and Under-19 World Women’s Championships in Thailand and Russia.

Brogan becomes Glory Women’s 4th new signing this season, joining Matilda Kim Carroll, American midfielder Nikki Stanton and ex-Victory midfielder Ella Mastrantonio in moving West this season. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to put the boots on for another W-League season and I’m looking forward to kicking off Round One in Melbourne this Saturday,” she said. “It's been really refreshing working with Bobby and with some new and old faces in this year's squad, everyone has been very welcoming!”

With 49 Westfield W-League caps over six seasons, Brogan brings a wealth of defensive experience and stability to an attack-driven Perth Glory line-up including Matildas Samantha Kerr, Caitlin Foord and Mackenzie Arnold. She will most likely partner fellow signing Kim Carroll in the heart of defence, who has arrived from Brisbane Roar. Glory Women take on Melbourne Victory on Saturday before hosting Newcastle Jets at Ashfield Reserve on 24 October.



When you have played more than 100 games for your country, gone to the Olympics and World Cups and taken on players in the best leagues in the world, you learn to cope with the many mental challenges of the sport. Lisa De Vanna has dealt with the weight of expectation during an illustrious career at club and international level, so it is no surprise she was straight to the point about the high expectations on her new club Melbourne City in the W-League season which kicks off on Saturday.

“No,” De Vanna said bluntly when asked if hopes for the new team were too high. “I’ve played in bigger games and just come back from a World Cup when we (Australia) were not expected get out of the Group of Death. So when you talk about expectations, I can tell you exactly what expectations are. This is a 12-game round and you don’t win a title in the first round. It’s the last man standing ... it’s whoever finishes up (on top) in the end that counts.”

For the first time, Melbourne City will field a team in the W-League and, true to the big-spending philosophy of owners the City Football Group, the club has not gone in half-hearted. Having raided a number of clubs in the W-League, notably rivals Melbourne Victory, City have assembled a red-hot squad that is being tipped to win the title at their first ­attempt.

De Vanna, the captain of the Matildas and a larger than life character, is the face of the club — the first player that coach Joe Montemurro contacted when he started forming the squad. The 30-year old said she jumped at the chance to join Montemurro, who coached her at Victory last season. City’s squad boasts seven Matildas, Welsh international Jessica Fishlock, Scottish international Kim Little and New Zealand representative Rebekah Stott.

It is no wonder the words “stacked squad” were used frequently to describe City’s first foray into the national competition. But De Vanna was unapologetic about the club’s approach. “Before the team was announced there was already pressure on the club because when you think of Melbourne City you think of Manchester City and the owners and what they do for their players, the ground and facilities,” she said. “Why wouldn’t you want to join a club with that sort of structure and money and facilities?”



West Australian trio Lisa De Vanna, Samantha Kerr and Lydia Williams have gained selection in Alen Stajcic’s 21-player Matilda’s squad for a host of internationals in China later this month. The tour, which spans 19-28 October, includes games against China and England with the possibility of a third game, and is seen as crucial preparation for the Matildas’ Olympic qualifiers in next February.

“It’s a good opportunity for players who were in the World Cup squad to keep their spot,” Stajcic said. “There are also some opportunities for some new players who have performed well in the W-League and in camp to try and stake a claim and show if they can play at international level. There is a lot of hard work to be done between now and the (Olympic) qualifiers, and we’ve certainly got a tough task in front of us to qualify.”

The Matildas squad for this month’s tour of China is Tameka Butt, Katrina Gorry, Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar), Michelle Heyman, Lydia Williams (Canberra United), Emily van Egmond (FFC Frankfurt), Laura Alleway, Steph Catley, Larissa Crummer, Lisa De Vanna (Melbourne City), Hayley Raso (Melbourne Victory), Tara Andrews, Georgia Yeoman-Dale (Newcastle Jets), Mackenzie Arnold, Caitlin Foord, Samantha Kerr (Perth Glory), Elise Kellond-Knight (Potsdam FC), Amy Harrison, Alanna Kennedy, Kyah Simon (Sydney FC) and Caitlin Cooper (Western Sydney Wanderers).



Perth Glory will push for the FFA Cup final to be played over home-and-away legs from next year amid fears they will be overlooked to host the final for a second successive year. Glory are one win from the knockout competition’s decider, hosting Melbourne City in a semi-final at Perth Oval next Wednesday. But they are upset about host venue selection criteria that favours the final being played in Melbourne, Sydney or Adelaide if a heavyweight club from another State is involved.

Capacity, the likely crowd and State Government cash support are among factors considered by Football Federation Australia. If they make the final, Glory are likely to meet A-League champions Melbourne Victory, who face Victorian National Premier Leagues side Hume City. Victory can host the final at Etihad Stadium or AAMI Park, which seat more than 30,000, while Glory’s home ground accommodates 20,500 fans.

Glory chief executive Peter Filopoulos said the club had asked the FFA for a change. “If we do qualify for the second year in a row and we have to travel away for the second year in a row, as we did last year against Adelaide, we think it’s a bit unfair and it needs to be looked at,” he said. Glory, who lost their opening A-League game 3-2 at Central Coast Mariners on Saturday, host Wellington Phoenix on Sunday and Adelaide United a week later.



A satisfied Graham Arnold has praised Sydney FC's promising A-League start, singling out "outstanding" youngster Brandon O'Neill for special praise. O'Neill showed poise beyond his 21 years throughout the Sky Blues' 1-1 draw with Melbourne City on Saturday night, no more so than when his sublime pass set up the hosts' first half equaliser.

O'Neill picked out Alex Brosque with piercing accuracy, releasing the Sydney captain to cross for Filip Holosko to fire in. The defensive midfielders moment of vision came in his first A-League test with Sydney, having being released by Perth Glory late last season after struggling for first team game time.

"He was outstanding," Arnold said of O'Neill, a former ECU Joondalup junior. "I brought him to this club because I saw him two years ago when I was at the Mariners and he played in the youth team. I thought `wow, this kid's a prospect'.

"He's defensive-minded, which I like because we've got (Milos) Dimitrijevic who's attacking-minded, so they complement each other. But Brandon is aggressive and one thing that probably is underestimated with him is how good his passing ability is with both feet - right and left. He just sits there and breaks things up, and that's exactly the player that I need. I thank Perth for letting him come."



Perth Glory’s A-League campaign has begun with a 3-2 defeat against Central Coast Mariners at Blue Tongue Stadium in Gosford. The home side were ahead early, with Roy O’Donavan on target, but skipper Richard Garcia levelled before the break. The Mariners took control of the game with two Fabio Ferreira penalties in the second half, but Kenny Lowe’s side refused to lie down and pressed late, but Mariners custodian Liam Reddy made some outstanding saves to thwart them. The Glory did pull one back in stoppage time through Gyorgy Sandor, but time run out. “You’ve got a deflection and two penalties, and your then under the pump and that affects you a little,” Lowe said after the game. “It gives the other side momentum and belief. But we didn’t roll over, we hung in there and we tried to get something out of it, but I guess we need to be a little bit better.”

The Glory side had a number of new faces in their starting line-up at kick off and the travelling supporters thought they had the lead on three minutes. Garcia made space down the right and whipped in a low cross which was fired home by new Dutch signing Guyon Fernanadz. But the assistants’ flag was raised for offside, but replays showed the decision was incorrect.

The home side began to get into the game, and new Glory keeper Ante Covic produced a stunning low save to save Nick Fitzgerald’s shot from the edge of the penalty area. But on nine minutes the Mariners hit the front. Fitzgerald cut the ball back to Portuguese winger Fabio Ferreira, whose shot was blocked by Covic, the rebound hitting O’Donovan and trickling into the empty net.

It was a bitter blow for the Glory but they were back on level terms on 23 minutes. Chris Harold raced down the right, and his pinpoint cross to the back post picked out Garcia, the skipper guiding his header into the bottom corner of the net. Both sides had chances as the game opened up, but Covic and Reddy made sure both sides went into the break all square.

The second half was a really arm wrestle with both sides playing some good approach football, but struggled in the final third. But on 57 minutes the hosts regained the lead. Ferreira was sent clear and was tracked back by Fernandez, but a lung by the new striker brought Ferreira down and referee Strebre Delovski pointed straight to the spot. Ferreira picked himself up and sent Covic the wrong way to score. The Mariners were getting on top and Covic was called into action again moments later, this time he reacted well this time to deny the dangerous Ferreira.

But the Glory went further behind on 63 minutes, again from the spot. Former Football West NTC product Storm Roux raced into the area and fell under the challenge from Antony Golec, again the referee pointed to the spot. Ferreira stepped up and again dispatched the penalty to give the Mariners a two goal lead.

Despite the score line the Glory continued to take the game to their hosts, and began to get on top. New Spanish import Diego Castro wasted great opportunity after being found in the penalty area, before Josh Risdon brought the best out of Reddy.

It was one-way traffic and the Mariners custodian produced another stunning save to deny substitute Sidnei Sciola, but time was running out. The Glory did pull one back deep into stoppage time, when substitute Mitch Oxborrow’s long-range shot deflected off Sandor, but it was too little too late and the Glory will hope to bounce back next week when they entertain Wellington Phoenix at 4pm Sunday at nib Stadium.



Kenny Lowe has no interest in playing pretty soccer as long as Perth Glory are winning. The Glory coach will attempt to mastermind another strong start in his second full A-League season in charge when the club opens its 2015/16 campaign away to Central Coast Mariners today. Glory won nine of their first 11 matches last season to emerge as the competition’s pacesetters before salary cap breaches led to a finals ban that undid all their good work on the pitch.

Nine new signings, including international recruits Guyon Fernandez and Diego Castro, will guarantee a different look to Glory’s line-up this season. The club’s loyal supporters have already responded to the sweeping changes in numbers, with 4860 members having signed up as of yesterday. And Glory have announced National Storage as a new partner and shirt sponsor under a two-year deal that has boosted their financial position.

Lowe said he had long since moved on from the disastrous finish to last season when administrative failings denied his team third place and a finals berth. “It’s gone, isn’t it? It’s a new season,” Lowe said. “That died the day it happened for me, so we just do what we do. I think we had 11 (new signings) last year, so we’re probably in a better position. We’re in a good spot, a nice vibe around the place. Everybody seems to be enjoying their work. We’ll see how we end up.

“We just want to win games and we’ll try and win them any way we can. You can look pretty, but your ‘keeper can have more touches than your centre midfield player or your centre forward and you’ll get done. The big driver for us is we’ve got to win games.” Glory’s line-up for the season opener could feature as many as three A-League debutants with Fernandez, Castro and Hungarian import Gyorgy Sandor tipped to start.



Former Manchester United and England defender Paul Parker will be in Perth on the 28th of October for “An Evening with Paul Parker,” hosted by Ashley Morrison at the State Library Theatre in Francis Street, Northbridge.

Parker grew up watching West Ham United but signed as an apprentice with Fulham who were at the time coached by Malcolm Macdonald. When Macdonald left so too did Parker. He joined Queens Park Rangers and during his time at the club they finished as the highest placed London side in England’s top division. Parker left Queens Park Rangers after being a key player in England’s run to the semi finals of the 1990 World Cup, where after a 1-1 draw with Germany they lost on penalties.

A number of big clubs were chasing his signature but Manchester United won out. Sir Alex Ferguson saying “Paul Parker is without doubt one of the best signings I have made as Manchester United manager, and was an integral part of the defence I consider to be the best I have ever worked with.” With Parker in the side Manchester United finally broke their drought and won their first Premiership title. He was a key part of the defence, playing alongside Denis Irwin, Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister. Sadly injury brought the curtain down on a career that defied the odds. Parker at 5ft 7in was one of the smaller players to hold their own at the highest level. His career saw him play under coaches like Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Robson, and alongside the likes of Ray Wilkins, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and Eric Cantona.

An Evening with Paul Parker will see him look back on some key moments in his career as well as the characters he has met and played alongside. Tickets are available by clicking here.



For most players, having to cope with the stress of your club being under investigation for salary cap issues for most of the season would be hard to deal with. One can only imagine then, how the Perth Glory players would have been feeling after being kicked out of the finals last season just weeks before the play-offs after the club was eventually found guilty of systemic rorting of the cap.

For one player, however, the pain that came with Football Federation Australia’s decision to strip Glory of enough competition points to ensure they finished outside the top six was nothing compared to what he was going through in his personal life. As fierce a competitor as he is, defender Dino Djulbic could do nothing but sit back and hope and pray while he watched his father, Esad, battle for his life against melanoma.

While he gave everything for Glory, the salary cap dramas paled into insignificance for the 32-year-old, who described his father as “my mentor and my hero”. Esad, 61, who played and refereed in the former Yugoslavia before the family fled the Bosnian War in the early 1990s, lost his fight against melanoma in July after a 12-year struggle, leaving Dino and his family devastated.

“It was a very difficult time in my life for sure,” Djulbic said after completing preparations for Glory’s opening game of the season against Central Coast Mariners tonight. “He was the reason I came back from overseas to play for Perth again. I needed to be with him, to support him, just like he did with me. He was always looking after us. We went through a war and had to move from country to country. It was frightening, but he was there for us.”

Just knowing his father was thrilled to have his son back home and knowing he was able to watch him play live for Glory was a huge boost for Djulbic. “When the chance came to play with Glory again I grabbed it with both hands,” he said. “To spend time with Dad and to be close to him meant so much. He was so passionate about football. He was involved with it all his life. Him being there (in the stands), playing in front of him and watching me live meant so much to me and also to him.”

Sadly, Esad did not get to see his son claim Glory’s top prize at the end of the season, the Most Glorious Player. “The award was a huge highlight for me and it was upsetting Dad wasn’t there to see me get it,” Djulbic said. “He had watched me play all season and I tried to do my very best. He gave me the strength to perform well and I dedicated the award to him.”

As for the cap dramas, Djulbic said he and his teammates never gave up. “No one should go through what we had to,” he said. “We really fought hard on the pitch and gave everything we had. Sometimes things happen you don’t expect but you have to deal with it. It was just one of those things. For me, I had other issues off field and that took my mind off the football side.”

Djulbic said the salary issue was behind them and the players were looking forward to the start of the season. “It has been a long off-season and we have had plenty of changes. A lot of players left because of what happened but we have recruited well,” Djulbic said. “We are hoping for a spot in the top six and then we will see where we go from there. Last season few people rated us and I am sure the same people are looking down on us again.”



Australia coach Ange Postecoglou says a painful 2-0 World Cup qualifying defeat in Jordan doesn't call for wholesale change but does show his players need more desire. Hasan Abdel-Fattah's early second half penalty stunned the Socceroos before Hamza Al-Dardour sealed a famous victory for Jordan with six minutes remaining.

It was a sucker-punch defender Mark Milligan called "a toe-bash from inside their half" that wrecked the Socceroos' night. Matthew Spiranovic failed to deal with a long ball, felling Al-Dardour for the penalty that Abdel-Fattah would lash home. From that moment, Jordan had control of the tie, stretching the Socceroos and the clock at every opportunity.

The defeat was the second in as many visits to the Jordanian capital, after the Socceroos lost 2-1 in their previous campaign, and put Jordan on top of their qualifying group. In front of a boisterous crowd, which began chanting hours before kick-off and stopped only for the national anthem, Jordan took it right up to the Asian champions.

Paul Put's team looked hungrier than the Socceroos and celebrated wildly after both goals and on the final whistle. "It means a lot to them," Postecoglou said. "It always does and you kind of hope it means the same to us ... World Cup spots are up for grabs. That (should be) enough motivation for any side, any country."

Chasing the game, Postecoglou threw on forwards Nathan Burns, Tim Cahill and Tomi Juric - replacing two midfielders and defender Bailey Wright - without finding a goal. With the Socceroos committed to an equaliser, it was another ball over the top that finished them off, ending up with Al-Dardour who finished off a one-on-one chance.

The result disappointed Postecoglou but he said there was no crisis. "We're not the finished product, we haven't said we are and we've got a lot of improvement in us," he said. "We're not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater, though - it's one loss. We firmly believe we're on the right track."



Richard Garcia is eyeing a big first season as Perth Glory’s new captain, with the former Socceroo declaring he must help fill the scoring void left by Andy Keogh’s departure. Glory are expected to start with Dutch import Guyon Fernandez up front in Keogh’s old role, starting with Saturday’s season opener at Central Coast Mariners.

Garcia, 34, has never been a prolific goal scorer despite being used as a forward in Australia’s 2010 World Cup campaign. His 117 appearances for English club Hull City from 2007 to 2012 yielded nine goals and he found the net only twice for Glory last season in 25 matches.

But the Glory captain said the onus was now on him to find the back of the net. “There were certain things about last season that I wasn’t too pleased with on a personal note,” Garcia said. “Everyone needs to step up and be counted this year, especially with the small squad that we’ve got.”

“It was just my goals - I didn’t score enough, I maybe did too much defensive work. It’s a bit of a different attack now. Guyon is a little bit different to Andy. Andy had a great work rate and really did wonders for us last year, but this year we’ve got a very strong midfield also that hopefully we can get up and support a lot quicker.”



Perth Glory defender Josh Risdon has vowed to help his team climb back to the top of the table this season and put the misfortunes of last season behind him. The 23-year old attacking full-back had one of the best seasons in the A-League, notching up 115 tackles, 22 more than any other player. Risdon said he was fitter, stronger and roaring to go, ahead of this weekend’s opening clash at Central Coast Mariners.

“I’m a lot fitter, we’ve got a good team, good camaraderie and a good feeling about this year and hopefully we can take it onto the pitch,” said Risdon, who has been pushing for Socceroos selection. “All the new lads have been great they love it here (and) we’re starting to gel on the training track”.

Risdon said he wanted the team to repeat the milestones it achieved last year, before it was excluded from the finals campaign last season. “To get back into that top six – it was pretty hurtful when we got knocked out and I just want to be competitive this season,” he said. “Personally I just want to play week-in week-out for the club and get up to the top of the league”.



Trent Sainsbury has never had much luck with injuries. The Socceroos defender missed last year’s World Cup after fracturing his kneecap on a sprinkler on his debut at PEC Zwolle in the Netherlands. At Central Coast Mariners before that, he was plagued by a hip complaint that medics struggled to treat.

But his latest problem tops it all - a hamstring pain that club doctors don't think is a hamstring problem, but can't diagnose it as anything else. "No one really knows what it is," he says. "I have really strange injuries ... I'm getting used to the chaos of it all."

Sainsbury has recovered enough to earn a recall to the Socceroos squad, despite barely featuring in the Dutch league and not being used in Australia's last two internationals. A program focussed on core fitness rather than his troubled hamstring improved his fortunes, and the 23-year-old says it's worked wonders.

"Because nobody could really identify what the injury was, it was sort of a hit and miss, tick off the things that didn't work," he said. "I'm at a point now where I'm probably the strongest I have been in my career. I feel quick ... I feel better than I did at the Asian Cup."

Sainsbury has played in reserve team matches for Zwolle but has played just nine minutes for his club this season, battling to make it from the bench due to his club's hot streak of form. Zwolle are just two points off Ajax Amsterdam in top spot, which means Sainsbury must wait for his chance.

With the waiting has come plenty of time to reflect on how those injuries have changed him. "It's made me look at myself as not so indestructible," he said. You get one injury, it leads to another and before you know it, you're crumbling. It's been a tough time but that's football I guess."



Having been the initial spokeswoman for the Matildas strike, goalkeeper Lydia Williams is confident Australia's best women footballers will now be able to play in Europe and still represent their country. Football Federation Australia and the Professional Footballers Australia are close to ending their dispute over a new collective bargaining agreement, which means next week's Matildas camp and the start of the A-League season could go ahead as planned.

Aside from trying to get pay they can actually live on, the Matildas were also pushing to be allowed to play wherever they want in the world and still be available for Australian selection. Currently, they're required to play in the W-League, which not only minimise their earning potential, but also their development potential. The pay in Europe is better and the seasons are longer. The Matildas are also expected to get increased minimum guaranteed wages as part of the new CBA.

While the players are yet to agree to any proposed FFA deal, Williams was confident the Matildas would now be allowed to play off-shore. "We're really passionate to play for our country, but we also can be able to go overseas and make a name for ourselves over there as well," she said. "It's important for our own development in the national team, so we can look at places and improve ourselves. We don't feel like we're getting that improvement at home."



Bayswater City’s run in the PS4 National Premier Leagues competition came to an end after a 3-1 loss against PS4 NSW side Blacktown City in the Grand Final at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday evening. Joe Gibbs and Mitch Mallia put the visitors 2-0 up at the break, and although Gustavo Giron-Marulanda pulled one back for Bayswater, former Western Sydney Wanderers striker Gibbs added his second to seal the victory. “It was a great night for the club and all involved,” Gibbs said. “We put in a great performance considering the travel which we are not used too, but I thought we thoroughly deserved the win and it is a great way to end an already successful season.”

After last week’s sublime performance against Hobart Olympia, Bayswater were favorites going into the game, but the early signs were good for the visitors with Patrick Antelmi, Travis Major and Mallia all causing problems for the Bayswater defence. They should have taken the lead on four minutes, Mallia’s ball in from the left picked out Major, but with the goal at his mercy, he failed to make contact with the ball.

But on 13 minutes Blacktown’s pressure was rewarded with the opener. Major was the provider this time finding Gibbs, and the striker made no mistake. There was a concerned look on the face of Bayswater coach Chris Coyne, and his keeper Devon Spence thwarted the marauding Blacktown side. First he was out bravely to deny Mallia, before saving low from Sasa Macura’s shot.

Bayswater needed to lift and moments later they went close to the leveler. David Heagney was given far too much room on the edge of the penalty area, but his curling shot flashed inches wide of the target, and the striker headed wide Todd Howarth’s corner five minutes later. But Blacktown looked threatening on the break and on 26 minutes they doubled their advantage, Mallia firing home past Spence at the second attempt.

With the coaches half time address still ringing in their ears, Bayswater opened the second half well and had Blacktown on the back foot, and six minutes in they pulled a goal back. Howarth’s well flighted free kick found Giron-Marulanda, and the Columbian striker headed home past Nenad Vekic. It was game on and the crowd was right behind the home side but any hopes of a comeback was quashed four minutes later.

Gibbs, who was outstanding on the night, and won the John Kosmina Medal as the game’s best player, produced another quality finish to virtually end the contest. Bayswater pressed late, Brian Farrell saw his shot tipped over by Vekic and Howarth cross caused panic in the Blacktown defence, but Marulanda was unable to force the ball home. The match threatened to boil over midway through the second half after Farrell and Antelmi clashed but order was quickly restored by referee Matthew Cooper. But at the final whistle it was Mark Crittenden side celebrating a famous victory, while the Bayswater coach thought what could have been.

Coyne praised his side’s second-half effort but was disappointed of the first half performance. “I’m grateful to the boys for coming out in the second half and putting a shift in, they really came out and had a pop but I think we lost the cup in the first half,” he said. “I said to the boys if they’re willing to go forward, you’ve got to run with them and see if they want to go the other way with you. But you can’t expect to score four against a champion team. I’m immensely proud of the players, proud of the club and coaching staff but it was one hurdle too many. I can’t complain because they’ve given me everything all year.”

Bayswater City 1 (Giron-Marulanda 51’)
Blacktown City 3 (Gibbs 13’, 55’, Mallia 26’)

Referee: Matthew Cropper
Assistants: Josh Manella and Matthew Southern

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 2 Declan HARGREAVES (12 Adam TONG 62’), 6 Todd HOWARTH, 9 Gustavo GIRON-MARULANDA, 13 Trent KAY, 15 Brian FARRELL, 16 Jamie COYNE, 17 Borbor SAM, 20 Sam MITCHINSON, 21 David HEAGNEY (14 Danny DIXON 59’), 23 Chris SALDARIS - Subs not used: RGK Jason SALDARIS, 10 Damien CATALANO, 19 Alex WILD

Blacktown City: GK Nenad VEKIC, 3 Giorgio SPERANZA, 4 Yianni FRAGOGIANNIS, 6 Matthew LEWIS, 7 Travis MAJOR, 8 Sasa MACURA, 9 Joe GIBBS, 12 Daniel ARAUJO (21 Yianni PERKATIS 58’), 14 Mitchell MALLIA, 16 Patrick ANTELMI (11 Danny SEUNG-JOO CHOI 76’), 19 Zachary CAIRNCROSS - Subs not used: RGK Tristan PRENDERGAST, 10 Christos TOMARAS, 18 Jonathan GROZDANOVSKI



Rockingham City will play in the All Flags Division One next season after 4-3 aggregate win against Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve in the second leg of the promotion / relegation play-off on Friday night. Morley raced to a two lead at the break with goals from Brian Crellin and Tony Cain, but a Ryan Kennedy penalty on the hour got Rockingham back in the game and Shane Boyle scored the second fifteen minutes from time to seal the win. “We didn't play particularly well first half and deservedly trailed at the break, but we came out second half and played some great football to get the result,” Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar.

The coach believes Rockingham are on the up and is looking forward to next season. “Tonight was really important for the players and for the club, we are a very young side with lots of potential so to play at the next level is an exciting challenge for them,” he said. “The club have come a long way the last couple of years on and off the park and we wanted the football community to sit up and take notice of us. We are still developing but Rockingham is now a club people want to play for and be part of.”

Trailing 2-1 from the first leg Morley needed a good start and they were ahead on 25 minutes. A free kick from Scott Wrightson hit the wall and snuck through, and Brian Crellin latched onto the loose ball and fired into the bottom left corner. It was game on, and the home faithful were on their feet again five minutes before half time. Crellin cross into the box from the left picked out Cain who headed home past Cyril Sharrock to send the home side into the break two to the good.

With Crerar’s half time address still ringing in their ears Rockingham came out with real determination and a will to turn the game around, and they were back in the game on the hour, with Kennedy firing home from the spot. The momentum of the game had switched and Rockingham looked dangerous going forward and on 75 minutes they levelled on the night and edged forward in the tie. Blake Sokolski made space down the flank and crossed to 17-year-old Boyle, whose diving header flashed into the net. Morley, who now need to two goals to win the tie, pushed forward but Rockingham held on to see the game out and celebrate with their supporters after the final whistle.



On Saturday evening one of the biggest games in WA football takes place with NPL-WA Champions Bayswater City entertaining NPL-NSW Premiers Blacktown City in the Grand Final of the PS4 National Premier Leagues at Dorrien Gardens (6.30pm). Bayswater eased into the final with a stunning 6-0 win against Hobart Olympia, while Blacktown edged out Moreton Bay United 2-1.

Chris Coyne’s side will be looking to make history and be the first WA club to win the National competition, and Irish midfielder Brian Farrell said they are hoping to cap off a fantastic season by taking it out. “It’s been a wonderful season for us this year, and were all looking forward to Saturday night,” he said. “It’s was very satisfying to complete the NPLWA season without defeat, and we’ve carried that on into this competition. For everyone involved with the club it has been a huge achievement to win the title for the last three seasons, but it just rewards for the work we’ve put in on and off the park.”

The 28-year-old said the performance against Olympia was outstanding, and he hopes they can repeat that against a good Blacktown side. “We were all disappointed to lose at home to Metrostars last season, and watch them lift the trophy in the final, and we were all focused to go better this season,” Farrell said. “Saturday gives us the opportunity to not only put WA football on the map, but also Bayswater as a club. It’s pleasing to make it this far, but we are hoping to change a few preconceptions about the strength of football in WA on Saturday night and take the trophy back to Frank Drago Reserve.”

Farrell, who played in the Irish Premier League with Shelbourne FC and Dublin City, before a four year soccer scholarship at the University of Memphis in the USA, said the club have done their homework on the opposition, and said they will be strong with a number of former A-League players in their squad. “We will approach and prepare for the game the same way we have all season,” he said. “We obviously haven’t played them (Blacktown) before, so we will spend the week gathering information on them. We are expecting a tough game, just like all finals are, and hopefully we can perform on the night and see where it takes us.”

Blacktown City have had some famous players in the past, with former Socceroos striker Robbie Salter, former Perth Glory defender Scott Jamieson, Sydney striker Bernie Ibini and Perth Glory Youth head Coach John Gibson all playing for the Gabbie Stadium club. Coach Mark Crittenden has overseen the clubs success, and they head into Saturday’s game looking to become the first NSW side to take out the title.

Striker Joe Gibbs, who was part of the Western Sydney Wanderers side that won the 2013-2014 A-League title, said there season has been magnificent and they went back-to-back as Champions of the NPLNSW, and they hope to add the National competition to their honour board. “It was a successful season for our club, and we achieved our goal we had at the start of the season, and that was winning the league," he said. “Unfortunately things didn’t go our way in the Top Five Grand Final against Bonnyrigg, but we believe we won the most important one, and that’s being the best team and top of the table at the end of 22 rounds.”

The 23-year-old, who also had stints at Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets, said Saturday’s game is a huge game for the club, and NSW football and he believes the competition has been great for the second tier of football in the Country. “It’s a new experience for me personally, having never competed in the competition before,” Gibbs explained. “I’m really looking forward to the game, and I don’t think I’ve seen so many people excited for a long plane trip to Perth, but the whole club is buzzing. I think it’s a great competition for the NPL leagues and I can see it really growing further in the next few years.”

Gibbs said they have watched the games Bayswater have played in the tournament and said they are a good side, but he believes they have the fire power to bring home the trophy. “You can see they (Bayswater) are an experienced side with a number of A-League players in their side and that was a huge result last week, but we have performed well in the competition to date and we are confident going over and getting a result,” he said. “We were happy with our game last week, especially the first half. We got a bit complacent later on allowing Moreton Bay back in the game, and we had to hold firm late. It was a good test, against a good side and it was a good test for us leading into the big one this weekend.”



The final spot in the All Flags Division One will be decided tonight, with Rockingham City and Morley-Windmills battling it out in the play-off second leg at Wotton Reserve. Rockingham hold a slender 2-1 lead after the first leg, with goals from Christian Hogge and Shane Boyle, this after David Houston had given Morley and early lead.

City midfielder Hogge said the first game was a tight affair, but he thought they should have added a few more goals on the night. “We started the game with a high intensity, but they scored a cracking goal, which we really could do nothing to stop,” he said. “We knew we would get chances, and we just continued to play our football and I thought we dominated the game, and deservedly went into the break ahead. We were a little disappointed because we should have had a few more goals, but the character we showed to come back was great. We go into the second leg knowing we are only another win away from promotion.”

The 21-year-old, who joined the club from Kelmscott Roos during the season, said there is a great camaraderie in their camp, and Coach Rob Crerar has done a great job in his first season at the helm. “Promotion would be a fantastic end to the season,” he said. “I have been a part of the side since the middle of the season, and Rob has done a fantastic job, and it’s all because of him I joined the club, and I really started to enjoy my football again. If we can get promotion it will make all the hard work he and the players have put in well-deserved.” In team news Rockingham welcome back former Armadale and Sorrento keeper Cyril Sharrock for the big game.

Windmills will be boosted by their away goal last week, and midfielder Brian Crellin said they are ready for a tough game. “We’re happy to come away with an away goal, and we took the lead much against the run of play,” he said. “We had set up with a 4-5-1, very reserved, and they were out of the blocks early and they were fitter and technically better than we expected. We changed things around at the break and it was more even, but we weren’t clinical, but overall 2-1 was a fair result and the away goal could prove vital.”

Windmills, who will go into the game unchanged, only just scrapped into the play off, and good end to the season edged them above Swan United, and the 26-year-old said since Jason Van Rooy returned to the club, the performances improved. “It’s been a tough season for the club, and there are very few players left from the original team at the beginning of the year,” he explained. “Since the arrival of Jason as manager, we have picked up lots of momentum at the back end. But due to a high influx of new players it took time to adjust. The goals have started to come and we’ve looked surer at the back, so we’re quietly confident we can get the right result on Friday, yet still respectful of the quality that Rockingham showed on Tuesday night.”



Goalkeeper Ante Covic was over the moon after Perth Glory defeated Western Sydney Wanderers in last night’s FFA Cup quarter-finals. Covic, who was released by Western Sydney in the off-season after winning the Asian Champions League last season, made a fabulous double-save in the second half of regulation time to keep the home side in the game.

The veteran shot-stopper said it was extra special defeating his former club. “Obviously there’s a little bit extra for me to beat the Wanderers but the first goal was to make sure Perth Glory went through,” Covic said. “We’ve a bunch of new players and we’re still trying to figure each other out, but it’s good to get 120 minutes and progress to the next stage.”



Adelaide United’s on loan target man Eli Babalj doesn’t see fellow striker Bruce Djite as competition, he refers to the pair dicing for the same spot as ‘depth’. But with Adelaide coach Guillermo Armor destined to stick stringently to versions of the 4-3-3 formation there will only be room for one specialist striker in the starting eleven at a time.

That doesn’t faze Babalj who has now been in Adelaide for nearly two months after Dutch club AZ Alkmaar agreed to release him for another spell in the A-League. “Strikers go through patches in the season where they don’t score and to have another good striker waiting is beneficial for the team,’’ Babalj said. “I think it adds more to the team and brings more goals and more success.”

Babalj, 23, played about 30 minutes of Adelaide’s 3-1 FFA Cup quarter-final loss to Melbourne Victory following time out through injury. “I had a bit of a set back with a knee injury I strained,’’ Babalj said. “It was a touch and go game (for my fitness) so the positive I can take out of it is, mentally I got through it fine with my knee. I got some minutes under my belt I’m getting back my rhythm and now getting some form.”



Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe has dealt the local game a major blow by revealing he’s on the verge of signing players cast aside by A-League rivals to bolster his thin squad. The departure of nine players over the off-season has left Glory’s playing roster looking somewhat light-on for the coming season. Lowe vowed to promote local talent when appointed coach in December 2013, however, that no longer appears to be the case with two former A-League players set to join the club.

Speaking after last night’s FFA Cup win over Western Sydney Wanderers, Lowe confirmed Glory will reveal their two newest additions ahead of the season opener at Central Coast Mariners on Saturday week. “We’ll sign two more,” Lowe said. “It’s close. They’ve both got 50-70 A-League games, so we’re trying to bring a little bit of experience. We’ve only got a really small squad, so we can’t take a gamble on people out of the State League, because people who come in are going to play. That’s our thought process.”



Samantha Kerr says the Matildas had to stand up for what’s right after boycotting this months’ two-game series against World Cup holders United States. The Matildas pulled the plug on the USA amid the ongoing row between the Professional Footballers’ Australia and Football Federation Australia around the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Kerr, who was named Perth Glory’s W-League captain at the club’s season launch on Friday, did not want to dwell on the issue but said the players had to take a stand. “We’ve got to stand for what is right,” Kerr said. “Everyone wants to play the world champions especially so soon after they won the World Cup, but I’m sure we’ll get another opportunity.”



Perth Glory has advanced to the semi-finals of the FFA Cup after out-shooting Western Sydney Wanderers 4-2 in a dramatic penalty at Dorrien Gardens. The game finished deadlocked at 1-1 after extra-time, Nebojsa Marinkovic cancelling out Dimas Delgado’s opener, with Glory making the most of their chances from the spot to progress.

The first half was a relatively even affair with both teams having their chances to go ahead. Glory’s best were a couple of trademark long-range efforts by Nebojsa Marinkovic, while Mitch Nichols’ volley went just wide for the visitors. Half-time was four minutes away when Western Sydney edged the lead, Spanish import Delgado tucking away Nichols’ centring ball. .

Western Sydney would have doubled their lead if not for Ante Covic’s brilliant double-save to deny Nichols then Jaushua Sotirio. It was a pivotal moment as on 59 minutes Marinkovic blasted in a low shot from the edge of the box to bring the teams level. An exciting final 30 minutes ensued with Sidnei and Chris Harold spearheading Glory’s charge.

Set-pieces looked the most likely avenue to goal but neither side could find a breakthrough as the game went to the spot. A horrible miss by Federico Piovoccari was punished as Antony Golec and Sidnei each converted for Glory. And when Scott Jamieson blazed high for Wanderers, it was left to captain Richard Garcia to send Glory into the Cup’s last four.



Rockingham City are in pole position, in the All Flags promotion and relegation Play-off, after 2-1 win against Morley-Windmills in the first leg at Lark Hill on Tuesday evening. Windmills scored early through David Houston, but goals to Christian Hogge and Shane Boyle gave the Division Two runners-up the advantage going into Friday’s second leg at Wotton Reserve. “I was really pleased at how we bounced back in the game after going behind in the opening minutes,” City Coach Rob Crerar said. “We were challenged in the second half by Morley, but our lads stuck to the task and we go into Friday’s second leg with confidence.”

It was perfect start for the visitors and they were ahead after only two minutes. A ball over the top sent Houston clear, he held off his marker, and superbly fired home from long-range. But Rockingham hit back on 15 minutes. A ball into the box wasn’t dealt with by the Morley defence and Hogge produced a stunning bicycle kick to level. Before the break the home side hit the front, Boyle firing home from close-range.

Both sides had chances in the second half but couldn’t find the target, and at the final whistle, Rockingham takes a slender lead for the second leg. Despite the narrow loss, Houston said they are confident they can get the job done on Friday. “Even though we lost, we’re still in a good position to win the tie,” he said. “An away goal and home advantage sets us up nicely. They’re a decent side, but once we saw how they played, we were able to keep them at bay in the second half, and we created some good chances. If we can do the same on Friday we can get the win we need.”



Subiaco AFC keeper Ryan Montgomery was the star at the clubs 2015 Presentation Night, taking out the club’s Player of the Year and the Players’ Player of the Year trophies. After joining from South West Phoenix at the start of the season, the Subiaco custodian was delighted to take out the clubs fairest and best. “It’s always a great honour to win awards at the end of the season, and to do the double with go but the boys really made me feel welcome and it has defiantly been the most enjoyable year that I've had on and off the field,” he said. “To move clubs after playing with one club for such a long time I was a bit unsure of how it would go, but the boys really made me feel welcome and it has defiantly been the most enjoyable year that I've had on and off the field.”

In their second season in the NPL Subiaco continued to impress and Montgomery believes they can maintain their spot on the top flight of WA football next season. “I think the club has improved on last year, which was the goal at the start of the season and with the eighteens doing so well I think the club is in good stead for the future,” he added.

Skipper Nathan Diaz was the runners-up in the Player of the Year award, while Mitchell Steinberg was runner-up in the Players’ Player of the year. In other awards Zac Hardisty won the under 20’s Player of the Year award, with Justin Caratozzolo the runner-up. Owen Coates won the under 20’s Players’ Player of the Year, with Sheldon MacDonald runner-up. The under 18’s Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the year was won by Dylan Andrews, with Alex Meston and Shatoosh Bhat runners-up respectively.



With Australians now an endangered species in the English Premier League, Aston Villa rookie Jordan Lyden is looking to change that by breaking into the first team squad this season, after captaining the club's unbeaten Under-21 side. Despite missing the whole of last season with a horrific hamstring injury, the Young Socceroos midfielder came off the bench in two pre-season first team games and trains regularly with the senior side under the watchful eye of coach Tim Sherwood.

Lyden, who played his juniors with ECU Joondalup, insists that he will be ready if and when the call comes from Sherwood. “It’s a great thing to be made captain of the Under-21s, especially having been out all of last year,” said Lyden, scorer of the deciding goal in a 2-1 victory over West Ham United two weeks back. “The main thing is just staying fit.”

“I am 19 now and have age in my side. I am training with the first team and I am in the right place with the right club. The coaches have said as long as I keep doing what I am doing there's no reason why I can't push on to the first team. Tim Sherwood is very good for bringing youngsters through and Villa are renowned for giving youngsters a chance.”

Lyden has played every minute of the Under-21's opening four games and also featured in pre-season friendlies with Swindon Town and Walsall. He knows only too well how far former Tottenham Under-21's skipper and Australia star Massimo Luongo has come since his days as a Spurs rookie, moving to Swindon and then Queens Park Rangers, with an Asian Cup winners' medial and most valuable player accolade collected along the way.

But Lyden says his playing style as more akin to Socceroos skipper Mile Jedinak. “I am a bit similar in way to Mile in that I like to get stuck in with a tackle and I can play at the same time,” he said. “That’s what Villa seem to like about me ... I can play in the right areas and if I need to mix it up a bit I can. But I like to play football. That's really my game, the technical side of things.”

Lyden broke into Australia's Under-20s side before injuring his hamstring, and was also sounded out last year by coach Aurelio Vidmar, whose Olyroos will shortly begin the qualifying campaign for next year’s Olympic Games in Brazil . “Now I am back playing, hopefully I am in contention for the Under-23s,” said Lyden, who featured in qualifiers for the Under-20 World Cup in Malaysia last year.

He was struck down soon after signing a two-year extension on his Villa deal in August 2014 and admits it was a challenging period in his budding career. “It was very frustrating,” he said. “I played ten minutes in a pre-season game and missed the whole season. It was 15cm tear in my hamstring that was recurring and never had the right time to heal. But that's behind me now.”



Socceroo winger Nikita Rukavytsya has made a sensational start to his career at Beitar Jerusalem, scoring on his debut for the Israeli Premier League club. Playing up front, Rukavytsya was in the right place at the right time to tap in at the far post his teams’ third goal in a comfortable 3-1 home victory over Hapoel Kfar Saba. The 28-year old’s finish helped Beitar to their first win of the new season, jumping them up two places on the ladder to 10th in the 14-team competition.



The stage is set for an electric atmosphere as Perth Glory prepares to host Western Sydney in the quarter-finals of the FFA Cup tomorrow night. Glory, last year’s FFA Cup finalists, will for the first time showcase its new look squad featuring star signings Guyon Fernandez and Diego Castro in front of what is expected to be a capacity crowd at Dorrien Gardens.

Routine maintenance at Perth Oval has necessitated the game be moved to Dorrien Gardens, which Glory boss Kenny Lowe says will provide a real and raw experience for the fans. “It’s a great little tight stadium ... it’s going to be a good old fashioned FFA cup tie really,” he said. “It’s going to be tough with their Italian boy, their Spanish boy, (Dario) Vidosic and (Scott) Jamieson, Mitch Nichols they’ll be very good.”

Lowe stressed the importance of an extended Cup run for Glory given their limited opportunity for pre-season games. “We find it difficult over here to get friendly games because of the new rulings with regards to lighting,” he said. “You can’t play any games without certain lighting and there’s only three teams in WA who have got the lighting so we need to stay in the FFA Cup to ensure that our preseason is where it’s required so it’s a big driver for us.”



Bayswater City moved into the PS4 National Premier League – National Grand Final after a stunning 6-0 win against Tasmanian NPL Champions Hobart Olympia FC at Frank Drago Reserve on Sunday. It was a stunning performance from Chris Coyne’s side, with former Huddersfield Town striker David Heagney bagging a hat-trick, with Man of the Match Borbor Sam scoring twice and Gustavo Giron-Marulanda adding the other. Heagney said they went into the game full of confidence after last week’s win in Adelaide. “We spoke before the game, that if we play our best and work hard as a team we can beat anyone,” he said. “It’s nice to score a hat-trick but the service I got today from Borbor and Danny Dixon was outstanding, and I was happy to be on the end of them today.”

The home started brightly and skipper Trent Kay should have done better when he headed over when unmarked early, while Olympia threatened themselves on ten minute, but Warren Wadawu shot on the turn failed to find the target. But on 13 minutes Bayswater took the lead. Former Perth Glory Youth winger Sam raced past Harry Woolley and crossed to Heagney who made mistake from four meters. Despite going behind the goal seemed to lift Olympia and they had their best period of the match.

Luke Eyles shot straight at Devon Spence before Lachlan Nichols curling shot from the edge of the penalty area whistled inches past the post. But on 28 minutes Bayswater doubled their advantage with a sublime finish from Marulanda. A ball over the top from Brian Farrell sent him clear, and the Columbian striker finished with aplomb past Sean Lewis. Olympia were struggling in the final third as Bayswater continued to threaten and Sam saw a shot flash inches wide, before Heagney tested Lewis late, but the Olympia custodian saved low.

It was more of the same after the break as Bayswater dictated terms. Lewis saved well to deny Heagney early, before Sam’s shot from the edge of the penalty area flashed wide of the target. But their pressure was rewarded on 64 minutes with the third, Heagney racing clear and finished clinically. Bayswater were showing no signs of abating and they added a fourth on 73 minutes, with Sam cutting in from the left and firing low past Lewis.

Olympia were wilting and Bayswater added their fifth moments later. Heagney was given far too much room on the edge of the penalty, and he finished clinically to complete his hat-trick. The icing was put on the cake with three minutes remaining, with Sam capping off an outstanding performance drifting in from the left and firing low past Lewis. The win gave Bayswater City a home Grand Final next Saturday against Blacktown City from New South Wales at Dorrien Gardens kicking off at 6.30pm.

Bayswater City SC: GK Devon SPENCE, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 9 Gustavo GIRON-MARULANDA (2 Declan HARGREAVES 55’), 13 Trent KAY (c), 14 Danny DIXON, 15 Brian FARRELL, 16 Jamie COYNE, 17 Bor Bor SAM, 20 Sam MITCHINSON, 21 David HEAGNEY (10 Damien CATALANO 79’), 23 Chris SALDARIS (12 Adam TONG 72’)
Subs not used: RGK Jason SALDARIS, 19 Alex WILD

Hobart Olympia FC: GK Sean LEWIS, 3 Harry WOOLLEY (19 Stuart PAGE 85’), 5 Luke EYLES, 6 Nicholas MEARNS (13 Christian DI MARTINO 79’), 7 Warren WADAWU (11 Nicholas MEREDITH 65’), 9 Emmanuel TSAKIRIS, 10 Gavin HOY, 14 Jonathan GRIFFITHS, 15 Lachlan NICHOLS, 16 Jake VANDERMAY (c), 18 Jack CALLAN
Subs not used: RGK Spiros PARADISIS

Referee: Adam Fielding



It was a dramatic end to the relegation battle in the All Flags Division One, with Morley Windmills and Swan United battling it out to say in the division. But after Saturday’s games Swan United will the team to go down to Division Two after a 3-2 home defeat against UWA Nedlands at the Swan Italian Club. Going into the game the home side knew a win was vital, and they started well and lead 1-0 at the break, and dominated the first half. Good work from Nathan Scully down the left, and he whipped in a dangerous ball for Jordan Rossetto to fire home at the back post. But UWA hit back after half time with a goal from Dhamon Kal, before Alex Kreds fired home after a good run. United continued to fight and levelled when Mike Lawson’s corner went straight in the net. But late on UWA got their winner. United keeper Alfie Brincat saved the first shot but Ben Reynolds was on hand to fire home the rebound. After the game Coach Salv Todaro resigned as head coach, but thanked his players for their effort during the season. “The boys knew that anything less than a win and the club would be relegated,” he said. “We created a number of chances in the game we were not able to take advantage of, which unfortunately was the story of our season. I can’t fault the players’ attitude and efforts, they gave everything they had and more, and hopefully they will take the harsh lessons that they learned this year and take them with them in their future careers and help them be better players.”

Morley Windmills survived the drop despite losing 4-3 at home to Shamrock Rovers at Wotton Reserve. The visitors were ahead early through Alec Robinson, after he reacted quickest in the box after a smart save from the keeper. Morley’s Lee Carr equalised, but Robinson restored John O’Reilly’s sides lead before the break from the penalty spot. The visitors made it 3-1 just after the break. Good work down the left by Michael Pritchard, and he picked Sean Browne, who waltzed past two defenders before rounding the keeper and rolling the ball into an empty net. With the result at Swan it meant Morley would be relegated, but Brian Crellin scored a superb volley from long-range to get Morley back in the game, and David Houston levelled. But with news filtering through at Swan, the Morley faithful knew they were safe and it didn’t matter that much when Will Pender added Rovers’ fourth to win the game. Paul Concannon won possession on the edge of the box and slipped the ball into Pender and he fired into the far corner to settle the game.

Champions Mandurah City were beaten 2-1 by Gosnells City at Walter Padbury Reserve. Sean Taylor gave the home side the lead before Craig Tone scored a screamer to level before the break. But Jacob Aquino second half strike won it for the home side. Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh said it has been a good season for the club. “We made a few changes today, and it was a good game to watch and credit to Gosnells for the win,” he said. “It was a fantastic gesture from the Gosnells coaches and players to give us a guard of honour off the pitch at the end, I’d like to thank them for that. Another great note was the final appearance in a Mandurah senior level shirt of Christian Paschkewitz, and it would have been nice to win for him, but that’s football.”

In other games Lee and Ryan Stewart were both on the scoreboard as South West Phoenix beat Canning City 2-0 at Payne Park. Dan Corbert and Chris Thackray scored for Ashfield in their 2-0 win against Dianella White Eagles, while Joondalup United edged out Western Knights 2-1 at Forrest Park, with Ross Edwards and Arran Maplestone on target for United.



Forrestfield United have won their first ever All Flags State League Division Two title, after a 1-0 win against a ten man Rockingham City at the Lark Hill Sportsplex on Saturday afternoon. In front over 1000 fans, Jordan Hart scored the decisive goal early, and the home side then had keeper Cyril Sharrock sent off on the hour. The win promotes Rod Banjac’s side into The All Flags Division One next season, while Rockingham will take on Morley Windmills in the All Flags State League Promotion and Relegation Play-Off next week. “This is the end result of two years of dedicated work and credit to the players, coaching staff and many people behind the scenes as well,” he said. “The whole team performed well today, like they have all season and what a way to win it – in front of a big crowd with the two best teams in the league fighting it out for the title, we couldn’t have scripted it any better.”

There was a great atmosphere in the ground at kick off with the grandstand packed, and both sides still having the opportunity to take out the title. But it was the visitors who made the perfect start, and they were ahead on nine minutes. A poor back pass was seized upon by Hart, and the striker raced into the area, rounded Sharrock, and fired home into an empty net, to set off wild celebrations among the travelling supporters. Rockingham hit back and Shane Boyle wriggled his way into the box, but his shot from the angle was saved low by Ben Parry. Forrestfield almost added a second on the quarter hour. Rhys Loxley’s corner was cleared off the line by Christian Hogge. Both sides had chances before the break. First Sharrock saved superbly to deny Matt Harold’s header, then in stoppage time Rockingham midfielder Alex Grayson’s snap shot crashed off the post and away to safety at the other end.

Rockingham were out of the blocks early in the second half, and Ryan Hazlett’s cross shot was well claimed by Parry. But the home side received a blow on 54 minutes when they were reduced to ten men. A ball over the top sent Hart racing clear, and Sharrock came out to clear the ball, but brought the striker down, and referee Nico Hoyle had no other choice but to send the Rockingham custodian off. Both sides pressed and it was a real thriller, but both sets of defenders repelled everything that was thrown against them. Matt Harold went close fifteen minutes from time, his shot flicked the outside of the post. To their credit Rockingham continued to take the game to Forrestfield, and almost grabbed an equaliser five minutes later. Ryan Kennedy’s free kick on the right missed everyone in the box, and to the relief of the Forrestfield keeper it drifted inches past the far post. But at the final whistle Forrestfield players celebrated with their supporters.

In other games of the round, Curtin University came from behind at half time to beat Fremantle City 2-1 at Edinburgh Oval on Friday night. Anthony Lomar gave Fremantle the lead at the break, but Khaled Salhah levelled early in the second half. It looked like both teams would share the spoils, but a stoppage time winner from Dilip Thapa gave the home side the points. Kingsway Olympic beat Quinns 3-1 at Gumblossom Park. Nathan Thorpe bagged a brace, while Mark McAllister added the other. In the final game Balga came from behind to defeat Ellenbrook United 2-1 at Princess Road Reserve, the goalscorers for Balga were George Duku and Kyall Osborne.



Goalkeeper Brad Jones has promised to give Bradford City his best shot every day – after learning from the likes of Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez never to slack off. West Australian-born Jones was limited to only 27 appearances in five years at Liverpool as back-up to Pepe Reina and Simon Mignolet. But working with the top names at Anfield drummed into him the importance of pushing yourself each day.

That is a trait that the 33-year-old intends to keep following during his time at Valley Parade. "You never saw the likes of Gerrard and Suarez take their foot off the gas," he said. "The professionalism was just natural. It was a normal instinct to push on every single day. Because the top players are doing it, every player is expected to do it, which is brilliant because you never have an easy day."

"One thing that used to frustrate me previously was going in to training and you'd have players that didn't fancy it on a Monday or Tuesday. As a goalkeeper, you're inevitably the one that cops it if you're on their team because they aren't bothered. You need that self-drive, especially at that level. If you don't have it, you'll just be gone … seeing that level of professionalism from such top players is something that stuck with me."

Jones played 15 times in 2012/13 but did not feature at all in the Premier League the following season. His last run in the Liverpool team in December was cut short by a thigh injury. "I didn't play as often as I wanted to but you've got to understand that Liverpool are a huge club and can literally go and buy anyone," he commented. "I learned a lot in those five years (and) I was still disappointed every time I wasn't picked."

Jones, who cost Liverpool £2.3million from Middlesbrough in 2010, does not see any added pressure in League One because of his recent past. "As a goalkeeper, the spotlight's always going to be on you when the ball's around," he said. "People want to pick holes in a goalkeeper's work all the time, which does my head in when I'm listening to commentators on the telly."

"I've been on loan when I was younger so I've played this level. I knew what I was coming to but part of the draw was the size of the club. There were quite a few things come into the equation but for me it was all about playing games and getting back on the pitch. I want to be at a team competing at the top, rather than going somewhere fighting off relegation. I'd like to see what we can do here."



Matildas star Samantha Kerr will captain Perth Glory Women this season. Kerr has made more than 40 appearances for the Matildas and played a key role in helping Glory Women win the minor premiership last season. “It's an amazing opportunity for me,” said Kerr, who is keen to make up for last season’ Grand Final loss to Canberra United. “I've had the taste of a championship at Sydney and we came close last year in the Grand Final. I hope we can go one step further this season.”

Kerr said she is excited by the impact of new coach Bobby Despotovski, Glory’s all-time top goal scorer with almost 250 appearances for the club. “There’s a lot of banter at training. He brings out the best in people,” she said. “He’s making people go above and beyond, he’s expecting more of certain players and expecting more of all of us. He’s pushing us to the limit, which is great. Hopefully some of his personality comes out in our style of play.” The W-League commences on Saturday 17 October with Glory away to Melbourne Victory.



After their historic win last week against West Adelaide, Bayswater City will be looking to reach the Grand Final of the PS4 National Premier League National Final, when they take on Tasmanian NPL Champions Olympia FC at Frank Drago Reserve on Sunday (2.30pm WA time). Goals from David Heagney and Danny Dixon gave City a come-from-behind win last week, and it was the first in the competition from a WA side, and skipper Trent Kay said the performance was top class. “We took time to get used to the artificial pitch and gave a silly goal away, but we steadied and I thought we ended the half well, “he said. “The second half we played really well and I thought we deserved the win and the whole squad played their part, and it will be a huge honour to lead this team into the Semi-Final of a National competition.”

Bayswater went through the whole NPLWA season undefeated and Kay said it’s a testament to the detail the coaching staff put in. “Not many sides can say they’ve been through the season undefeated and it was a big goal of ours mid-season, but we had to work hard to achieve it,” he said. “Chris (Coyne) and the coaching staff prepared us well, and many who know Coyney will tell you he won’t settle for mediocre performances, and he let us know when he wasn’t happy, and we responded. We go out for every game ready to play for that Black and Blue shirt and we will be doing the same this week.”

The defender knows Sunday’s game will be another tough game, and said they need to be on their toes from the first whistle. “We don’t know too much about them (Olympia), but any side that wins their Premier League is going to be a good side, and they beat South Melbourne in the last round, which shows they can play a bit, so we need to be switched on,” Kay said. “As we do every game we’ll be more concerned on our game and not the opposition, but if we can get our game plan right we will take some stopping, and we’re all looking forward to game and hope a big crowd is on hand to watch it.”

Olympia stunned NPL Victoria Champions South Melbourne in the last round, with goals from Lachlan Nichols and an own goal giving them a 2-1 win at the Lakeside Stadium. Midfielder Nick Mearns said they deserved their win and it capped off an excellent season for the club, but to miss out on next season’s FFA Cup spot was a disappointment. “It has been a fantastic season for the club, it had been 19 years since Olympia had won their last title and it was also seven years since a team other than South Hobart had won it, so to break that streak was a great feeling and what the fans deserved,” he said. “The loss against Northern Rangers was gutting as the state wide cup was a major goal for our team (which would give entry to the FFA cup) but they are a good team and very hard to beat at their home ground and were deserving winners on the day.”

The 20-year-old, came through the Tasmanian Institute of Sport, before joining Olympia in 2013, said Sunday’s game is another big test, away from home. “No doubt this week will be another massive game for our club, we do not know too much about Bayswater apart from the fact that they were unbeaten, which is an incredible accomplishment,” Mearns said. “Our coach (Glen McNeill) went to watch them against West Adelaide last week, so he will have some insight on their team and we will most likely watch some videos on them.

The only change to the Olympia squad for the game will be Shae Hickey, who was sent off last week, but Mearns said they are confident they can get the job done. “Last week’s win was the biggest game in our clubs history, we were obviously huge underdogs but the way we played together and defended at the end against one of the best teams in Australia was unbelievable,” he said. “Even having Shae sent off after 54 minutes, we defended well and go into the game with confidence we can come home with a win.”



After the All Flags Division One title was wrapped up by Mandurah City last week, the relegation battle takes centre stage this week, with great clubs from the past, Swan United and Morley Windmills, battling it out to avoid the automatic relegation spot. Morley entertains Shamrock Rovers at Wotton Reserve, are in the box seat, after a stunning 3-1 win against fourth placed Dianella White Eagles last week. Striker David Houston, who bagged a hat-trick in the match, has returned from a long lay-off due to injury, and he said the confidence is high at the moment, and they, know a point will be enough to avoid the drop. “We've been on a bit of a roll lately and it culminated in the win against Dianella. We are finally hitting some good form to keep our hopes of staying in Division One alive,” he said. “I've only played nine games after being out for 14 months because a knee injury last year, so it was a good feeling to score a few in one game.” Morley goes into the game with the same squad as last week and Houston said they know what’s needed. “We're all brimming with confidence after our recent results, and we've already drawn against Shamrock earlier in the year and we'll be going into the game just as strong if not stronger,” he said. “So everyone at Morley is confident we can get the result and get into the playoff.”

Shamrock Rovers will be looking for the three points, as they chase third spot, and last season Champions are determined to end their season with a win. Coach John O’Reilly said he has been pleased with the way things have gone this season. “It’s been a good year in terms of effort and hard work from the lads, and we will be looking to end it on a high on Saturday,” he said. “We are aware of the importance of the game for them, and they will be on a high after last week’s win at Dianella, but my boys don’t like losing, so that should make it an interesting battle.” In team news for Rovers, Will Pender and Steve O’Leary return to the squad, but Chris Bradley is unavailable.

Swan United knows nothing more than three points will be enough, when they host UWA Nedlands at the Swan Italian Club. They then need former Coach John O’Reilly’s Shamrock to beat Morley, to avoid the drop. They throw away a two goal lead last week at Canning, and keeper Alfie Brincat said the sending off was the turning point of the game. “Saturday was a great team performance from the boys, we worked really well to get the two goal lead, it was just a shame we got a man sent off at a vital time,” he said. “We were winning 2-1 at the time, and then the game changed for us, but a point is better than nothing. We are all hoping we can get the 11th place spot.” The English keeper said the team will be giving it their all to win the game and hope results elsewhere go their way. “It is a huge one for everyone involved with Swan. We will be going out their all guns blazing and hoping we can get the result we need not only for ourselves but everyone at the club as we owe them a big performance, and hope Shamrock do us a favour,” Brincat added. In team news Anthony Papalia and Reegan Borzecki will both be missing due to suspension.

In other games Champions Mandurah City makes the trip to Walter Padbury Reserve to take on Gosnells City, while runners-up Ashfield entertain Dianella White Eagles at the Ashfield Sports Club. Joondalup United will be looking to end their first season in the league with a victory, when they host Western Knights at Forrest Park, while Canning City make the trip down south to take on South West Phoenix at Payne Park. Canning Coach Paul Oliver said the season has been a challenge, and he is hoping to end his first season as Coach with the three points. “The back half of our season has been a real struggle, when it has come to players being available. On paper I have 22 players in the squad, but the last five weeks that number has dropped to 10-11, which has had an obvious impact on results,” he said. “That said I’m not one to make excuses and there is a massive room for improvement from myself and the player group. Plans are in plan for next season already and I’m fully aware of where we need to improve to climb the table.” In team news Ethan Levitt and Joshua Wade return to the Canning side from suspension, and Oliver said they are looking for the three points. “Phoenix away is never and easy trip, but we will take confidence from our last meeting, when I thought we were unfortunate not to take all three points, when they scored an equaliser in stoppage time,” he said. “It was a bitter pill to swallow, but we head down South knowing we can go one better, and claim the three points if we play the way we know we can.”



The All Flags Division Two title goes on the line on Saturday, when Rockingham City entertains Forrestfield United at Lark Hill. Only one point separates the sides on the table, so the home side need the three points to win the title for the first time since 1983. Rockingham City skipper Sean Brady said you can’t get any better than a last day game for the title. “It’s a huge game on Saturday, but the boys are looking forward to the challenge,” he said. “Even if we had been in top spot, we still would have wanted to win this game, as I’m sure they will too. It should be a fantastic end to the season with both teams having a go at each other, and we just hope that on the day our best is good enough to win the title.” Rockingham has been in the wilderness for a number of years, but Brady said that the coaches at the club have done a great job. “Rob Crerar and Alex Smith have done a fantastic job since taking over last season. I joined the club the season Rockingham was relegated to the second division, and I played alongside Rob,” he explained. “The club was very low on morale, but since Rob and Smithy came in, they have turned the place around. It can be tough for a coach to go from player to coach within the same club in the space of a year, but I think he has handled the situation very well and a win on Saturday would be a perfect reward for two seasons of very hard work.”

The former Clydebank defender said it’s a testament to the league for the title to go down to the wire. He said there should be a big crowd on hand to watch it, and he is hoping for the same result as the last time they met. “It’s been tight all season, which is fantastic for the league, although I’m sure the players would have liked to have it wrapped earlier. You couldn’t have scripted it any better, and winner takes all, and it looks like it’s going to be a big crowd on hand, as a large number of our junior teams will be in attendance,” he said. “We would be delighted with the same result as last time we met, when we came home with a 1-0 win. But whatever happens I can’t be more proud of the club. The average age of the side is about 23, and for a team as young as that to keep pace with a very good side like Forrestfield, is a massive achievement. We will be doing our best to get the right result, and hope our best is good enough on the day.”

Forrestfield will go in search of their first ever Second Division title, in their third season in the league. Skipper Trent Wood said it’s been an exceptional season, and hopes they can get the right result, but is expecting a tough encounter. “This week’s game is without a doubt the biggest game of the season,” he said. “We will go into this game like any other game this season, knowing a draw will be good enough is definitely helpful, but we will not change our style of play or focus on getting three points and beating them at their own ground.” Last week a few of Wood’s former Swan United team mates did Forrestfield a favour when Wanneroo held Rockingham to a scoreless draw, while they improved their goal difference against Balga. “We went into last week’s game with nothing on our mind except three points, and we were able to play some of our best football this season which was evident with the 8-0 score line,” he explained. “To be honest we were not too concerned about the other score as we knew we were heading to Rockingham to get nothing else but three points. But it does help that Wanneroo have done us a massive favour though and a few of my old team mates from my time at Swan have let me know about it.”

Like Rockingham, Forrestfield have struggled over the past five years but Rod Banjac has them playing some good football and Wood said promotion will be a perfect reward “They (Rockingham) have been leading the league for majority of the season and will no doubt be disappointed if they fail to gain automatic promotion,” he said. “But there is a reason we have been so close all year, both teams have played the most effective and attractive football all season. It is really good to see us back on the football map after several years. Us as a team knows the importance of winning this game and getting the club to where it needs to be.” In other games, the round starts tonight with Curtin University hosting Fremantle City at Edinburgh Oval, while on Saturday Balga host Ellenbrook at the Princess Road Reserve, and Quinns and Kingsway Olympic do battle at Gumblossom Park.



Former Socceroos midfielder Richard Garcia says the critics shouldn't write off Perth Glory just yet after being unveiled as club captain for the coming A-League season. Glory are expected to struggle this summer following the departure of players such as Andy Keogh, Danny Vukovic, Scott Jamieson, Youssouf Hersi, and Rostyn Griffiths in the wake of last season's salary cap drama.

Garcia said the team had the potential to surprise a few people this season. "I'm confident this team has the goods to be competitive and make its mark and I don't think the critics should write us off," Garcia said. "It's a humbling moment for me and my family (to be named captain). This club was formed when I made my move to England as a teenager, and to lead the team into the next A-League season is a wonderful honour."

Coach Kenny Lowe said Garcia's experience in the English Premier League - and with the Socceroos at the 2010 World Cup - made him the perfect candidate to lead the team. "Richie is a top lad," Lowe said of the Perth-born winger. "He's the consummate professional on and off the park. He always leads by example and whatever job he's given he gets it done. The players look up to him and he has the respect of the whole club."

Garcia began his career at Olympic Kingsway and honed his skills in the academy at London club West Ham United. He went on to play professionally for the Hammers along with Leyton Orient, Colchester United and Hull City in England, followed by spells with Australian clubs Melbourne Heart, Sydney FC and Perth Glory plus Minnesota United in the United States. Along the way Garcia represented Australia on 18 occasions at ‘A’ international level.



Midfielder Rostyn Griffiths is enjoying his first taste of Dutch football as Roda JC continues their impressive start to the new season. Griffiths joined the Dutch side from Perth Glory in the off-season with the 27-year old playing in all six games of the Eredivisie so far and scored one goal. “I’m really enjoying it here so far,” Griffiths said. “We’ve only had one loss so far and drew against NEC, although we should have won.”

Griffiths has been reasonably content with his form so far. “I’ve been pretty happy to be fair, I thought it would have taken me a bit longer to get used to the league but so far so good,” Griffiths said. “I’m at about 90% fitness, so a little bit more and I'll be happy. (The manager’s) given me a few good references in magazines and in the media … but he's always got some things for me to improve on.”

Griffiths, who has played in Scotland, England, Australia and China, has found the standard of football in Holland to his liking. “The standard is good - everyone tries to play football and has a really high technical level,” he said. “I think the main differences are just the overall speed of the game and the individual quality in the final third. And in an odd way, the games seem to mean more to people here than Australia.”



Olyroo attacker Ryan Edwards is hoping his move to Scottish outfit Partick Thistle is the start of a boom in his club and international career. Edwards has been on the lookout for a new club since being released by English Championship side Reading at the end of last season. And the Australian Under-23 international has finally found a new home, linking with Alan Archibald's Jags for the rest of this campaign.

With his future now settled, 21-year old Edwards now wants to play regularly at club level to help boost his international hopes. "The senior national team and the Under-23s have said as long as you're playing for your club and doing well you're in with a shout," Edwards told the club’s website said. "I owe it to the Under-23s manager (Aurelio Vidmar) for picking me for the last two camps without a club and that's definitely helped me get my move … I'm appreciative of that."

Edwards is the latest in a number of Australians to have found a home in Scotland. Young gun Tom Rogic has been doing great things with Celtic, Jackson Irvine is making quite an impression with Ross County, while Ryan McGowan and Adam Taggart are both at Dundee United. Edwards’ father, Alistair Edwards, also has ties to the country having played for Rangers back in 1987.

"I've spoken to Jackson Irvine at Ross County - I'm close with him. Adam Taggart's just moved to Dundee United as well and Celtic's Tom Rogic I've known for a number of years," he said. "It's a good stepping stone, I'm going to be a Scottish Premiership player. I had a period of time where I was without a club and wondering where I was going to next. It's just a matter of getting into the first team, do well for Partick Thistle and hopefully either stay here for longer or move to the next big thing."



Former Italian women’s National Coach Carolina Morace has been appointed as Coaching Director of Football at Floreat Athena for the NPL 2015 season. She will be joined at the club by former Perth Glory Women’s coach Nicola Williams, and the pair will oversee the clubs National Premier League trials over the next six weeks. Morace arrives at the E&D Litis Stadium with an impressive CV and is looking forward to the new challenge. “Floreat Athena has had a great success with their senior team last season and also this season,” she said. “It is to their credit that they have recognised they would like to invest in developing their junior program, teams and structures to provide a pathway for Athena players to play first team football.”

Born in Venice Italy, she debuted for the Italian women's national team in 1978, at the age of 14. During her career, she made 153 appearances for Italy, scoring 105 goals. While playing in the Italian national women's league, she scored more than 550 goals. She also took part in six European Championships as well as the inaugural FIFA Women's World Cup China 1991 where she scored an unbeatable World Record four goals at Wembley Stadium. After retiring as a player, Carolina began a managing career with Lazio. Carolina was also the first woman to coach a professional men's team - Viterbese in Serie C.

She then managed the Italian Women's National team from 2000 to 2005, and then the Canadian National women's team from 2009 to 2011. Under her guidance, Canada won the 2010 CONCACAF Women's championship and improved their FIFA ranking from 11th to 6th in the World. Carolina also travels the world for FIFA as an Ambassador and Instructor to provide Coaching Instruction to coaches around the world and she was recently inducted into the Italian Hall of Fame as a decorated footballer and coach.

The 51-year-old is honoured to be inducted into the Italian Football hall of fame, and she said a chance trip to Perth was all that she needed to fall in love with the place. “I’m thrilled to be inducted into the hall of fame, and I head back to Italy next week for the ceremony,” she explained. “I originally came to Perth on a visit to watch W-League matches, in preparing to apply for the Matilda’s position a few years ago, but since then I realised what a beautiful country Australia is and I can’t complain about the weather, and wanted to improve my English, so I decided to stay.”

Williams, who has just played her part in the Bank West State League Premier Division side Northern Redbacks title winning side, a title that went down to the wire. “It was a close finish for the title on the day, but I was really happy we finally broke their compact defence, and the keeper had a fantastic game,” she explained. “We were all anxious going into the game as we didn’t want to lose the opportunity, and thankfully we got the point we needed.”

The 33-year-old also has a wealth of playing and coaching under her belt. She was a WA state team and NTC player and played for Western Waves in the inaugural women's national league. The midfielder holds a FFA "A" coaching license and is currently in the process of obtaining her Pro Diploma license. Williams was the inaugural Perth Glory W-league coach and for the U13 Australian Girls Team, before assisting the U14, U17 and U21 Young Matildas Australian Teams over a period of 8 years. She also spent time with Morace oversees coaching at the Juventus Academy in Roma and understanding the methodology to develop talented players.

The chance to put back into the game in the state was something Williams is delighted to do. “I have always admired Floreat Athena for its history in WA football, its outstanding facilities, and to put something back into the game and bridge the gap between the juniors and senior at the club is exciting” she said. “This is going to take time but we have had great feedback from players we have been working with, and the coaches who understand our methodology. Players who come to the trial at the club will see it is completely different to what they already know. This is largely due to the experience of Carolina, who has a UEFA Pro License, and comes from a country where she has been involved in professional football at the highest level in both the male and female game.”

Floreat President Stacy Pilkadaris said it’s a great coup for the club. “We are truly honoured to have secured the services of Carolina and Nicola,” she said. “We are keen to continue to be a leading, innovative NPL Club and hope this appointment will attract more children, both male and female to join our Club to play the world game. “This is a significant appointment in the Club’s history and demonstrates our commitment to improving and developing youngsters at Athena. The appointment is one that the Club is extremely proud of.” The appointment is effective immediately and the Club will be conducting trials for the NPL U12-U18’s under the watchful eye of both coaches over the next six weeks. Times and dates will be published on the Clubs website along with dates for upcoming Spring and Summer Clinics.



Trent Sainsbury, James Troisi and Tomi Juric have been named in Australia's 23-man squad for next month's World Cup qualifier against Jordan. Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou included the trio - after missing the last round of qualifiers due to injury - for their toughest Group B assignment in Amman on 8 October. However, Socceroos captain Mile Jedinak was left out after struggling for game time with English Premier League side Crystal Palace.

Sainsbury, Juric and Troisi played a significant part in the Socceroos’ Asian Cup triumph and their return illustrates the depth coach Ange Postecoglou has crafted. “It is a sign of the depth we are creating that we bring these three guys back into the squad for the Jordan game,” Postecoglou said. “All three played a major part in our Asian Cup success and after finding fitness and regular club football they are ready to come back in.”

Australia’s squad to play Jordan on 8 October is Tarek Elrich, Eugene Galekovic (Adelaide United), James Troisi (Al Ittihad), Mark Milligan (Baniyas), Adam Federici (Bournemouth), James Meredith (Bradford City), Matt McKay (Brisbane Roar), Tom Rogic (Celtic), Ryan McGowan (Dundee United), Matt Spiranovic (Hangzhou Greentown), Jason Davidson (Huddersfield Town), Mathew Leckie (Ingolstadt 04), Tommy Oar (Ipswich Town), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai), Alex Cisak (Leyton Orient), Aaron Mooy (Melbourne City), Bailey Wright (Preston North End), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers), Tomi Juric (Roda JC Kerkrade), Tim Cahill (Shanghai Greenland Shenhua), Nathan Burns (FC Tokyo), Trent Sainsbury (P.E.C. Zwolle) and unattached Luke Brattan.



In his first season at the club defender Lewis Hall has won Sorrento’s 2015 ‘Player of the Year’, just pipping keeper James Morgan to the award at the clubs Presentation night at the Percy Doyle Reserve Clubrooms. Hall, who joined the club from Quinns at the start of the season said to win the award capped off a fantastic season. “It is a massive privilege to win the award, especially with the quality player and experienced players we have here,” he said. “Many thought we would struggle this season and I think we proved them all wrong.”

A third place finish in the league, a State League Cup final win and a game against A-League side Sydney FC in the FFA Cup was the reward for Jamie Harnwell’s side and Hall played a major role in the successful season. “It was such an enjoyable year for me,” he explained. “Being my first year at the club I felt welcome from the first session, and winning the Cool Ridge Cup Final and qualifying for next season’s FFA Cup topped it off. The season has been fantastic, the club, staff, coaches and players have been a pleasure to work with.”

In other awards on the night – Under 18’s player of the Year went to midfielder Marko Savic, with defender Scott Hoyle as the runner-up. The under 20’s Player of the Year was won by defender Luke Coltman, with defensive midfielder Ben Fairbairn the runner-up. Most improved player went to defender Scott Hoyle, Club Person of the year going to Kaye Harnwell, while the first team Golden Boot went to Jack Salter, for his 13 goals. The Most defining goal or save of the season went to keeper James Morgan, for his penalty shoot-out save in the Coolridge Cup against Bayswater City, while the Annual Brush of the Year went to Alan Gray, a well-deserved award with a number of nominations.



English midfielder Joe Smith is the 2015 ECU Joondalup ‘Player of the Year’ after the club end of season presentation night at Currambine Function Room, Currambine Bar & Bistro last week. Smith, who heads back to the UK this month after his visa ended, was delighted to win the award. “To win an award is always something great to look back on, so I’m proud I was able to do so in my three seasons here,” he said. “I’ve had a blast since arriving here three years ago it’s been an absolutely pleasure to play for the club but also to meet everyone down at ECU from supporters through to the lads in the dressing room I’ve made some true mates here. Special mention to John and Wendy Higgins without them I wouldn’t of had this experience.”

The midfielder is looking to put his feet up when he returns to the UK, but he said football is still a huge part of his life. “When we go back I haven’t made any immediate plans to play for anyone as we go smack bang in the middle of a season over there,” he said. “I’ll be busy setting myself up for work hopefully so I’m looking forward to the extra-long break for now, but you never know what’s around the corner.”

In other awards on the night Tommy Amphlett was the ‘Players Player of the Year’ and also the top goalscorer. Kye Douglas won the under 20’s ‘Player of the Year’ and Jack Cairms the ‘Players Player of the Year’. Joe Middleton won the under 18’s ‘Player of the Year’, with Kelyun Pollard winning the ‘Players Player of the Year’. The ‘Clubman of the Year’ went to the hard working Craig Stephenson, while the club presented ECU shirt’s to Jon Higgins (Retired) and Smith and Charlie Comyn-Platt (Both returning to the UK).



Seven clubs will be accepted into an expanded Junior National Premier Leagues WA competition for the 2016 season. Ellenbrook United, Fremantle City, Mandurah City, Melville City, Quinns, Rockingham City and South West Phoenix were successful in their applications to join the elite junior tier, subject to meeting all criteria by February 29, 2016. These clubs will field a Junior NPL team in each of five age groups from U12 to U16 alongside the existing 12 NPL clubs.

Increasing the Junior NPL from 12 to 19 teams is designed to improve the game’s elite level with particular emphasis on youth development, and in doing so, meet the long-term strategic aim of improving Australian football’s position on the world stage. A key objective was to provide players in outlying metropolitan and regional areas access to the development pathway, and also to create more opportunities for players in areas currently not adequately serviced by the NPL structure. Football West will include the new Junior NPL teams in a revised fixture framework for the 2016 season.

Football West Chief Executive Peter Hugg said the latest expansion was an important step in the ongoing development of the structure of WA’s top football competition. “The aim of the NPL is to improve the standard of coaching, playing and the administration of football across the board,” Hugg said. “The successful applicants have bought into the NPL philosophy and we expect they will contribute greatly to our game’s bright future.

“In 2016, an extra 560 players will benefit from the NPL and its aims. There will be 35 more positions for accredited coaches and seven technical directors and all will be following FFA’s National Curriculum and, therefore, will be contributing to the advancement of WA football. “Those clubs unsuccessful in their application should not be discouraged from continuing to push towards NPL standards to ensure they are in the best possible position to achieve top-tier status when applications reopen in future years.”



Inglewood United have added former State custodian Alex Dunn to their playing roster for 2016. Dunn, 29, becomes the club’s first close-season signing and represents the latest effort by coach Michael Garcia to shore up a defence whose frailties were exposed far too often last term.

“I’m excited to join Inglewood,” Dunn said. “The offer of first team football with a very ambitious and progressive club was too good to turn down. It’s a new challenge with a new team and new set of players, I know a few of them and they are the type of people you want to be around and work hard for.”

“We expect to improve as a team and there is no reason why we can’t be pushing for a top four position next year, along with giving the FFA Cup a good crack. There’s a real buzz around the club and I’ll be doing whatever I can to help bring success to Inglewood.”

Dunn is no stranger to success after winning just about everything there in the local game. He tasted League (2007), Cup (2009) and Night Series (2011) glory during a lengthy stint with Floreat Athena and gained senior State honours in 2012 while at Perth SC, where he spent the last two seasons. Dunn has also played for Balcatta.

Dunn says working with Garcia factored heavily in his move to Inglewood. “Michael was a big influence on my decision,” he admitted. “I had spoken to him last year about a possible move but it didn’t eventuate. I was impressed with Michael’s original approach so I was thrilled when he contacted me recently.”

“Michael has always been very direct, knows what he wants and comes across as a very open and honest person who tells it how it is. He has a strong knowledge of the game and knows how he wants his team to play, which I respect a lot. I am looking forward to working with him next season.”



Chesterfield newcomer Chris Herd managed to play 80 minutes on debut in the weekend defeat at Coventry City, but insists there’s more to come from him. Herd, 26, was due to have come off a little earlier but his withdrawal was delayed, with boss Dean Saunders forced into two early changes with Dan Gardner suffering from illness and Lee Novak picking up a thigh injury.

However the extra time wasn’t a big problem for Herd. “I feel like I can improve a lot more and I’ll be working hard in training every day to get myself back up to what I consider to be full speed,” said the fringe Socceroo. “We’ve got a really good fitness coach (Mal Purchase) who looks after us with supplements and he looks after our recoveries. That gives us the best possible chance to improve and be ready for the next game.”



Australia Under-23 coach Aurelio Vidmar has named five West Australians in his squad for next months’ two-game series with the Korea Republic. Local products Cameron Burgess, Ryan Edwards, Scott Galloway, Adam Taggart and Ryan Williams were all included in the Olyroos’ 23-player squad to play the Korea Republic on 9 and 12 October as part of preparations for the 2016 Olympic Games qualifiers.

“Korea Republic will provide strong opposition as we head towards the qualifiers and gives us the opportunity to work on so a few things and keep improving so we give ourselves the best possible opportunity to qualify for the Olympic Games,” said Vidmar. “The spirit among the players is fantastic, they’re keen to learn and be part of the Olyroos so we’re really looking forward to these matches.”

The Australia Under-23 squad to play Korea Republic is Ryan Williams (Barnsley), Kwame Yeboah (Borussia Monchengladbach), James Donachie (Brisbane Roar), Josh Brillante (Calcio Como), Paul Izzo (Central Coast Mariners), Cameron Burgess, Adam Taggart (Fulham), Chris Ikonomidis (SS Lazio), Scott Galloway, Jason Geria, Connor Pain (Melbourne Victory), Milos Degenek (1860 Munich), Steven Ugarkovic (NK Osijek), Mustafa Amini, Jack Duncan (Randers), Jackson Irvine (Ross County), Kenneth Dougall (Sparta Rotterdam), Giancarlo Gallifuoco (Swansea), Andrew Hoole and Christopher Naumoff (Sydney FC) plus uncontracted trio Ryan Edwards, Aaron Lennox and Brad Smith.



Bayswater City moved into the PS4 NPL National Finals Series Semi-Finals with an historic first win for a NPLWA side in the competition, after a come-from-behind 2-1 win against West Adelaide at the Adelaide Shores Football Centre on Sunday. An own goal from Bayswater defender Jamie Coyne gave the home side the lead at the break, but second half goals from David Heagney and half time substitute Danny Dixon gave them the win and set up a home Semi-Final next week against Tasmanian NPL Champions Olympic FC.

“It was tough,” Coach Chris Coyne told the NPL website. “The astro turf was a bit hard to get used to in the first half and we told the boys to settle down at half time and have a little bit more composure and get on the ball. I felt we were immense in the second half and the brand of football we played was really good. I am really proud of the boys.”

The home side controlled much of the possession in the first half, as Bayswater came to terms with the artificial pitch. Robin Lippett was first to threaten but he headed over on seven minute. Just five minutes later, West Adelaide hit the front. Jamie Coyne back pass evaded keeper Devon Spence and ended up in the net. Despite the set-back Bayswater settled into the tempo of the game, and Heagney and Chris Saldaris had half chances, before Gustavo Giron Marulanda had a goal disallowed for offside on the half hour.

West Adelaide continued to be a constant threat at the other end, and the lively Ricardo Da Silva went close to a second, but some desperate defending from Bayswater skipper Kay blocked his shot. In the shadows of half time West Adelaide went even closer to a second. Andrew Rideout and John Karatzas combined the later firing wide of the target.

Chris Coyne made a change at the break replacing Declan Hargreaves for Danny Dixon, and the winger was in the thick of the action early. But time was running out for the Black and Blue’s, but Marulanda went within inches of the equaliser on 76 minutes. His curling free kick beat keeper Daniel Atkins, but the crossbar came to his rescue. Bayswater were coming over the top of the hosts, and it wasn’t a surprise when Bayswater levelled sixty seconds later.

Todd Howarth’s cross wasn’t dealt with by the West Adelaide defence, and Heagney nipped in to score. It looked like going to extra time, a repeat of last season’s elimination final when Bayswater were beaten by Metrostars, but Chris Coyne’s side had other ideas, and three minutes later they hit the front. Sam Mitchinson made ground down the left, his cross picked out Heagney, who found Dixon, who kept his cool to finish past Atkins, to set off wild celebrations. City held on and at the final whistle celebrated with their travelling supporters

West Adelaide: GK Daniel ATKINS, 5 Robin LIPPETT, 6 Elias VLASSIS, 8 Kosta MANTIS (4 Thomas VEART 83’), 9 Alexander RIDEOUT, 10 Ricardo DA SILVA, 11 Thomas BRISCOE, 12 John KARATZAS (13 Matthew BOUZALAS 74’), 14 Nathan ANDIJANTO, 20 Tony HATZIS (3 Lewis VALLELONGA 86’), 23 Mitchell NICHOLSON - Subs not used: RGK Alexandros KOUTOULOGENIS, 2 Milos TOSIC

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 2 Declan HARGREAVES (14 Danny DIXON 46’) 6 Todd HOWARTH, 9. Gustavo GIRON MARULANDA, 13. Trent KAY, 15. Brian FARRELL, 16. Jamie COYNE, 17 Bor Bor SAM (10 Damien CATALANO 80’) 20 Sam MITCHINSON, 21 David HEAGNEY (12 Adam TONG 85’), 23 Chris SALDARIS - Subs not used: RGK Jason SALDARI, 19 Alex WILD

Referee: Daniel Elder



Mandurah City has won the All Flags Division One title after a come-from-behind 2-1 win against Joondalup United at the Hyundai Stadium. Mandurah skipper Andy Brown scored an own goal in first half stoppage time, but Craig Tone levelled, before Brown popped up with the winner to take out the title. “We didn’t start to well, but the second half we got back into it and I thought we deserved the win on the day,” Tone said. After scoring the opener Tone raced off to celebrate with the crowd and ended up with a plant pot on his head. “My mates in the crowd said if I scored to run over and celebrate and they had a surprise for me, and they handed me a plant pot to stick on my head,” he said. “It was a laugh but it was vital we scored when we did and I was happy to oblige.”

City only needed a point and went close early. Gerard Burke’s shot was superbly saved by Joondalup keeper James Bosdet. Joondalup defender Ross Edwards headed wide, before his shot flashed wide of the target. But in first half stoppage time the visitors opened the scoring. A long clearance out of defence by Joondalup was headed back to his keeper by Brown, but it was out of the reach of David Keenan and the ball nestled in the back of the net, to give Joondalup the lead at the break. Joondalup should have made it 2-0 early in the second half, Adam Rogers’ ball sent Adam Buckley clear, but he fired wide of the target. The introduction of Abraham Taona turned the game in Mandurah’s favour. His pace caused problems and Mandurah began to get on top, and on 67 minutes they levelled. Jeff Bright’s cross from the left was turned home by Tone. The crowd didn’t have long to wait as Mandurah hit the front five minutes later. Jon Brooks’ corner wasn’t cleared and Brown fired home from close-range. Joondalup weren’t done with, and Jacob Shore fired wide, and late on Lee Jones’ shot crashed off the crossbar, but at the final whistle it was Mandurah’s players and supporters celebrating the win and the league title.

In other games Ashfield wrapped up the runners-up spot after a 2-1 win against Western Knights at Nash Field. The visitors hit the front on 14 minutes against the run of play, with Brett McGuire on target. With the score line coming through from Mandurah, the Knights levelled 19 minutes from time through Joel Douglas, but ten minutes later Ashfield won the points; with second half substitute Dan Corbett scoring. Swan United threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Canning City at Burrendah Reserve. Ryan Treacy and Jordan Rossetto gave Salv Todaro's side the lead at the break, but goals to Ante Jukic and Tom Gibbins gave Canning a share of the spoils. The result means Swan will need to beat UWA Nedlands next week and hope Shamrock Rovers beat Morley Windmills, or they will be automatically relegated to Division Two for next season. Morley stunned Dianella White Eagles 3-1 at the Dianella Eagles, with striker David Houston bagging a first half hat-trick. Gosnells City travelled to the UWA Sports Complex and beat UWA Nedlands 4-1, with goals from Aaron Coslani, Jason Pottier, Sean Taylor and Wade Farmer, while Shamrock Rovers drew 1-1 with South West Phoenix at Grimrey Oval.



The All Flags Division Two title will go down to the wire, with the top two teams, Rockingham City and Forrestfield United, meeting next week in a title decider. Forrestfield are in the box sit after an 8-0 thrashing of Balga at Hartfield Park. Skipper Trent Wood said the win was a reward for the team’s improvement this season. “Saturday’s result was just a sign as to how far we have come this season. We are almost playing to our full potential and our style of football has attracted a lot of attention not only within our league, but the state,” he said. “We are continuing to finish off our chances more often now which is pleasing and if not for some excellent saves by Balga's under 18's keeper (Nattawat Thongngam) the score may have been greater. We now have a very tough task away to Rockingham next week and will work on some fine tuning at training this week.” The home side opened the scoring early. Jordan Hart was sent clear by Wood, and he finished clinically low across Thongngam. Rhys Loxley doubled the lead, before Lydon Pywell scored the third after a goal mouth scramble. Loxley added a fourth with a stunning shot from the edge of the penalty area, before an own goal made it 5-0 at the break. Thongngam made a number of fine saves to keep the score line respectable, but further goals to Matt Harold, Ben Rogers and Wood, the last two coming after good work from Sedad Yagli, made the final score 8-0.

Rockingham lost top spot after being held to a 0-0 draw by Wanneroo City. Rockingham coach Rob Crerar said it was a tight game and Wanneroo defended well. “We’re slightly disappointed not to get the three points our performance deserved, but all credit to Wanneroo,” he said. They set up to be difficult to break down, defending fantastically for 90 minutes, and there keeper was very good.” Wanneroo Coach Matt Debarro was delighted with his sides’ performance against the best side in the league. “It was a very tough game against a very tough opponent,” he said. “We defended really well and hit them on the counter attack, and in the end I thought the result was fair, as both sides had chances to steal the points. I was really proud of my players on Saturday and all season long, and we’re looking forward to next season. Best of luck to both sides in Saturday’s title decider, I’m sure it will be a cracker.”

In other games Kelmscott Roos long season continued after they were beaten 6-1 against Kingsway Olympic at Kingsway Reserve. Nathan Thorpe and Melia Emmanuel scored a brace for the home side, with Ryan Fielder and Daniel Cuticonne scoring the others. Fremantle City beat Quinns FC at Hilton Reserve. Danny Clapham scored a hat-trick, with others to Ty Fenwick, Anthony Lomma, Nick O’Brien and Cameron Hayes. Melville City travelled to the Iluka Sports Complex, and goals from Sam French and an own goal, after Simon El Chami put the defender under pressure gave them a 2-0 win. In the final game Ellenbrook won their fourth game of the season, after a 1-0 win against Curtin University at Arbor Grove Reserve.



The PS4 National Premier Leagues Final Series takes centre stage this weekend and Bayswater City travel to the Adelaide Shores Football Centre on Sunday to take on South Australian Champions West Adelaide in an Elimination Final. (1pm WA time) It’s been a fantastic season for Chris Coyne’s side, undefeated in the league and taking out the title for the third consecutive season. Striker David Heagney is looking forward to the big game and said they head over full of confidence after such a successful season.

“It’s been a great season for everyone involved with the club. It’s such a great achievement for the players, coaches and the staff, and we all can be proud of the season and going unbeaten just topped off such a good year,” he said. “We head to Adelaide confident and it’s a massive game for us. Not only representing the club but the state as well. We will be up for a big game and hopefully we can show everyone how good we really are, and to go on win the whole thing.”

The former Huddersfield Town striker said Sunday’s opponents will be tough opposition but said they are looking forward to the challenge. “We have only heard good things about them (West Adelaide), you don’t win the double at any level without you being a well organised team,” he said. “But we are bristling with confidence and will be going into the game with a positive attitude and hopefully make up for last year, having lost on penalties to another South Australian side.”

Heagney has formed a great partnership with fellow striker Gustavo Giron-Marulanda, the pair scoring 35 goals between them, and he hopes it continues on Sunday. “For me it’s been a good experience to play alongside Gus this season. On his day he is unstoppable and we seem to have a good understanding, which always helps,” he explained. “We have both worked hard and the goals prove that, we will be a handful for any defence, and we hope to add a couple more on Sunday.” In team news, Bayswater heads into the game at full strength, with the Coach having a few selection headaches.

West Adelaide club have also had a stellar season, taking out the league title for the first time in their history and winning the Finals series last weekend. Striker Tommy Briscoe said the win last week against Adelaide Blue Eagles in the Grand Final was a huge game, and the 24-year-old couldn’t have been happier. “It’s been an unbelievable season for the club, and from where we’ve come from to what we have achieved this year, it is truly amazing. I’m just happy I could be a part of it all, as it means so much too so many people,” he said. “Last year we came close with the league and the finals series, so that was an extra motivation to go that one step further this time, and thankfully we’ve done that and won the first title for the club.”

The former Cumberland United, West Torrens Birkalla and Adelaide United Youth player has scored 20 goals this season, and said they don’t know too much about Bayswater, but he is expecting a tough encounter against the team from the west. “It’s going to be a strong competition as it’s the league winners from around the Country. We don’t know much about them (Bayswater), but we know they were unbeaten in the league, and they have a couple ex A-League players and a lot of experience, so it should be a great game,” he said. “Obviously we are going to go in to the game confident on the back of what we have achieved this year, but I’m sure they will be the same, and I think both sides will go for it, so it should be good fun.”

South Australian club Metrostars, who beat Bayswater at the same stage last season, took out the 2014 NPL Final Series, and Briscoe said they will be doing their best to repeat that. “We will be doing our best to do as MetroStars did last season, and do the state proud on the National stage,” he said. “I think the competition is a fantastic step forward for football in Australia, and one the lads are relishing, and the whole club is really looking forward to the game.” In team news for Paul Pezos’ side, they will be without Joe Wright, who unfortunately broke his leg last week. He was an influential player for the club, and will be sorely missed.



If Mandurah City come out of Saturday’s game against Joondalup United undefeated, the Hyundai Stadium club will take out the 2015 All Flags Division One title. Doug Hesketh’s side have had a fantastic season and they sit six points clear of Ashfield, but the coach isn’t taking anything for granted. “Football is a funny old game (as Jimmy Greaves once said) and Joondalup are a solid team, they have our total respect, as every team we play,” Hesketh said. “They have been outstanding this season and have embraced promotion and provided a valuable asset to the state league maintaining a high level of competition across all 12 teams in it.” “We know we will have to be at the top of our game to get a result, but the lads have re-charged their batteries after the Ashfield game and are very keen to step up again. It is part of the process and teams I work with try to improve on last year and go as far as we can and we are on track.”

With no promotion to the NPL this season, Mandurah will have to spend another season in the first division, but Hesketh said that not his problem. “Robbo and I are very pleased with the application of the squad, and we’ve played some excellent football all year against some good opponent’s week in and week out,” he explained. “Anywhere in the world if you win the league you get promoted, it’s to provide the highest level of football in the top league across all teams. But you have to win the opportunity to complete in it and at this moment we haven’t won anything this season. I don’t really have any thoughts on the NPL up’s and downs, it’s nothing to do with me, I just coach the side and we have two games left to try and win the title, and we’ll be doing all we can to do so.” Mandurah will go into the game at full strength.

In their first season in the Division John Evans’ side have performed excellently and the coach said they head into their final away game of the season looking for the three points and to spoil the Dolphins’ party. “It’s going to be another massive test for us this week, they (Mandurah) have players that have been playing at this level or higher for many seasons, so it’s going to be a great game to be involved in, hopefully it doesn’t turn into a farce like the last game, I think Mandurah would agree on this one too,” he said. “The league table never lies, Mandurah are a very good side. But obviously we are not travelling south to give them the title; we will be down there to spoil their party.”

It’s been a huge season for Joondalup United and Evans said they have enjoyed the ride. “We have all enjoyed our first season in Division One. The squad has had its up’s and down’s, injuries, suspensions and players leaving, but that happens in every team,” he said. “We have lost points to teams in the bottom half of the table, this tells you there is no easy games in this league, and to win this league you must perform every week, it’s been a great learning curve for everyone involved.” In team news skipper Arran Maplestone is out due to injury, but apart from that they are at full strength.

In other games Ashfield will be looking for United to do them a favour, but they need to get all three points against Western Knights at Nash Field to keep tabs on the leaders. The visitors will be without Matt Wardle and Rueban Tristao due to injury, and Ashley Corker who is suspended. South West Phoenix makes the long trip north to take on Shamrock Rovers at Grimrey Oval. The home side will be without Will Pender, while Bright Ababio is missing for the Phoenix. UWA-Nedlands entertains Gosnells City, who welcomes back Wade Farmer, Jason Pottier and Trent Blewett from suspension, at the UWA Sports Complex.

The relegation battle is also hotting up with only goal difference separating Morley Windmills and Swan United for the automatic relegation spot. Swan will be desperate for all three points, when they head to Burrendah Reserve to take on Canning City. United coach Salv Todaro said it’s a vital game for the club. “It’s now or never time for us,” he said. “We must get a result on the weekend to give us the opportunity to get into the play-off spot; we are quickly running out of games.” The young Swan side have given it all in recent weeks, and with two games remaining they will be hoping they can continue on with it, and hope results elsewhere go their way. “As we all know football is a funny game. We have actually been playing some good football over the last couple of weeks with nothing to show for it,” he said. “We fought back from 2-0 down against Shamrock Rovers to get back to 2-2 with less than ten minutes to go and we ended up losing 5-2. “We will continue to work hard at training this week and give it our best shot, like we have all season and try to give us the best opportunity to move of the bottom of the table.” United’s injury crisis continues with Ebe Cowbrough, Brennan and Reegan Borzecki, Nathan Scully and Michael Lawson all still struggling to take their part in the game, but 16-year-old Marco Trimboli impressed in his league debut last week and looks like keep his spot in the side.

Canning will be missing six first team players for the game. Ethan Levitt and Joshua Wade are suspended, while Daniel and Mark Trevisiol, Chris Holland and Joshua Findlater are also unavailable. In better news Charlie Parry and Simon Elton-Bott return to the squad, while Pravin Guanasagaran could make his first start of the season. In the final game Morley travel to Dianella Reserve to take on Dianella White Eagles, and the Windmills go into the game at full strength.



The All Flags Division Two title is still up for grabs with the top two only separated by one point. Rockingham City are in pole position, but face a difficult task this week with a trip to fourth placed Wanneroo City at the Wanneroo Sporting Complex. Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar said his side has it in their own hands and they are looking forward to the challenge. “We set out to achieve promotion and at this stage we are still in with a chance, however there is a lot of football to be played out yet,” he said. “Our only focus is getting three points this week, and giving ourselves every opportunity to be successful. If we can the desired result then Forrestfield would need to win and that in itself creates pressure for them going into this weekend’s fixture.” Crerar is expecting another tough game, like the last time the two sides meet at Lark Hill. “It will be a really difficult game against Wanneroo, they are a very good side with some great individual players who can turn a game,” he said. “We have a fully fit squad for the trip, but we will need to be at our best to get something from the game.”

First year Coach Matt Debarro said Wanneroo will be looking to put a spanner in the works of Rockingham title chances. “It’s going to be a tough game, no doubt about that,” he said. “They are playing to keep top spot, while we’re playing to keep a top four finish, so there is a lot on the line, and I think it will be a close one.” The last time The Roos played Saturday’s opponents it was a tight account, with Rockingham edging them out 3-2, and many expect another tight game on Saturday. “The last time we played them it was an exciting game, where the substitutes were the difference, and unfortunately for us theirs did all the damage,” he said. “This time around I feel we are in a stronger position to get a result, as we get a few boys back, and are coming off a great result against Balga, and of course we have the home ground advantage. “We will make sure they are made to work for everything.” In team news for the Roos, Scott Campbell returns to the squad.

Rod Banjac’s Forrestfield United, who meet Rockingham next week in what could be the title decider, knows they can’t slip up when they host Balga at Hartfield Park. “Balga are in fifth spot on the table and that is not a coincidence as they are well coached and have been playing good football throughout the year,” he said. “For us this is the biggest game of the season to date, but we are on home soil and will face the challenge with confidence.” United touched Balga up last time in a 6-0 win away from home, but they do have a good away record this season, so Banjac knows they will have to be on your toes from the first whistle. “We played well against them last time, but this time around it will be an entirely different scenario, as there is a lot more at stake,” he said. “Our squad is talented, and although on our day we are capable of beating any team in the state, it will be interesting to see how the young team handles the pressure related to performing on a big stage.” In team news keeper Brad Eiffe is overseas and will miss the game, but apart from that Forrestfield will have a full squad available for the first time this season. Chris Perrott and Andy Harold are pushing for a starting role, while Davide Ferrante and Ben Parry will be vying for a spot between the posts. Balga will again be without keeper Ollie Rigler, and they should go into the game unchanged from last time out.

In other games third placed Fremantle City will be at full strength when they host Quinns FC at Hilton Reserve, Ellenbrook United entertain Curtin University at Arbor Grove Reserve, while Kelmscott Roos make the trip to Kingsway Reserve to meet Tom Kilkelly’s Kingsway Olympic. The home side welcomes back Wayne Culverwell, while Ian McKean and Joe Armitage will need to show they are fit to take their spot in the squad. In the final game Melville City travel to Iluka Sports Complex to take on Joondalup City.



Socceroo Adam Taggart says his first club appearance in almost 18 months was a "good buzz". Taggart, 22, made his Dundee United last weekend after joining the Scottish club on a six-month loan from Fulham, where he’d endured an injury-ravaged 12 months. It had been a long wait between competitive games for Taggart, whose previous outing was in April last year with Newcastle Jets.

“To be honest it was a bit more of a buzz,” Taggart said of his Dundee debut. “It was good to start getting into the rhythm of playing competitive games. I don’t think it will take long to get back into the sharpness of scoring goals. I was a little bit worried going into the game after such a long time off, but it was good to get that feeling back straight away.”

Taggart only had two days with his new team-mates before starting against Kilmarnock. And although happy to be at Dundee, he knows his future lies with Fulham where he is contracted until 2017. “I had a fairly positive pre-season with Fulham,” he said. “Things were going well but the club had been contacted by a few other clubs about going on loan and that raised their eyebrows.”

“It’s an opportunity for me to be playing regular first-team football and that might not be possible at Fulham this year given I’ve had pretty much a year off with injuries. They thought it was a good opportunity for me to go off and get some game time before I come back to them. I understand that and agree. It’s important for me to be playing games, not sitting on the bench. In the end it was a no-brainer to come here.”

Taggart said there were no guarantees about his first-team place at Dundee. “We’ve got some top quality forward players here, so it’s good to have competition,” he added. “But I’m not worrying about selection. It’s only going to come from performances week-to-week. It’s important to focus on getting as sharp as you can for a game, performing on matchday and getting as much as you can from each session.”



After a successful season, which saw the Dorrien Gardens club finish runners-up in the league and state league cup, and take part in the round of 32 in the FFA Cup, Perth have told head coach Taki Nicolaidis his services are no longer required. The decision came as a surprise to most, as Perth, who have been one of the most successful clubs in the state over the years, missed out on the top five two seasons ago. But after Nicolaidis replaced Mauro Marchione, the club consolidated under his guidance and the outlook looked positive, but the coach received the bombshell after a meeting with the club on Tuesday evening.

Nicolaidis played ten seasons as a player at Floreat Athena, and scored and helped them win the top four finals and the state league cup in 1988, before he was an assistant coach at the club for another nine seasons. He joined Perth in 2011 and coached the under 20’s to back-to-back league title’s, before take the first team coaching position and turning the clubs fortunes around. Despite the disappointment the Nicolaidis wished Perth all the best for the future. “When one door shuts another one opens,” he said. “Whilst bitterly disappointed of the decision, I’m extremely proud of my achievements and the memories during my four years at the Perth Soccer Club. “I want to thank all those that genuinely supported me during my time at there, and wish the club all the success in the future.”

The club have acted quickly to fill the position, with former Perth Glory and Perth SC midfielder Gareth Naven being appointed for 2016. President Gary Marocchi thanked Nicolaidis for his work at the football club and welcomed Gareth into the fold. “Taki took over the league job at Perth SC in very difficult circumstances, and brought our club back to where it belongs, as one of the leaders of WA football, this after some very dark days,” he said. “He is an outstanding individual and leaves us in a much improved position than when he first became the league coach, and for that, the club is truly grateful.” Marocchi, who coach Naven when he was in the hot seat at Perth Glory, said the board believed he was the best person for the position. “Gareth is a highly qualified coach, a legend of our club and WA football, and we are delighted he has agreed to come back home to us,” Marocchi said.


COMYN-PLATT HEADS HOME (courtesy of ECU Joondalup)

Likeable ECU Joondalup defender Charlie Comyn-Platt is heading back to the UK, after five outstanding years at the club. The former Bolton Wanderers and Swindon Town defender was originally brought over by then coach Steve Amphlett, after leaving Division Three English side Rochdale FC. The 29-year old, who spent two seasons at Bolton under the tutelage of Sam Allardyce, before two seasons at Swindon and year at Rochdale, was ready for a new challenge and jumped at the chance to head down under, and he has really enjoyed his time. “I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time at the club, apart from Paddy’s (Ryan Lowry) odour,” he joked. “The club were really welcoming when I first got here and we’ve got on famously since, and I’ve made some good friends for life.”

The experience of the defender has been invaluable to the young players coming through the successful ECU academy, and CP has enjoyed passing on his football skills to the youngsters. “The academy at the club is outstanding and Andy Petterson and the coaches and club committee do a wonderful job,” he said. “It’s been a pleasure to guide some of the young players through games, and I hope they have learnt a little from me during my time here.”

CP has also helped the academy side as a coach over the time at the club, and has enjoyed every minute of it. “I’ve had a good career in the game and when the club asked me to coach an academy side, the chance to put something back into the game at the club that have looked after me so well, I jumped at the chance,” he explained. “The lads we have coming through, listen and are really focused on improving their game, which bodes well for the club in the future, and we hope some of them make the move to the UK, like many others have.”

Amphlett said the big defender was an outstanding clubman. “CP was probably my best signing when I was head coach, and I thought he was good enough to play for Perth Glory,” he said. “He was a left footed player and he fitted their requirements perfectly, but despite playing a couple of friendly games it was not to be. “CP fitted into our club perfectly and soon got involved in the academy as a coach, and his professional outlook sparked a few others players into being more professional on and off the pitch. “I can’t speak highly enough of him. He lived with us for a few months while he got used to the area and was a perfect house guest, he will be missed but is always welcome back at ECU.”

The 2015 season was a huge struggle for the club, but two wins from the last three games moved them away from the foot of the table, although the big defender missed the last game after being sent off against Balcatta. “It was really disappointing to get sent off in my final home game, but that’s football,” he said. “I got some stick from the lads – although I thought I got the ball – but the group stuck together through thick and thin and it was a really tough season, but to finish it with three wins out of the last five games was a great achievement.”

When asked about his favourite moment while at the club, he was quick to answer. “Winning the ‘Player of the Year’ on two occasions was special, and something that I will always remember,” he said. “Injuries took their toll over the past two seasons but that’s part of football, but I wouldn’t change a thing, both on and off the park at the club.”

So what’s next for CP? “I’ll head home next week and catch up with family and get a job I suppose,” he said. “It’s been a pleasure to play for the club, and I hope to return one day, as a number of players owe me a beer. “Finally I’d like to thank Syd and Di for putting me up when I first arrived in Perth, your hospitality was greatly appreciated.”



Revitalised defender Trent Sainsbury has not given up hope of returning to the Socceroos side for next month's World Cup qualifier against Jordan. Australia face the Jordanians in Amman on 9 October and Sainsbury is determined to be there. The PEC Zwolle centre-back has played only ten minutes of senior competitive football this season due to successive hamstring injuries but his recovery is almost complete.

Sainsbury played a whole match for Zwolle's reserves in midweek and is in the mix to be selected for the weekend's Eredivisie home match against ADO Den Haag. "The two strains were something I could not control but all is well now," said Sainsbury. "I played 90 minutes for the reserves against Heerenveen in midweek and I felt really good. It was the quickest I felt over the ground since the Asian Cup and did not feel too bad the next morning for recovery training."

"I think now that I've played 90 minutes without any problems I can look to play full games in the first team. I've been on the bench for the last two senior games and played in a friendly during the international break so there is a big possibility I will be involved again at the weekend. My match fitness is almost perfect … The Jordan match is very important and I don't think it is coming too soon for me. If I get selected I will be over the moon."

Sainsbury, 23, was a key member of the Central Coast Mariners team that won the 2013 A-League championship and left the club a year later to further his career abroad. He feels at home in the Eredivisie but he said that being on the sidelines, recovering from injury and not knowing when or if you will get back into the side, is one of the frustrating aspects professional footballers have to deal with.

"There is always the thought that the spot you once called yours could be ripped out from underneath you so quickly because of an injury," Sainsbury explained. "But if you work hard and do the right things the spot will be yours again just as it was once. The problem is the team is doing well at the moment, lying fifth in the table two points from leader PSV, and it's hard to change a winning combination so I just have to be patient."

Sainsbury is halfway through his two-year contract with Zwolle and he admitted he has no idea where he could be playing next European season. "My contract is half up … The club has the option of one more year," he said. "It's exciting but also nerve-racking knowing I could be somewhere else shortly. I don't mind where I go as long as me and my partner are happy and enjoying it and I'm playing regularly. It's the life of a professional footballer, I suppose, but I can't imagine it any other way."



Perth Glory have been linked with a move to bring England-based duo James Demetriou and Giancarlo Gallifuoco to the A-League. Demetriou, a striker, is on the books with Swansea City while centre-back Gallufiuoco is a free agent following his release by Swansea at the end of last season. It is understood Glory have enquiried about bringing the young Australian pair to the club for 2015/2016.

Demetriou, 20, is a Sydney Olympic junior with youth team experience at Nottingham Forest and Swansea. He has represented Cyprus at youth international level and recently attracted interest from Sydney FC and Adelaide United. 21-year old Gallifuoco, an Australia youth international, played youth team football at Tottenham Hotspur for two and a half years and in recent weeks has trialled with Bradford City and Millwall.



West Australia’s squads for the School Sport Australia Pacific School Games have been announced. This years’ tournament will be held in Adelaide commencing 20 November and, with nine sports on show, it is expected over 4,000 competitors will take in the ten-day event.

The 2016 Schoolboys squad is Broden Brown, Shaydon Passalacqua (Armadale), Jackson Morgan, Caleb Sheedy, Dougal Kindness (Balcatta), Corey Barclay, Leslie Mari (Bayswater City), Sam Garces, Mitchell Firth, Daniel Santich (Cockburn City), Josiah Godfrey, Jacob Mustafa (Inglewood United), Logan McIsaac (Melville City), Shane Boyle (Rockingham City), Oliver Cheveralls (Subiaco AFC) and Nikola Cvijanovic (unattached).

The 2016 Schoolgirls squad is Melissa Shepherd (Balcatta), Caitlyn Broomhead, Roxanne Dodd, Emma Leaning (Beckenham Angels), Zoe Andrijic, Hollay Dangen (Fremantle City), Breanne Alexander (Leeming Strikers), Lucy Jerram, Julia Kagiannis, Siobhan Longmore, Taylor Maguire, Evie Marchetti, Zoe Yao (Melville City), Piper Boobyer (Sorrento), Emma Carbon and Leniana Masibaka (unattached).



Injury-riddled Socceroo Chris Herd will look to rebuild his promising career after securing a move to English League One outfit Chesterfield. The 26-year old has signed a permanent deal which will keep him at the club until January, with an option to extend his stay at Proact Stadium. "It's a great opportunity," Herd told "This team is very capable of gaining promotion to the Championship and I'm glad to be a part of it. The coaching staff seem very good and all the players seem to be on the ball. I want to get back playing and play as many games as I can, help the club and push for promotion."

Chesterfield boss Dean Saunders acknowledged Herd’s fitness was lacking but suggested the former Aston Villa defender’s class will add another dimension to the Spireites’ squad. "You can see from his career the pedigree that he's got and we'll be looking to get him into tip-top condition so that he's able to show that again," he said. "We've had him here for a couple of days and have been able to show him what we're about, we think he can add quality to our team and now he's got until January to show us how good of a player he is."



New Birmingham City defender Shane Lowry has promised to demonstrate his trademark commitment as he bids to win a place in Gary Rowett’s first team and help Blues maintain their outstanding start to the season. Before his move to Birmingham Lowry was probably best known to the clubs’ fans for being sent off when the Blues beat Millwall three seasons ago.

Lowry insists he has learned from such incidents and has vowed to do all he can to ensure this season is a success for Birmingham. “I play with my heart on my sleeve,” the 26-year old said. “Sometimes in the past I have gone overboard but I was a younger player then, I have learned a lot from these types of experiences. But I am an aggressive player, that’s the way I like to play and I can’t change the way I play. I will use my experience now and be a bit more clever.”

Lowry, who asked to be released from his contract following Leyton Orient’s relegation, admits the only games he has played since May were two trial outings with Birmingham. That leaves him with a lot of catching up to do but he says he will use the determination he shows on the pitch to help him get back there. “I am under no illusions it is going to be difficult for myself, especially because the team is doing really, really well and they have fantastic players,” he said.

“I am willing to work extremely hard to get my match fitness. A couple of years ago I was playing 90-100 games in the Championship for Millwall, things happen in football and people soon forget about you quickly. It feels as though I am starting off again from scratch. I am still quite young for a defender, at 26 I have still hopefully got quite a few years ahead of me, touch wood with injuries. I feel like I do have a point to prove and I am delighted to do it with Birmingham.”



Veteran Sorrento striker Todd Harnwell has signed off from the game by helping the club to a 2-1 win in the Cool Ridge Cup Final win against Perth SC. Harnwell ended his football career in his 443rd game for the club, by scoring the second goal on the half hour, this after Lewis Hall had given Sorrento the lead earlier. Former Sorrento striker Reece Vittiglia pulled a goal back for Perth in the last minute, but Sorrento hung on to claim the cup, and give coach Jamie Harnwell his first trophy as Gulls coach, before he heads off to take charge of the Adelaide United Westfield W-League team.

The striker said it was a perfect end to his football career. “It was a fantastic win for the club and the boys,” Todd Harnwell said. “I thought we implemented Jamie's game plan perfectly and controlled the game for long periods. To finish my football career with a Cup win and a goal, is a dream come true.”

There was a big crowd in attendance for the show piece game of the NPLWA season and it was Sorrento who opened the brighter, and they deservedly hit the front on 20 minutes. A free kick from Brad McDonald was headed back across goal by Steve McDonald, and Lewis Hall fired home through a crowd of players. The Gulls supporters didn’t have long to wait for a second, and 10 minutes later the fairytale goal had them on their feet again.

Good approach work from Jack Salter, saw him fed Sean Canham, who picked out Harnwell on the edge of the penalty area. He wasn’t closed down, and his low shot nestled into the bottom corner of the net, to set off wild celebrations in the crowd and amongst his team mates. Perth were shell shocked but Vittiglia had the chance to pull one back immediately, but his shot on the turn was well saved by Sorrento custodian James Morgan.

Perth had plenty of possession after the break, but couldn’t break down a solid Sorrento back four. The better chances fell to Sorrento, Shaun Kilkelly’s overhead kick flashed inches wide, before Perth keeper Francis Soale saved well from a curling Brad McDonald’s free kick. Taki Nicolaidis’ side were having to try their luck from long-range, and Vittiglia and Dean Evans both had shots from outside the area, but both failed to find the target, as they desperately searched for a way back into the game.

Harnwell almost wrapped up the game on 85 minutes, but he fired wide of the target. But in the final minute Perth reduced the margin. Sorrento failed to clear their lines and Vittiglia fired home to set up a thrilling finish, but an equaliser didn't arrive and Sorrento claimed their third Cup final success.

Sorrento central defender Steve McDonald was awarded the Stan Lazaridis Medal for his man-of-the-match performance, and the former Motherwell defender said it was a good team performance from the side and it was a great send off for Todd. “I think there was probably 11 players who could have won the award today,” he said. “It’s nice to get the achievement and I’m over the moon. We’re a good side and feel we can beat anyone on our day. With it being Todd’s (Harnwell) last game it was good to give him the send-off he deserves.”

Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE, 5 Dean EVANS, 6 Clark KELTIE, 11 Frank FURFARO (21 Matt MILENKOVIC 61’), 13 Rocco PIZZATA (12 Marco SANTALUCIA 57’), 14 Mark PRITCHARD (18 Josh PERREIRA 76’), 15 Laurence GAUGHAN, 17 Reece VITTIGLIA, 19 Andreas THEODOSIADES, 20 James MAROCCHI, 22 Julian MADASCHI Subs not used: RGK Dom SAVOLDELLI, 16 Nicholas AMBROGIO.
Yellow cards: Santalucia 72’

Sorrento: GK James MORGAN, 4 Shaun KILKELLY, 6 Darryl PLATTEN, 8 Ryan PEARSON, 9 Todd HARNWELL, 13 Steve MCDONALD, 15 Scott BULLOCH (10 Jason MIRCO 85’), 18 Sean CANHAM, 19 Jack SALTER, 20 Brad MCDONALD, 22 Lewis HALL Subs not used: RGK Jordan BLANK, 2 Danny CAIN, 21 Jordan DODD, 24 Scott HOYLE.
Yellow cards: Nil

Referee: Adam Fielding



A brace from Connor McKay helped Perth SC to a commanding 3-0 victory over Joondalup United in today’s Reserves Cup Final at Inglewood Stadium. The result was a silver lining for the Azzurri after they missed out on the PS4 NPLWA Under 20 title to Perth Glory on goal difference. “The lads have worked incredibly hard, so it’s great to get a bit of a reward at the end of the year,” said jubilant Perth coach Gavin Tait. “They went out right from the first whistle and took the game to Joondalup in really difficult, swirly conditions.”

Tait’s side had Joondalup on the back foot early, opening up their defence with crisp passing and movement. They nearly went ahead in the third minute, as David Filippou struck the top corner of the post. The Perth forward then provided the assist for his side’s 13th-minute opener, gathering Harley Orr’s through-ball on the left before squaring for McKay to score. Orr won a free kick seven minutes later and Daniel Tait lashed a powerful low strike past Luke Green to double their advantage. Joondalup had an opportunity to score in the 24th minute but Peter Kenny couldn’t get a foot to Blaine Slater’s ball from the right. Orr continued to orchestrate many of Perth’s forward thrusts, repeatedly forcing Green to rush off his line and clear dangerous passes to Adam Carlino.

Joondalup created another good chance right before half-time, but Kenny was adjudged offside before beating Perth keeper Dom Savoldelli. Chances fell to both sides in the early stages of the second half with McKay nearly scoring a second after Green had again come off his line to save. He wouldn’t be denied in the 73rd minute, however, finishing some deft passing on Perth’s left with another composed side-foot finish. Jacob Shore was forced to play the final moments of the game in goal for Joondalup after Green was dismissed in the 89th minute for bringing down Perth substitute Brody Walker.

Joondalup coach Stephen McDowell said his side was overwhelmed. “(We’re) very disappointed today, but that’s the way it is – we got outplayed today and the boys didn’t turn up,” he said. “I don’t know if it was nerves, or whatever… Perth outplayed us, simple as that.” It was a disappointing end to an impressive season for Joondalup, who romped to the All Flags State League Division One Reserves title with three games to play.

Perth coach Tait said he had high hopes for many of his side, saying “three or four” players were ready to push into the senior team for 2016. “We’re still working on trying to close that gap on Bayswater (in the NPL), and we’ll be relentless in pursuing that I’m sure,” he said. “It’s been a great year for the club – it’s lovely to develop players, but it’s also great for them to win something at the end as a reward.”

Perth SC: GK Dom SAVOLDELLI, 6 Jordan DELEO, 7 Connor MCKAY, 9 Adam CARLINO, 11 David FILIPPOU (8 Brody WALKER 84’), 13 Alex SILLA, 14 Daniel TAIT (10 Dino TOPCAGIC 75’), 15 Alex VERTH, 17 Jordan DOROPOULOS (3 Mo SULAIMAN 87’), 19 Harley ORR, 20 Ollie TAIT
Substitutes not used: 12 Elliott TATTERSALL, 23 Connor RAE
Yellow cards: D Tait 52’
Red cards: Nil

Joondalup United: GK Luke GREEN, 4 Tony TAYLOR, 7 Adam BUCKLEY, 22 Adam ROGERS (32 Aaron PLATTEN 86’), 23 Joel LEDSHAM 24 Mark BEATTIE, 26 Blaine SLATER, 30 Peter KENNY (34 James GREEN 61’), 31 Daniel MERRIE (29 Andrew FLINT 77’), 35 Jacob SHORE, 36 Jess COMPTON
Substitutes not used: 25 Matt CHAPMAN, 27 Tom MERRIE
Yellow cards: Merrie 51’, Shore 79’
Red cards: Green 90’

Referee: T. Dowle



Subiaco AFC's Under 18's team earned the club's first trophy since joining the State’s top tier with a 5-4 penalty shootout win over Cockburn City in today’s U18 Cup Final at Inglewood Stadium today. After a goalless 90 minutes, the match went to a shoot-out that was locked at 4-4 when Shatoosh Bhat stepped up with an opportunity to win the cup. “No one in my team trusted me,” Bhat said. “I was really nervous... I've missed every penalty I've taken for Subi.” But Bhat overcame those nerves and sent Cockburn keeper Jordan Combe the wrong way to secure the victory for his side.

Subiaco went into the game as favourites having beaten Cockburn 4-0 in their last meeting and finishing fifth on the NPLWA U18 ladder compared to Cockburn, who were 11th. But Cockburn showed endeavour to take the match to spot kicks. Cockburn coach Chris Adams commended his side after the game. “We've had a bad run for the past 10 games, so for the boys to finish the season like that was fantastic,” Adams said. “I couldn't have asked for anything more. As soon as it got to the penalties it turned into a gamble. We could have been a touch better in the final third but I couldn’t fault the boys today.”

Subiaco dominated for most of the game. They created a number of chances early, their best being a corner that was cleared off the line by a Cockburn defender. In the second half Subiaco continued to press, though chances fell to Cockburn on the counter. They almost took the lead when Michael Debellis' rasping cross just evaded the head of the onrushing Taj Cardoso. Subiaco had a number of late chances. Ross Jarman headed wide from a corner while Jackob Soldan struck the base of the post following a poor clearance by Cockburn's Combe. A late penalty appeal by Subi's Dylan Andrews was turned down as the shootout loomed. In the shootout, Subi keeper Hamish St. George made two saves to Combe's one, before Bhat's winning penalty.

Subiaco: 31. Hamish St. George, 2. Tom FORBES, 17. Stef HILL, 3. Lucas TOBAR, 13. Dylan ANDREWS, 14. Ross JARMAN, 8. Jordan SCRAGG (15. Macauley BLAIRE 90'), 6. Ivwananji SIMBILE (c) (10. Brynn LAKEY 63'), 4. Chris MASSEY (11. Jackob SOLDAN 71'), 7. Shatoosh BHAT, 9. Ignacio DOMINGUEZ
Subs not used: Nil
Yellow Cards: Nil

Cockburn City: 1. Jordan COMBE, 48. Joshua OREB, 49. Thomas BOURNE (59. Taj CARDOSO 64'), 50. Michael DEBELLIS, 52. Samuel JONES, 53. James OLDFIELD, 54. Ella MASTRANTONIO, 61. Ashley SMITH (51. Charlie BUSH 56'), 62. Jacob YOUNG, 64. Cohen AITKEN, 65. David DOS SANTOS (c)
Substitutes not used: 23. Lachlan FEHRMAN, 63. Luke TESTER, 66. Thomas BALCH
Yellow Cards: Oldfield 29', Smith 51'

Referee: Eamon McDonnell



The Coolridge Cup takes centre stage this weekend with Sorrento taking on Perth SC at Inglewood Stadium on Saturday at 3pm. A big crowd is expected, kicking off with the Under 18's decider between Subiaco AFC and Cockburn City at 10am and the Reserves final between Perth SC and Joondalup United from Division One at 12.15pm.

Perth made it to the decider after a 4-3 win against amateur club Gwelup Croatia in the semi-final. Coach Taki Nicolaidis said his team are preparing well for Saturday, "There has been a real buzz amongst the group and quality and intensity at training has been first class." However, Nicolaidis is weary of the threat Sorrento will bring, "Sorrento are a quality team with a lot of experience and big game players. They will be well organised and very tough to break down". Laurence Gaughan and Mark Pritchard come into the squad whilst Aden Da Luz (hamstring) and Josh Wilkins (suspended) will miss the big match.

Sorrento defeated last year's cup winners Bayswater City in the semi-final after a dramatic penalty shoot-out, which also earned qualification into the FFA Cup. Sorrento striker Todd Harnwell will end a long career with the club, but said his main focus is winning the trophy, "I really just want the focus to be on winning the cup again. Obviously it would be a fairytale finish but there are a number of boys who are yet to win a cup so winning it for them and the club is my priority. We have been training hard over the last few weeks and have been concentrating on getting results from our last few league games. Last week we ground out a result in a tough fixture so we were happy with that."

Harnwell knows that Perth will make it tough for the seagulls, "Perth are a quality side who are dangerous going forward. We will expect the usual from them, playing the ball around and trying to keep possession but we plan to match that ourselves and will try to dictate our game on them." Sorrento will be at full strength on Saturday, apart from Tom Boss who has injured his knee and is out for the season, while Jason Mirco is pushing for a spot after returning from his holidays.



Todd Harnwell is aiming for a Cool Ridge Cup hat-trick to take into retirement when he lines up for Sorrento against Perth SC at Inglewood Stadium on Saturday. Harnwell, younger brother of Perth Glory legend Jamie, will play his 443rd and final match for the Gulls hoping to repeat his cup-winning feats of 2011 and 2012. “This is definitely my last game – family commitments and work have brought me to that conclusion,” said Harnwell, who is a teacher at Christ Church Grammar School. “I always wanted to finish on my own terms and I’ve had a reasonable season, so a cup victory, which would be my third, would be an amazing way to go out.”

Harnwell and his wife Olivia have two children, Lily, 6, and Noah, 3, and are expecting a third in December. The impending arrival of another child, coupled with work commitments – he also coaches the school team – have convinced Harnwell that his playing days are over. “Now that I’ve committed, I’ll definitely stick to it,” he said. “I think it will be quite easy (to stop playing) because I’ve got so much else to do.”

Harnwell has won a number of trophies with Sorrento, including four league championships (2001, 2006, 2008, 2012), two State Cups (2011, 2012), one Top Five Cup (1999) and also a Night Series title (1999).



Bayswater City made history this season, becoming the first team in WA's top flight competition to record 60 points in a league season. The previous record was held by Floreat Athena after they hit 58 points in their 2007 championship win. Athena also got to the same figure in 1997, however that was a fourteen team league which had four extra games. Bayswater's next target is to break East Fremantle Tricolore's long term record of 33 games without loss. The black and blue's will have to remain undefeated in the league until round nine next season to break it.



Team captain Lisa De Vanna is reportedly one of six players to break ranks after the Professional Football Association announced the Matildas' two-match tour of the United States would be scrapped. The PFA said yesterday the tour would not go ahead due to an ongoing pay dispute with Football Federation Australia, however, six player have subsequently committed to fly to the US on Friday ahead of next week's tour.

Coach Alen Stajcic spent last night ringing his players to see if they would still be willing to take their place if selected, according to the report. "I just want to play for my country. It's all I want to do," said 30-year old De Vanna. "If my coach calls me and asks me to play I will always make myself available. At my age I am not sure if the opportunity to play the world champions will come up again."



Defender Shane Lowry has joined English Championship club Birmingham City following his release from fourth tier Leyton Orient. Lowry, 26, has penned a deal with Brum until the end of the season following a successful trial at St Andrews. "I was here three or four weeks ago and played a couple of games and I'm excited to come to a club this size and I'm glad that it's finally sorted and hopefully I can kick on now,” Lowry told the club’s website.

Last month Lowry triggered a release clause in his Orient contract following their relegation from League One. "I'm absolutely delighted to be here,” Lowry said. “It's a great opportunity for myself and I'm really looking forward to it." He was part of Australia’s preliminary 2010 World Cup squad but remains uncapped at Socceroos level. Lowry started his English career at Aston Villa and has had stints at Plymouth Argyle, Leeds United, Sheffield United, Millwall and Orient.



The Matildas' two-match series against Women’s World Cup holders the United States has been called off as negotiations continue to stall over a new collective bargaining agreement. Professional Footballers Australia spokesman Beau Busch said the tour was called off late on Wednesday afternoon, a day after players refused to show up at a practice session in Sydney. The Socceroos have also vented their anger over stalled pay talks in the past week with players declining to be involved in commercial events.



Perth Glory boss Kenny Lowe has revealed he’s still in the market for three more players before the start of the new A-League season which he hopes will result in a "Utopia" for Perth this season. It’s been an off-season of change for Glory with the likes of Andy Keogh, Danny Vukovic, Scott Jamieson, Youssouf Hersi, Jamie Maclaren, Rostyn Griffiths and Danny Da Silva all heading for the exit door. In their place have come imports Gyorgy Sandor, Guyon Fernandez and Diego Castro, plus veteran goalkeeper Ante Covic, Antony Golec and Marc Warren.

“There’s a really good vibe at the club, people are enjoying themselves and obviously we have to translate that to results and performances,” Lowe told “I think we’re in a good place. It’s a bit of a rebuild again unfortunately after what happened last year but that’s the nature of football. We want to evolve the club … we want to make it a proper football club. But the big thing for me is I want people to come to work and enjoy themselves, if we can get people to do that and then on top of that win games as well, that’s Utopia.”

Probably the biggest challenge facing Lowe is how to replace the goals of departed Irishman Keogh and young gun Maclaren, who chimed in with 21 of Glory’s 45 goals last season. “Obviously Guyon has come in and he’s exciting, scores goals and has played at a good level,” Lowe said of new attacker Fernandez. “Hopefully he’ll come in and score some goals. And we’ve still got three players left to bring in. We’re looking to bring a young attacking (Maclaren)-type player into the group as well. We’re looking at Aussies across the country, in Perth and also abroad. We’ll just have to see where we go on that front."

Asked about the club’s new imports and the impact they can have on the competition, Lowe was gushing in his praise. “Sandor has captained his club, he’s won championships, he’s captained his country,” he said of the Hungarian. “He’s a lovely guy and a good footballer and is a nice influence around the club. He’s going to be of real value for us. “Guyon you know about and then obviously Diego, the Spanish boy, he’s played 10-15 years at the highest level you possibly can. It’s going to be exciting if we can get them all to gel. And they seem to be.

There’s a good vibe, the boys that have been here have taken care of the new boys that have come in…it’s really good. We seem to have done well (in the past with imports). Nebo’s (Marinkovic) had an impact, Keogh had an impact, Sidnei (Sciola) has had an impact. Hopefully if the new boys can do what those boys that are here have done, we’ll be in a good place.” Lowe is hopeful of having all three of his new imports available for the club’s FFA Cup quarter-final against Western Sydney Wanderers on Tuesday, 29 September.



It wasn't pretty, but the Socceroos are poised to book their place in the next round of World Cup qualification after battling past a gallant Tajikstan 3-0. Coach Ange Postecoglou played down his side's first-half struggles against the Central Asian minnows, who were under siege all night long yet frustrated the visitors by holding them out for nearly an hour. But once Mark Milligan broke the deadlock in the 57th minute, the gulf in class between the Asian Cup holders and the world's 153rd-ranked side became quickly apparent as Tim Cahill scored twice to seal victory at the Republican Central Stadium.

Australia appeared out of ideas in attack until the first goal came and Tajikistan's will gave way - but that was mostly because unfamiliarity with the artificial pitch led to overblown crosses and mishit balls in the final third. "We were floating stuff in instead of hitting them with purpose and pace. But we have persevered, and I think our last two goals in particular were really good team goals," coach Ange Postecoglou said. "The game was played in their half. I know people will focus on the scoreline but that's not what we focus on. I'm looking at the game and whether we were controlling the game and we certainly were."



The stage is set for an exciting W-League season for Perth Glory Women as they aim to go one step further on the back of a historic 2014/15. The team will kick-off its campaign on 17 October against rivals Melbourne Victory before returning home to play back-to-back games at Ashfield Reserve against Newcastle Jets and Melbourne City. The 31 October clash against City is expected to be a fiery encounter after former Glory girl Lisa De Vanna now playing for the league’s glamour club.

On the back of winning the National Premier League Under-20 championship, coach Bobby Despotovski said his focus now turns to his talented Women's team which has secured the signatures of Matildas quartet Sam Kerr, Mackenzie Arnold, Kim Carroll and Caitlin Foord. “The fixtures are the same for everybody and we are going to prepare the best way we can to succeed to get into the top four” he said. “After the girls came desperately short last year we want to do something and go one step further and win the championship.”



Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe says player transfers between the two clubs will add even more spice to the contest when Western Sydney Wanderers head west for a huge FFA Cup quarter-final. Glory, last year’s beaten-finalists, will host the current AFC Champions League winners in an all A-League match up at Dorrien Gardens on Tuesday, 29 September. And there is sure to be plenty of inside information passed on at each club, with a number of names switching between the two outfits in recent times.

Glory recruited Ante Covic, Jerrad Tyson and Antony Golec from the Wanderers, while Perth old boys Mitch Nichols, Scott Jamieson and Scott Neville now based at Western Sydney. “It’s a really interesting game for both clubs,” Lowe told “Maybe Ante (Covic) and Jerrad (Tyson) are looking at it with a little bit extra, and probably Mitchy (Nichols) and Jamo are as well. It’s going to be great. It’s a quarter-final so both teams will be pretty keen to win. We’ll just have to see how it pans out but I’m sure it will be a tough match.”

After difficult Hyundai A-League campaigns last season – for vastly different reasons – both Glory and Wanderers have undertaken a major squad rebuild ahead of the new season. “I haven’t watched too many of the Cup games to be honest,” said Lowe. “But now we’ve drawn them we’ll go and have a little look. It’s probably difficult because they are maybe evolving a little bit as well. Other than they will be a Tony Popovic side that’s really well organised, incredibly fit and difficult to play against. That’s a given.”

Glory survived a major scare in the previous round to make the last eight, playing 114 minutes with just ten-men before emerging with a gritty 1-0 win over Lions FC. “It really sums us up as a club,” Lowe said. “That’s probably the way I am, the way I’ve been brought up in a way through my Mum and Dad, you have to work hard for what you want. No one gives you anything and we’re a bit like that as a team. We want to work hard, be honest, win games and enjoy ourselves. That’s our mantra really.”

Having fallen at the final last year, Glory are hungry to go all the way in 2015 and secure some long-awaited silverware for the club. “We’re two wins away from another final, that’s how you have to look at it,” Lowe said. “The big thing for us is winning the games in the FFA Cup allows us to keep our pre-season alive because we find it difficult over in the west to get friendly games against A-League opposition. “It costs money for them to come here, us to go there … these games are important for so many reasons which is why I love them and I know the players do too.”



Fringe Socceroo Nikita Rukavytsya has finally sorted his club future, signing a one-year deal with Beitar Jerusalem. The former Perth Glory finisher was linked to a return to the club but that looked increasingly unlikely as the weeks rolled on. Beitar confirmed Rukavytsya’s signing on the club website overnight, characterising the 13-capped international “as very fast player who can play offensive positions,” as a striker and on the left wing.

It is not the first time Rukavytsya, who is married to an Israeli, has been linked with that part of the world following on from an offer to join champions Maccabi Tel Aviv last year. Rukavytsya has played five years abroad but was hoping a return to Australia last season would reignite his international career after being frozen out at Mainz. He showed only flashes of his potential at Western Sydney, scoring three goals in 23 appearances.



New signing Eli Babalj says he took no time in settling into life with Adelaide United, explaining his new teammates made his transition into South Australia very smooth. “I’ve settled in well here in Adelaide,” Babalj said. “It’s a really nice city and everyone at the club have been very welcoming. I feel really at home and like I’ve been here a lot longer than a few weeks.”

“The atmosphere around the club is really positive and my teammates are great to work with,” he continued, “They’re a good group of boys and training has been good and enjoyable and I’m really looking forward to the start of the season. There’s still a long way to go (until the new season kicks-off), but so far it’s been really good.”

Babalj picked up invaluable pre-season match fitness in Darwin a couple of weeks ago and last week featured in his clubs’ FFA Cup clash with Sydney FC. He rates the support of Adelaide’s loyal fans as being a defining factor in ensuring the players give their all on match day, just like what was needed most recently against Sydney in extra-time.

“As footballers, fans are always very important to us,” Babalj explained. “The game last week against Sydney showed how well they can spur us on. Their encouragement and the volume of their support puts pressure on our opposition and helps us to dig deep and gives us a lift when we hear them. It was much better to beat Sydney in extra-time than on penalties … It was a big relief.”

“Our team was pretty successful last season, but we’ve now added to the team and I think we have greater depth in our squad this season. I personally believe we’ll be up there challenging (for the A-League Championship) like last year. It’s always nice to see Coopers Stadium filled with people and we can feel the atmosphere and it always helps us and gives us a buzz.”



It was on the cusp of turning 40 that Ante Covic achieved what he rates the highlight of his career. The veteran goalkeeper won an Asian Champions League medal and was voted player of the tournament. Up until then Covic had thought he’d achieved just about everything there was in the game, with Greek Cup and A-League Championship winners medals in his collection alongside membership of the Socceroos 2006 World Cup squad.

So what’s left now for Covic, who has joined Perth Glory for the coming summer. “It was a great opportunity and a new direction in my career. I’m really excited about what we can do. I’ve still got a lot to give to this game” he said. “Playing for the Socceroos that was my highlight then but now this takes the cake (winning the ACL) and for it to come so late in my career, who’s to say there’s nothing more ahead for myself and for Perth Glory”.

All it took to convince Covic of moving across the Nullarbor was a brief chat with Glory boss Kenny Lowe. “I love Kenny Lowe’s drive and his ambition for the club and I was in a positive frame of mind after speaking to him and I know that it’s a club that wants to do well,” said the ‘keeper. “I want to achieve things. I love to win, I’m a sore loser and that’s what keeps me going to be the best”.

“As long as my body’s fine, as long as I’ve got the passion and the drive for the sport that I love and as long as I know that I’m going out on that field doing the best for myself and my team mates and that’s replicated in the belief in me, I don’t even question retirement,” added Covic. “When the time comes you know but right now I’m sick of hearing that question.”



Perth Glory's under 20’s team have been crowned National Premier League WA Champions after an emphatic 9-1 win against Cockburn City at the weekend. Michael McDougall bagged a first half hat-trick, with Daniel Stynes scoring a brace, while Alex Tanevski, Losene Dulleh, Ben Johns and Jesse Lazzaro were also on target. Glory Coach Bobby Despotovski was delighted with the way his young side won the game and the way they have played all season. “Winning the title for under 20s NPL league is a great achievement for Perth Glory, but developing the players is more important to Steve (McGarry) and I,” he said. “Hopefully this title will give us credibility, that we are all working towards one goal, and that is the development of hopefully the next superstars to play in the A-League for the club. “I’m really happy the lads won the title, because they have worked their butts off for it, and they need recognition for their achievement. It will be even harder for future players to achieve, what this generation has done, but that is the challenge and we will never rest in educating future stars.”

For hat-trick hero McDougall, the title is recognition of the hard work the coaches and players have put in this season. “I really enjoyed the game and I thought the entire team played great from the start to the finish and we deserved to the win the title. We started off a bit shaky but after some good possession and a few chances we managed to grab the lead and continued from there" he said

McDougall opened the scoring early after the young striker was brought down in the penalty area, but was up quickly to finish low past the Cockburn keeper. He completed his hat-trick with two quick goals. First he fired home from the top of the penalty area, before adding his and the Glory’s third, after turning home Daniel Stynes’ cross. In between his strikes Cockburn pulled one back through Kenel Mouithys, but the Glory youngsters went into the break with a 4-1 lead, when Jesse Lazzaro, son of Cockburn City President Heidi, volleyed home from the edge of the box.

It was one way traffic after the break, and Losene Dulleh raced clear from McDougall’s through ball to make it 5-1, before Ben Johns waltzed past four defenders to add the sixth. Glory was n party mode, and Alex Tanevski added his 27th goal of the season to make it 7-1. Stynes added the eighth, after he cut inside his marker and fired home, before the lively winger put the icing on the title cake with his second. At the final whistle the Glory coaches, players and supporters celebrated the club's first NPL title.



ECU Joondalup claimed their second Under 18's championship in four years, after beating Inglewood United 4-1 in the final game of the season. The win meant Joondalup finished two points clear of their nearest rivals Bayswater City. There were still five teams that could win the title going into the last round, including Inglewood, but Joondalup had their destiny in their own hands, knowing a win would give them the trophy. They started brightly with Joe Middleton scoring in the opening minutes, and an own goal put Joondalup 2-0 up just before half time. James Owen and John Hulme made sure of the win with second half goals.

Stand in coach Paul Welch was delighted with the win, "We knew a win would give us the title and the lads were up for the game and totally dominated the first half. To score the early goal after the break was ideal, but to concede and have Joe sent off put us on the back foot. But the determination and effort of the players today was magnificent, like it has been all season, and they deserve all the credit.” The win erased the bitter memories of last season, when Joondalup lost the championship in the last minute in the Grand Final against Perth.



Five star Bayswater City wrapped up an unbeaten PS4 National Premier Leagues WA season with a dominant 5-1 win over Stirling Lions at Frank Drago Reserve. An unprecedented achievement from the hosts was all but wrapped up by half time as Gustavo Giron Marulanda struck twice inside the first 12 minutes. David Heagney came off the bench to strike a late brace after goals from Brian Farrell and a consolation in between from Brodie Martin.

But it was Marulanda’s brace that set the ball rolling and the goals ensured he finished ahead of Cockburn’s Rory Patterson as the Golden Boot winner. “I told to the boys today ‘keep in mind that I need to score some goals today because Rory (Patterson) is a great finisher,” said the Colombian striker. “You’re always going to get chances with the players we have in our team, so you have to be sharp and prepared to score. “I woke up this morning and I was really hungry for goals, and having won the title, I wanted the Golden Boot too. “Being top-scorer was one of my targets and to achieve it is a great feeling, but to contribute to the team is the best feeling.”

Marulanda also said the team acknowledged the importance of putting on a show for the fans after last week’s draw against Armadale. “It was frustrating to see how we played last week, but today we knew if we wanted to celebrate properly we had to win and show what we can do,” he said. “It’s been an incredible year. We’ve set the standard and to win it without losing, it’s excellent.”

The league’s top scorer took less than a minute to put one hand on the Golden Boot, capitalising on an error at the back to slide past Joel Driscoll. It was 2-0 inside quarter of an hour. Marulanda this time latched onto a ball over the top, rounding Driscoll and slotting into an empty net.

Bayswater coach Chris Coyne praised his leading scorer for his efforts this season. “The kid has got so much ability, his two finishes were great and he could have had three or four,” he said. “He has pace and lightens everything up as soon as he gets on the ball. He’s a joy to coach and watch and he’s been phenomenal for us this season.”

The pace of Teeboy Kamara on the break provided the most danger to Bayswater’s defence, but Stirling’s closest attempt of the half was a free kick curled inches wide by Miki Vujacic. Bayswater were largely in control, though, and that dominance continued into the second half when Farrell stooped to head in Sam Mitchinson’s cross. Stirling’s consolation unsurprisingly came from the left, as Martin was on hand to ensure the hosts wouldn’t keep a clean sheet. Heagney replaced Marulanda with 18 minutes to play and made an immediate impact when he fired a spot-kick into the bottom corner after Steve Purton harshly saw red for handball. And he’d have the final say in the dying minutes with a powerful run down the left and an emphatic finish at the near post to match.

Coyne was full of praise for his squad and their achievements this season but admitted it was important to keep the momentum going ahead of the NPL Finals. “We asked the boys to go out and show why they are champions and they did that today,” he said. “Some of the football they played was fantastic and it was nice to be back in good form with the game in Adelaide coming up. “It’s great to be part of the team. We’re here to manage, but the boys have worked their socks off and deserve all of the credit. I’m super proud of them.” Bayswater will now to look forward to a trip to Adelaide in the 2015 NPL Finals where they will meet PS4 NPL-SA minor premiers West Adelaide.


PERTH FINISH SECOND (by Kelechi Osunwa,

Perth SC finished second in the PS4 National Premier Leagues WA thanks to a 2-1 win over Subiaco AFC at Dorrien Gardens. The Azzuri entered the game one point behind Floreat, but Athena’s loss meant Taki Nicolaidis’ side pipped Floreat thanks to first half goals from Reece Vittiglia and Dean Evans.

Speaking after the game Nicolaidis reflected on the season. “We are (happy). From a league point of view we wanted to be closer to Bayswater,” he said. “But second place, a cup final against a team that took Sydney FC right to the death, and semi-finals in the night series, it hasn’t been too bad so for us second spot is quite special.”

Vittiglia gave Perth the lead when he calmly converted from the penalty spot after referee Michael Jasinski penalised Subiaco for handling in the penalty area. The visitors levelled through Matthew Akehurst. The tricky forward capitalised from a quick free kick that saw him surge into the box before dispatching his shot into the bottom right corner. No sooner had Subiaco stopped celebrating did they find themselves down again. From the kick off, Vittiglia went on a mazy run through the Subiaco defence and he found Dean Evans with his low cross for the simplest of finishes. Subiaco had a chance to enter half time level when Akehurst countered with pace, but Julian Madaschi managed to force Akehurst wide and into a tame finish.

Perth pushed forward in search for a third in the second half but found Subiaco custodian Ryan Montgomery in imperious form. The keeper pulled off four significant saves with the pick of the bunch being a point-blank reflex save to deny Vittiglia his second after a driven cross by Evans. Montgomery’s saves kept Perth within arm’s reach, but Subiaco were unable to force Francis Soale into any saves of note as Perth ran out 2-1 winners. The only blemish on the result for Perth was the booking of Joshua Wilkins. The full back was booked within 10 minutes of coming onto the field for a needless challenge and will miss next week’s Cool Ridge Cup Final.

Subiaco coach Gerry McEwan was proud of his side’s fight throughout the fixture and felt it was a reflection of the progress his side has made in a successful season. “I’m really happy with the effort the boys gave in the second half,” McEwan said. “I think the people watching the game would have been happy that it was a good contest and we certainly made it into a contest. “They (Perth) were playing for second place, but we’ve always been playing for pride every week and I’m delighted with my boys. “It’s been a strong season compared to last year and hopefully next year we’ll be stronger again.”

For Perth, the season remains a little bittersweet. Finishing second to archrivals Bayswater is never easy, but Nicolaidis pointed to the improvements from last season. “We got second last year by two points and the gaps a little wider this year,” he said. “But we had 15 wins last year and 16 wins this year. 49 points last year and 50 points this year, so under the circumstances we haven’t done too badly.”



Floreat Athena were denied a second place finish in the National Premier Leagues WA when they were beaten 1-0 by a resilient Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve. Jack Salter scored in the 85th minute and helped Perth SC leapfrog Floreat on the ladder after their 2-1 win over Subiaco.

Floreat squandered a golden opportunity to put the game away when they missed a second half penalty and coach Glen Grostate felt deflated having been second place for the whole season. “We’ve had a fantastic season but we gave it up in the last 15 minutes,” he said. “The boys battled hard but if you want to be successful you have to win big games.”

Captain Ludo Boi and in-form striker Kris Gate both came off early in the first half with injuries (hamstring and shoulder respectively) and Grostate said it’s always a struggle at Percy Doyle without a full squad. “When you lose players of that calibre it’s difficult,” he said. “But we can’t really beat ourselves up - we won the night series and finished in the top three, so I guess I’ll get over it.”

It was an uneventful first half as both teams jostled for possession and that paved the way for an entertaining second half. Jack Allen initiated the Athena attack when he ploughed through the middle of the field and brought on a low diving save from State goalkeeper James Morgan in the 47th minute. Floreat continued to press but Sorrento countered sporadically and keeper Fraser Greenwood did well to halt Scott Bulloch’s run on goal in the 62nd minute. Four minutes later, Steve Burton skilfully turned a defender and curled the ball towards the far post with the outside of his boot, but Morgan stretched a hand to it.

Sorrento captain Daryl Platten then gave away an avoidable penalty when he lashed out at Blair Govan in the 68h minute following a challenge on Morgan. But Morgan did the skipper a favour and again kept out Burton with another one-handed save. The save put a spring in Sorrento’s step and it was only a matter of time before Salter shattered the visitors spirits and drove home a through-ball from Ryan Pearson.

Sorrento face Perth next week in the Coolridge Cup Final after inadvertently helping them end their season on a high. Coach Jamie Harnwell doesn’t think it will be to their detriment. “It’s not about the lead-up games to the final anymore,” he said. “They’ll be confident going in but so will we, so it’s what happens on the day that counts.”



ECU Joondalup had a winning end to their 2015 PS4 National Premier Leagues WA campaign after a 4-2 victory at Inglewood United on Saturday. The visitors were deserved winners in a positive end to what ECU coach Dale McCulloch described as a frustrating season. “It’s been a difficult year, I don’t think a lot has gone for us, but they dug deep and got through it which is a good sign,” he said.

ECU’s Bayley Montgomery scored a brace in what McCulloch said was an impressive performance from the 16 year old forward. “I haven’t looked at what he’s scored this year, but I’d say it’s about seven or eight goals, which is very good,” he said. “It’s pleasing for the kid.”

Montgomery put his side ahead in the 17th minute after he was picked out at the far post by Joe Smith’s ball from the right flank. He then did his part at the other end of the ground a minute later, sliding in to deny Andrija Jukic after he was played through with a clever back-heel. Bayley’s father Stuart doubled ECU’s lead in the 35th minute as he put a calm finish past Aleks Vrteski from the middle of the penalty area.

Their two goal buffer only lasted a minute, as Inglewood’s Jason Colli broke down the right wing before crossing for Ryan Sardi to head in. The hosts could have leveled three minutes later, but David Sesay’s shot went wide after he found space in the box. Coire McGuigan then cleared Jarrod McNally’s shot off the line and ECU keeper Jamie Serra saved with his feet from Kenny Keogh as Inglewood applied pressure before the break.

Both sides created chances early in the second half with Bayley Montgomery drawing a diving save from Vrteski in the 49th minute. Inglewood equalised through David Micevski’s 54th minute penalty before the younger Montgomery replied two minutes later with a booming strike that Vrteski could only tip onto the underside of the bar before going in. ECU’s leading scorer Tommy Amphlett turned provider two minutes from time, receiving a long ball on the left before controlling the ball at the top of the area and playing in Jon Higgins to side foot home.

McCulloch said his focus would now shift to the composition of the side for 2016 as the club dealt with losing captain Higgins and other senior players. “There’s a couple who had their last games for the club today. We need to get some more players in – we’ve had two visa players go home, so that free’s up those visa spots,” he said. “There’s about 15 players who’ve made a debut for the club (this year), so that’s really exciting. “There’s going to be a new look ECU side next year, which is exciting, but also daunting as well because you have to go and get new players.



Balcatta ended a run of three successive defeats to finish the season in style with a 4-1 rout at Armadale in the PS4 National Premier Leagues WA's final round. But this defeat for Armadale condemned them to the wooden spoon and continued their wretched home form, losing all 11 league games at Alfred Skeet Reserve in 2015. The hosts have to go back to Round 2 in 2014 to read of their previous home success, which was a 2-1 win over ten man Subiaco. And despite a promising opening to this game, once they fell behind in the 34th minute Armadale never looked likely to reward their long-suffering home support with a points return.

Experienced coach Paul Price has guided Armadale to some good results on the road and hauled them within touching distance of the clubs immediately above them, despite an injury ravaged squad. "We've had to change everything around again. Mitch Castrilli has been out for five weeks with a hamstring injury so wasn't match-fit, but we couldn't defend today," he said. "That's the worst we've defended since I've been here. We gave away two stupid goals, got ourselves back in it and gave another silly goal away within minutes.” Looking ahead to next season, Price added that he and his coaching staff were currently in discussions with the club committee about remaining in charge.

Balcatta went in at the break two goals to the good. The first strike from Blamo QuaQua, who cut in from the right wing, before prodding past Luke Radonich. Zelfy Nazary headed home the second in the 39th minute, meeting James Sammut's flighted free kick unopposed at the back post. That was after Army had exerted early pressure without reward, a Jackson Bealey free-kick was palmed away at full stretch by Clint Davies and Darren Francis charged down a defensive clearance which flew just wide.

Army did halve the deficit as they came out after the break looking for a response, as Jesse Fuller glanced home a long throw on 53 minutes. But any chance of ending their disastrous home form was scuppered four minutes later, Steve Sokol poked home unmarked at the far post from a right wing cross. Gustavo Catarcione applied the finishing touch from 10m in the 65th minute after Sokol had drawn Radonich out of position as Balcatta enjoyed a comfortable last 20 minutes.

Balcatta assistant coach Steve Zagami said they were delighted to secure sixth place on the table following a season of turmoil on the pitch. "It took us a while to settle down today but we got the first goal and never looked like we were going to be out of the game, even when they pulled it back the response was excellent,” he said. "Being two minutes from a Grand Final last year, we would have hoped for a top four finish, but players have gone and a lot of young lads have come in this year and we have to be pleased with sixth.”



Perth Glory Youth avoided the wooden spoon in the PS4 National Premier Leagues WA with a 3-0 win against fifth-placed Cockburn City at Dalmatinac Park. Nikola Talimdzioski scored a brace to ensure the Glory would take a winning streak into the start of the National Youth League. Perth Glory bared their teeth from the start, opening proceedings with a shot directly from the kick-off. They continued to be the more aggressive team over the course of the first half and were rewarded on 15 minutes when Talimdzioski beat Cockburn's offside trap to poke past goalkeeper Jack Adams.

“I thought they [Glory] were fantastic today. They set the tone in the first half,” admitted Cockburn coach Mark Anthony. One fascinating sub-plot was Rory Patterson's attempt to win the Golden Boot in his first season for Cockburn, having entered the game level with Bayswater's Gustavo Giron Marulanda on 20 goals. While he had enough chances to win the Golden Boot in this game alone, the Northern Irishman failed to add to his tally as Marulanda scored twice against Stirling. “He'll be disappointed because he did have five or six chances today.” said Anthony.

Cockburn's two best chances before half-time fell to Patterson. After robbing Glory's Nathan Costello of the ball on the halfway line, he found himself one-on-one with Glory keeper Jordan Franken, only to strike wide when he should have done better. Franken then maintained his side's fragile lead shortly before half-time when he came off his line to smother Patterson's low effort. Cockburn came out the stronger of the two sides after half time but were vulnerable to Glory's counter attack. On 57 minutes Talimdzioski picked up his second goal, striking across the goalkeeper having been played in by Slobodan Vulin. Patterson missed numerous chances to put himself in contention with Franken making three superb reaction saves to ensure they closed out the game. In injury time, a mazy run from Walieden Ismail led to Sam McKearnan finishing coolly to seal the points.

Coach John Gibson was full of praise for his charges' strong finish to the season. “We just wanted to get better the whole year. It was all about us improving in our processes, and if we did that better we'd get the rewards we deserved,” he said. “And that's what we've done, particularly in the back end of the season”.



Mandurah City have all but sealed the Division One championship after a 4-2 win at second placed Ashfield. It was the home team that went in front through Ruben Tristao in the 33rd minute before Mandurah equalised six minutes later. Mandurah then went in front after 44 minutes, however Liam Merriganmade it 2-2 for Ashfield just before the interval. John Brooks then put the black and whites in front once again, before Jordan Rhodes scored from the penalty spot in stoppage time to make sure of the win. Mandurah now need only one point from their last two games to wrap up the title.

In other fixtures, South West Phoenix took the lead against Morley-Windmills in Bunbury, before the team from Wotton Reserve scored a crucial goal mid-way through the second half to get the draw. The share of the points lifts Windmills away from the bottom of the table. Joondalup United conceded five goals for the first time in two seasons when they lost 5-3 to UWA-Nedlands FC, while Gosnells City easily defeated Canning City 4-0. In the historic live telecast game between rivals Western Knights and Dianella White Eagles, it was the Knights that came out on top winning 5-1. In the final game, Swan United moved into the automatic relegation spot in their 5-2 loss to Shamrock Rovers at the Swan Italian Club.



Wanneroo City moved into fourth spot in Division Two after their 3-0 win over Balga at Princess Road Reserve. Balga's Nahom Michael had the first chance of the game, his shot just going over the bar. Wanneroo should have went in front in the 7th minute, but stand-in Balga keeper Chris Searle saved well in a one-on-one and only five minutes later Wanneroo hit the cross-bar from a curled shot from just inside the box. Ali Elhassan almost scored for Balga soon after, but his shot just went over. Wanneroo went 1-0 up in the 42nd minute, a corner was knocked on into the six yard box and Chris Marshall scored from close range. Wanneroo made it 2-0 just before the half, with Stewart Siddall converting with an open goal in front of him. Balga came out with confidence in the second half, with Michael missing two chances and Denis Fekovic just heading over the bar. John Monterosso had a golden chance to make it three in the 76th minute, but his penalty was well saved by Searle. Lyon Varney came close for the black and greens, his strike from 25 metres had Daniel Agudelo stretching, with the ball hitting the bar. Wanneroo then made sure of all three points after Connor Lynch scored in the 87th minute after he lobbed Searle. In stoppage time, Balga hit the bar once again, this time from a Fekovic shot after a corner, while Wanneroo should have made it 4-0 straight after, however Gary Shorto cleared the ball off the line from a point blank range Wanneroo header.

In other games, Rockingham City stayed on top with a 3-0 win over Melville City, while Joondalup City scored a late equaliser away to Kingsway Olympic. Quinns FC took the three points in a 2-1 win at Gumblossom Park and Fremantle City easily beat Kelmscott Roos 5-1. On Friday night, Forrestfield United kept the pressure on leaders Rockingham, after their 4-1 win away at Curtin University.



The Western Knights will make WA history this Saturday, when they will become the first local league club to telecast a game live on the internet. The livestream event will be against arch rivals Dianella White Eagles.

Andrija Zuvela from the Western Knights committee explains why the club decided to take on the challenge of livestreaming the match. "There were a number of reasons why we wanted to do this. One being to show our club to a wider audience than just here in WA, as we have many supporters and interest in our club in the Eastern States through our long term affiliation with the Croatian Soccer Association of Australia, a membership that exceeds 60 clubs around Australia." Zuvela said the Knights are always looking to positively promote the club, "Earlier this year we've had a visit by WA's Premier, and we're expecting over 250 people to attend our Awards Knight at the Crown Casino in October. The game itself is an attractive one to promote, as Dianella are our biggest rivals so the games are always passionate, vocal and well attended games, with interest within our clubs but also in the wider soccer community."

Zuvela knows that all clubs find it hard to attract supporters to the games, and how this initiative could help his and other clubs in the future. "By trying new ways of getting our name out there, we hope that many will see that we are a club with great history, whilst embracing new technologies for a great future. The technology is there, and we've got a long standing supporter in Ashley Morrison who broached the idea to us for such a big game. It will be a professional production, with live commentary with one of Perth's best sports commentators in Ashley. We hope that our initiative will be the catalyst for future live feeds, and for other clubs in WA to follow us and do the same thing."

The cost of the venture is being fully funded by the Western Knights. Corporate sponsorship packages are available for companies to advertise during this unique venture and gain some excellent exposure for your business. If you are interested contact the Western Knights Soccer Club on or call Andrija Zuvela on 0408 006 580.

You can watch the live event from 2:45pm this Saturday by clicking here



Defensive stalwart Rikki Smith is demanding Inglewood United finish the second instalment of the National Premier Leagues with a bang, not a whimper. Michael Garcia’s team entered the season half of the season on the cusp of the top four, however, hopes of progressing any further faded as results went against the side more often than during the past two months.

Inglewood can restore some pride and complete the season in sixth place if they can take maximum points from Saturday’s final round clash with ECU Joondalup at Inglewood Stadium. “We haven’t done ourselves justice this year so we are desperate to finish the season with a win and start looking positively towards next year,” said Smith.

Smith, who played for Inglewood between 2009 and 2013, returned to the club this year with high hopes for the winter months. “I joined Inglewood to challenge for the league,” he said. “The club retained the core playing group from last season and the gaffer added plenty of quality, so I certainly don’t believe our expectations of a top four finish were too high.”

“Unfortunately we’ve found goals hard to come by. Losing Greg Sharland early on was a massive loss, he would have chipped in with 5-10 goals, and we also lost Ryan Clarke who was close to winning the Golden Boot last season, so that’s another ten-plus goals. To be honest, we struggled to replace both players.”

“And instability in the defensive third has meant we conceded too many goals. It’s no coincidence that when we went on a really good run mid-year that we had the same five or six defensive players every week. Gouldy (holding midfielder Tim Gould) was a huge part of that run and we’ve tend to struggle defensively when he isn’t in the side.”

A strong statement on the weekend against Joondalup, currently third-from-bottom in the NPL, will signal the course Inglewood, and Smith are plotting for 2016. “Looking back on the season, my form was great in the first half of the year but I haven’t been overly happy with my contribution in a number of games in the second half of the season,” he said.

“Joondalup are always a tough side and our form as a squad has been very up and down of late. I’ll be working my socks off to help us get the three points on Saturday and, hopefully, we can enjoy a few beers after the game.” Inglewood verses Joondalup kicks off at 3:00pm on Saturday at Inglewood Stadium.”



The final game of the National Premier League season will give Perth SC one last chance to pick up three points and push for second place, but the Azzurri know that beating Subiaco AFC at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday won’t be an easy task. "Subiaco have improved on last year and are always a very difficult team to break down,” head coach Taki Nicolaidis admitted. "It's important for us that we are on song and work towards getting a win, which may take us to second in the league. "With a cup final the week after, I know some of the players will be doing their best to be putting their hand up for a starting berth." "Ideally, we would like to use this weekend against Subiaco as a dress rehearsal for the cup final and play as if it's our semi final. "We would want to be going into next week's game in winning form which will also give us an opportunity to move to second place on the ladder if other results go our way.”

Mark Pritchard will be missing from Saturday's line-up against Subiaco, after he came off with a hamstring injury last weekend against Stirling Lions. Nicolaidis said although it was upsetting to have Pritchard out, he was certain the Azzurri could fill his place. "Pritchy will be a big loss as he has been regularly hitting the back of the net this season,” Nicolaidis said. "The good thing is that we do have a large spread of goal scorers and it gives other players an opportunity to step up."

The home fixture also gives the Azzurri a chance to extend their six-game winning streak and improve on last week's performance, where Nicolaidis expressed disappointment in the 1-0 win over Stirling Lions. "It was a sloppy performance and not one that we would be proud of,” he said. Perth SC have a light training session tonight leading up to tomorrow's clash with Subiaco.



Bayswater City coach Chris Coyne has asked his players to produce “one last push” as they aim to complete the PS4 NPLWA season without a single loss. City, who are nine points clear of second-placed Floreat Athena heading into the final round, will be presented with the championship trophy for the second time in two years regardless of their result against Stirling Lions at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday. But Coyne said his side was determined to finish on a high and lift the trophy in the best possible mood.

Coyne was livid with last weekend’s performance in a 1-1 draw against Armadale but felt his side would respond in the right fashion against Stirling. “After the disappointment of last week, getting the trophy on Saturday is the spur we need to push us on,” he said. “I’ve been trying to remind them that to go undefeated for a season probably won’t happen again. “The boys were poor last week and they let themselves down and we can’t tolerate performances like that. But every time I’ve asked the playing group for a response I’ve got one. They’ve been superb.”

Seventh-placed Stirling were edged out, 1-0, by Perth last weekend. But the chance to spoil the Bayswater party should be enough motivation to ensure tomorrow’s match is no dead rubber. “The game against Stirling last time got a bit edgy and a bit niggly so I think the boys will want to go out put a show on,” Coyne said. Gustavo Giron Marulanda is expected to return to the starting line-up to continue his chase for the golden boot. Marulanda was suspended against Armadale on a weekend when Cockburn City’s Rory Patterson scored four goals against ECU Joondalup to join Bayswater’s Colombian ace at the top of the scoring charts. “Gus won’t want to lose that golden boot,” Coyne said. “He’s been up there for a while now, so he’ll have his hand up to play.”

In other games, Armadale will hope to avoid bottom spot, by getting a result against Balcatta at Alfred Skeet Reserve. Cockburn City will want to finish the season on a high when they face Perth Glory at Dalmatinac Park, while Floreat Athena will seal second spot if they beat Sorrento away from home. If Athena slip up, Perth will be ready to pounce in their home fixture against Subiaco AFC. The final game sees Inglewood United at home to ECU Joondalup.



The All Flags Division One "Match of the Round" is at Ashfield Reserve, where top of table Mandurah City travel to meet second place Ashfield. A win for the black and whites will all but seal the Division One title. The reds know they need to win to stay in the race, and coach Paul Dundo know how important this game in for his side, "This weekends game is a Cup Final for us. Mandurah are the league favourites this season and have assembled a very experienced squad this season. They have been the most consistent side, so it's going to be a very tough game. We are looking forward to the challenge to play against the league leaders and we have worked hard in training this week. This game is match of the round and should be a cracker for any neutrals who make it down to Ashfield on Saturday."

Alex Stamatiadis comes back into the squad after being on holiday while Chris Thackray is back from suspension. Several others players that are coming back from injures and pushing for selection is Mark Walsh, Gary Hill, Ash Corker and Matthew Brooks.

In other games, Joondalup United will want to keep the pressure on top two when they face UWA-Nedlands FC at Forrest Park. Morley-Windmills will need to get something from their game if they hope to avoid the drop when they travel to Bunbury to play South West Phoenix. Swan United also desperately need the points, but will find the going tough against Shamrock Rovers at the Swan Italian Club, while Gosnells City meet Canning City at Walter Padbury Reserve. The final game is the big derby match between Western Knights and Dianella White Eagles, which can be seen live on the internet, by clicking here
from 3pm.



The pick of the Second Division game will be Friday night's fixture at Edinburgh Oval (8:30pm kick-off), where the inform Curtin University take on title chasers Forrestfield United. The Hartfield Park outfit will be sweating on Linden Pywell, who faces a later fitness test, while Matt Harold is hoping to return after missing the game against Quinns due to injury. Ben Rogers could start the game after making the bench last week. Nathan Smith and Ranjeet Sekhom should be back in the squad for Curtin. Assistant coach Campbell Ballantyne is glad that the team finally can play to their potential with more players to choose from, "Think our squad is coming back to what it used to be after a shocking run of illness injury and holidays. Forrestfield are having an impressive season and have already qualified for at least the promotion play off."

In other games, Quinns FC will hope to bounce back after last week's thrashing when they are home against Ellenbrook United. Third place Fremantle City should win big when they travel to Kelmscott Roos, while Kingsway Olympic are expected to do well against Joondalup City at Kingsway Reserve and it's the local derby at Princess Road Reserve, where Balga plays Wanneroo City. In the final game, it's league leaders Rockingham City, who need to keep winning at home against Melville City.



The pick of the Second Division game will be Friday night's fixture at Edinburgh Oval (8:30pm kick-off), where the inform Curtin University take on title chasers Forrestfield United. The Hartfield Park outfit will be sweating on Linden Pywell, who faces a later fitness test, while Matt Harold is hoping to return after missing the game against Quinns due to injury. Ben Rogers could start the game after making the bench last week. Nathan Smith and Ranjeet Sekhom should be back in the squad for Curtin. Assistant coach Campbell Ballantyne is glad that the team finally can play to their potential with more players to choose from, "Think our squad is coming back to what it used to be after a shocking run of illness injury and holidays. Forrestfield are having an impressive season and have already qualified for at least the promotion play off."

In other games, Quinns FC will hope to bounce back after last week's thrashing when they are home against Ellenbrook United. Third place Fremantle City should win big when they travel to Kelmscott Roos, while Kingsway Olympic are expected to do well against Joondalup City at Kingsway Reserve and it's the local derby at Princess Road Reserve, where Balga plays Wanneroo City. In the final game, it's league leaders Rockingham City, who need to keep winning at home against Melville City.



Plans for a $25 million revamp of Frank Drago Reserve are dead in the water. Bayswater city council has torn up its masterplan for the site, following a backlash from the community over what was derided as a flawed public consultation process.

In May the council unveiled its draft vision for the site but petitioners claimed football, tennis, bowling and croquet clubs that share the reserve didn't get an equal look in. Critics argued the football club was the big winner at the expense of the smaller clubs.

The council has now scaled down its plans and will focus on redeveloping the tennis clubhouse, helping the bowling club grow its membership and undertake a fresh round of consultation. "We didn't really have a masterplan, all we were doing was using ratepayers' funds to turn Bayswater Soccer Club into an A-League outfit," councillor Terry Kenyon said.

"That's not the role of the city, our job is to look after all the kids, families and clubs who use the reserve. If BSC want to play in the A-League they have to fund it themselves and should take a leaf out of West Coast Eagles' redevelopment of Lathlain Park. The masterplan would have put the city in debt for 20 years, with very little benefit to the ratepayers."

Bayswater club member Greg D'Orazio says Kenyon is misinformed. "We play in the National Premier League and from our perspective, we wanted to get our facilities up to NPL standards, that's how all this started," D'Orazio said.

"The bottom line is we that need more space and we will continue to push for that. It's a disappointing outcome from Bayswater council, but hopefully after some more consultation, we can get things moving again. This club gives a lot of pleasure to many people in the community."

Bayswater mayor Sylvan Albert acknowledges the public consultation process did not meet community expectations, but says it would be wrong to the chuck the entire plan in the bin and adopt a piecemeal approach. "It is clear we need some sort of overall vision for the site," he says.

"We need to go back out to the community and consult with them again, rather than address a couple of issues individually. There is a lot of ageing infrastructure at the park and issues that need to be addressed collectively." Councillors Chris Cornish and Mike Anderton said the Bayswater club had outgrown Frank Drago Reserve and it should look at relocating to Pat O'Hara Reserve.



The Socceroos have ripped Bangladesh to shreds in their World Cup qualifier with a ruthless 5-0 victory at Perth Oval. The reigning Asian Cup champions were never troubled against the world's 173rd-ranked side, who were well off the pace in just about every department. In truth, the margin could and should have been far greater, but Australia clearly coasted through the second half and missed some easy chances from close-range.

Coach Ange Postecoglou praised his team’s professionalism before pointing out the challenges of playing sides that defend en masse and try to interrupt the flow of a team. “For the most part the boys kept their discipline but sometimes it’s difficult when the opposition is just sitting back and obviously there were a lot of stoppages,” he said. “The pleasing thing is they didn’t get too frustrated and we got some good goals and probably should’ve got a couple more, but for all intents and purposes it was a good hit-out for us.”

It took just 6 minutes for Australia to open the scoring, a simple cutback from Massimo Luongo found Mathew Leckie who swept the ball underneath the outstretched glove of Bangladesh goalkeeper Sahidul Alam. Midfielder Tom Rogic added the next two goals in the 8th and 20th minutes, the latter aided by a wicked deflection. Nathan Burns provided the next just before the half-hour mark, while Aaron Mooy made it 5-0 in the 61st minute with a long-range stunner.



Socceroos veteran Tim Cahill says any suggestion the players' ongoing pay dispute would distract them from tomorrow night's World Cup qualifier is an insult to their integrity. The 35-year old has been named captain for the match against Bangladesh at Perth Oval, which will be the first Socceroos international in Perth in a decade.

And Cahill used the pre-game press conference to reinforce the professionalism of the Asian Cup champions, saying their concentration levels had not wavered despite to the industrial spat involving the national league’s governing body Football Federation Australia. “We’ve all stayed very professional and concentrated on the football and the camp has been very good,” Cahill said.

“It’d be an injustice for us to talk about the politics and not focus on the football side. When it comes to football, that’s all it’s ever been about for us, it’s been about the game and nothing more. One thing I would never have is the integrity of my players being questioned, especially with the commitment they give on and off the park over the last decade.”

The Socceroos were instructed by the Professional Footballers Australia union to not attend commercial events involving fans in Perth yesterday. It came after a breakdown in negotiations between the PFA and FFA on the game’s new collective bargaining agreement.



Striker Adam Taggart has joined Scottish outfit Dundee United on a season-long loan from English Championship side, Fulham. The 22-year old Socceroo joined the Cottagers from Newcastle Jets on a three-year contract in June last year but struggled with injury and has not made a competitive first team appearance for the club. Capped seven-times by Australia, Taggart has had a solid build up to the 2015/16 season with Fulham, and was on target for the English side during their tour of Austria.



The Socceroos were put through their paces in Perth for the first time in ten years this afternoon, but the real action kicked off when training ended. The players made their way towards the fence at Perth Oval where they were met by a mob of fans five rows deep. In the popularity stakes, one player rises head and shoulders above the pack - as he has a habit of doing in front of goal.

Tim Cahill, 35, was the centre of attention and he was generous with his time, stopping for every autograph and selfie as he inched along the fence. “This is what it’s about, inspiring the next generation,” said Cahill, who is looking forward to playing his first game in Perth. “I’m impressed by the place as well. The area, the stadium, the pitch - it’s great.”

Rio Lenz, 11, from Bickley was one of hundreds of lucky children who met their idol. “We’re never going to have that opportunity again,” Rio said. “I think it’s really great for (Cahill) to take the time and think to himself, ‘These kids look up to me, let’s give them some extra motivation.’” Australian and Bangladesh meet in a World Cup qualifier on Thursday night.



The DT38 Foundation, formed in memory of former Australian youth international Dylan Tombides, will launch in Perth this week with a series of activities to coincide with the Socceroos’ World Cup qualifier at Perth Oval. Socceroos players will be involved in school visits while a statue in honour of Dylan, who lost his three-year battle against testicular cancer in April 2014, will also be unveiled.

The DT38 Foundation aims to provide testicular cancer support and awareness through education and opportunity. “We hope that Dylan will be a symbol of inspiration, determination and courage to all,” Tracy Tombides, Dylan’s mother and spokesperson for the Foundation, said. “We want Dylan’s story to be heard so that all sons, brothers, fathers and husbands can take their health seriously to make sure that they are treated early and successfully.”

The DT38 Foundation was officially launched at last year’s English Premier League match between West Ham United, where Dylan played, and London rivals Crystal Palace. The Foundation is now raising awareness in Perth, where he played junior football for Wembley Downs, Stirling Lions and Perth SC. The Foundation’s hashtag phrases “awareness down under” and “delay is deadly get educated” highlight the necessity of early detection.

Aside from the statue unveiling, DT38 has planned several activities this week including school visits with Socceroos players to speak about awareness, courage and determination; VIP treatment at the Socceroos open day for 12 youngsters; visit to a junior coaching session where Dylan’s brother and DT38 ambassador Taylor will be a special guest; DT38 mascots at the Socceroos v Bangladesh World Cup qualifier plus a family and friends evening at Perth SC. For further information visit



Matildas shot-stopper Mackenzie Arnold has re-joined Perth Glory Women for the coming W-League summer. The talented 21-year old is regarded as one of the rising stars in Australian women’s football, winning the W-League goalkeeper of the year twice in three years. Arnold was a member of the successful Matildas squad at this year’s Women’s World Cup in Brazil, playing understudy to senior goalkeepers Lydia Williams and Melissa Barbieri.

Arnold is ready to wear Glory colours of the second successive year. “I didn’t feel a need to change clubs,” Arnold said. “I want to help the team go that one step further than last season to win the Grand Final. I’ve spoken to Bobby (Despotovski) over the phone a few times, and I’m looking forward to learning a new playing style and seeing what he has to offer to the team as a coach.”

Coach Bobby Despotovski was also pleased to retain Arnold, lauding her as a “crucial” part of the team. “She’s an international goalkeeper, and she was here last year when the team had a successful season,” he said. “She brings stability and organisation from the back. She knows the girls, the city and she enjoyed herself last year. She is crucial for us.”

Arnold enjoyed an outstanding debut season with Glory, proving an integral part of the team’s Premiership and Grand Final run. Her record of conceding 13 goals in 15 games, including five clean sheets, was handsomely rewarded by the W-League Goalkeeper of the Year. Arnold has previously represented Western Sydney Wanderers and Canberra United, where she picked up her first Goalkeeper of the Year award at the age of 19.

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This page was last updated on the 3rd September, 2015