Archived News : November-December 2016



All-action CentraL Coast Mariners defender Storm Roux cannot wait to challenge himself against Melbourne City’s star strikeforce on New Year's Eve. Central Coast host John van 't Schip's side in the traditional 31 December game in Gosford.

This year there’s an added dash of glamour when A-League royalty Tim Cahill, Bruno Fornaroli, Bruce Kamau and company make their way to the scenic summer beach spot just north of Sydney. And if the clash is anything like Melbourne's epic 3-3 earlier in the week against Perth Glory, it'll be immense entertainment.

Roux, 23, likes to get up and down the flanks and fitness in the heat of summer football will also play a part with both sides backing up from games just days before. Melbourne hosted Glory on Tuesday night and Cnentral Coast travelled to Melbourne Victory on Wednesday. But can Roux’x side catch their New Year’s Eve opponent off guard?

“City are a great team with great players,” Roux said. “Any team who plays them wants a result because they are the big boys of the league. I’m sure Paulo (coach Paul Okon) will come up with a structure and a style of play to win, and it’s up to the players to implement that over the 90 minutes.”

A win would be a high point for Central Coast who’ve endured a somewhat inconsistent season. “It’s not frustrating because we know we’re heading in the right direction. Paulo has come in and changed the way we play," added Roux. “And all the boys are really positive about the changes and taking it on board and trying to do what he wants.”

“Obviously we’re not hugely experienced with a lot of younger players and that at times costs us. But we’re a young squad full of good players and over time hopefully results will come. And you’ve seen this season we have a never-give-up attitude. It’s just to make the top six we need to put in a 90-minute performance that we can’t seem to do right now. But hopefully that’ll come.”



Perth Glory captain Rostyn Griffiths admits his team have struggled to live up to high expectations this season. But the midfielder says he's confident the team has only scratched the surface of its potential. "It's a tough one," said Griffiths.

"There was a lot of expectations on us at the beginning of the season with the squad that we've built. And rightly so because I think I'd rather be a team that people have got expectations on. Perhaps we've under-achieved a bit to be honest on where we'd like to be and where we probably should be with the squad we've assembled.”

Glory's first half of the season has been far from ideal, with a combination of on-field struggles and continued talk of off-field unhappiness. The club have won just three of twelve games to sit in sixth place in the A-League, equal on points with the Western Sydney Wanderers, whom they face tomorrow.

Griffiths said he had noticed a clear boost in his team in recent weeks. "For me, I think the last few weeks the signs and the directions are slowly changing," he said. "I think we're starting to feel a lot more positive and we're starting to finally figure out what we are good at and we've got some results and we've lost some results as well."

"We've lost some games that we probably could have got something out of. So we've been a little bit disappointing but I think going forward we can get the right players on the pitch and play the way we know we can, we'll be pretty strong and we're hoping for a good second half of the season."



Unsettled Perth Glory defender Rhys Williams is eyeing a move to Asia with clubs in Korea and China monitoring the one-time Socceroo as a move in the January transfer window becomes a strong possibility. The Asian interest is highlighted by Jeonbuk Motors and Suwon Bluewings while locally its Sydney FC that are in the race.

Williams, who joined Glory five months ago after being released by Middlesbrough, has a clause in his contract which allows him to move in January if an offer is forthcoming – and it appears he is now spoiled for choice with clubs in the Middle East also keen on him. the 28-year old hasn’t featured in Glory's last two games, during which Kenny Lowe's team have shipped seven goals.

It’s also understood that Serbia midfielder Milan Smiljanic, who has made nine appearances for Glory, is also unsettled and assessing his options. The 30-year old former Serbia international begin his career with Belgrade powerhouse FK Partizan, and had stints with La Liga side Espanyol and, more recently, Israeli outfit Maccabi Netnaya.



Perth Glory defender Dino Djulbic will fight his three-game ban, but Melbourne City winger Fernando Brandan accepted his two-match suspension for the pair's extra-time clash at AAMI Park. Both players were red carded and subsequently charged with violent conduct after colliding in Melbourne's penalty area late in Tuesday's 3-3 draw.

Brandan appeared to kick out at Djulbic, whose retaliation prompted referee Shaun Evans to award the home side a penalty. Brandan will miss Melbourne's New Year's Eve trip to Central Coast Mariners and their following match against Western Sydney Wanderers. But Djulbic has decided to appeal his longer sanction by referring his case to FFA's independent disciplinary and ethics committee.

Glory coach Kenny Lowe couldn't understand why the injury time penalty stood after Brandan was sent off for instigating the clash. "If the Melbourne boy has fouled first then I don't see how it can be a penalty ... that was the information that we were receiving," Lowe said after the game. "I don't know how the fourth official, who stood next to me, can actually tell the ref what went on in the box when he's only 15 metres away."



Melbourne City W-League goalkeeper Lydia Williams admits a weight has been lifted from the playing group’s shoulders after losing two consecutive games. Melbourne equalled Brisbane Roar’s 18-game undefeated streak after losing to Canberra United 2-1 a fortnight ago.

Williams felt the loss would come eventually and was now looking for to tonight’s home game with Perth Glory. “I think a bit of the pressure is off us since getting the first loss so I think now we can really regroup without the monkey on our back,” Williams said. “We’re disappointed to drop points especially in games we dominate possession-wise, so we’ve had a meeting and it’s been really positive.”

“Everyone can see that we play beautiful football, probably some of the best in the league. We just need to be ruthless in front of goals, I think sometimes, we take possession too much and not just taking chances, we all identify the problem and we’re looking forward to what the next part of the season holds.”

Williams said she makes a conscious effort to live in the present after a big 2016 saw her play for Houston Dash, represent Australia at the Olympic Games and take out the PFA Women’s Footballer of the Year award. Coming from Canberra United she felt the club needed to earn their wins and was under no illusion that the reigning Champions will have another walk in the park.

“All the teams last year wanted to beat City, this year is no different, you can see how much hunger they have when we play against them,” she said. “I think the approach to each game we were just waiting for the result where I think the mentality now is with two losses is we really need to take the result no matter how we play, we need to make it happen rather than wait.”



In a game that had everything, six goals, two missed penalties and two sending offs, Perth Glory have come away from AAMI Park with a 3-3 draw against third placed Melbourne City on Tuesday evening. They had keeper Liam Reddy to thank for a share of the spoils the veteran keeper saving a penalty in each half, the last a stunning one handed save low to his right. Glory Coach Kenny Lowe praised the custodian and said it was a gutsy performance from his side.

“The most wonderful thing I can say about Liam is he’s an absolute top guy,” Lowe said. “He’s not just good on the pitch, he’s actually really good in our changing rooms, our training environment. He’s got a winner’s mentality and he brings that with him. The likes of Andy Keogh and people like that combined with Liam, it’s a pleasure to work with to be truthful. I think people threw caution to the wind today, from a coaching viewpoint there are plenty of things to look at and discuss and work on. One thing I will say about our guys is the attitude and the togetherness was fantastic.”

Lowe made three changes to the side that were well-beaten by Sydney FC last time out with Alex Grant replacing the injured Shane Lowry, Chris Harold returned for Aryn Williams, while Diego Castro returned to the side with Nebojsa Marinkovic and Williams dropping to the bench, the Glory going back to a 4,4,2 formation. The Glory, who beat City earlier in the season at the same venue opened brightly and Chris Harold headed just wide from Castro’s cross after only two minutes, before City keeper Dean Bouzanis saved well from Adam Taggart’s volley moments later.

But Glory were made to pay for their profligacy when the home side hit the front on nine minutes. Socceroos striker Tim Cahill losing his marker in the penalty area and heading home past Reddy. The Glory keeper then had to be alert to deny Nicolas Colazo eight minutes later, but on 21 minutes the Glory restored parity. Castro, who was starting for the first time in a month, was picked out by Harold’s cut back on the edge of the box, and the Spanish maestro finished clinically into the corner of the net giving Bouzanis no chance.

But City hit back and retook the lead on 36 minutes. Bruno Fornaroli, has been a little quiet on the goal scoring charts in recent weeks, found space in the box and curled home superbly, giving Reddy no chance. The Uruguayan had the opportunity to add a third two minutes later when Marc Warren’s challenge on Bruce Kamau was deemed to be a penalty by referee Shaun Evans, but Reddy guessed the right way and blocked Fornaroli’s resulting spot kick. That miss came back to haunt City and sixty seconds later the Glory were level. Then Reddy’s quick throw sent Taggart away on a swift counter-attack and he picked out Castro on the left of the penalty area and he cut inside his marker and finished with aplomb past Bouzanis, to side the sides in level at the break.

It was more of the same after the break with both sides sharing possession but on the hour it was City who made it 3-2. Again Warren was the culprit, this time he was deemed to have handled the ball, which looked a little harsh but Fornaroli made up for his first miss, sending Reddy the wrong way. But the gutsy Glory hit back four minutes later with another equaliser. Second half substitute Marinkovic played the ball over the top to Harold who raced into the area and finished into the roof of the net. It was end-to-end football with the fans on the edge of their seats. Marinkovic’s long-range shot stung the hands of Bouzanis on 67 minutes and Reddy produced another good save to deny Kamau ten minutes later.

The Glory almost got the winner three minutes from time, but his effort thundered against the crossbar and away to safety. But the end to the game will go in folk law. A clash in the penalty area between Dino Djulbic and Argentinean Fernando Brandan, saw both players sent off and the referee awarded another penalty to the home side, much to the displeasure of the Glory players. Fornaroli stepped up but Reddy, who was perplexed with the decision, produced a stunning safe to secure a hard earned point for the Glory.



Perth Glory’s recent good Westfield W-League good form continued when they beat the 2016 Champions Melbourne City 3-2 at AMMI Park. The game was the curtain raiser to the A-League clash between the two sides and the match didn’t disappoint. Five goals, including a double from Sam Kerr, a red card and end-to-end football in a game that was a showpiece for the league and shown live on Fox Sports.

The hosts, who went through last season without defeat, where out of the blocks early looking to bounce back from their two-game losing streak, and Welsh international midfielder Jessica Fishlock and American striker Beverly Yanez, who is on loan from Seattle Reign FC, were causing the Glory problems. Yanez had the best opportunity, after being picked out by Lauren Barnes, but the striker fired wide of the target. After holding out the quick start the Glory started to get into the game and Kerr’s cross was fired wide by Rosie Sutton.

Vanessa DiBernardo then tried her luck from the edge of the box, but it was straight at Lydia Williams. Glory keeper Gabby Dal Busco was called into action on the quarter hour, racing out to deny Teigen Allenn, and she produced another finger-tip save to thwart Fishlock’s long-range free kick. The Glory ended the half the better, but Sutton was unable to finish from close-range, after good work from Kerr, before Williams was out quick to save at the feet of Kerr moments later, after a defence-splitting pass from Alyssa Mautz.

But two minutes into the second half the Glory hit the front. Sutton finishing with aplomb after a low cross from Shawn Billam. But City were level on the hour, the Glory failed to clear a set-piece and Fiishlock thundered home an acrobatic strike. City’s substitute Jacynta Galabadaarachchi's then saw her shot crash off the crossbar and away to safety, but on 72 minutes City hit the front. Avivi Luik’s shot to a wicked deflection sending Glory keeper Dal Busco the wrong way, and the ball rolled into the net. But their lead didn't last long and four minutes later Sutton was sent clear by Sutton and she finished clinically past Williams.

The game was up for grabs for both sides but 10 minutes from time Barnes was sent off by referee Casey Reibelt, and it was the girls from the west that won it six minutes from time. Kerr finishing from a tight angle via the crossbar to seal a five goal thriller. It was a massive win for Despotovski’s side, their fourth in a row and sends them temporarily to the top of the Westfield W-League. Glory will now turn its attention to its first home match of the New Year when it hosts the Newcastle Jets at Dorrien Gardens on January 2.



As new Central Coast Mariners player Scott Galloway prepares to face his former club, Melbourne Victory, for the first time on Wednesday, the defender says his time in Melbourne provided the platform to kick on with his career. Left back Galloway signed for Melbourne in 2012 and went on to play 64 games before being released in October.

21-year old Galloway left Melbourne on good terms and, a few months on, he feels the club helped him improve as a player. “You’re there with quality, they demand nothing but quality,” Galloway said. “You’re with great players, in great facilities. It builds you for it and then it’s just the player who needs to take the next step.”

After being a senior regular early in his time at Melbourne, Galloway said he became guilty of over-analysing the reasons for his non-inclusion. “They could probably sense the change in my whole attitude in life - not going sour, but seeing that I wasn’t enjoying things as much,” said Galloway, who has eight appearances for Central Coast to his name.

“Not playing and not quite understanding why does affect you a fair bit, so I think they did the right thing by me by letting me go and I’ll always thank them for that. For me it was the best for both, it opened a spot for them to get someone else in and it allowed me to continue on with my career and I’m really enjoying Central Coast.”



Perth Glory captain Rostyn Griffiths believes the two upcoming consecutive away games will be a blessing in disguise for his team. Glory travel to Melbourne on Boxing Day to take on Melbourne City the following day and will then travel to face Western Sydney Wanderers on New Year’s Day.

Griffiths felt the next two games were a golden opportunity for sixth-placed Glory to pick up momentum without the privilege of celebrating New Years. “There’s no family or anyone to guide you and lead you astray so we’ll be fed the right food and everybody should be up to peak condition once we get to Western Sydney,” Griffiths said.

“Playing in Melbourne and then flying to Sydney straight after, they’re two tough games and sometimes it gets the group together more and everyone on the same page again. The fact we’re playing away from home is probably a good thing at the moment because it gives us the chance to go and work on a few things and to be resilient as a group. We’ve had a bad run and we sometimes getting away together can reignite the flame.”

Griffiths does not want to reply on a late ten-game winning run towards the end of the season in order to make finals. “We don’t want to leave it too late and not rely on that situation, I’d rather win every week or every second week,” he said. The overall target has got to be in the six, we’re still amongst it … you can go on a run like they did last year and all of a sudden you’re up in the top couple where you want to be.”



After back to back home defeats, and no wins in their last four games Perth Glory travel to AAMI Park next Tuesday to take on Melbourne City, in a mini crisis. The club’s performances have been well below standard, and there seems unrest in the camp with reports Rhys Williams has walked out of the club after being dropped for last week’s 4-1 loss against league leaders Sydney FC.

But Kenny Lowe’s side can use their last game at the venue as an encouragement, after the Glory came home with all three points after Andy Keogh bagged a hat-trick in a 3-2 win against City in round 3, and they welcome back Spanish maestro Diego Castro after injury. Alex Grant should also return to the back four, but the squad is yet to be finalized.

The Coach tried a different formation last week, and was pleased with what his back three of Shane Lowry, Dino Djulbic and Aryn Williams offered, which he might now stick with. "We'll look at it but it might be the way forward for us. We created opportunities, looked vibrant and the two wide boys Rizzo (Josh Risdon) and Waz (Marc Warren) did really well. Especially Rizzo looked devastating up there, he played an excellent game," Lowe said. "We are trying something new so there will be a few holes in it here and there. But you can't fault the endeavour and effort trying to apply everything we spoke about. We just have to keep battling on and working at it."

Lowe was encouraged by the form of striker Adam Taggart as he builds on return from a calf injury while Castro came off the bench after his own hamstring complaint. They now have a clear bill of health on the injury front and he isn't looking to make any drastic changes within or outside the squad. "Sometimes things pop up and they might interest you, sometimes things don't pop up so it can't interest you. You just keep heading on and working hard, and hopefully things will change," Lowe said. "Everyone's vying for positions in the team and everyone is training. Everyone's fit and available so we'll pick the team that seems to be right for that game at that part of the week."

Melbourne City captain Bruno Fornaroli says his side needs to fire up and bounce back to winning ways quickly or else Sydney FC will soon be out of reach. City have not won a game since its 1-0 FFA Cup Final triumph over Sydney FC four weeks ago as the Sky Blues continue to top the table, and Fornaroli feels his team will be rejuvenated for the clash against the Glory.

“When the team wins something, like the last cup... we need to take this passion again and start to fight for the league,” Fornaroli said. “We want this passion, we want to win again, so we need to continue to work hard. We don’t have time for this (Cup hangover), but its normal when you win something and before there was a lot of pressure for this win and for the club.”

Fornaroli also felt the Sky Blues would continue its impressive form after downing the Glory 4-1 away last week, and was not buying into Glory’s inconsistencies this season. “We know we can’t lose points because of Sydney,” he said. “Also when Sydney lose some points, they also have pressure because the team comes behind and puts pressure (on them). For us it’s important to not lose more points at home. You never know (against Perth), sometimes you win 4-0 and sometimes you lose. It’s incredible and away I know it’s very hard. Here (at home) I know sometimes we can win easy or it’s very hard, it’s difficult to say, they have great players so it’s another hard game for us.”



Perth Glory Women’s side head east next Tuesday when they take on third place, and former Westfield W-League Champions Melbourne City at AAMI Park. The game is a curtain-raiser for the A-League game, and last week's win against Adelaide United signaled the half-way mark of what has been an intriguing opening seven rounds of the ninth season of the W-League.

Glory’s 4-1 win against Adelaide was their third consecutive win, and it took them to the top of the table temporally, but a Coach Bobby Despotovski said it was another good performance and had praise for the defence. “Our team is built on our defensive unit, and that allow players in front to take little more risk in the final third,” he said. “So far our defence have been first class we just hope we continue in the same matter in the second part of the season.”

Rosie Sutton bagged her third goal of the season against her former club last week, and Despotovski said after taking time to settle in at the club she is vital for the side going forward. “Rosie has been fantastic for us up front she works very hard defensively and also is integral part in our success where she popped up with the goals in crucial times in few of the games,” he said. “It did took the time for Rosie to settle in, but that is the case with few other players as well. I am so grateful that she settled in nicely, no matter how long it took, as long as she is happy we as a club give Rosie and all of the players’ support that they need to settle in.”

Despotovski knows the importance of Tuesday’s game but said they are looking forward to it. “Yes it’s a huge game this week, and we want to remain in the top four this one is 6 pointer for us,” he said. “Melbourne City have had some indifferent results lately, but that does not say they are bad team. In my opinion they are still the best team in the league and the team that everyone strives to become and that includes us. We will work very hard to accomplish a positive result, but it will be very hard.”



After the decision to expand the PS4NPLWA, Mandurah City is primed for the challenge in WA top flight, and keeper Brad Eiffe said its full steam ahead at the club with pre-season starting for the players. “It’s great to be back amongst the boys and they are all buzzing for the season to commence,” he said. “The squad is looking really sharp and we’ve had a few new faces down at training, which will add depth and competition in all positions. It’s been a quick turnaround from the season end, as we all know how early the coming season starts. Doug, Mick and all the coaches always put on a quality session but the lads have also had to put some hard work in on their own time.”

Eiffe, who played in the UK with Redditch United and Droitwich Spa, before heading down under and playing for Floreat Athena, Ashfield and Forrestfield United, believes the Dolphins deserve to be in the NPL and the hard work has started for them to stay in it. “I’ve always seen Mandurah as a club that should be playing at the highest level in WA,” he said. “They have been one of the most consistent teams in all levels over the last couple of seasons, winning Division One in 2015, runners up in 2016 and only losing 4 games only in those 2 seasons, and it’s a credit to all involved at the club and being promoted to the NPL is a reward deserving for all. There are a lot of people who have really put in some hard graft to get the club back to where it belongs and that is at the highest level of WA football. There definitely is a buzz and excitement in the air down at the club and we all feel we can compete at the very top level.”

The 32-year-old said working with Senior Coach Doug Hesketh and his assistant Mick Lyons has been real enjoyable and he said they work well together. “I have worked with many coaches in my time and I have to say Doug and Mick have been by far one of the best,” Eiffe explained. “Doug’s knowledge of the game is second to none and he is an all-round quality person, and Mick, well we all know where and what he has done in the game and that experience rubs off on all of us. Their training sessions are of high quality, high intensity and they make you want to attend training.”

It will be Hesketh’s final season as coach at Mandurah City in 2017, and although he will be involved with the game, the likeable Coach is looking to out with a bang. The 59-year said the coaching line up at the club has been strengthen as they enter the NPL for the first time. “Steve Robinson (Robbo) has returned sharing the role with me, as this will be my last season as a head coach,” he said. “I have developments happening with my app (Hesk Stat) and need some flexibility. Mick Lyons has done a great job in 2016 and is also staying as a first team coach on the staff so we are setting up strong. Cyril Sharrock has joined us as a Player / Coach which is a great pick up for the club, he will assist coaching with reserves with Simon Bell and Billy Lent and will be in the 1st team squad.”

The coach said the club have left no stone unturned on their return to the NPL. “We are delighted to get an opportunity in the NPL as I think over the last two seasons we have performed consistently well and have something to offer the league,” he said. “A lot of hard work has been done on and off the park and I am delighted our players will get a chance to perform in the NPL again. Training has been going well, the squad will take shape in January and everyone is very motivated. We hope to have good depth and a blend of youth and experience that can do MCFC proud in 2017. As always we will do our best to play good football.”

Eiffe said there had been plenty of banter between the two Coaches last week with the Merseyside Derby in the UK, and he said he keeps remaining them of his UK side. “There is defiantly a lot of scouse banter that goes on amongst the coaches and players as there is a few red and blue noses here,” he joked. “But with the Derby on this week it was even more intense, but every now and then I’ll chirp up about my beloved West Bromwich Albion to quiet them down.” It will be the Dolphins first season in the Premier League since 2011, and Effie and his team mates won’t have long to wait for the fixtures for the league and Night Series being released soon.



Defender Rhys Williams appears increasingly likely to part company and Perth Glory just five months after the 14-time Socceroo signed with the club. Williams, a surprise omission from the side that was beaten on the weekend by Sydney FC, is understood to be looking to move on during the January transfer window and the club is seemingly set to grant that wish.

There is unlikely to be a shortage of suitors for the former Middlesbrough captain with Sydney already decalring their interest while enquiries have also come from South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Malaysia. Williams, who played close to 150 times for Middlesbrough, has made eleven appearances for Glory since joining them in April.



Perth Glory Youth side opened their Japan International Youth Cup campaign with a 1-2 defeat against Brazilian side Figueirense at the Nagano U Stadium on Wednesday evening. Gomo Dukuly scored for the Glory in the second half but a strong Figueirense side run out winners with Patrick scoring a brace.

Glory Coach John Gibson said it was an outstanding performance from the youngsters. “The group put in a magnificent performance against a very good, physical and older Figueirense side,” he told the Glory website. “It was for the majority of the group to play international football for the first time and they were fantastic. We are the youngest side here by far and matched them in all elements of the game and were unfortunate not to win the game.

There is number of new faces in the Glory line up but Gibson said they performed really well. “We have a lot of new faces in the squad but the performance was super and the team is very disappointed in themselves because their performance was not rewarded with a win,” he said. “It was a strong performance first up and we have a short turn around and we are looking for a consistent performance against Matsumoto Yamaga Fc in the next game.”



Bayswater City got their 2016-17 pre-season campaign off to winning start after a 3-2 win against Malaysian Super League side Sarawak FC at Ellenbrook United’s home ground in Aveley. On target for Bayswater were Jamie Murphy, Bor Bor Sam and Jason Mirco, while Mark Hartmann and Lee Jong-Ho scored for the visitors.

Mirco said it was a great work out. “All in all it was a good performance,” he said. “It was our first hit out of the new season and we played very much two sides containing a mix of first team, reserves and new players. But it was good to get the legs going again before the Night Series.”

It was an even first half with both sides having chances, but the visitors, who drew 1-1 with Floreat Athena in the first game of their Perth Tour, found themselves behind when Murphy scored the opener just after half time. The striker, who won the 2016 PS4NPLWA Under 20’s Player of the season, was picked out by Devon Gibson’s cross from the right and the youngster side footed home.

Sarawak hit back, and new signing Hartmann fired home with a powerful shot to level, but on the hour, City regained the lead. Sarawak cleared a cross, but only to Sam on the edge of the penalty area and the former Perth Glory Youth winger cut inside his marker and curled home into the top corner of the net.

City then made it 3-1 on 75 minutes. A quick break down the left by Brian Farrell caught Sarawak short and his low cross was dummied by David Heagney and Mirco raced into the box one-on-one with the Sarawak keeper and he finished clinically. Sarawak pulled a goal back late in the game, with Jong-Ho finding the target but it was only a consolation.

Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne said he was happy with the application of his side on a surface they were not used too. “It was a good start to the pre-season, but it’s difficult to judge especially playing on the astro turf,” he explained. “But the boys played some very good football and the young boys that came in performed well. It was a good to get the hit out prior to Christmas, and going into the night series in good nick.”



Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury conceded that he caught a glimpse of life in the fast lane as a child, but he had no idea that would translate into being one of Australia’s highest paid footballers. Sainsbury epitomises football’s wealth and opportunities - he gave up a traditional European pathway for China and hails from Perth, representing its truly national footprint.

In a sport where skill conquers physicality, there’s nothing extraordinary about Sainsbury’s 183 centimetre and 76 kilogram frame, but his tidy footwork and reading of the game led to a life-changing offer from Jiangsu Suning. A year on, Sainsbury is repaying those who made the sacrifices for him, helping out his parents and sister.

“When you’re young, you’re not thinking about playing for funds and riches. It’s about kicking the last goal before the siren or the winning goal at Wembley,’’ Sainsbury said. “As you get older you think about the pop star lifestyle. You see the cars, the women, the beach house and playing in front in the world’s best league in the world in front of screaming, adoring fans.”

“This has enabled me to give back to the people I care about and give back a little piece of what I’ve achieved to those who’ve helped me get to where I am. Mum and dad have been a big influence and they’ve worked tirelessly and made sacrifices for myself and my sister. It’s a lot harder to succeed than people think. For every success there’s thousands of hard-luck stories. It’s a completely different culture, it can be lonely.’’

24-year old Sainsbury started out with Perth Glory and Central Coast Mariners before switching to Dutch club PEC Zwolle in 2014. His performances there may have led to a transfer to a bigger European league, but instead he chose Chinese club Jiangsu Suning. Sainsbury’s teammates include internationals Ramires (Brazil), Hong Jeong-ho (South Korea) and Roger Martínez (Colombia), he marks former English Premier League stars most weeks while managers include Manuel Pellegrini and Luiz Felipe Scolari.

Sainsbury played Australian Rules as a kid but said there was only ever one sport he was going to pursue as a career. “I did have a little crack at school. I wouldn’t say I was a world better, but I was decent,” he said of playing Australian Rules. “I liked it, but my heart’s always been with football. Football’s a worldwide sport, it’s the world game and Australia is no exception.”

“We’re a massive island in the middle of nowhere, but football is starting to touch every bit of land in Australia. We’re starting to come out of the woodwork, you’re even seeing players emerge from the bush. If you’re pushing your kid into sport maybe just because the parent loves it, there are physical benefits but if there’s not much money in it, it can be a dead-end. I don’t have kids yet, but parents want their kids to be as safe as possible while enjoying themselves.’’



It has been the Western Sydney Wanderers matra, but defender Scott Neville is adamant that his side is still playing well enough to spark a surge up the table. For the fourth time in eleven games this season, Western Sydney blew the lead on the weekend to leave Wellington with a share of the points.

Those foregone points would have lifted Western Sydney well above the seventh position they currently occupy on the A-League standings, but Neville sees no reason for alarm given the way his team are playing. “It is frustrating not to have turned those draws into wins, but we can still look at the fact that we went 2-0 up away to a strong Wellington side, and created a number of chances even after that,” Neville said.

“The performance was there again, and we know that at some point that will translate into results. We’ve got to be able to see out a lead, it’s true, but it was unfortunate that they scored their first at a bad time for us and that changed the game a bit. (Team captain Dimas) missing a penalty was frustrating but that happens in football, and we created other chances.”

“It’s not a mentality thing in terms of holding on to a lead. If you look at the number of chances teams create against us, we restrict them to very few - I think Wellington had two shots on goal. But we have to work towards giving teams no chances at all … to be honest we don’t really look at the table and points totals - we’re concentrating on the performances, and usually then the results will come. If we keep playing this way, I have no doubt we’ll go rocketing up the table.”



Ryan Edwards has revealed Partick Thistle's stunning display weekend against Hearts has given them confidence they can avenge the thrashing they recieved at the hands of Celtic. Edwards and his team mates face a difficult game against the Scottish champions at Parkhead on Wednesday evening.

It will be a tall order getting so much as a point against a Celtic side that has won 15 of their 16 games this season and will be looking extend their 14-point lead at the head of the table. Hearts certainly struggled when they took on Brendan Rodgers's team earlier this month and could have no complaints about losing 4-1.

However, Edwards believes drawing with Hearts in Edinburgh shows that Partick can perform well at difficult away venues. "We dominated the second half and had very good chances to take all three points," said Edwards. "We did really well to get back and equalise, but it was really disappointing we couldn't finish them off."

"It was important on Saturday that we showed the belief to go and get a result. It is a good point away from home, but we might look back on it as two points lost. Doing so well away from home is really positive. We have got Celtic tomorrow night and the result against Hearts gives us a bit more belief and confidence that we can go and put on a performance, hurt them and try and get points against them."

Hearts goalkeeper Jack Hamilton was outstanding on the weekend and Edwards knows his team must do better in the final third to get a result against Celtic. "We have to put our chances away, especially in one-on-one situations," he said. "If you don't shoot, you don't score."

"It is obviously going to be very difficult to go to Parkhead. It will be a different game from the last one. They are in very good form. They have stepped it up to another level this season. But we have recovered from our exertions against Hearts and have analysed their last couple of games to see how."

"We will try to do our best to get a result against Celtic. Sometimes football is just about the break of the ball. Callum Booth had that shot off the bar, it could have fallen to any one of us but unfortunately it just bounced the other way.

"It seems that when it is the other team the ball hits the bar, falls to their feet and they have a tap in. But we need to earn our luck. If we keep playing the way we are the break of the ball will fall for us." Although at the foot of the Scottish Premier League, Thistle are just two points behind eight-placed Motherwell.



ECU Joondalup continue to build in the local community, and this was given a massive boost last week with the club forming a relationship with Butler based Irene McCormack Catholic College’s Soccer Academy. The College’s Soccer Academy Coordinator Damian Stefanoff said they are looking forward to extending ties between both parties.

“ECU Joondalup has been a most professional and successful club in the NPL WA/State League, especially with regards to developing players and providing opportunities for them to be signed by English Premiership and Championship clubs,” he said. “Geographically ECU is the closest senior NPL WA club to our College, and shortage of soccer pitches in the Perth, is an issue in the northern suburbs of Perth, and with the College having excellent full size pitches and a new dual court indoor sports centre, we would be pleased to consider ECU Joondalup access to our pitches, especially in the pre-season.

“We always look to develop our players, coaches and programs and that would be enhanced with the support of the expert coaches and players at ECU Joondalup. The College has eight soccer teams competing in winter and superior coaching support is essential to the development of these teams. We would benefit if ECU Joondalup could support us with talented and passionate coaches to develop our players, possibly to the benefit of ECU Joondalup in the future.”

ECU’s Football Operations Manager Steve Amphlett said it’s a great partnership as the club head in to their 25th anniversary. “We are looking to form a relationship with Damian and the Irene McCormack College, which will initially start with ECU providing qualified coaches to coach some teams and manage when they play,” Amphlett said.

“The school will allow us to play pre-season junior games on their pitches, which will help us get our pitch at the ECU Football Stadium in top condition for the PS4NPLWA season. Hopefully some of the school’s teams will come up to ECU and play our Academy teams to gain more experience. Going forward we hope to commence and indoor Futsal competition. It’s an exciting future for both parties, and we’re looking forward to working with Damian, his staff and students.”

Stefanoff said after speaking to the club the decision to form a relationship was a simple one, with the club also having worked with the University in the past. “The College has worked with the Edith Cowan University’s Sport Science, Soccer staff for many years, participating in their Work Hard, Play Hard program and engaging in fitness testing analysis with their students. It has been an excellent learning opportunity for our students to experience the ECU Sports Science Soccer course, with the possibility our academy students consider this path after College graduation,” he said.

“We were fortunate to have Andy Patterson, ECU Joondalup Technical Director of Football, train our goal keepers this year. Andy has been impressed with our facilities, as I have been impressed with ECU Joondalup’s record of developing players, so we began to consider a partnership arrangement. The ECU Joondalup President and Football Director and have visited our facilities. The relationship between ECU Joondalup and our College is in its infancy and we look forward to the possibility of working closely in the near future.”

The Irene McCormack Catholic College Soccer Academy is about to enter its sixth year, and their aim is to develop all aspects of the player’s ability and knowledge. The fundamentals for development are the four key skills with the ball, especially their first touch, as well as their perception, decision and execution skills. The program includes practical and theory lessons. In years 7 and 8, the students engage in the Skill Acquisition Phase of the FFA Curriculum. Years 9 and 10 students develop through the Game Training program and with incorporating aspects of successful clubs and nations, such as the small sided game approach and futsal.

The Years 11 and 12 Soccer Academy students complete a Certificate II in Sport & Recreation. Students complete a Level 4 in Refereeing and gain coaching qualifications. There students graduate from the College Soccer Academy with a significant level of soccer knowledge and experience training, to enable them contribute to their clubs and have the opportunity to develop a career in Soccer as a player, coach or administrator.

The School have a number of ECU junior players in their ranks and Stefanoff said they have some outstanding players in their program. “Irene McCormack Catholic College has talented players in our academy, with several of them playing for ECU Joondalup SC,” he said. “We have many students that play for Perth Glory, notably Chok Dau (Year 12, 2017).

“Chok is one of the best players developed at the College. He has an impressive history with Perth Glory. His pace, 1 v 1 capabilities and goal scoring prowess make him a constant threat. Chok has had success over the years and we are confident he will continue to develop as a player and a person and have further success with his football.”



Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe says he could stick with the 3-5-2 formation he employed against Sydney FC in the future despite going down to the Sky Blues. Lowe changed his formation against Sydney with Aryn Williams, Shane Lowry and Dino Djulbic lining up in a three-man backline.

Although Glory went down 4-1, Lowe said he may stick with that new system for the rest of the season. "We'll look at it," Lowe said. "It might be the way forward for us. We created opportunities. The two wide boys got up high, Josh Risdon and Marc Warren did really well. Especially 'Rizzo', he was devastating up there. He had an excellent game."

"A lot of the boys had good games, it was just unfortunate the result didn't reflect that. I don't think it was a 4-1 game. I think we had more shots. They had opportunities, the first two and they took them. The third was a penalty and the fourth a set play. We had a couple and we didn't take them."

Lowe said the formation was brought about to try to exploit Sydney. "We looked at what they do and decided to have a go," he said. "We were decent value in the first half, we looked vibrant, we looked up for it. I thought we were like that for all of the game. We're trying something new so they'll be a few holes in it (but) we've got to keep battling on and working hard and see where we head."

Rhys Williams was left out of the game, with Sydney linked to an approach to sign the Socceroo defender for the 2017/2018 campaign. Lowe said Williams isn't going anywhere. "He's a contracted player, he's part of the group," he said. "You pick a team, sometimes people get in, sometimes people don't get in. That's how it works."



Australian captain Lisa De Vanna will return to the W-League to boost ladder-leading Canberra United's star-studded attack. The 117-cap striker will join the side on a seven-game deal during the US National Women's Soccer League's off-season, where she plays with Orlando Pride.

De Vanna, 32, will join Matildas teammates Michelle Heyman and Ashleigh Sykes in Canberra's forward line, with six regular-season games remaining.

After playing in every previous W-League campaign, De Vanna took a break that extended to this season following two taxing years which included World Cup and Olympics campaigns.



Perth Glory have told Sydney FC “hands off” after the unbeaten A-League leaders made an approach about star signing Rhys Williams. Glory boss Peter Filopoulos confirmed that Sydney had flagged interest in the former Socceroo and Middlesbrough player, who has another season on his contract.

Under A-League rules teams can approach players with six months left on their contract but, as a courtesy, must inform their current club. Filopoulos said Sydney had sent a letter about Williams, who was dropped from the side beaten 4-1 by Sydney at nib Stadium on Saturday night.

“They sent a letter wrongly thinking he had six months to run on his contract,” Filopoulos said. “He has another year, we reminded them about that, so they apologised for the oversight. These letters are flying around the A-League all over the place at the moment.”

Glory began last season’s remarkable run from the depths of the A-League to the finals after some smart dealing in the transfer window, but Filopoulos said the club had no immediate plans for next month. “As it stands at the moment we have nothing in play, nothing in motion,” he said.



Winger Ryan Williams came off the bench to score a dramatic late decider in Barnsley’s thrilling 4-3 away win at Cardiff City. Williams ended a long and frustrating spell with injury to score his first goal for the Tykes in the 95th minute at Cardiff City Stadium.

The Welsh side drew level on 89 minutes courtesy of Anthony Pilkington and looked on track for a share of the spoils until Williams popped up. Fellow substitute Marley Watkins' cut-back to the midfielder who scored off his left boot to give the Championship side their ninth win of the campaign.

Williams, who only entered the pitch in the 90th minute, told the club site about his relief at scoring after his injury troubles. “It’s probably a whole year piled into one minute there! It was good for me, obviously a lot of relief and a lot of relief for the boys who worked so hard for that one,” he said. “For me to come on and finish it off for us was amazing.”

“They (the players) are the ones that worked hard and I came on and tapped the ball in, so the credit goes to me but everyone has done so well … there’s been a lot of times where I’ve been sat back in the stands watching the game, and now it’s nice to be on and to be the one to score the winner is obviously fantastic.”

Coach Paul Heckingbottom saved special praise for his injury-plagued winger. “It’s great for him,” said Heckingbottom. “That’s testament to how hard he’s worked, both mentally and physically. I’m over the moon that it was he who grabbed the winner and that reflected in the way the lads celebrated with him afterwards."



Captain Rostyn Griffiths says it will take time for Perth Glory to adjust to a new formation and refused to blame the tweak of tactics for their heavy loss to Sydney FC on Saturday night. Coach Kenny Lowe changed to a 3-5-2 formation against the unbeaten Sky Blues, with Aryn Williams, Dino Djulbic and Shane Lowry in the heart of defence.

But despite going in front midway through the first half it didn’t have the desired effect, with Sydney eventually running away with the contest to win 4-1. Adam Taggart put Glory in front on 20 minutes but 90 seconds later Alex Brosque equalised with Filip Holosko, Bobo and Bernie Ibini swinging the game in the visitors favour at half-time.

“It’s never easy, that’s what pre-seasons are for,” said Griffiths about the change of formation. “We worked on a couple of things, had a few changes in personnel as well and it’s never easy. But there’s no excuses. We’ve got to be better. It doesn’t matter what formation you play, if you make mistakes like that it’s going to cost you. Sydney are a quality side and they are going to punish you.”

Despite slumping to a second straight defeat at home, Griffiths remains positive heading into the busy festive period. “I thought there was bright spells of good signs really,” the Glory skipper said. “We started quite well and surprised them a little bit with a few changes and we kept the ball a little bit better and were a little bit more organised.

But we’ve only just changed into a new formation so it’s going to take a little bit of time and adjustment. I thought the endeavour was a bit better than last week so that’s a positive sign.” Glory, who have slipped to sixth on the A-League ladder after taking five points from their last three games, heads east next for a clash with Melbourne City on 27 December.



Cameron Burgess is in scorching form after bagging two goals in three days for League One side Oldham Athletic. Burgess notched his first ever goal in professional football, scoring in Oldham's 1-1 draw with Oxford United last weekend. And on Tuesday he powered home a header in a 3-1 win over Walsall in the Checkatrade Trophy.

Oldham were defeated at home overnight by Southend leaving them last on the table with just one home win of the season. With that in mind the Latics are keen to keep hold of their goal scoring centre back, and according to reports have been in touch with Fulham about extending Burgess' six-month loan until the end of the season.

Burgess was delighted to open his account for Oldham, his first goal since making his first team debut for Fulham in 2014. "It was a pretty special moment for me to get that first goal," said Burgess, who played for ECU Joondalup before signing with Fulham five years ago. "I didn't quite know how to react, specially going 1-0 up away from home. It fell nicely for me to pass it in."

Burgess has been a regular for Oldham as they battle to stave off relegation, and has already racked up 27 appearances for the League One club this season. "I'm loving the experience and learning with every minute on the pitch," he said. "We all know how close we really are in most games and I think that's what gives us the confidence to know that we can get some good results and climb up the table."

Burgess said he was keen to keep developing his game ahead of his return to Fulham. "For me it's all about progress and gaining as much experience as I can for my return to Fulham to hopefully earn a place in the first-team," he said. "At the moment I'm happy to continue playing as many games as I can and I will wait and see what the plan is.

"I hear all the time from all the different departments (at Fulham), from physios to welfare and of course performances on the pitch, from various coaches and members of staff. It's good to hear feedback and know that I'm constantly under watch from staff back at Fulham."



Perth Glory have denied reports that Socceroo defender Rhys Williams is set to leave the club just 11 games into his A-League contract with the club. The former Middlesbrough defender was dropped for Saturday’s game against Sydney FC, who are one of the clubs interested in his services. But a Glory spokesman said the report was "pure speculation" and Williams was contracted for another 18 months. "Rhys Williams is a contracted player and he's required at training," he said. "The decision to leave him out of the squad for the visit of Sydney FC was a football decision and that's it."

The length of Williams' contract could be a key issue, as the club announced Williams had signed a one-year deal on his signing in April, but now insist he's signed up until mid-2018. Under transfer regulations, clubs are allowed to approach rival players when their contracts have less than six months to run. It's understood Sydney FC were under the impression that Williams fell into that basket of players when they made a formal approach to the 28-year-old prior to their 4-1 defeat of the Glory on the weekend.

Club chief executive Peter Filopoulous confirmed the Sky Blues approach was rebuffed. "Sydney sent a letter but we promptly reminded them that Rhys has another year to run after this one and they've apologised for the oversight," Filopoulos said. "This time of the year players who have six months left (on their contracts), clubs are entitled to approach them. As a courtesy they write to the club involved to say they have intentions of speaking to their player. Those letters are flying all over the A-League at the moment. However in Rhys Williams’ scenario he's got another year to run beyond this one. It doesn't apply."

Williams has yet to hit any great footballing heights since moving back to Australia after an injury-ravaged decade in the United Kingdom. At his peak five years ago, Williams was linked to English Premier League giants Liverpool on a multi-million pound deal. But two major Achilles injuries and osteitis pubis sent Williams' career into a tailspin, and he was released by The Riverside club this year after 10 seasons of service.

In Perth, Williams has struggled to adapt to life in the A-League and was notably at fault for the round one capitulation to Central Coast, a match the Glory led 3-0 after 55 minutes but ended up drawing. It remains to be seen whether any tension or issues between the club and player will result in the defender departing the club. But the defender is keen to get back in the Socceroos squad, but the last time he played for the Green and Gold was in 2013.



Perth Glory lost back-to-back home league games in the Hyundai A-League, after they were well beaten by Sydney FC at nib Stadium on Saturday evening. Adam Taggart had given the Glory the lead on 20 minutes, and things looked positive, but Alex Brosque levelled sixty seconds later. The Glory had chances, but failed to convert and Filip Holosko put Sydney ahead on the hour. But late goals from Bobo and a Bernie Ibini penalty wrapped up the points for the league leaders and extended its undefeated A-League run to 11 consecutive matches.

Skipper Rostyn Griffiths remains positive heading into the busy festive period but said they need to be better. “I thought there was bright spells of good signs really,” he said. “We started quite well and surprised them a little bit with a few changes and we kept the ball a little bit better and were a little bit more organised. But we’ve only just changed into a new formation so it’s going to take a little bit of time and adjustment. I thought the endeavour was a bit better than last week so that’s a positive sign. We worked on a couple of things, had a few changes in personnel as well and it’s never easy. But there’s no excuses. We’ve got to be better. It doesn’t matter what formation you play, if you make mistakes like that it’s going to cost you. Sydney are a quality side and they are going to punish you.”

Glory Coach Kenny Lowe made three changes to the side that lost against Newcastle Jets last week, with Marc Warren, Aryn Williams and Brandon Wilson coming into the starting line-up, with Joe Mills and Chris Harold dropping to the bench, while Rhys Williams, who is a target of Sydney in the transfer window, was dropped all together. It was the Glory who looked more positive and started lively, and Warren made space down the left and crossed into the box, the ball found its way to Andy Keogh, but former Glory custodian Danny Vukovic was out quick to save. Warren was having a huge impact down the left, and on 11 minutes his low cross again picked out Keogh, but Sydney defender Alex Wilkinson got back with a last ditch tackle.

Moments later Warren tried his luck, but his shot from the angle whistled over the top. But their early pressure was rewarded with the lead on 20 minutes. Keogh wriggled past Wilkinson and pulled the ball back to Wilson, who laid the ball into the path of Taggart who made no mistake from five meters. But the Glory faithful had only just back into their seats when Sydney levelled. Serbian import Milos Ninkovic found Brosque on the left after a neat one-two on the edge of the box, and the Sydney skipper fired low past Glory keeper Liam Reddy into the bottom right hand corner.

Both sides had late chances as the game opened up. First Josh Risdon crossed to Warren at the back post, but the defender headed wide, before Brosque found himself in space, after Shane Lowry’s block, but the striker couldn’t find the target. Then three minutes from the break Josh Risdon delivered a cross into the area, and Keogh’s shot on the turn was straight at Vukovic, who saved to send the teams in at the break all-square.

Sydney looked better after the break and had the Glory on the back foot, former Glory midfielder Brandon O’Neill curling effort didn’t trouble Reddy. Glory midfielder Nebojsa Marinkovic’s free kick flashed inches wide. But on 61 minutes Sydney hit the front. Rhyan Grant’s cross from the left picked Filip Holosko, who got in between Lowry and Warren to head into the net.

But despite going behind the Glory hit back, and four minutes later many in the 9,000 plus crowd thought they had found the equaliser. Marinkovic picked out the unmarked Griffiths at the back post, his goal bound header was superbly saved one-handed by Vukovic. The rebound fell to Wilson, whose first time shot hit the base of the far post, before Lowry’s shot flashed over the top. Moments later Taggart found himself one-on-one with Vukovic, but the Sydney custodian stood tall to deny him.

With Glory pushing forward Sydney picked them off and score a third on 71 minutes. Ninkovic played the ball into Bobo and the Brazilian striker finished clinically past Reddy. The Glory faithful had something to cheers late on with Marquee Diego Castro returning off the bench after a hamstring injury, and he stung the palms of Vukovic on 81 minutes, but the points were wrapped up in stoppage time when Sydney won a penalty after substitute Ibini was bundled over in the box by Aryn Williams and referee Alan Milliner pointed straight to the spot. Ibini picked himself up and sent Reddy the wrong to give the visitors a 4-1 win.



Perth Glory went to the top of the Westfield W-League, well temporally, after a 4-1 win against Adelaide United at the Elite Systems Centre on Saturday. A brace from Sam Kerr, one for Rosie Sutton, against her former club, while Vanessa DiBernardo scored a late penalty to wrap up a comprehensive win for Bobby Despotovski’s side. Sofia Huerta was on target for the home side but it was only a consolation as the Glory girls march on.

“We started the game very nervous, but after a few minutes we got the grip and started to play the football we want to play,” Despotovski said. “We created a few good chances, but we couldn’t convert them until Sam (Kerr) broke the deadlock with a great strike, which sent us to the break in front.

“The second half started the same as the first and Adelaide starting to open us up a little more, but with them chasing the equaliser they left holes at the back and we exploited them to add a second. “We then gifted them a goal, but we got control of the game back and Sam added a second and Vanessa DiBernardo sealed the win. For us as a group we are slowly working towards our collective goal at the start of the season, and that’s pleasing.”

The Glory were looking for a third straight win, but keeper Gabby Dal Busco had to be alert early to deny Adriana Jones on a one-on-one but the Glory custodian pushed it around the post. Dal Busco was at it again on 22 minutes, Stella Rigon’s free kick fell to Huerta, who picked out Rajcic, but the Glory keeper saved well. The Glory settled and started to take control, with Kerr dangerous down the right. She rattled the woodwork on the half hour, and four minutes later she put the Glory in front.

Kerr found space on the edge of the penalty area and floated her shot over Eliza Campbell, her fourth goal of the season. Adelaide defender Katie Naughton and Kerr were having a right battle, and Kerr almost added a second four minutes before half time. She found space in the box, but Naughton got back with a last ditch challenge and her shot flashed the wrong side of the post. The home side went close to an equaliser on the stroke of half time, but Jones’ snap shot flashed just wide.

The home side opened the second half like the first, and Dal Busco saved well to thwart Rigon’s header early. DiBernado’s long-range shot then flashed just wide, before Campbell saved well to deny Kerr just before the hour. But with Adelaide pushing forward looking for the equaliser, they were caught out again moments later, Sutton finishing against her former club to put the Glory in the box seat.

But the home side weren’t going down without a fight and two minutes later they reduced the margin. Huerta raced down the right, and cut inside her marker and finished clinically past Dal Busco, for her first goal of the season. Glory was looking for more and went close again on 66 minutes, American midfielder Alyssa Mautz headed over the top. But on 73 minutes the Glory added a third, Kerr finishing off a good move to score past Campbell, to send her to the top of W-League Golden Boot table.

It was 4-1 on 79 minutes, Jamie Gibbons was brought down in the box and DiBernardo converted the resulting penalty. Adelaide had a late chance to put some respectability on the scoreboard, Rigon’s free kick picked out Naughton, but her header was straight at Dal Busco. The Glory are next in action on December 27 when they travel to take on third placed Melbourne City, as a curtain raiser for the A-League game at AAMI Park.



Perth Glory will be looking to make emends for last week’s poor performance against Newcastle Jets, but they will need to be at their best when they entertain league leaders, and unbeaten Sydney FC in week 11 of the Hyundai A-League at nib Stadium on Saturday evening (7pm). The first half display from the Glory boys was the worst performance of the season, and skipper Rostyn Griffiths has rallied the troops this week ahead of the clash with the Sky Blues, and said they need to bounce back on Saturday

The result was the first time Glory lost to Newcastle in eleven years and Griffiths said it was a wake-up call which will hopefully re-ignite Perth's campaign. "We don’t want to rollover, we’ve got too much strength and too much character in the dressing room to let that happen,” he said. “It’s all over the park we’ve got to pick it up a bit.”

The Glory have assembled a rich squad of local and international talent, and Griffiths didn't shy away that Glory was yet to reach its full potential and needed to improve. “I think just really having a strong look in the mirror at where we’re at,” he said. “Really just looking at how serious do we want to take this season because we can’t just get by with having good players on paper, and we’ve got some quality players and it’s probably not eventuated on the pitch yet.”

Griffiths is looking forward to facing a side which is undefeated and has only dropped six points all season. "The ambitions are still there and the positives are still there,” he said. “It is at home on Saturday, and we’ve got to make a statement and what better way to do it then (against) the top of the table and get a result.”

After an off night last week Adam Taggart will be chopping at the bit on Saturday, while Milan Smiljanic, who scored an own goal last week, will be hoping to find the right net this week. Kenny Lowe has a few selection headaches this week, with Marc Warren and Alex Grant returning to the squad, and Dino Djulbic, Brandon Wilson, Jamal Reiners and Kosta Petratos pushing for a spot in the starting eleven.

Sydney are coming off an indifferent run of games, with two draws and a defeat in the FFA Cup Final against Melbourne City. Former ECU Joondalup and Glory midfielder Brandon O’Neill, who signed a new two year deal at the club this week, will be hoping to brake back into the starting line-up after two games off the bench, while former Glory keeper Danny Vukovic will also face his former club.

Sky Blues central defender Alex Wilkinson said they are on a good run of form and want to continue that in Perth. “If you can get the boys believing every week that we’ll win and not lose, then winning can become a habit,” he said. “So, even if you go down a goal or things aren’t going your way, if you have that belief and self-confidence then you’re always in the game and always a chance to get it back.” Of the Perth trip Wilkinson said Andy Keogh is the danger man and he will need to keep a close on him. “Keogh’s a different type of player to Fornaroli [who was a teammate of Wilkinson at City last season].

“He makes great runs off the shoulder and he’s one you need eyes in the back of your head to track. He’s really good at that,” he said. “While you’re watching the play he can just drift out and make that run off your shoulder. It’s difficult when the ball is here and you have to watch him there, and his finishing, it’s deadly. We saw that goal against Victory [in Round 9 at AAMI Park]. They pretty much had only one maybe two chances and he knocked it in with a great finish. He’s on seven goals already and a difficult guy to mark.”

Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY, 2 Alex GRANT, 3 Marc WARREN, 4 Shane LOWRY, 5 Rhys WILLIAMS, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 8 Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9 Andy KEOGH, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 14 Chris HAROLD, 15 Brandon WILSON, 16 Joe MILLS, 19 Josh RISDON, 22 Adam TAGGART, 21 Jamal REINERS, 23 Kosta PETRATOS, 24 Milan SMILJANIC - *two to be omitted* - Ins: GRANT, WARREN (promoted) - Outs: Nil

Sydney FC: GK Danny VUKOVIC, GK Chris OLDFIELD, 3 Riley WOODCOCK, 4 Alex WILKINSON, 5 Matt JURMAN, 7 Michael ZULLO, 8 Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9 BOBÔ, 10 Milos NINKOVIC, 11 Bernie IBINI, 13 Brandon O’NEILL, 14 Alex BROSQUE (c), 17 David CARNEY, 19 George BLACKWOOD, 21 Filip HOLOSKO, 22 Sebastian RYALL, 23 Rhyan GRANT, 24 Charles LOKOLINGOY - *two to be omitted* - Ins: WOODCOCK (promoted), CARNEY (promoted), BLACKWOOD (promoted), LOKOLINGOY (promoted) - Outs: 6.Josh BRILLANTE (suspended – 1 week), 18.Matt SIMON (suspended – 1 week)



After last week’s dominate 1-0 win against Sydney FC, Perth Glory hit the road this weekend, with a trip to the Elite Systems Football Centre to take on Adelaide United in Week 7 of the Westfield W-League (kick off Saturday 17 – 7.30pm (SA Time). Sam Kerr was the hero last week scoring the winner, but Coach Bobby Despotovski said it was an all-round performance, but he knows a loss this week will mean last week’s euphoria will be worth nothing.

“Last week’s result against one of the top teams in the league was important, but it will mean nothing if we don’t perform to our best against Adelaide,” he said. “I can promise all of our supporters that the girls will not take Adelaide lightly, as they are a good side, and have some quality footballer’s in their team.”

Adelaide are still looking for their first win of the season, and Despotovski said they need be on their toes from the first whistle. “I’m a little surprised by Adelaide’s struggle this season, I think they are a much better team than what the league ladder shows,” he explained. “But like I’ve said we will be doing everything we can to come back with all three points, and that’s our priority.”

A good defensive display last week kept a talented Sydney side at bay. Led by veteran Kim Carroll and Mexican international Ariana Romero, they screened well in front of keeper Gabby Dal Busco who started for the first time this season, while up front Kerr and American import Vanessa DiBernardo combined for a number of chances.

Adelaide imports are Brazilian defender Mônica who is on-loan from Orlando Pride, with Chicago Red Stars trio Sofia Huerta, Danielle Colaprico and Katie Naughton. They were beaten 3-2 last time out by Brisbane but Head Coach, Huss Skenderovic, said they showed character to fightback, but intimated that lack of concentration in transitional moments and not executing their chances have cost them.

“The fightback shows our character and it is evident that we are fighters and believe in what we do, even when we have been down, we still continue to play the same way,” Skenderovic said. “I think many people have identified that we have great character and spirit, and there is a real unity amongst us which those behaviors resonate into games and being able to fight back. What we do need to improve on, is when we have consolidated our possession in the front third, and when we lose it we need to concentrate better on the transitional moments on the position of the opposition, which has hurt us.”



Brandon Wilson says the chance to work with his former youth coach Kenny Lowe again was a big factor in joining Perth Glory. Local product Wilson returned to Perth after three years in England with Burnley to sign a one-year deal with Glory at the start the 2016/2017 season.

Wilson has a made a positive start to his A-League career. The central midfielder debuted in round one of the season and has featured on eight occasions so far this campaign. Wilson, who spent time under Lowe as a junior in the National Training Centre, feels returning to Australia has been good for him.

"I had a lot of advice from a lot of people, the big one that they were saying is that everyone thinks England is the best place for football," he said. "In some senses the Premier League is huge, but I was thinking of getting first-team football and the A-League is such a high standard. Coming back was a really good move for me."

"Kenny Lowe was a big factor for me. He coached me when I was younger and I feel like I progressed a lot with him. I think I came back for progression and to hopefully get into a first-team environment and so far I’ve been a little successful, and hopefully I can expand on that and get some more starts."

"Personally I’m loving the experience. I’m making my professional debut, getting my A-League debut. Speaking personally, it’s been really positive. As a team I don’t think we’re 100% happy where we are on the ladder and with what we’ve been doing, but I think we’ve got positives to look on."

Wilson spent three years with Burnley's academy, including a spell on loan at lower-league club Stockport Country. The 19-year old said he is coming to grips with the pace of the A-League. "I’m finding it a lot quicker, because obviously I was playing Under-21s with Burnley and then I was loan at Stockport," he said.

"My first few games I was quite blown away with the fast pace of the game. But slowly I’m getting the grasp of the pace of the game. So far so good. When the first game up I was quite surprised actually. I had worked really hard in pre-season (and) the hard work has paid off. It was exciting."

Normally a box-to-box midfielder, Wilson has even appeared at right back this season. "It turns out apparently it was the best game I had played all year, which was a bit surprising," he said. "It’s not my position right back but I was buzzing with it (getting picked in the A-League team of the week), I was over the moon."

Glory currently sits fifth in the A-League with 12 points from 10 matches. Wilson, an Australian youth international, believes his team will pick up the pace over coming weeks. "We’ve had a couple of injuries that haven’t helped, I think we’ll start picking up now," he said.

"We’ve had a few games now where we should have done a bit better and some we’ve actually been lucky in. From now on we’re going to crack on. We’ve had talks together in the team, we’ve set goals and I think we’re really going to push on in the next few games. I’m really feeling positive."



Former Perth Glory and ECU Joondalup midfielder Sydney FC midfielder Brandon O’Neill has re-signed for the Sky Blues for a further two years, meaning the 22-year old will remain with the club until the end of the 2018/19 Hyundai A-League season. Sydney FC have moved quickly to tie up the Olyroos midfielder, after reports the Glory were looking to lure him back west. But following a number of stellar performances which have seen him become a key member of Graham Arnold’s squad, and his form this season has won plaudits across the board and seen him win the October nomination for the NAB Young Player of the Year award.

He said he is thrilled to be remaining at Sydney FC for another two seasons. “I’m very happy here working with a fantastic set of players and with our brilliant coaching staff,” he said. “My game has developed so much in my first 18 months with the club and that’s thanks to the help and support of the people here as well as my team mates. “I’m looking forward to spending the next two years of my career here and winning some silverware. It’s a very exciting time to be a Sydney FC player.”

Head Coach Graham Arnold believes the young midfielder can go on to become a high achiever. “Brandon has all the attributes to become a top class midfielder,” he said. “He is still young and learning the game but has a real hunger and plays with a smile on his face. “I am very pleased he will be with Sydney FC for the next two seasons as he will become an even greater asset to the club.

“He is a role model for any young and aspiring player out there and I’m certain he will see further success and recognition in his career. Sydney FC has a reputation for developing excellent young players and Brandon is following in those footsteps.” O’Neill has played 45 games for the Sky Blues including 31 in the Hyundai A-League and seven in each of the AFC Champions League and FFA Cup competitions, scoring two goals.



Brad Jones, the top-performing Australian goalkeeper so far this European season, is in discussions over a new deal with Eredivisie leaders Feyenoord but is no certainty to stay with the Dutch giants. Jones, who has kept ten clean sheets in 21 appearances, has been imperious for the Rotterdam-based club whose managed Giovanni van Bronckhorst is keen to tie up 34-year old Jones for a second year.

However, there is interest from elsewhere for Jones, who arrived Feyenoord this season following a 17-match spell for NEC and 14-years in England with Middlesbrough and Liverpool. “Brad has been excellent for Feyenoord since arriving and is enjoying every minute of it,” said Jones’ agent, Gary Williams. “We are in talks over a contract extension and we will see where those discussions go, but he is fee to talk to other clubs in January (if nothing is resolved).”

Despite Feyenoord exiting the Europa League at the group stage, Jones was selected in a best XI team based on those that competed in the opening stage of the competition, and he has also been voted Goalkeeper of the Year in the Eredivisie for 2016 by GOAL. Jones’s resurgence in Holland has ear-marked him as the outstanding contributor of Australia’s overseas-based contingent of late.



Chief executive Peter Filopoulos has warned an underperforming Perth Glory squad that failure will not be accepted and reputations are now on the line. In a statement of intent that has left Glory’s playing group and coaching staff on notice, Filopoulos is of the firm belief the team has under-achieved so far this season, and has demanded hunger and effort to resurrect its ailing campaign.

Filopoulos urged fans not to desert the club and instead turn out in numbers for Saturday night’s daunting home date with an unbeaten Sydney FC. The club yesterday emerged from 48 hours of soul-searching following last Saturday night’s embarrassing home loss to lowly Newcastle Jets, who dominated a woeful Glory side that was booed off the pitch at half-time and the final whistle.

Filopoulos conceded a highly rated Glory squad had not lived up to pre-season expectations, the team currently sitting in fifth spot but just five points adrift of the top three. “We are not shying away from the fact that we’ve under-achieved to date this season and we are not happy, but we’re determined to set things right as we owe it to our members and fans, corporates, sponsors and all West Aussies who have jumped on board in impressive numbers,” Filopoulos said.

“It doesn’t matter if we lose, but we expect, as followers of Glory, that there is a great level of desire and effort and hunger. If we give it all and lose, then so be it. If we don’t turn up, then that’s unacceptable. Reputations are on the line. It’s here the fans and members need to play their important role. Let’s not sit back and watch Sydney roll into this town and take anything away from nib Stadium. Our pride is at stake this Saturday night.”



Midfielder Ryan Edwards says “it’s scary” how close he came to ditching his overseas dream before Partick Thistle threw him a lifeline. Edwards went from a high in 2011, when he signed a four-year deal with Championship side Reading, through a season-long loan with Perth Glory to training alone in a public park.

The 23-year old youth international was on the verge of booking a flight home to Perth in 2015 when the Jags came calling with an opportunity to rebuild his career in the Scottish Premiership. “You could say the trial here was the last throw of the dice. If this one didn’t work out I was getting on the plane home,” Edwards told ‘the Daily Record’.

“It would have been the easy option to go back to Australia – and it’s scary to think how close I came. I’d always wanted to make a career in Europe so I wasn’t going to let myself give it up without a fight but I was running out of options. I left Reading and most footballers will tell you it’s difficult to find another club when you haven’t played many games and your name isn’t known.

“I had a trial with Chesterfield which didn’t work out but I thought, ‘Okay, that’s only the first one. That’s fine’. Then I went to Gillingham and it didn’t work out again but I was still thinking, ‘That’s OK, it’s just a matter of opinions’. I felt it was just a matter of time but then there was a period of about four weeks when I was training myself in the park across from the London flat where I was staying with my girlfriend Oana and her brother.

“There was an astroturf pitch there and one day the gate was open so I thought it was a great chance to train on a flat surface for a change instead of the bobbly grass I’d been working on. Within two minutes a guy comes walking over to me saying, ‘Have you paid?’ I told him I thought this was a public park but he got really angry and told me to get out ... at that point you start anxiously knocking on your agent’s door.”

Edwards signed a one-year contract with Partick Thistle in September last year and made his debut as a substitute in a 3–0 win over Dundee United. His first goal for the club arrived in March and a month later he extended his contract until 2018. “Every day I believed in what I was doing,” he said. “It meant when I came for my trial at Partick I was still fit and sharp enough to impress.”

“When I look back I’m so thankful I kept faith in what I was doing. An old coach of mine in Australia once said something that always sticks with me – make sure there are no ‘ifs’. You do whatever you possibly can so when you finish a training session or a game you ask was there a ‘what if’? What if you’d tracked that runner? What if you had that shot? What if I gave up and went back to Australia? Thankfully I’ll never have to ask myself that question.”



Liam Reddy has seen a crisis or two in his decade-long A-League career but the Perth Glory goalkeeper is adamant his team are nowhere near that point. Glory are reeling from their worst loss of the season, a 2-1 defeat to lowly Newcastle Jets who took maximum points home from Perth for the first time in over a decade. p> Billed as title contenders leading into the season after assembling a strong squad, Glory have now won just one of their past seven matches. Newcastle were bottom of the league heading into Saturday night’s game at Perth Oval with just one win, but had 26 shots to 11 in a sign of their complete dominance. p> 35-year old Reddy, who has played for seven A-League clubs, has witnessed far worse predicaments than the one faced by Glory. “It’s not a crisis,” Reddy said. “I’ve been at plenty of clubs and this is not a crisis. This is still very far off that. This is disappointing because as a group we set ourselves a target of going undefeated at home.” p> Reddy noticed boos from the 9202-strong home crowd as the team came from the pitch at half-time and after the final whistle. “We have to lift our game,” Reddy said. “Every team can beat every team in this competition. If you don’t turn up, you get beat, you get punished. Everyone now knows that.”



A first half strike from Perth Glory’s Matildas striker Sam Kerr was enough for them to beat Westfield W-League second placed Sydney FC 1-0 at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday afternoon. The win and clean sheet was vital for Bobby Despotovski’s side to keep pace with the league leaders and the Coach was delighted the way his side played, in steamy conditions. “I thought we were good for the win,” he said. “The girls worked very hard all game and executed game plan perfectly. If we continue to work that hard in all of the rest of the games this season we will be very hard side to beat.

The coach was delighted to keep a clean sheet, and pleased for Gabby Dal Busco, who was starting for the first time this season. “Three points against very good Sydney side was crucial for us to keep the pace with the leaders of the league,” Despotovski said. “Gabby to be honest didn’t have much to do due to girls in front of her doing their job perfectly but on couple of occasions when she needed to help she did that superbly it will give her and our side lots of confidence going in to the next week's game against Adelaide.”

Despotovski was full of praise for goalscorer Kerr, and said she put in an outstanding performance. “Sam Kerr what can I say, hard worker, great footballer, good captain and leader of our team, and in my humble opinion one of the best players in the world,” he said. “Her attitude this year has been sensational and it shows in the games she has played this year absolutely brilliant and I hope she continues to lead our team to bigger and better things in the future.”

Sydney arrived in the west on a good run of form and sat second on the table, but buoyed by a 2-0 win against Melbourne Victory last week the Glory were looking to close the gap on the visitors. They went close early with American import Vanessa DiBernardo firing over from long-range, but on 18 minutes they hit the front. Shawn Billam sent Kerr clear with a great through ball and the Matildas striker finished with aplomb past Shamiran Khamis. Dal Busco was in the action three minutes later, when NAB Young Football of the Year nominee Remy Siemsen raced clear, but the Glory custodian was out quick to deny her.

Glory’s defence, led by veteran Kim Carroll and Mexican international Ariana Romero were outstanding and Kerr was giving the Sky Blues defence the run around and she almost added a second on the half hour, but her effort went the wrong side of the upright. Sydney improved before the break but Dal Busco was troubled, holding a Leena Khamis chip and a dangerous cross from Matildas’ midfielder Servet Uzunlar. Kyah Simon tried her luck from long-range just before the break but it flashed over the top.

The crowd of nearly 500 were off their seats again just after half time when Kerr spotted Shamiran Khamis off her line, but effort went inches wide of the target. Kerr was in again just the hour, Rosie Sutton winning possession and putting her in one-on-one with the Shamiran Khamis, but the keeper stood tall to deny her. Kerr and the Sydney keeper were having a personal battle and the Sky Blues custodian came out on top again after Kerr’s shot from the edge of the penalty area. The Glory continued to dominate and held on for a fantastic three points.



Newcastle Jets hadn’t beaten Perth Glory for over 11-years, but on Saturday evening they ended that drought with a well-deserved 2-1 win in Week 10 of the Hyundai A-League at nib Stadium. It started brightly for Kenny Lowe’s side with Nebojsa Marinkovic scoring early, but Andrew Hoole levelled before Glory midfielder Milan Smiljanic headed into his own net on the stroke of half time. If it wasn’t for Glory custodian Liam Reddy the score line would have been more, but boos at the end of the game showed the local faithful were not happy with the performance.

Kenny Lowe said it was a poor performance and said the fans are entitled to their views. “At the end of the day, all they (the fans) want is a performance with some character and attitude,” Lowe said about the booing. “It’s the first time for me, and hopefully the last. Maybe it’s an off night, and obviously you don’t want too many of those. It’s not just the players, it’s all of us. We’re all in this together, it’s not me, it’s a we scenario.”

The Jets were out of the blocks and went close to the opener on four minutes, the lively Andrew Nabbout was given far too much space and his powerful shot was well saved by the alert Reddy. But three minutes later the Glory hit the front with their first real chance. Chris Harold raced down the right and cut the ball back to Marinkovic, who found the top corner of the net giving former Glory keeper Jack Duncan no chance.

Despite going behind the Jets continued to look dangerous going forward and their pace was causing the home side problems. Daniel Mullen headed just wide two minutes later, before Hoole raced in behind the Glory back four, but Josh Risdon got back with a last ditch tackle. But on 21 minutes the Jets pressure was rewarded with the equaliser. Devante Clut lost his marker and slipped the ball into Hoole and the winger finished clinically past Reddy.

The Jets looked nothing like the side that had lost some many games in the west, and they ended the half the better. Clut’s long-range shot was deflected onto the post by Hoole on the half hour, before Wayne Brown picked out Hoole again moments later but his shot was saved low by Reddy. But in stoppage time the Jets hit the front. There looked little danger when Nabbout crossed into the box, but Smiljanic headed into his own net with no player around him.

Lowe made a double change at the break with Kosta Petratos and Brandon Wilson coming on for the ineffective Adam Taggart and Smiljanic, but it was still the Jets who looked more dangerous. Reddy saved well to deny Clut’s volley from the edge of the penalty area, but the Glory started to get into the game and went close to the equaliser on 68 minutes. Risdon made a surging run down the right and whipped in a deep cross to Andy Keogh, but the Irish striker could only head wide of the target.

With Nabbout and Clut running the show the Glory were on the back foot and Clut was sent in one-on-one with Reddy eight minutes later, but the Glory custodian stood tall and he fired wide of the target. The Glory keeper was in outstanding form and he produced a stunning double save to thwart Nabbout and Brown, and he was back in action moments later denying Hoole. The Glory had no answers and the Jets ran out winners and the Glory faithful let the players know at the final whistle.



After a poor start to their Foxtel National Youth League Conference A season, Perth Glory hit back to kick start their campaign with a 5-1 win against Melbourne Victory at Dorrien Gardens. It wasn’t a happy return home for former Perth Soccer Club Coach Gareth Naven, who is in charge of the Victory youngsters, as skipper Joe Knowles bagged a brace, with Aryn Williams, Gino Albano and Daniel Stynes added the others in a comprehensive performance. “I thought we were outstanding today, the boys pressed high and we kept the ball a lot better this week and got the rewards,” skipper Joe Knowles said. “We finished really well today, we’ve been creating chances and not punishing teams but today we did.”

Glory coach John Gibson gave a starting debut to Yagoub Mustafa, and he also had first team squad members Marc Warren, Nick Feely, Mitch Oxborrow and Aryn Williams in the starting line- up, and they had the perfect start and were ahead on 17 minutes. Knowles’ corner was headed powerfully home by Williams from five meters. The Glory continued to dominate and Victory keeper Lucas Spinela was busy to keep them at bay.

First he was out quick to save at the feet of Stynes, before he reacted well to save Oxborrow’s powerful shot. It was 2-0 on the half hour, Oxborrow’s great turn and through ball sent Knowles clear and the striker finished well. It was one-way traffic and in first half stoppage time they added a third. Williams raced down the right and played in Stynes, and the young midfielder made no mistake to send them to the break well on top.

It was great start to the second half for the Glory and it was 4-0 in the first minutes of the second half, Knowles was the supplier this time slipping in Albano, who rounded the keeper to score. Victory were more competitive after the break and Feely had to be alert to save from skipper Pierce Waring on the hour, before Joshua Cavallo and Waring saw shots blocked. Their pressure was rewarded on 73 minutes, striker Waring’s shot on the turn reduced the margin. But normal service was resumed ten minutes later when Glory added a fifth. A superb diagonal ball from Warren sent Knowles clear and the former ECY Joondalup striker finished clinically past Spinela.



Football West have decided to reduce the State League to twenty-two clubs next season, after the State League standing committee's recommendation of two divisions of eleven clubs each was accepted by the Football West board. Following Joondalup United and Mandurah City moving up to the NPL-WA, the State League was forced to alter their competition. There was a number of options on the table, however it was decided that eleven clubs in both State League Division One and Two was the fairest option. It means Joondalup City will now be promoted to Division One and a bye will be placed in both competitions for at least one season.



Perth Glory returns home, after two weeks on the road, when they entertain Newcastle Jets in week 10 of the Hyundai A-League at nib Stadium on Saturday evening (7.00pm). After last week’s ‘backs to the wall’ 1-1 draw against Melbourne Victory the Glory need a win to keep in touch with the leaders. After going unbeaten through the first three rounds they have dropped to fifth in the league and are 11 points behind leaders Sydney, but go into the game having not lost in 10 home games, and go into the game with confidence, as the Jets haven’t beaten them in the last 14 matches.

Former Jets’ striker Adam Taggart is hoping to start the game, after coming off the bench in the last two away trips, and the former Socceroos’ striker said it a huge game for him and the team. “It's a special game, Newcastle has a special place in my heart, and I had such a good time there," he said. “But I'm going to be as aggressive as normal and go out there looking to win. It's important we really go out there and take it to them ... and put them on the back foot early."

It’s been a frustrating time for the 23-year-old, after a calf injury has curtailed his return to the side but he hopes that’s behind him. “I’m confident in my body at the moment, but it’s up to the boss and up to the medical staff,” Taggart said. “Of course I want to start ... it’s just consistency in training, being able to prove that I can do a job in the team, being able to get back to where I was in round one in terms of how I felt and the way I was going into the game. I’ve been pushing and working as hard as I can.”

The Glory welcome back Josh Risdon from injury, and Rhys Williams from suspension to the squad, but will still will be Spanish maestro Diego Castro and Alex Grant with injury, but it looks like Brandon Wilson has recovered from injury to take his place in the squad. "We've got a team of class players, so there's always competition for spots, and that's half the reason I came back to the club,” Taggart said. “I don't want to be in a team where it's just you're guaranteed to play every week because it doesn't push you.

“We've got to step up as men and take responsibility for your own actions and our own performances, so I personally, and I know the other boys aren't hiding away from the fact last week performance-wise wasn't good enough. "I hope we're really going to take it to them and give the home fans something to cheer about, so we're all motivated and looking forward to putting the performance right and we're at home, so we're always looking for three points."

The Jets started the season well but have dropped off in recent weeks, and are coming off back-to-back 0-2 losses against Victory and Sydney FC. But in some good injury news winger Andrew Nabbout is fit and ready for the game. The former Victory player, who only joined Newcastle this season from Malaysian Premier League side Negeri Sembilan, insisted that Mark Jones' side aren't worried about history, and will be ready for the challenge.

"I was touch-and-go to play against Sydney [last week]," he said. “I was trying to get the physio to push me back in but, you know, he's smart about these sorts of things and the coaching staff were really smart about it. So they said it's better to come back at 100 per cent rather than 60, 70 and risk doing it again. It was hard but it's the right time now."

The Jets may be finally turning the corner after a terrible run of injuries that has hurt them in defence, and Nabbout said it’s looking better ahead of the trip west looking to kick start their season. “Daniel Mullen looks like he's going to be back, also skipper Nigel Boogaard, but we'll see how the week progresses and we'll see how they both pull up,” he said.

“But there are definitely some key boys putting their hands up for a gig this week. It's that final decision that we have to keep working on and, you know, we've been working on it at training and they're going to fall for us eventually, so we just have to make sure we keep ourselves in those areas." Get along and support the Glory and help them back to winning ways.

Squads: Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY, 3 Marc WARREN, 4 Shane LOWRY, 5 Rhys WILLIAMS, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 8 Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9 Andy KEOGH, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 14 Chris HAROLD, 15 Brandon WILSON, 16 Joe MILLS, 18 Mitch OXBORROW, 19 Josh RISDON, 21 Jamal REINERS, 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Kosta PETRATOS, 24 Milan SMILJANIC *two to be omitted* - Ins: WILLIAMS (returns from suspension), RISDON (returns from injury) - Outs: Nil

Newcastle Jets: GK Jack DUNCAN, GK Pierce CLARK, 2 Daniel MULLEN, 3 Jason HOFFMAN, 4 Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 6 Steven UGARKOVIC, 7 Andrew HOOLE, 8 Mateo POLJAK, 10 Wayne BROWN, 11 Labinot HALITI, 13 Ivan VUJICA, 15 Andrew NABBOUT, 16 Nicholas COWBURN, 18 MA Leilei, 23 Devante CLUT, 24 Kristian BRYMORA, 28 John KOUTROUMBIS *one to be omitted* - Ins: MULLEN (returns from injury), BOOGAARD (returns from injury), NABBOUT (returns from injury), BRYMORA (promoted) - Outs: 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI (knee – indefinite), 12.Andy BRENNAN (omitted), 26.Iain FYFE (injury replacement contract complete)



Perth Glory Youth side continue the search for the first points of the season when they host Melbourne Victory in week five of the Foxtel National Youth League on Sunday morning. Victory have also struggled this season, sitting only one point ahead of John Gibson’s side, so it’s the battle of the bottom two teams.

The Glory are coming off a 1-3 defeat in Adelaide, a game were two dubious penalty cost them in the first half, but Gibson said they are working extremely hard to turn things around. “We as a group we're very frustrated at half time with our first 45 (much of it was out of our own control) we re-focused and in the second half we went back to our fundamentals and plan,” he told the Glory website.

“Our performance improved significantly, gained the ascendency, created chances numerous chances which we need to capitalize on. Every game we demand being the best we can. A big positive was the introduction of some of our younger players of our squad - the likes of Yagoub Mustafa, Luke Bodnar and Jack Leech received game time and will learn from the experience.”

Gibson said the players are working tirelessly to get their first win and he believes it’s just around the corner. “We understand the tough nature of the competition and the importance of negating silly things plus improving the details is crucial to a more complete performance,” he said. “The group are frustrated at themselves as they are aware of the tiny details that are costing them at the moment - their self-belief, confidence and energy is always high - we look forward to this weekend.” Admission to Perth Glory’s home Foxtel National Youth League games are free to members.



Perth Glory W-League side are set for a huge game on Sunday, when second on the table Sydney FC head west to take on Bobby Despotovski’s side at Dorrien Gardens. (Time) The Glory won on the road last week, a 2-0 win against Melbourne Victory, and Despotovski said it was a good all-round team performance. “It was a very good performance from the team in all departments,” he said. “We all executed the game plan to best ability and got the reward for it. Yes it could have been more goals, but at the end of the day we didn’t concede and scored twice, so over all very happy.”

They lost first team keeper Melissa Maizels during last week’s win, the custodian has been in outstanding form between the sticks, but Despotovski said he has every confidence in Balcatta keeper Gabby Dal Busco this week. “Melissa was on the receiving end from ND (Natasha D), the Victory striker, and she got a nasty cut on her finger, which will put her out of action for 2-3 weeks,” he said. “I thought Gabby did extremely well when she was called up on. She now has the starting spot and we’ve signed young upcoming keeper Morgan Aquino from the NTC, which will be a great experience for young Morgan.”

Despotovski said Sunday’s opponents will be a big test for his side, as they look to maintain their spot in the top four, and he said they are looking forward to the challenge. “They (Sydney FC) are a well organised team, with some talented Matildas in the team, and the mix of the best young talent in the country,” he said. “They are very well balanced team and will be very hard to beat, but we will do everything we can to perform and try to get the three points.”

The Sky Blues are coached by Daniel Barrett and have a squad oozing with talent. Former Glory striker and new 2016 Asian Women’s Player of the Year Caitlin Foord will be a danger with Kyah Simon up front, skipper Teresa Polias will give them drive in the middle of the park, while former Glory defender Alanna Kennedy pins a tight defence with NAB Young Footballer of the Year nominee Remy Siemsen.



They call football ‘The World Game’ and in a recent survey from the Australian Sports Commission (ASC), it showed that football is Australia’s largest club-based participation sport. The ASC’s AusPlay survey reveals that more than a million men, women, boys and girls are playing football, significantly more than any other club-based sport.

“It’s official, we are number one,” Football Federation Australia (FFA) chief executive David Gallop said. “Football is Australia’s most popular club-based participation sport for adults and children because it is the most inclusive and accessible. Everyone is welcome in football regardless of gender, age, ability or background. Football is also the biggest global sport with the world’s highest profile players and competitions and the planet’s biggest event, the FIFA World Cup. The combination of local accessibility and global interest is attracting more and more Australians.”

Gallop said the growth of the Hyundai A-League and the Westfield W-League was providing pathways for more Australian juniors to pursue a professional career while giving Australian and New Zealand fans a high quality league of their own. “There has been a lot said recently about the emergence of opportunities for women in sport and we applaud these developments. But this is nothing new for football,” he said.

“The Westfield W-League is currently in its 9th season and producing players like Caitlin Foord who is representing her country with distinction and last week was named Female Player of the Year by the Asian Football Confederation. “Caitlin is a great role model and if you are looking to inspire your kids to get involved in sport then take them along to a W-League match or A-League match this weekend.”

The chief executive said the AusPlay survey was an important initiative by the Australian Sports Commission, supported by the Australian Government. “Ultimately sport is about fun, fitness and friendships. It helps shape us as individuals and as a society. This work by the Sports Commission provides evidence and insights that will tell us what we need to do to keep the next generation healthy and active,” Gallop said.



Sydney FC's Brandon O'Neill is out of contract at season's end but the midfielder says he is focused on the current A-League campaign and is not worried about his future. O'Neill joined the Sky Blues on a two-year deal in Amy 2015 from Perth Glory and has been a regular for Graham Arnold's side, chalking up 30 league and Cup appearances to date.

O'Neill, an Australia youth international, says his focus at the moment is on the current season, not the next one. "Not really to be honest, I haven’t really thought about it," he admitted. "All I’ve been thinking about is each game and being able to bring success to Sydney FC. I’m sure if we can have a very successful year as a team and as a club then everything will sort itself out."

"I’m enjoying my football and working under a master coach in Graham Arnold and I’m playing alongside some very top players. The way things are set up for this season I’ve been able to kick on. But I still believe there’s a lot of improvement left in my game. There’s weaknesses in my game I need to improve on and I have to improve on to be able to play week in and week out for a team like Sydney FC."

O'Neill has ambitions to play for the Socceroos and ply his trade in Europe one day, but believes he is best placed to develop at the Sky Blues. "Of course, any young player coming through the ranks in the A-League would be lying if they said they didn't have any aspirations to play in the highest league possible, and I’m no different to them," he said.

"It’s always been a dream of mine to try and test myself in another country and another culture, in a different playing style. But at the moment I’m developing as best as I can under Graham Arnold and Andrew Clark. They’re not only getting the best out of me as a footballer but as a person learning my trade. I think I’m in the right environment to develop and continue to play as best football as I can."

"For the near future I’m loving life in Sydney, I’m with the league’s best coach, the league’s best team and the league’s best organisation in terms of facilities and infrastructure. So my main focus is with Sydney." O'Neill's agent, Tony Rallis, is in talks with Sydney about a new contract for the former ECU Joondalup junior.



Perth Glory owner Tony Sage has called for two teams from south-east Asia to join the A-League as part of the competition’s planned expansion. Glory have been granted approval from Football Federation Australia to hold a home game overseas for the first time in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur in the next 18 months.

But Sage has urged the game’s powerbrokers to take the expansion even further, saying the A-League should add clubs based in Singapore, Malaysia or Indonesia to open up new markets and demand higher revenue from a new broadcasting deal. A-League chief Greg O’Rourke confirmed this week that two new teams would join the league in 2018 but did not declare where they would be from.

Brisbane, Sydney’s southern suburbs, Wollongong and Melbourne’s west have been suggested as possible bases for expansion clubs. However, Sage said south-east Asia was a stronger market, predicting A-League teams based in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Jakarta would attract home crowds of 50,000 and tens of millions of new viewers.

Given there was a team from New Zealand, “there was no reason why we shouldn’t let two Asian teams join the competition,” Sage said. “I think it would be a fantastic way to expand the TV audience. A team based in Jakarta could attract an extra 250 million eyeballs watching the A-League.”

Sage said playing A-League matches in south-east Asia would be no different to the travel demands managed by Super Rugby clubs such as the Western Force or the schedule faced by Wellington Phoenix. Glory could play their first home game overseas as early as next season with discussions set to commence with the Malaysian and Singapore governments.

Sage said Western Australia should ultimately get a second A-League team, but not during the first expansion phase and only once existing clubs, including Glory, became profitable. Glory recorded a loss of more than $3 million last season. Football West has not ruled out bidding for an A-League licence for the 2018/19 season.



Winger Ryan Williams is vying to be mentioned in the same breath as Socceroos Aaron Mooy, Massimo Luongo, Jackson Irvine and Bailey Wright as he emerges from injury hell at English Championship side Barnsley. Limited to just nine league appearances across the past two seasons due to a debilitating groin injury, 23-year old Williams is playing for a new contract.

Williams shares the Championship stage with a bevy of Australians including national team captain Mile Jedinak, in addition to Queens Park Rangers' Luongo, Huddersfield's Mooy, Burton's Irvine and Preston's Wright. He returned to Australia last year for treatment from groin specialist Anthony Hogan and former Fulham conditioner Andrew Young put him on the path to recovery.

Now, he is aiming to make up for the missing years. "Thankfully, what they did worked ... if it hadn't I don't know what I would have done," admitted Williams, who is now looking to grab the match minutes which he hopes will bring him to the attention of national team coach Ange Postecoglou. Williams has been included in a number of provisional national team squads but his groin woes always intervened.

"That was when I was 21 and now I am 23 and I am just happy to be fit now and able to play again," said Williams, who joined Barnsley from Fulham via a loan spell with Oxford. "I feel like a free man now ... nothing is in my mind other than football. I have maybe 80 to a 100 games over the past couple of years, and of course that will set you back. But things happen for a reason and I am happy where I am now."

Williams would love nothing more than to earn a senior call up for his country. "If I can get the match time it would be great if the Socceroos came calling," he said. "Ange says he picks players why play every week and that's what I need to be doing. If I can do that in the Championship that would put me at the same level as a lot of the boys already in the squad and would give me a hell of a chance."



Fresh from a stellar performance at right-back against Melbourne Victory, teenage midfielder Brand Wilson has earned his first A-League Team of the Week berth. Wilson's superb display filling in for the injured Josh Risdon on the weekend helped secure a hard-fought away point for Glory, with his goal line heroics earning him a number of plaudits.

19-year old Wilson has already made seven appearances for Glory so far this season and he believes his pre-season work played a crucial role in being given the opportunities by Kenny Lowe. “I was taken by surprise with the first start,” Wilson said. “I really worked hard in pre-season but I loved the opportunity and hopefully keep getting some more.”

The Botswana-born youngster, who moved to Western Australia when he was 10, made his Glory debut in the opening round clash with Central Coast Mariners and has been relishing his chance in senior football. “I’m loving it, I’m loving every minute of it,” he said. “Hopefully I keep getting some more opportunities and keep showing what I’m made of.”

Wilson has a strong relationship with Lowe, who he played under for three years in the National Training Centre. “Even in the UK when I was playing he helped me out a lot,” said Wilson, who played at Burnley and Stockport County prior to joining Glory in July. “It’s been good, especially coming back here having a coach that I know and (he’s) helped a lot.”

Wilson, capped at Under-20 level by Australia, also noted the helping hand from the senior players has created the perfect platform for him to perform at his best. “The likes of Dino (Djulbic), Griffo (Griffiths) and Rhys (Williams), they help me out a lot off the pitch (and) on the pitch,” he said. “They give me a lot of advice, so I’m finding it helps me grow as a player and as a person a lot as well.”

With Josh Risdon expected to make his swift return from injury this week, Wilson hopes his versatility can earn him more appearances throughout the season. “If I don’t start and I’m on the bench, then I’ll put my hand up and keep working hard and hopefully get back in the team as soon as possible,” he said. Wilson and his Glory teammates will be looking to claim all three points in this Saturday’s crucial clash against Newcastle Jets.



Matildas goalkeeper Lydia Williams has won her second Professional Footballers Australia’s (PFA) Player of the Year award in four years. Williams, who also collected the award in 2012, was honoured in Tuesday night’s PFA Awards ceremony in Melbourne where Huddersfield Town midfielder Aaron Mooy scored the men’s player of the year.

Williams won the prize for her glovework at national level, for W-League club Canberra United and National Women’s Soccer League franchise Houston Dash. “Over the past few years we have had a really hectic schedule and a lot of ups and downs. To have the backing of the girls means so much,” Katanning-born Williams said.

“The first time I won the award was when I was breaking into the team. This time around there has been a lot of history-making events and I have experienced so many highs with the girls and this is the most rewarding recognition I can imagine.” Jamie Maclaren was recognised as the best Under-23 player and Kewell presented the Alex Tobin Medal for his career-long contribution to the sport.



It’s a new era at Ashfield Reserve in 2017 with Matt Wardle and Marco Schisano taking the reins of the first team, but the club are on the search for an under 18’s coach for next season. The club would like coaches interested in the position to call Matt Wardle on 0402480042.

The club is also pleased to confirm the appointment of former player Mladen Kovacevic as Reserves Coach. Mladen was a product of Inglewood United's U18's and then graduated to become a fist team regular. In 2010 he joined Ashfield for a fresh challenge and then played for several seasons with the reds. Mladen has had 2 years out of the game to focus on work commitments. He is hungry to return and with his youth and enthusiasm he is looking forward to working with last year’s squad and the new look coaching team at Ashfield.

The club would like to thank Barry Richards for his year of service to the club. Barry now wants to put the playing boots back on and will be staying at Ashfield as a player. Barry will of course be assisting Mladen in the transition to his new role by helping him with the current squad and recruiting new players, an assistant for Mladen will be found in the coming weeks.

Ashfield is also pleased to confirm the appointment of another former player James Duncan as fitness coach. Before playing at Ashfield James was also a product of Inglewood United coming through the system before holding down a first team spot. James's playing career was cut short after a serious leg break which ruled him out for 2 years. James made his comeback game for Ashfield and played one season for the reds. James sadly retired from football after suffering yet another serious leg break.

James comes into the coaching staff as a fully qualified personal trainer and his fitness programs will be used at Ashfield to get all the boys into great shape. The club would like to welcome both Malden & James back to Ashfield and can't wait to link up with Matt Wardle and new coaches for the 2017 season.



Blair Govan has left PS4NPLWA side Floreat Athena and joined Victorian NPL side Hume City for 2017. The big defender started his career at Sorrento where he played his junior football before making his way up to the senior side, before the Scottish-born defender moved to Athena, where he won the club’s player of the year award in 2016. He said it was a tough decision to move from Floreat, but thanks them for developing his game. “It was a really tough decision to leave Floreat I've had probably the most enjoyable years of my career so far at the club. It's a real top bunch of boys I can't thank them enough for the last few years it's been good fun and we have won trophies and for me that's what football is all about,” he explained.

“Glen Grostate and the coaching staff and everyone at the club have been very supportive of me and they have believed in me which is why I have grown into a better player over the last few years and if it wasn't for them I wouldn't be where I am now. So I would like to say a huge thank you too everyone at the club especially Glen, and I wish them all the best for next season.”

Speaking after completing his first few weeks of pre-season, Govan said he is delighted at the welcome he has received at ABD Stadium. “I have absolutely loved it, the boys have been really welcoming,” he said. “The club is great, the coaches have been brilliant, I felt like I have settled right in and am really enjoying it.”

Govan stated that the he has been impressed with the standard of play he has seen in training so far and is looking forward to cementing a first XI spot. “Even just in training already I can see that the competition for places is tough,” he explained. “There are no bad players in that squad, even the young kids that come in to help are all really good players and they are all talented. Definitely, the competition is tough, but I am enjoying it.”

Govan, who will look to play his first minutes in a Hume City shirt when it hosts Richmond SC in a pre-season friendly at ABD Stadium on Saturday, said the club and players are squarely focused on winning trophies in 2017. “Everyone has got the will to win and everyone wants the same thing,” he said. “We are all there to win and we are all there to try and win trophies, bring silverware to the club and get ourselves right up the league challenging for it and trying to win some trophies.”

Hume City technical manager Dean Hennessey, said that Govan has fitted in well with his new teammates as his new squad starts to take shape before the beginning of pre-season friendlies.

“Blair has settled in well since he arrived from Perth a few weeks ago,” Hennessey said. “He’s coming off being Floreat Athena’s player of the season after a good season over there, he’s a great size and really mobile plus has a great foot. He settled in well with the squad and looks like a great addition for us.”

Hume have links to a number of A-League clubs, and the big defender said if the opportunity arose to play at the next level he would jump at the chance. “It would be absolutely unreal if I was to make it to the next level and I feel like I'm in the right place to do so but I'm not thinking that far ahead,” Govan said. “For now I need to work hard and get myself ready for a big season with Hume, stay fit and cement my spot in the starting 11 and just take it game by game. Hopefully bring trophies to this club then who knows what could happen.”



Experienced defender Josh Risdon is expected to return for Perth Glory’s home clash with Newcastle Jets on Saturday night. The 24-year old slotted in at right-back and moved freely during match simulation as part of a one-hour training session this morning.

Risdon had been tipped to miss up to four weeks with a quad strain sustained against Central Coast Mariners less than a fortnight ago, but will be declared available to face Newcastle if he gets through the week. Fellow defenders Joseph Mills (knee) and Aryn Williams (adductor) also joined in the majority of the session.

Risdon’s availability would create a selection headache for Glory coach Kenny Lowe. Teenager Brandon Wilson was thrown into the breach against Victory and produced a stunning goal line save to help clinch a hard-earned point for Glory, a performance which earned the 19-year old a place in the A-League Team of the Week.

Wilson said he had enjoyed the challenge and would cop it on the chin if demoted this week despite his game-saving heroics. “Risso is a really good player and he plays for the Socceroos, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he went straight back in,” Wilson said.

“(If I don’t start), that’s just football. Whatever (coach) Kenny (Lowe) says is what goes and you have to stick by what he says really. If I don’t start and I’m on the bench, I’ll just put my hand up and keep working hard and hopefully get back in the team as soon as possible.”



Perth Glory striker Adam Taggart says Newcastle Jets will always have a special place in his heart, but he'll be aiming to inflict maximum pain on his former side on Saturday evening. Taggart's two-year stint at Newcastle helped launch his international career, with his 16-goal haul in the 2013/14 campaign landing him the Golden Boot award and a Socceroos call-up.

Injuries blighted Taggart's two years in the United Kingdom, where he played for Fulham and Dundee United, and a niggling calf injury grounded him for five games earlier this season. But after negotiating his way through the past three games off the bench, Taggart says he's ready for a starting berth again, and he hopes it comes against his former club.

"It's a special game," Taggart said. "Newcastle has a special place in my heart. I had such a good time there. But I'm going to be as aggressive as normal and go out there looking to win. It's important we really go out there and take it to them ... and put them on the back foot early." Ninth-placed Newcastle have snared just one win from nine games this season, and are coming off a two-goal loss to Sydney FC.



Oldham Athletic head coach Stephen Robinson is looking to keep defender Cameron Burgess at the League One club. The Latics signed Burgess on loan from Fulham at the start of the season on a six-month deal, with the 21-year old centre-back forming a strong partnership with veteran Peter Clarke to become a key player for the team.

Robinson has revealed that he is in talks with Fulham about extending Burgess’ deal through to the end of the season. And with Burgess keen to stay at Boundary Park, it seems likely a deal could happen. “We are already speaking to Fulham and they want him to stay and we want him to stay,” Robinson told the ‘Oldham Evening Chronicle’.

“It’s just a matter of getting the paperwork done and confirming it. I have spoken to Cameron and he is very keen to stay. He is enjoying his time here and he has come on a lot as a player as well. I think he has done really well. He made a couple of mistakes in the early weeks but it shows what kind of character he is that it didn’t affect him. For me, he has got better and better.”

“I think he could go on to bigger and better things. He is only 21 years old, six foot four and left-footed. They don’t come around too often. He is one that I feel could have a really good career and we are lucky to have him.” Burgess played locally for ECU Joondalup prior to entering the Fulham Academy in 2011, since when been capped by Australia at youth level and been loaned to Cheltenham Town and Oldham.



Perth Glory Women’s team have bounced back from their first defeat of the W-League season against Newcastle Jets, with a 2-0 win against Melbourne Victory at a warm Lakeside Stadium on Sunday afternoon. A first half volley from striker Rosie Sutton and another from American import Vanessa DiBernardo on the hour wrapped up the victory to keep Bobby Despotovski’s side in contact of the league leaders.

“We went into the game with our strongest side, and we knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but we also knew that we had to win the game so we could keep the pace with the top four sides,” Despotovski said. “We started really well and took a deserved lead and we had a couple more chances to extend it but we were not clinical enough, but in saying that we were pleased we were creating chances. We then fell into a little hole, midway in the first half and the Victory had more possession, but couldn’t break us down.”

“We re-grouped after the break and were able to score that crucial second goal, a great strike from Vanessa, and we then created numerous chances to increase our lead, but again we were not clinical enough. But Jessine (Bonzas) and I were very pleased for the girls, who put so much hard work into their football and three points were well-deserved, and we now concentrate on next week’s game against top of the table Sydney FC.”

The Glory side were coming off the bye, but they opened brightly and Victory keeper Bethany Mason-Jones had to be alert to save Alyssa Mautz’s effort early. But on 16 minutes the Glory’s early pressure was rewarded with the lead. Sutton, who has returning to the Glory this season showed great quality, volleying home superbly from a cross from the right.

The home side, who were still looking for their first win of the season, went close to levelling five minutes later. Christine Nairn’s long-range free kick took a deflection and crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. Glory keeper Melissa Maizels was in the action on the half hour, tipping over Natasha Dowie’s header from Annabel Martin’s pin point cross. Victory was pressing and Dowie went close again on 37 minutes heading inches past the post.

The Glory lifted and ended the half the better and Sam Kerr raced past two Victory defenders but her shot from the angle crashed off the post. Kerr went close again just before half time, she was sent clear one-on-one with Mason-Jones, but the Victory custodian stood tall to deny the Matilda’s striker. The Glory suffered a blow on the stroke of half time with keeper Maizel being replaced by Gabby Dal Busco, after she couldn’t shake off an injury.

Kerr continued to terrorise the Victory defence and Mason-Jones again came to her sides rescue on the hour, tipping Kerr’s shot onto the post. But four minutes later the Glory doubled their advantage. DiBernardo received the ball on the edge of the penalty area, and she turned her marker and finished superbly into the top corner of the net.

Dal Busco then saved to deny Dowe, before the Balcatta SC custodian saved Lia Privitelli’s shot. Kerr then saw her shot flash over the top before Nairn did likewise for Victory as the game opened up. The home side ended the game well and Dal Busco had to be alert to thwart Dowie again, before Privitelli shot wide of the target, but at the final whistle it was the Glory celebrating their first away win of the season.



Perth Glory Youth Foxtel National Youth League campaign goes from bad to worse after a 3-1 defeat against Adelaide United at the Elite Systems Football Centre on Saturday morning. The game was over as a contest at half time with Joshua Mori, and a brace of penalties from Ryan Strain put the Reds in control. A strong second half performance from John Gibson’s side was rewarded with Daniel Stynes pulling one back, but it was too little too late.

“It was a very tough game overall, however it was a typical game of two halves,” Stynes said. “We were far from our best in the first half and that’s what caused us to be 3-0 down. In the second half we much better creating chances and defending much better so there some positives to be taken out of the game, we need to be searching for a complete game.”

The Glory went into the game still searching for their first point of the season, but it was Adelaide who opened the brighter. Glory keeper Jordan Thurtell had to be alert early to deny Apostolos Stamatelopoulos on eight minutes, and two minutes later their pressure was rewarded with the opener, Mori’s lob beat Thurtell. It was 2-0 three minutes later, Jack Iredale was deemed to have brought down an Adelaide player and Strain converted the resulting spot kick. The Reds added a third on 40 minutes when Ross Millard handball was spotted by the referee and Strain converted his second penalty. The Glory pressed late and Michael McDougall shot was saved by Daniel Margush, but at the break it was the Reds in total command.

The Glory were on the front foot in the second half, but almost conceded a fourth on the hour, Blake Carpenter’s free kick smacking off the crossbar. The visitors continued to take the game to the home side and Margush had to be alert to save skipper Joe Knowles’ shot ten minutes later. The Glory were rewarded for their pressure on 80 minutes. Yagoub Mustafa won the ball on the left and squared it to Stynes, who took one touch and finished clinically past Margush. It was the Glory who ended the game the better and Stynes’ free kick picked out Iredale, whose header was well saved by Margush. Then Dejan Spaseski fired inches wide after good approach work from Jack Leech, before Stynes’ shot from the edge of the penalty area flashed over the top. The Glory are back in action next week when they host Melbourne City on Sunday at the Ashfield Sports Club.



Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe said Andy Keogh still does not get anywhere near the credit he deserves after becoming the club’s all-time leading goalscorer of the A-League era. Keogh scored Glory’s sole goal in last night’s away draw with Melbourne Victory, despite being on the wrong end of a 22-4 shot count.

Keogh’s 17th minute rocket in Melbourne was his 29th goal in 53 A-League appearances for Glory. It was also Keogh’s seventh goal of the current season, putting him level with Melbourne City’s Bruno Fornaroli in the Golden Boot standings. Lowe said it is time 30-year old Keogh is given his kudos.

“He doesn’t get the credit he deserves at all in any way shape or form,” Lowe said. “How many has he got this year? Seven? Look at his work ethic, look at what he brings to the team, look at his work ethic, look at his leadership qualities and his character away from the game, look at him in our changeroom.”

“The bloke is a diamond. He’s toiled up there by himself all night. And at the death he’s dropped in at right back for somebody who’s got an injury.” Glory entered the game without Diego Castro (hamstring), Josh Risdon (quad), Rhys Williams (suspended) and Alex Grant (hamstring) while Joseph Mills exited the action early with a knee injury.



Perth Glory are keen on bringing Central Coast Mariners full-back Storm Roux back to Western Australia. Glory is understood to be one of two clubs to have expressed an interest in New Zealand international Roux, who comes out of contract at the end of the 2016/17 season.

Roux was born in South Africa and spent time in New Zealand as a child before relocating to Western Australia as a teenager, when he played for Sorrento. He played three seasons with Glory Youth, making one senior appearance, prior to joining Central Coast where he's played 78 games.

Signing Roux would continue Glory's preference for recruiting players who came up through the Western Australian system. This season Glory lured former Middlesbrough captain Rhys Williams, one-time Burnley junior Brandon Wilson and ex-Roda JC midfielder Rostyn Griffiths back to their hometown club.



An undermanned Perth Glory have rode their luck, but came home with a 1-1 draw against Melbourne Victory in week nine of the Hyundai A-League at AAMI Stadium on Friday evening. With Diego Castro, Josh Risdon and Alex Grant all injured and Rhys Williams suspended, Kenny Lowe’s side shocked the Victory with Andy Keogh opening the scoring on 17 minutes, but the home side levelled just before half time through Besart Berisha, with a helping hand from Dino Djulbic. The home side dominated the second half but some great defending and a little luck, kept them at bay to share the spoils.

“They had enough chances to win three games,” Glory Coach Kenny Lowe said. “That’s the beauty of (football). That’s why everyone gets so emotional and worked up. I thought the first 20 we were bang on, we did exactly what we wanted to do and we scored a goal that was exactly how we anticipated we could hurt them. We didn’t want to lose today and we spoke about that all week. It was the mantra; we were going to come here and get something out of it, and we have done. So fair play to the people in the change rooms, they didn’t roll over and buckle and it would have been easy to do that.”

Lowe brought in Djulbic and Brandon Wilson into the back four, the midfielder filling in at right back, while Kosta Petratos came in for his first start up front with Keogh. The Victory knew a win would move them into second on the table, and they had the ball in the net on nine minutes, Berisha turning home Marco Rojas’ cross, but the flag was up for offside. But eight minutes later the Glory stunned the home crowd by scoring the opener.

A superb through ball from Nebojsa Marinkovic sent Chris Harold racing down the right he outpaced Leigh Broxham and cut the ball back to Keogh on the edge of the penalty area, and the Irish striker thumped home past Lawrence Thomas. It was Keogh’s seventh for the season and his 29th for the club, eclipsing former striker Shane Smeltz as the club’s top A-League era goal scorer. The Glory was holding it tight at the back, with Shane Lowry outstanding, but the Victory started to get busy in the final third and the Glory rode their luck.

On the half hour Berisha slipped the ball to Rojas who went one-on-one with Liam Reddy but the Glory custodian was out quick to deny him. The Kiwi was in again moments later, his curling shot looked destined for the far corner of the net, but Reddy produced a stunning one handed to push it on to the post. But four minutes from half time the Victory levelled. Rojas made space down the right, his low cross was missed by Djulbic, and Berisha fired home from close-range, to send the sides in level at the break.

Victory was out of the blocks early in the second half, and Ben Khalfallah found space on the edge of the penalty area, but his shot flashed inches past the post. The Tunisian went close again moments later, this time he was picked out at the back post, but he had to stretch and fired wide. Reddy was having a blinder he saved while from Alan Baro’s long-range shot and then blocked Khalfallah shot on 69 minutes, the rebound fell to Khalfallah again but his shot was cleared off the line by the alert Wilson.

It was one-way traffic as Kevin Muscat’s men looked for the winner, as the Glory hung on desperately. Berisha should have done better on 69 minutes, after he was picked out by Oliver Bozanic, but the unmarked Albanian striker headed over the top, and moments later second half substitute Jai Ingham’s volley from five meters whistled wide. The Glory defence were working overtime to hold on to their point, but in the final minute of stoppage time they almost lost it. James Troisi’s volley from the edge of the penalty area beat Reddy, but the post came to the rescue of the Glory custodian, and the point was secured.



Perth Glory will make the trip to AAMI Park to take on Kevin Muscat’s Melbourne Victory, with an undermanned side with four major players missing. Rhys Williams is suspended for the trip while Alex Grant, Josh Risdon and Diego Castro are all out injured. There is also a doubt over Adam Taggart, who looked to be troubled with his calf again last week. Glory Coach Kenny Lowe has brought in Marc Warren, Dino Djulbic, Mitch Oxborrow, Jamal Reiners and Kosta Petratos to the travelling squad.

Defender Shane Lowry said they do head into the game undermanned but they have the players to step up and do a job for the club. “You always want to have your better players in the team, but you know we’ve got a good squad, and we’ve got a lot of players who want to play games,” he said. “It’s part and parcel of football, and I’m sure other teams are going to have to deal with injuries throughout the season, we’re no different. It’s someone else’s opportunity now to step up. We’ve got a big away game against Melbourne Victory, and I’m sure we’ll come up with some sort of plan, but as a unit we need to be better.”

Surprisingly Lowry returned to the starting side last week, after Risdon was injured in the warm up, said there is plenty of room for improvement. “We’ve been very inconsistent, one week winning, one week losing or drawing,” he said. “We know that’s not good enough, we know we need to work on it and obviously keen on keeping clean sheets and getting back to scoring loads of goals.”

The former Aston Villa and Millwall defender is getting back to fitness after hip surgery, and said the 90 minutes last week was much needed. “I feel good, it’s been a long time for me, and it’s a frustrating injury to be honest, but I badly needed game time and to get 90 minutes under my belt is good, although it was an unexpected start for me.”

Victory coach Kevin Muscat has implored his players to put the team first, conceding he now has a few selection headaches. Jai Ingham, who came off the bench to score in their last match, was dropped from the squad to make way for Marco Rojas who was returning from New Zealand duty. The Kiwi was denied a brace after his opener was later awarded an Iain Fyfe own goal, while German youth international Maxi Beister will be pushing for a start in coming weeks and Fahid Ben Khalfallah also impressed off the bench.

With Daniel Georgievski (collarbone) set to return in coming weeks, Muscat hinted that he would have some tough calls to make starting with Friday’s home clash with the Glory. “All in all we’re pretty pleased. The first time where we had some real selection dilemmas and people putting pressure on players in front of them,’’ Muscat said. “If I’m truthful, Jai was so unlucky not to be involved against Newcastle because his performance last (game), coming on and affecting the game the way he did, and I struggled with that one the last couple of nights.

“What we do need is a group of players that put the team first, because teams that don’t do that, and individuals that don’t do that, normally they’re the teams that don’t succeed.” Mitch Austin (ankle) is expected to be cleared of serious injury after coming off just before half-time, while keeper Lawrence Thomas will be assessed after injuring his finger during the week. Saturday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle Jets lifted Victory to within seven points of top place Sydney FC with a game in hand against Wellington, with a date yet to be determined.


Melbourne Victory: GK Lawrence THOMAS, GK Matt ACTON, 2 Jason GERIA, 4 Nick ANSELL, 5 Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6 Leigh BROXHAM, 7 Marco ROJAS, 8 Besart BERISHA, 9 Max BEISTER, 10 James TROISI, 13 Oliver BOZANIC, 14 Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15 Alan BARO, 16 Rashid MAHAZI, 17 James DONACHIE, 21 Carl VALERI (c), 22 Stefan NIGRO, 23 Jai INGHAM - *two to be omitted* - Ins: GEORGIEVSKI (returns from injury), THOMAS (returns from injury), NIGRO (promoted), INGHAM (promoted) - Outs: 11.Mitch AUSTIN (ankle – 2 weeks), 30.Lucas SPINELLA, (omitted)

Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY, 3 Marc WARREN, 4 Shane LOWRY, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 7 Joel CHIANESE, 8 Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9 Andy KEOGH, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 14 Chris HAROLD, 15 Brandon WILSON, 16 Joe MILLS, 18 Mitch OXBORROW, 22 Adam TAGGART, 21 Jamal REINERS, 23 Kosta PETRATOS, 24 Milan SMILJANIC - *two to be omitted* - Ins: WARREN (promoted), DJULBIC (promoted), OXBORROW (promoted), REINERS (promoted), PETRATOS (promoted) - Outs: 2 Alex Grant (Hamstring – 1 week), 5 Rhys WILLIAMS (suspended – 1 week), 17 Diego CASTRO (hamstring – 4-6 weeks), 19 Josh RISDON (quad – 3-4 weeks)



Perth Glory Women’s team are back in Westfield W-League action again this weekend, when they travel to take on Melbourne Victory at the Lakeside Stadium. The Glory had the bye last weekend, but lost for the first time in their last game, a 0-1 defeat against Newcastle Jets. The Glory sit in sixth spot, but do have a game in hand, while the Victory, who are coached by former Fulham, Crystal Palace and Wales defender Jeff Hopkins, sit bottom of the table with just one point to their name and are coming off a 0-3 loss in the Melbourne derby last week.

Coach Bobby Despotovski said it was good for the girls to take a break from the rigors of football, and he thought they deserved more from the Jets game. “It was a nice having a couple of days off so the girls can relax,” he said. “The loss at Newcastle was disappointing but I thought we did enough for the point. It was a difficult trip, in sense of the result and also the travel, but football is a funny game and if you don’t score goals when you are on top you are running the risk of conceding at any time.”

The Glory head east with a fully fit squad, and they take on a Victory side who are yet to win this season and Despotovski said they are looking to come home with all three points to continue that. “Again it will be a difficult trip, but it’s a must win game for us,” he explained. “A win and we will be close to the top four play-off spot and keep close to the league leaders. I do believe if we play the brand of football we have in the first three games we will win more games than we’ll lose.”


NPL-WA EXPANSION FOR 2017 (courtesy

The PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues WA competition will be expanded to 14 teams in 2017 to include Joondalup United and Mandurah City following consultation between Football West and stakeholders. Football West acknowledges the recent challenges relating to promotion and relegation and wishes to reassure members of its commitment to improving the game both on and off the field. In establishing the new competition in 2014, Football West had anticipated facing challenges that would require adjustments over time. It also accepted that a comprehensive review of the mechanics of the NPLWA would be inevitable.

Football West will conduct a full review of the competition and its relationship with underpinning leagues over coming months, seeking input from all stakeholders for the purpose of developing an NPL Strategy to ensure the game’s continued growth. This review will form part of a series of key initiatives that will be undertaken by Football West in the coming months, including the Insights Project. The Insights Project will focus on canvassing the views of all football stakeholders in WA with the aim of supporting the continued growth of the game. A key component of this project will be a survey to all stakeholders identifying their views of the different aspects of the football ecosystem in WA. This statement confirms the reversal of an earlier decision to make no changes to the PS4 NPLWA in 2017. At all times, Football West has sought to act with the best intentions and with the interests of the game at the core of its decision-making. Football West will reassess NPL eligibility criteria and provide further clarity for clubs seeking promotion to the top tier beyond next season.

The 2017 NPL-WA will be a 26-week competition and the salary cap will remain at the 2016 level. The additional competition weeks will be absorbed through the modification of the 2017 Night Series. The inclusion of All Flags State League Division One winners Joondalup United and runner-up Mandurah City in first team, U20 and U18 competitions in 2017 will extend further NPL benefits to two of WA football’s growth areas. Participation rates have spiked by more than 4% above the state average in the areas around Joondalup and Mandurah over the past four years, while overall registrations in WA are at a record high of 44,000.

Joondalup United’s junior teams, from U12 to U16, will join the Junior NPL, expanding the youth ranks to a 21-club competition. Subiaco AFC, who finished last in the senior NPLWA in 2016, will retain their status in WA’s top competition in 2017. Football West acknowledges the efforts of officials at Joondalup United, Subiaco AFC, Mandurah City and other stakeholders in working collaboratively with Football West to reach a positive outcome for the sport. Football West will continue to work with all clubs, players and officials to achieve WA football’s great potential.



Central defender Alex Grant has become Perth Glory's latest injury casualty, with the 22-year old to miss tomorrow evening's game at Melbourne Victory due to hamstring tightness. Grant's absence compound's Glory's woes with Josh Risdon (quad), Diego Castro (hamstring) and Rhys Williams (suspension) all remaining at home this weekend.

“He’s tightened up with his hammy,” coach Kenny Lowe said of Grant. “He won’t travel. That’s why we’ve done it (left him out). We’ve just done it as a precaution because we could have a team up in the stands by this time next week. It’s just to make sure he’s OK.”

Lowe said Risdon's injury, which was expected to sideline the defender for up to four weeks, may not be as bad as initially thought. “Risso might be back earlier than we thought, which would be a plus,” Lowe said. “(But) win this weekend and he won’t be back in at all. There’s a flip side to everything.”

“It’s what we’ve got. We’ve got two players for every position. It doesn’t help when the players that are going to replace them are also injured. That causes a bit of a problem as well, but we’ve got a squad. Everyone wants to play, everyone’s upbeat.”



Joondalup City will have a familiar face in control next season, after appointing Gary Kalaher as first Team Coach for 2017. In 2013 Kalaher guided City to the State Division Two and claimed the All Flags State League Division Two Coach of the Year award. He returns to the club with his coaching team of Terry Booth and Paul McAteer, all three having spent a considerable number of years at the club, and will work with the clubs existing reserves Coach Kevan Towers and newly appointed U18’s Coach Terry Maton.

Kalaher said it was good to be back home. “Joondalup City (Heathridge S.C) has been my club since moving to Perth in 1997 so delighted to be back,” he said. “I’m particularly pleased that I will be working with Kevan, Paul and Terry again. We are all delighted to be given this opportunity and can't wait to get to work."

Despite not coaching in the state league, Kalaher has still been involved with the game, and has enjoyed watching football. “Although not coaching at State League Level for the last two years I've still been involved in Coaching and Administration,” he explained. “In my roles at School Sport WA, I’ve enjoyed the chance to watch a lot of football.”

Despite some highly suitable candidates, it was unanimously agreed that Kalaher's excellent credentials and experience stood out and made him an ideal appointment, and he’s looking forward to the challenge. “Last season was very successful for the club with the First Team finishing as runners-up and the reserves winning the league,” he said. “Hopefully we can be as competitive next season, and I’m looking forward to getting started.”

Joondalup City will have a meet and greet for players interested in joining the squads for the 2017 Season, and Kalaher will be in attendance. The bar will be open and a sausage sizzle provided. Coaches, Technical Team and Committee will be in attendance to answer any questions. - Date: Wed 14th Dec 2016 - Time: 6:30pm - Venue: Iluka Sports Complex, 6 Miami Beach Prom, Iluka. WA.

Training for all existing and new State League players (excluding U18's - date TBA) will commence on Thursday 5th January 2017 - 6:30pm at Iluka Sports Complex. Training will then continue each Tuesday and Thursday.



Western Sydney Wanderers must be more ruthless in front of goal if they're to finally kick-start their stuttering A-League season according to defender Scott Neville. Western Sydney, who have one win and five draws from eight games, produced arguably their strongest half the season on the weekend against Brisbane Roar, yet even with 19 shots on goal they could not inflict the killer blow.

"Unfortunately, we couldn't put away the chances we created but it was our best performance of the season so far, defensively and offensively," Neville said. "But we've still got to limit the mistakes because they had another chance where they could have punished us. We've just got to be a bit more ruthless in front of goal."

Saturday's trip to Central coast Mariners presents an opportunity to put to bed any doubts last year's grand finalists can match their promising performances with results. Neville's side squandered an early lead to earn a 1-1 draw the last time the teams meet and the former Sorrento junior says three points are now crucial ahead of a busy Christmas period.

"This really has to start our season and get it rolling," he said. "Last year when we went up there it felt like we were playing at home we had that many fans travel - they put the Mariners fans to shame. They're the 12th man for us so we need to get the win for them, but also to start rocketing up that table like we did last season."



Former Armadale keeper Matthew Gould will be in the spotlight on Saturday in the UK when his side Stourbridge FC take on League One side Northampton Town in the second round of the English FA Cup. Stourbridge, who play in Northern Premier League, are the lowest ranked club still left in the competition, but Gould has a pedigree for the FA Cup with his grandad Bobby and father Jonathan both having success in cup competitions. Bobby lifted the FA Cup with Wimbledon in 1988, when he coached the crazy gang who beat Liverpool 1-0 in the final at Wembley, while Jonathan won the Scottish Cup three times with Celtic.

Gould, 22, joined Stourbridge after a spell in Scotland with Livingstone last season, said both Bobby and his dad had given him some advice. “Bobby has been to lots of Stourbridge games, and he would drive me up here for games and training,” he said. “He’s really positive. We have worked in his garden together, and he loves shooting at me, as an ex-striker. I have a video of him and me having a penalty shoot-out, he’s in his 70’s now, and he was going into the corner celebrating like he used to as a player. He has given me plenty of support, as has dad. I used to play cricket when I was younger, and he said to me when I used to walk out to bat I had an aura about me that I was unbeatable – he say’s I have to have that as a keeper as well.”

Gould had two seasons at Alfred Skeet Reserve, and he enjoyed his stay. “I loved every minute of my time at Armadale, but it was a steep learning curve for me, especially being on the end of some hidings along the way,” he said. “But I believe that helped me grow up and experience senior football. I can’t thank then coach lee Bamber and his family enough for the opportunity they gave me to play football in another country.”

Stourbridge beat Whitehawk in the first round, and are expecting 3,000 on Sunday. They started their FA Cup journey back in the first qualifying round, and have battled through six games. But the Worcestershire club have a cup pedigree because in 2011 they knocked out Plymouth after a reply. The keeper said there is a real buzz in the town ahead of the game against the Cobblers and he said it will be a huge game. “I’m looking forward to the game, it’s a great opportunity for the players to play against league opposition and to test themselves against players of a higher calibre,” he explained. “I think with the attacking prowess we have we can cause them problems and hopefully cause and upset and be in the draw on Monday, for potential glamour tie against a Premier League club.”

The Glassboys have hit some good form in recent weeks and Gould said they have hopes of promotion this season. “We started off a little inconsistent in the league, but we’ve started to turn the corner, and have been on a good run of late, and personally I’ve been happy with my performances,” he said. “At the start of the season I said it would be a successful season if I play every single game, and so far I’ve played all 30, and I feel I’m getting better every game. Hopefully I can help us get through this FA Cup tie and then push us towards promotion.”



After helping Dianella White Eagles to Division One safety last season, former Socceroo defender Robbie Dunn has become the head coach at Dianella Reserve for 2017. Dunn gave a helping hand to then Coach Vesko Zmukic towards the end of last season and after talking to the club Dunn is delighted to take the reins. “I actually had no intentions of coaching again and it all came about mid this year when I went along to the Dianella, Western Knights game to watch the usual great rivalry between these two clubs,” he explained.

“The Knights smashed Dianella that day and my very good friend Vesko Zmukic was coaching Dianella and he was feeling pretty bad after the game for himself the club and his players. He had inherited a really bad position and I felt for him, so I offered to help and he luckily accepted my input. Dianella had won only one game till then and were rock bottom of division one so it was a very tough job ahead. Vesko was giving it his all but he really was up against it and I could see he just needed someone to bounce things off.”

It had the desired affect and the Eagles survived the drop in the relegation / promotion play-off against Joondalup City. “I knew their only hope was trying to get off the bottom position and play in the play offs for any chance to stay in division one,” Dunn said. “Fortunately this was achieved as the players responded really well to my changes and the supporters were fantastic especially in the play-off game at Morley and they definitely helped the players get across the line. It was a brilliant night for Vesko and the club and I was really happy we job got done.”

After talking to the club officials Dunn said it was a challenge he was ready to take on and he’s looking forward to the season ahead. “After the season finished Vesko asked me to consider taking on the Senior Coaching job for this year and he would go into the football management position and look after the whole Football component of the club,” he explained. “I finally agreed to do this the other day and I’m now fully focused on re building Dianella, as I believe that FW needs this club to be in the NPL to bring its huge supporter base to every game it plays in.

“The club needs re structured and a new culture needs to be instilled and I will be looking for players who want to buy in to what Vesko and I will put in place this year to make this happen. I am really excited about the year ahead and know that Division One will be a really tough competition so we will be scouring the market place for good players and good characters that can fit into our culture and proposed game plans.”

Dunn said he is looking for an improvement from last season, and said it’s an exciting challenge to move the club back up the table. “I suppose I could just try and stay out of the relegation zone and claim that I would have been successful compared to last year,” he said. “But I want to create a team that plays exciting free flowing football that people want to come and watch. It will be a tough challenge but one which I am now really looking forward to.”

It’s a new look in the first team but the clubs reserve team coach will be the same as last year. Dragan Njegic will continue his good work, with Aleksandar Bukvic his assistant. Njegic will also be Dunn’s assistant for the first team. The club are also looking for an under 18s coach for the up-coming season, any coaches who are interested in applying for under 18s coach, please contact Vesko Zmukic the new Director of Football of the DWE on 0421313846.



Socceroo Trent Sainsbury was left to wonder what might have been after Jiangsu Suning was denied a late opportunity to secure the Chinese FA Cup. With scores locked at two-each and 96 minutes on the clock, Sainsbury’s teammate Alex Teixeira looked to have been taken down inside the 18-yard box.

But the referee waved away the shouts of Teixeira’s teammates, who then surrounded the match official in protest of the decision. When the final whistle blew soon after the teams were deadlocked at 2-2, however, Guangzhou Evergrande secured the trophy on away goals having earned a 1-1 draw in the first leg oif the Cup Final.

Sainsbury expressed his disappointment with the result on Twitter. “Difficult way to lose the trophy. We didn’t lose home or away leg and yet we’ve lost! Such a shame but we hold our heads high,” he wrote. “The fans were amazing tonight. One of the best I’ve ever experienced. The less said about the Singaporean referee the better.”

“Season is finally over and now we can relax and forget about it. Next season we will be better and hopefully go one better in both the league and cup.” Jiangsu finished 2016 as runners-up in the Chinese Super League, the FA Cup and Super Cup after exiting the Asian Champions League at the group stage.



Perth Glory have been hit with a huge double injury blow with star import midfielder Diego Castro and Socceroos defender Josh Risdon both out for several weeks. Castro is expected to miss between four to six weeks with the hamstring tear suffered against Central Coast Mariners while Risdon, who strained a quad in the warm-up, is likely to be out for three to four weeks.

Glory’s backline has been a problem having leaked 16 goals, the most in the A-League this year. Problems have deepened with central defender Rhys Williams’ mandatory ban for his accumulation of yellow cards. But fellow defender Shane Lowry, who replaced Risdon in his return to the starting line-up after pre-season hip surgery, is confident they have the depth to cover the losses.

“I’m sure we’ll cope,” Lowry said. “You always want to have your better players in the team but we’ve got a good squad. We’ve got a lot of players that want to play games. I’m sure every other team has to deal with injuries and we’re no different. We’re disappointed to lose Rizzo (Risdon) but that’s the way it goes … Ideally you don’t want to chop and change your back four too much but these are forced changes.”

Lowry said he was satisfied with his first full game after brief spells in the previous two matches. “I feel good. It’s been a long time, a frustrating injury, but I badly needed that 90 minutes,” he said. “It was an unexpected start but I’m happy to get through unscathed. There was always going to be that bit of rustiness and stiffness. It’s the first time in my career I’ve had surgery (so it’s) a bit of a learning curve for me.”



Ashfield have bolstered their coaching stocks for 2017, by bringing in former Joondalup City coach Marco Schisano as assistant to Matt Wardle. Schisano has been involved in WA football since he was a youngster and played for Kingsway Olympic and Bassendean Caledonians, before going into coaching with Joondalup City Reserves in 2015 and first team last season.

The decision to leave City was a difficult one, but Schisano said it had to be done. “The decision to resign from the coaching position at Joondalup City was one of the hardest I have ever had to make,” he explained. “Since the day we lost the play-off I had spent a lot of time in order to start planning another tilt at bringing the club to Division One.

“Unfortunately, due to various circumstances I felt that I could not take the club to where I had hoped, and I made the painful decision to step down. I have been very fortunate to meet some wonderful people in my two teats at the club, and I would like to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity to start my coaching career. I look forward to having some great times there even though I will not be able to do it as a coach.”

The move to Ashfield, and working with good mate Matt Wardle is one Schisano is looking forward to. “I’m grateful to Matt for presenting me with an opportunity to stay involved in football, and I’m very excited to start this new adventure with him,” he said. “I have known Matt for a very long time, and I played under his father Gerry at Bassendean Caledonians many years ago, and Matt would never miss an opportunity to watch a match.

“He still has the same passion for the game and I have been impressed with the effort he has put in to planning for next season. I’m excited to be part of his coaching staff and I hope to offer him the support he needs to succeed. Ashfield have built a great reputation for being a strong club over the years and I share Matt’s vision on how to build on this going forward. The club have a great set up and they have some experienced football people involved at all levels. I’m looking forward to getting started and I hope to contribute to a successful 2017.”

Wardle is extremely pleased to have Schisano on board the coaching group and he believes it will be a very successful time for the club, and he will be a great addition as they look to improve on last season’s fifth position. "Marco will fit in perfectly with the club's new coaching team. The team look forward to working with him to further strengthen and develop the squad," Wardle said. “We started our pre-season training on Thursday, and players who feel they are up to the standard of state league, are more than welcome to come down and put their skills to the test under the watchful eyes of the coaches.”


VALE RAY ILOTT is saddened to hear the passing of WA soccer legend Ray Ilott, who died yesterday.

A Londoner born in Highbury in 1948, Ray Ilott emigrated to WA in 1970 and joined SMA Cottesloe where his speed, skills and goalscoring ability had a huge impact. During his nineteen-year career on the local scene, fourteen of them as a player, Ilott played five times for Australia. He was picked to play for WA on thirty-two occasions at a time when WA finally emerged from the dark ages and started to win major tournaments in Asia. He played with SMA Cottesloe, Rockingham, Floreat Athena, Forrestfield, and Balga, while he coached with some success at Forrestfield, Balga, Wanneroo, Hamersley, Stirling Macedonia, Kingsway Olympic and Kingsley. As a player he enjoyed five major trophies, winning two First Division championships, two Night Series and one Top Four Cup. Ilott won the 1974 Rothmans Gold Medal as the top flight's 'Fairest and Best'.

Ray was inducted into the WA Football Hall of Fame in 1996. sends condolences to his family. RIP Ray.


WA HALL OF FAME INDUCTION FUNCTION - A NIGHT TO REMEMBER (Courtesy of Mel Moffat and the Football Hall of Fame WA Facebook page)

What a night! There were hugs, tears, laughter, tension, several touches of sadness - and a kissing policewoman. The 20th Anniversary of the Football Hall of Fame WA had it all. A record crowd of over 430 turned out to acclaim and applaud the 32 new inductees into what was Australia's first football Hall of Fame (established in 1996) at a glittering function in the Grand Ballroom at Crown Perth on November 26. Hall of Fame Committee chairman Louis Prospero rightly declared it a night to remember. The political landscape was represented by the WA Government's Minister for the Environment Albert Jacob and the Labour opposition's Shadow Minister for Police Michelle Roberts, while football's hierarchy boasted Football West chairman Liam Twigger and chief executive James Curtis as they took part in a celebration that also saluted the 120th anniversary of the foundation of the game in WA.

It was fitting that Hall of Fame Patron Julian Burt JP was also in attendance as his ancestor Septimus Burt (WA's first Attorney General) and other members of the Burt family were among the founding fathers of the sport in the west in 1896. Perth Glory chief executive Peter Filopoulos was there, as was former Glory CEO Roger Lefort and former club co-owner Paul Afkos as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of WA's only club in the national league. Glory playing greats Bobby Despotovski, Scott Miller, Tony Franken, Tommy Maras, Robbie Zabica and Danny Milosevic also turned up. Adding to the special night was the guest-speaking appearances of former Glory coach Bernd Stange, who came from Germany for the event, and former SBS football broadcasting icon Les Murray, who flew in from Sydney. Both added humour, football wisdom and much praise for the initiative of Western Australia in setting up a system that honours the great players, coaches, referees, administrators and others.

There were other visitors from far and wide. Former State team player Alex Cummings, who was inducted into the Hall of Merit for Players, flew in from his home in Hanoi, Vietnam, the day before. He quickly bought a new suit for the occasion - "I usually only wear shorts and sandals in Hanoi," he said - and then flew back to Vietnam 24 hours later. But it was a proud occasion for Alex, who was cheered on by his father and his sisters. Ian Cox, the former CEO of the Soccer Administration of WA, came from Melbourne, while ex-Socceroo Dave Todd (a member of the 1965 World Cup squad) travelled from England and English international John Sydenham ventured from his home in Melbourne. Another Socceroo, Doug Stewart, flew in from Queensland, while Colin Burton, the 1976 Gold Medal winner when playing with Spearwood Dalmatinac also flew over from Queensland for the event.

It was Colin's first visit to WA in over 30 years. "I had a wonderful time and caught up with a lot of my old teammates," said Colin. "It was great to see the likes of Hughie Miller, my old Dalies fellow defender, and Len Dundo, who was the great striker and a wonderful teammate when we were both with the Kingsway Olympic Green Machine team." Colin was sitting at a star-studded table, which he shared with Dave Todd, ‘Hall of Legends’ greats Ron Adair and John McInroy, five-time Gold Medal winner Theo Papp and Ashfield club president Bill Busby. WA's famous Marocchi brothers also put in an appearance – ‘Hall of Legends’ member Gary and his siblings Eric and Leo being on hand to applaud older brother Bruno, who was inducted into the Hall of Merit for Players.

There was a sad note when new Legend Alan Vest mentioned the recent deaths of Dave Brooks and John Davies, two members of the State teams that Vest led to ground-breaking triumphs in Asia in 1975 and 1976. While tinged with much sadness, the posthumous induction of budding superstar Dylan Tombides into the Hall of Merit for Players brought a standing ovation when his father Jim went up to receive the award. There was a standing ovation of a different sort when Bernd Stange, who famously kissed policewoman Angela O'Hehir after one of Perth Glory's stunning victories at the WACA Ground in 1999, had the tables turned on him.

Stange was just about to make a speech when, to the background music of the well-known The Bill signature tune, Senior Constable O'Hehir appeared in full police uniform to this time plant a kiss on the German's cheek. Stange took it all in with great humour, saying: "I think this incident from 1999 will follow me forever. It was just a spur of the moment thing. We had won, I was happy and I saw this attractive policewoman as I made my way to the dressing room and I couldn't resist a little kiss." – A great night for everyone concerned, and from everyone at congratulation to all the inductees.



Perth Glory produced a solid performance to bounce back from last week’s heavy loss against Brisbane Roar, but they were eventually edged out 1-0 by Foxtel National Youth League Conference leaders Melbourne City at CB Smith Reserve on Saturday morning, the home side continuing their unbeaten start to the season. The only goal of the game came from Daniel Arzani just after the half hour, but the Glory went close with skipper Joe Knowles hitting the crossbar and City keeper Yaren Sozer produced a couple of telling saves to keep the Glory boys at bay.

“A very strong and gutsy performance today - we wanted a positive reaction after last week and that was forthcoming today. We are angry at ourselves today because we had a real opportunity to win,” Glory Coach John Gibson said. “Our response to the task at hand was super - pressure on the ball, shape, structure was outstanding however we need to capitalize on key moments in the front third. We came with a plan to take on Melbourne City who are currently the best in our conference and beat them - we are very disappointed in ourselves because it was there for us today to take the three points - it's always about us and being the best.”

It was high tempo opening to the game with both sides having good early chances. First on eight minutes City’s Connor Metcalfe tested keeper Jordan Thurtell, but the Glory custodian saved on his return to the side. Then three minutes later the City defence failed to clear a cross and Jack Iredale shot was saved low by Yaren Sozer at the second attempt. City looked dangerous going forward but a compact Glory held firm, and Thurtell had to be alert to save Gerrie Sylaidos low shot on the half hour.

But moments later City hit the front. Sylaidos played Arzani down the flank, and his shot from the bye-line beat Thurtell at his near post. It was a bitter blow for Gibson’s side who had soaked up the City pressure, but on the stroke of half time they went close to the equaliser. A free kick from skipper Knowles looked destined for the net, but it crashed off the crossbar with keeper Sozer well beaten.

The Glory opened the second half well and Jamel Reiners made space down the left, and his shot on the run flashed just wide of the target. Thurtell then came to the Glory’s rescue first he parried Sylaidos’ dangerous cross before saving well from Austin Wong’s follow up shot. Knowles was a real handful, and the he and the Glory were convinced they had a penalty on the hour when he was brought down in the box, but referee Andrew Meimarakis waved away their protests.

City should have added a second on 70 minutes, good work between Metcalfe and Sylaidos saw the latter in on goal, but Thurtell stood tall and he fired wide. The home side were reduced to ten men three minutes from time when Denis Genreau was shown a second yellow card by the referee and was sent off. Glory pressed late for the equaliser and it almost came when Mitch Oxborrow’s free kick was well saved by Sozer, to deny the Glory a share of the spoils.



Perth Glory have been beaten 2-0 by a determined Central Coast Mariners in Gosford, in week 8 of the Hyundai A-League on Thursday evening. It was a dis-jointed performance from Kenny Lowe’s side, but they did lose Socceroo Josh Risdon with a quad injury during the warm-up, before Spanish striker Diego Castro succumbed to a hamstring knock early in the first half.

Goals either side of half time to Harry Ascroft and Roy O’Donovan did the job for the hosts, as the Glory failed to kick on from last week’s win against Adelaide United. “We came out a little bit sluggish, but you’ve still got to cope with those things and obviously Cas [Diego Castro] going off as well it’s another little thing,” Lowe said. “Disappointed to concede a goal off a set play. Generally we’ve been very solid, it gave them a bit of momentum again. “[We] had a great chance early on to go one up that we didn’t quite take, but I thought we huffed and puffed, to be truthful, they took the little opportunities they had, the little opportunities we had, we didn’t take.”

Shane Lowry came into the starting line-up for the injured Risdon, and that was the only change to the side that beat Adelaide last week. The Glory looked good early and should have taken the lead on 10 minutes. A superb through ball from Castro sent Milan Smiljanic in on goal, but Mariners keeper Paul Izzo stood tall and blocked the Serbian’s low shot. Castro was caught when putting the ball through and he couldn’t shake it off and was replaced by Adam Taggart on 16 minutes.

The Mariners were causing problems down the flanks with Conor Pain and Trent Buhagiar’s dangerous and on 29 minutes they went close to the opener. Pain raced clear down the left, and Liam Reddy raced out to clear, but the keepers attempted clearance fell to Pain, who raced towards goal but his low shot was cleared off the line by the alert Joe Mills. But from the resulting corner the home side hit the front. Nick Montgomery’s corner fell to Ashcroft, and the big defender fired low past Reddy, to send the home side into the break with the lead.

The Glory opened the second half well and had the home side on the back foot, but lacked the quality ball into the final third. Chris Harold did go close five minutes in, but his shot from the edge of the box flashed just over the top. But against the run of play the Mariners doubled their advantage just after the hour. A miscued strike by Montgomery, fell kindly to O’Donovan, who was in the right place at the right time and calmly finished passed Reddy.

It was nearly 3-0 two minutes later, Adam Berry’s snap shot was well saved by Reddy. The Glory needed a lifeline and they almost received one on 71 minutes, Nebojsa Marinkovic’s curling shot was heading for the top corner, but Izzo produced a good save to deny him. From the resulting corner Rostyn Griffiths headed just wide, before Harold curling effort flashed narrowly wide moments later. But they couldn’t find a way back into the game and it was the Mariners taking the points.



Perth Glory will be sweating on scans to key players Diego Castro and Josh Risdon over the next 48 hours after the pair picked up injuries in last night's 2-0 loss at Central Coast Mariners. Castro lasted just 16 minutes before limping off with a hamstring strain, while Risdon didn't even make it onto the park in Gosford after picking up a quad issue in the warm-up.

Coach Kenny Lowe said scans will determine how long, if at all, either player will be out for. "We'll know more in the next couple of days. We'll just ice it now and see how it goes," he said. After picking up a strong win against defending champions Adelaide United last time out, Glory struggled against a Central Coast line-up that ran them ragged from start to finish.

Lowe refused to use the early setbacks of losing Castro and Risdon as an excuse for a poor performance, and admitted Central Coast deserved the full three points. "I thought we came out a bit sluggish, but you've still got to cope with those things," he said. "I thought there was nothing in the game but at the end of the day, I think they deserved it."

Lowe conceded the only bright points were the extended minutes handed to Shane Lowry and Adam Taggart after recently returning from respective hip and calf injuries. Lowry deputised at left back, while Taggart came on for Castro. "It's good we get Shane back, we get 90 minutes into him... both of them have got through the game, so out of the dark clouds is a summer cloud," Lowe said.



Perth Glory striker Andy Keogh says the right decision was made to allow his first goal against Adelaide United in Friday night’s 3-1 win at Perth Oval. Keogh defended teammate Rostyn Griffiths’ aerial challenge against Eugene Galekovic that knocked the opposition ’keeper to the ground and allowed Keogh to pounce on the match-winning goal.

Griffiths won a clean header in the collision in the 67th minute, with Keogh tapping the loose ball into the open net. The decision by referee Jarred Gillett not to award a foul prompted an outburst from Adelaide coach Guillermo Amor that led to the manager being expelled to the stands and charged with violent conduct.

Keogh acknowledged the decision could have gone either way, but said ’keepers shouldn’t always be regarded as protected species. “You see these decisions every week,” Keogh said. “Sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t. There’s no written rule that the goalkeepers need all this protection. If he’s going to come outside the 6-yard box to try and claim a ball, he’s got to make sure he’s going to claim it. It’s a fair challenge in my eyes.”

Keogh capped off a strong individual performance with a second goal from a diving header in the final minute of stoppage time. Glory’s principal scorer has six goals already this season, but said the return of Adam Taggart from injury was a major plus for the team. Taggart, who missed the previous five games with bleeding on his left calf, played the final 15 minutes against Adelaide after starting on the bench.

24-year old Taggart trained yesterday and appears set to back up by flying east for Thursday night’s match against Central Coast Mariners. “He’s had a weird injury really,” Keogh said of Taggart. “The calf wasn’t reacting well to treatment. It’s great to have him back, more options in the starting line-up and off the bench.”

“If you want to win championships and the league, you’ve got to have more than one player capable of scoring goals, tackling. You’ve got to have players that can fill in and complement each other. We’ve got a good blend here.”

Glory finished the round in fourth spot, with their triumph over the reigning A-League champions ended a run of three matches without a victory. “We needed that,” Keogh admitted of the win. “We’ve been playing some good football, but we hadn’t been getting the results.

“We deserved it ... to get the three points on the board, it’s important for confidence and for morale.”



Goalkeeper Brad Jones is desperate to make up for lost time and isn’t ruling out an English Premier League return. The former Liverpool and Middlesbrough shot-stopper endured personal heartbreak five years ago when his five-year old son Luca died following a brave battle against leukaemia.

Understandably, the Jones’ career had to take a back seat at the time but he’s now enjoying a successful spell in goal for Dutch league leaders Feyenoord. His current deal lapses at the end of the season and the 34-year old is keeping his options open. “First and foremost I would like to make up for lost time,” Jones said.

“This year we’ve got a massive chance to put Feyenoord on the top of Dutch football and after that we will have to see. I think the Premier League is the pinnacle, like most players that’s where you want to be and in football you never know so I’ll try to make the most of whatever comes.”

Jones was in camp with the Socceroos preparing for the 2010 World Cup when he learnt his son was seriously ill. “It’s like a day that never leaves you,” he said. “It was sat there and I got a phonecall and it was Luca’s mum. My world literally crumbled from underneath me. “The word leukeamia, cancer, it’s the worst possible thing you can hear.”

Later that summer Jones was told by Middlesbrough that the club had received an offer from Liverpool for his services. It was, it’s fair to say, a turbulent time in his life. “I was in a hotel in the south of France where he (Luca) was living with his mum,” he recalled.

“I got a phone call to say there’s a chance that Liverpool are interested. To get that phonecall at that stage in your life was, yes, crazy. At that time there was a lot of me that was just going through life on a professional level ... I turned up and went home again.”

Jones’s Liverpool contract lapsed last year and, following a short stint with Bradford City, he signed with Dutch club NEC. “I was never at the time going to be a big enough name to walk in and command Liverpool’s No.1 jersey, sometimes that dream ends and you have to move on and look for something new,” he said.

“I had options in Holland because the six months at NEC had gone so well. In the meantime I had gone back to train at Liverpool and I got a phone call to say Feyenoord were interested and within two days I was over here doing a medical and signing ... it’s been a fantastic move for me.”



Tando Velaphi has suffered relegation and struggled to get regular game-time in his first season in Japan - but the Australian goalkeeper is not ready to give up on his overseas dream just yet. Velaphi left the A-League at the start of 2016 when he swapped Melbourne City for Shonan Bellmare, who at the time had just been promoted into the J1, Japan’s top flight.

But it has been a difficult campaign for the 29-year old, making only nine first-team appearances as his club managed only three wins all season and finished in 17th place in the 18-team competition to be relegated early. "In terms of football it’s been a bit mixed with our club,” Velaphi admits.

"Relegation is not ideal but it’s been a learning experience. I think I’ve grown as a footballer and as a person. We look at results, which obviously haven’t been great for us, but there’s other aspects of football and my personality that have grown. It’s been a good experience."

Velaphi admitted the transition from the A-League to Japan wasn't easy. “I obviously wanted to play more and cement my position here. But it hasn’t happened, but sometimes you have to be patient," he said. "This league takes a bit of adapting to. It’s not an easy prospect, but I know if I bide my time and keep working hard I’ll establish myself over here."

Velaphi spent nine years in the A-League after making his debut for Brisbane Roar in 2007. The former Perth SC junior, who has a Japanese mother, has had spells at Perth Glory, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City. Velaphi has found the J1 to be technically stronger compared to the A-League, but believes many Australian players could make the switch successfully.

"The style of play is a little bit different,” he admitted. "Both leagues are very strong but in Japan there’s a lot of influence from futsal, they practice from an early age and their technique, they work on it a lot here. They're different styles of leagues but both very competitive, both hard to play in. It’s a good challenge."

"There’s some quality players here from the Brazilians who are established here and a lot of the Japanese national team play here. Week-in-week-out you’re up against top players and that’s what you’re after as a footballer, and Australia’s no different. I definitely think a lot of Australian players could come over here and do well."

Velaphi is contracted to Shonan Bellmare for another season. And while he wants to stay with the Hiratsuka-based side and help them earn a place back in the top flight he also acknowledges that nothing in football is guaranteed. "They put a lot of faith in me as an Australian bringing me over here and I’d like to show what I can produce," he said. "But then in football you never know. We’ll sit down at the end of the season and see where it’s all at.”



Ryan Edwards got the perfect birthday present this week with a new extended deal at Partick Thistle, and he intends to celebrate in style with a win over Motherwell this afternoon. It may seem a long time ago now as the midfielder picked up his second club player of the month award in a row a couple of weeks ago, but his career in Scotland didn’t get off to the most auspicious of starts.

Already behind on his fitness after missing pre-season with Thistle, frequent trips away with Australia’s Under-23 side didn’t help Edwards’ cause as he looked to establish himself at Firhill. He has set about that task with relish so far this campaign though, with his energetic displays in the middle of the park a standout feature of Thistle’s recent upturn in fortunes.

And although he found himself on the substitutes’ bench more than he would have liked last season, Edwards was never in any doubt that he would cement his place as one of the first names on manager Alan Archibald’s teamsheet. Indeed, he has made as many appearances for the club already this season - featuring in all 17 games Thistle have played in all competitions - than he managed in the whole of his debut campaign.

“Everything has gone as well as I’d hoped this season,” Edwards said. “It was all very stop-start for me last year. I was forever coming and going due to my international commitments with the Under-23 side. Thistle were also playing some good stuff at the time so it was difficult to break into the team. However, I got a run of games towards the end of the last campaign and I’ve carried that on.”

“I made sure that I had a good break and came back sharp for pre-season training. I was ready to go and I’ve featured in every game so far and started the last eight. It’s been a good start and I’m really happy. There was never a time when I thought it wouldn’t work out. I was always confident that I would get a chance and that I would take it when it came.”

“I’m not one to go knocking on manager’s doors – I prefer to do my talking on the pitch and I made sure to put in maximum effort on the training ground every day because I’ve also believed that, if you work hard, you’ll get your reward. That was my mindset and it’s worked out. We’ve had a lot of injuries and my versatility has helped a bit because we’ve played in quite a few formations since I’ve been in the side.”

Although he is currently enjoying his most sustained run in the Thistle starting eleven, Edwards isn’t one to rest on his laurels. With just three goals in his 34 appearances for the club to date, he recognises that his strike ratio has to improve considerably. “It’s definitely something I would like to add to my game,” he said.

“I don’t think I have been at my best in front of goal and it is something that I can be better at. I always want to improve and in the final third getting more goals and more assists is something that I really want to do. I’ve scored two headers and a tap in from about two-yards since coming here, but as long as they go in they all count.”

To round off a perfect week, Edwards will have to help Thistle do something that they haven’t managed in almost 21 years, beat Motherwell at Fir Park. “That would be nice,” he said. “We’ve been using a really positive formation recently and, bar the defeat against Aberdeen, that’s seen us rack up consistently good performances and pick up results, too.”

“Hopefully, we can go to Motherwell and force them to react to us and what we’re doing as opposed to the other way round. I didn’t know about not winning at Motherwell in so long but it’s not something we think about as players. We just go out and do our jobs and the best team will win on the day.”

While international exertions were partly responsible to the slow start Edwards made to life as a Thistle player, he still harbours ambitions to represent his country at full international level. A dire display in the recent 2-2 draw in Thailand has led to many Socceroo fans calling for the introduction of fresh blood, and Edwards would be only too happy to come to the aid of his country in their quest to reach the World Cup in Russia in 2018.

“Thailand’s king passed away and there was a massive crowd there who were really up for it,” Edwards offered by way of explanation for the Aussie’s below-par performance. “Apparently we were off the pace and we are now third in our group so next year will be huge in trying to qualify for the World Cup.”

“You want the team to do well so they qualify for Russia, because you want to be knocking on the door for the team when the time comes. When they aren’t doing well you sometimes think it is a good opportunity for boys like myself to get a look in. What I need to do is keep playing well for Partick Thistle and hopefully come March I am knocking on the door. My last involvement in the squad was January and it’s my dream to be involved again.”



Perth Glory’s only championship-winning coach, Mich D’Avray, expects Western Australia to get a second A-League team, saying a derby rivalry would drive his old side to again become a national force. One of Glory’s most famous figures, D’Avray also spelled out his ambition to take up a high-level soccer role in Perth after a decade back in his native South Africa.

D’Avray opened up on Glory’s prospects as he prepared to return to Perth Oval as guest speaker at a club function before tonight’s clash with reigning champions Adelaide United. The coach of Glory’s league title wins in 2003 and 2004 said another WA A-League club was needed to push Glory to greater heights in the mould of the western derby rivalry between West Coast and Fremantle.

“The population could support two teams, and rather than weaken Glory, I think it’ll make Glory stronger,” D’Avray said. “When you’re a one-town team, a little bit of competition with those derbies gets people interested again and it gets the juices flowing. If I look around the league and the league is going to expand, then I think WA is a certainty.”

D’Avray predicted success was not far away for Glory and backed Kenny Lowe as the man to lead them to championship glory. “If you stick with a good coach, he’ll get things right,” D’Avray said. “I think staying with Kenny has been a wise move by Glory. You can be the best coach in the world, but if you haven’t got the players you’re always going to have an uphill battle. I think Glory have got the players now.”

D’Avray, 54, revealed he was keen to return to Perth in a coaching role, but not necessarily as a head coach. “My family are in Perth and my heart is in Perth,” he said. “If there was a role that became available, I would seriously look at it.” D’Avray, who made over 200 appearances for English club Ipswich Town, has spent the past decade coaching at South African clubs Bloemfontein Celtic and Ajax Cape Town.



Perth Glory’s Foxtel National Youth League campaign got off to the worst possible start after they were thrashed 6-0 by a slick Brisbane Roar side at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday morning. The Glory took the field with a strong line-up, included Shane Lowry, the defender looking for game time after hip surgery, while other first team players Nick Feely, Joe Knowles, Aryn Williams, Mitch Oxborrow, Jamal Reiners, Brandon Wilson and Costa Petratos also selected, but it was the Roar going home with the points.

The visitors were up by three at half time with goals from Mark Rodic, Joseph Katebian and Shannon Brady, and things went from bad to worse when Brandon Wilson was sent off for a second yellow card on the hour. Further goals in the second half from Katebian, Nicolas Panetta and Joseph Champness wrapped up a comprehensive win for the visitors.

Glory Coach John Gibson said they just didn’t turn up. “Very disappointing performance from the boys today, we weren’t switched on and you can’t do that in this competition,” he said. “We conceded some real sloppy goals, and we didn’t have the right attitude, and that’s a non-negotiable for us and it was really poor today.”

It was a bright start for the home side and Lowry went close to giving them the lead early, heading inches over the top from skipper Knowles’ corner after only five minutes. Roar keeper Tomislav Bilic was in good form, first denying Oxborrow’s long-range shot, before saving well to thwart Knowles moments later. The visitors starting to get into the game, and they hit the front on 16 minutes. The Glory failed to clear a corner and the ball fell to Rodic, who made no mistake at the back post.

Feely then saved well to deny Brady, and on the half hour he produced a stunning save from Nathan Konstanopoulos’ low shot. But four minutes later there was little he could do as the Roar doubled their advantage. Again the Glory failed to clear their lines, but the finish from Katebian from the edge of the penalty area was unstoppable.

The Glory looked to hit back and Petratos stung the palms of Bilic on 37 minutes, but three minutes later the Roar struck again, Connor O’Toole crossing to Brady who made it 3-0. Both sides had late chances, first Williams’ long-range shot whistled inches past the post for the Glory, while for the Roar Brady’s shot crashed off the crossbar, and Feely saved Panetta’ follow up shot.

The Glory thought they had a penalty early in the second half when Knowles was brought down in the box, but referee Tom Dowle waved away their protests. It was a positive start to the second half for the Glory, but all their hard work was undone on 58 minutes when Wilson received a second yellow card and was sent off.

The Roar made their numerical advantage count and extended their lead on 61 minutes, Brady cutting the ball back to Katebian to score. The Roar added a fifth six minutes later with Panetta finishing low past Feely, and a sixth fifteen minutes from time through second half substitute Champness.

Roar Coach James Robinson, who played 21 games for the Glory between 2007 and 2009, said they thoroughly-deserved their win. “It was a continuation of last week’s second half performance and full credit to the players for the continual improvement,” Robinson said. “We executed our plan and were relentless in our approach to keep a clean sheet as a team.”

Match Details

Perth Glory 0 v Brisbane Roar 6 (Rodic 16’, Katebian 34’, 61’, Brady 40’, Panetta 67’, Champness 75’)

Perth Glory: GK Nick FEELY, 2 Aryn WILLIAMS, 3 Ross MILLARD, 4 Shane LOWRY (15 Jackson MORGAN 60’), 5 Jack IREDALE, 6 Mitch OXBORROW (16 Calvin WHITNEY 65’), 7 Jamal REINERS (10 Daniel STYNES 65’), 8 Brandon WILSON, 9 Joe KNOWLES, 11 Kosta PETRATOS, 18 Gian ALBANO - Subs not used: RGK Stefan KING - Yellow Cards: Wilson 45’, 58, Oxborrow 63’, Morgan 74’ - Red Cards: Wilson 58’

Brisbane Roar: GK Tomislav BILIC, 2 Mark RODIC, 4 Aaron REARDON, 5 Cameron CRESTANI, 6 Joe CALETTI (16 Daniel DRIVER 71’), 8 Nathan KONSTANOPOULOS, 10 Nicolas PANETTA, 13 Connor O’TOOLE (9 Harrison SAWYER 82’), 14 Dane INGHAM, 15 Shannon BRADY (7 Joseph CHAMPNESS 65’), 22 Joseph KATEBIAN - Subs not used: RGK Andre JANNESE - Yellow Card: Katebian 50’ - Referee: Tom Dowle



Perth Glory’s unbeaten start to the Westfield W-League came to an end after a penalty just after half time from Newcastle Jets import Jennifer Hoy has given them a 1-0 win in Week three at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The loss, the first of the season for Bobby Despotovski’s side, was disappointing, but they did have chances to at least share the spoils, but couldn’t convert.

The Glory went close after only two minutes, American import Vanesa DiBernardo’s long-range shot beat Kelsey Wys, but the crossbar came to the Jets’ custodians’ rescue. Wys injured a knee moments later and she was replaced Claire Coelho. It didn’t seem to affect the Jets though, as Jenna Kingsley raced down the right side of the box and fired a shot back across goal, which seemed to strike Glory defender Patricia Charalambous on the arm, but referee Lara Lee waved the penalty appeals away.

Sam Kerr was a constant threat and she went close again on 22 minutes, but her header was blocked and cleared by Jets midfielder Clare Wheeler. The Jets went close themselves on the stroke of half-time, as Arin Gilliland found space down the left side. The US import cut the ball back from the bye-line, but unfortunately it went inches behind Kingsley in the box, and the sides went into the break all-square.

The home side made the perfect start to the second half and took the lead three minutes in. Kingsley raced down the right and played in Cassidy Davies, who crossed to Hoy who was brought down in the box by Glory defender Arianna Romero and referee Lara Lee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot and Hoy stepped up to score from the resulting penalty, her first Westfield W-League goal.

Sophie Nenadovic went close to a second for the home side on 54 minutes, but her free kick from outside skimmed off the crossbar and behind. The Glory pressed looking for the equaliser and Kerr raced clear again on 74 minutes, but Coelho stood tall to deny her. The Jets were still dangerous going forward, Nenadovic put her shot wide from long-range, before substitute Rhali Dobson found space down the right, and her cross was only inches away from Jenna Kingsley in the box.

Glory were on top late and Alyssa Mautz fired narrowly wide, before she turned provider in the final minute, her cross picking out Kerr, whose header flashed inches past the post. The win puts the Jets on top of the table for now at least, while Glory drop down to fourth place.

Match Details

Newcastle Jets 1 (Hoy 48’) v Perth Glory 0

Newcastle Jets: GK Kelsey WYS (RGK Claire COELHO 13’), 2 Sophie NENADOVIC, 3 Elizabeth O’REILLY, 4 Megan OYSTER, 5 Arin GILLILAND, 6 Cassidy DAVIS, 7 Gema SIMON (C), 8 Emma STANBURY, 9 Jennifer HOY (10 Rhali DOBSON 65’), 17 Jenna KINGSLEY, 18 Clare WHEELER (13 Grace MCINTYRE 77’) – Subs not used: 9 Ashlee BRODIGAN - Yellow cards: nil

Perth Glory: GK Melissa MAIZELS, 2 Sarah CARROLL, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Alyssa MAUTZ, 5 Patricia CHARALAMBOUS (17 Natasha RIGBY 65’), 7 Nicole STANTON, 9 Rosie SUTTON, 10 Vanessa DIBERNARDO (8 Shawn BILLAM 73’), 13 JAYMEE GIBBONS (14 Caitlin DOEGLAS 51’), 20 Sam KERR (C), 22 Arianna ROMERO – Subs not used: RGK Gabby DAL BUSCO - Yellow cards: Stanton 71’ – Referee: Lara Lee



Perth Glory bounced back from last week’s heavy defeat against Sydney FC to beat Adelaide United 3-1 in week seven of the Hyundai A-League at nib Stadium on Friday evening. They had to come from behind to take the points after an own goal from Josh Risdon put the visitors ahead early, but Royston Griffiths levelled before half time. Andy Keogh gave the Glory the lead controversially, after referee Jared Gillett saw nothing wrong with Griffiths’ challenge on keeper Eugene Galekovic, and Reds Coach Guillermo Amor and midfielder Jordan O'Doherty were then sent off, as the Reds lost the plot. The points were made safe in stoppage time with Keogh bagging his sixth goal of the season, leaving the Reds still winless and bottom of the table.

“We needed to make sure we got the win tonight because it was important to get us back on track,” Glory skipper Rostyn Griffiths said. “The one thing we talked about as a playing group was we’ve got five games before Christmas and three of them at home. “We need to get maximum points out of these to keep us in contention for where we want to be this season. We’ve got high goals with the squad we’ve got. It’s a good start tonight and especially against a good team.”

In the first Friday evening home game of the season, it was a real arm-wrestle early. Reds Spanish striker Sergei Guardiola went close to the opener on 13 minutes, racing forward and his long-range shot whistled just past the post. Rhys Williams then went close for the Glory, the defender getting on the end of Nebojsa Marinkovic free kick, but the unmarked former Middlesbrough defender headed over from six meters. The visitors were creating the better chances, and Risdon had to be alert to sprint back to deny O’Doherty on 20 minutes, but two minutes later the Socceroo defender’s own goal gave Adelaide the lead.

Isaias found space in the middle of the park and slipped through Tarek Elrich down the right-hand-side, who whip in a low cross which deflected off Rhys Williams and the unfortunate Risdon poked the ball into the net. Their lead only lasted three minutes with Glory’s skipper Griffiths responding. A poor clearance from Elrich fell to Griffiths on the edge of the penalty area and he made no mistake, finishing low past Galekovic and in to the bottom-left-corner of the net, despite the Reds keeper getting a hand to it.

Adelaide had the ball in the net again on the half hour, Guardiola finishing past Liam Reddy from Ryan Kitto’s cross, but the flag was up for offside. Both sides had late chances as the game opened up. Diego Castro and Griffiths both fired just wide for the home side, while James Holland and the lively Guardiola saw his late shot saved low by Reddy, but at the break it was all-square.

Adelaide, who still looking for their first win of the season went close again early in the second half, Elrich picking out Guardiola, whose weak effort was saved low by Reddy. But it was the Glory who hit the front on 67 minutes. Marinkovic’s curling free kick into the area was spilled by Galekovic, under pressure from Griffiths, and Keogh was first to react, firing home from five meters to score. The Reds were left fuming that a free kick wasn’t awarded for the challenge on the keeper, and coach Amor was sent from the stands after an altercation with fourth official Adam Fielding.

It went from bad to worse for the visitors when a crude lunge from O’Doherty on Chris Harold meant he received a second yellow card from Gillett and was sent off. The ten men lifted and the Glory were now on the back foot, with Isaias bossing the middle of the park, but the Glory stood firm. With Adelaide pushing men forward looking for the equaliser the Glory hit on the counter attack and Marinkovic’s shot flashed over the top.

Adelaide continued to press and second half substitute Nikola Mileusnic went close with three minutes remaining, after good approach work from Kitto. Adelaide defender Iacoppo La Rocca was then lucky not to see red, after a stray elbow split Keogh’s lip, but the Irish striker had the last laugh bagging the sealer in stoppage time. After holding out three consecutive Adelaide corners the Glory broke quickly with Castro feeding Marinkovic on the right, and the Serbian’s pin-point cross picked out Keogh, whose diving header flew past Galekovic to send the 10,011 home supporters into raptures.

Match Details

Perth Glory 3 (Griffiths 25', Keogh 67', 90+4') v Adelaide United 1 (O’G Risdon 22')

Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, 2 Alex GRANT, 5 Rhys WILLIAMS (4 Shane LOWRY 80'), 8 Rostyn GRIFFITHS (C), 9 Andy Keogh, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 14 Chris HAROLD (22 Adam Taggart 80'), 16 Joseph MILLS, 17 Diego CASTRO, 19 Josh RISDON, 24 Milan SMILJANIC – Subs not used: RGK Nick FEELY, 23 Kosta PETRATOS - Yellow cards: Mills 3', Williams 51', Risdon 86'

Adelaide United: GK Eugene GALEKOVIC (C), 3 Iacoppo LA ROCCA, 4 Dylan MCGOWAN, 8 ISAIAS, 9 Sergei GUARDIOLA (Nikola MILEUSNIC 58'), 10 Marcelo Carrusca (Riley MCGREE 76'), 19 Benjamin GARUCCIO, 21 Tarek ELRICH, 22 Ryan KITTO, 24 Jordan O'DOHERTY, 25 James HOLLAND – Subs not used: RGK John HALL, 5 Taylor REGAN, 16 Jesse MAKAROUNAS - Yellow cards: Garuccio 15', O'Doherty 24' & 71', Carrusca 38' - Red cards: O'Doherty 71' - Referee: Jared Gillett



Perth Glory host Adelaide United in Week 7 of the Hyundai A-League tonight under lights at nib Stadium. (7.00pm) The Glory are on a three game run without a win, the latest a 1-4 loss against league leaders Sydney FC, but skipper Rostyn Griffiths is adamant they will bounce back when the winless Reds come to town. The reigning Champions arrive at the foot of the table sitting in last position on the table.

Griffiths, who returned to the side in last week’s 4-1 loss to runaway leaders Sydney FC, said they need to stay focused and not become complacent, to get their season back on track. “That's the beauty of the A-League you know,” he said. "I think that's the whole point of the salary cap, it keeps everything pretty tight and you know, like you say, one week you can be playing top and the next week you are playing the bottom but it doesn't really mean too much because it's pretty close."

The Reds started the season the same last year, but came home strongly to take out the title, and Griffiths hopes the Glory faithful get out and support them on Friday. “I think every squad has got the ability to beat the opposite team on the day and you know they've got some quality players. Carrusca's back this weekend and he played last weekend as well and he's a good quality player for them but we're pretty confident at home,” he explained. “I think, hopefully if our fans turn up and make that 12th man for us, which they've been great so far this season, I just think it could be another kick for us to get back on track and get a result."

Last week’s heavy defeat wasn’t ideal, but Griffiths said they had their chances early, and if they had been taken the result might have been different. “The score line reflects the poor result and a poor performance but when you look at the game back, and I've watched the game back twice now, we had our moments in the game, and we started like a house on fire,” he said. “We could have gone up early and possibly changed the game and then obviously before you know it, we make a little bit of an error and then we are down 1-0 away from home and it's always going to be difficult but like any positive person, there's things that you can take out of the game and work on for next week especially at home to Adelaide, which is going to be another tough contest, but you now they're a team that's obviously struggling a little bit as well so hopefully we can pick up some valuable points.”

In team news Josh Risdon is available after missing last week on international duty, but Coach Kenny Lowe might not rush him back, with the defender not getting back to Perth till Wednesday. But he might gamble, especially after the selection of Dino Djulbic didn’t work in Sydney. Adam Taggart looks set to miss another week; the former Socceroo can’t take a trick at the moment and can’t shrug of his calf injury, while Shane Lowry will be putting his hand up for a start after coming off the bench last week.

Adelaide United earned just their second point of the season last week, with a 1-1 draw against Brisbane Roar, but with injuries hitting the side hard they have struggled, but it will only be a matter of time before the results turn. They travel to the west with a good record, having only lost once against the Glory since 2012. One of those players is Marcelo Carrusca, who returned last week against Brisbane and will be better for the run. The Argentine is the playmaker in the middle of the park for Guillermo Amor’s side, and his partnership with Spanish striker Sergi Guardiola, who continues to improve with every game, will be something the Glory need to stop.

The 25-year-old has scored half of Adelaide’s total goals so far this season and is beginning to show his qualities, and if the Glory play like they did last week he will have a field day. It’s a vital game for both sides, and could be a defining moment of the season. The Glory are difficult to beat at home, but do seem to lack a little bit of confidence at the moment, but a win will change that, but I’m sure the Reds will have other ideas.

Perth Glory squad: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY 2 Alex GRANT, 4 Shane LOWRY, 5 Rhys WILLIAMS, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 8 Rostyn GRIFFITHS (C), 9 Andy KEOGH, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 14 Chris HAROLD, 16 Joe MILLS, 17 Diego CASTRO, 18 Mitch OXBORROW, 19 Josh RISDON, 20 Aryn WILLIAMS, 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Kosta PETRATOS, 24 Milan SMILJANIC - *two to be omitted* - Ins: OXBORROW (promoted), RISDON (return from international duty), TAGGART (promoted) - Outs: 7.Joel CHIANESE (omitted)

Adelaide United squad: GK Eugene GALEKOVIC (C), GK John HALL, 3 Iacopo LA ROCCA, 4 Dylan MCGOWAN, 5 Taylor REGAN, 8 ISAÍAS, 9 Sergi GUARDIOLA, 10 Marcelo CARRUSCA, 14 George MELLS, 15 Ben WARLAND, 16 Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 17 Nikola MILEUSNIC, 18 Riley McGREE, 19 Ben GARUCCIO, 21Tarek ELRICH, 22 Ryan KITTO, 24 Jordan O’DOHERTY, 25 James HOLLAND - *two to be omitted* - Ins: REGAN (promoted), MELLS (promoted) - Outs: Nil



Perth Glory Westfield W-League campaign continues this weekend when they take on Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday, the game will be aired live on Fox Sports. (11.30pm WA Time) It’s the first road trip for Bobby Despotovski’s side and after a win and a draw in their first two home games gave them confidence going forward. “We are now starting to believe in our own ability as a team and we are all pulling in the same direction,” Despotovski said. “We believe in our system of play and we are all very driven to succeed.”

Last week’s scoreless draw against Brisbane Roar was a hard fought game and the Coach said both goalkeepers were outstanding. “It was a great contest and it was a good match for the supporters, and both keepers were outstanding on the day,” Despotovski said. “We know Macca (Makenzie Arnold) is a quality keeper, and we needed something special to beat her, while Melissa Maizels was also outstanding. It was really pleasing to see her doing so well, and all her hard work with goalkeeping coach Andy Petterson is paying off.”

Maizels, who joined the club from Canberra United this season said it was a great game to be involved in. “It was a great battle with both teams wanting the three points, and that was clear from the first whistle, and they’re the types of games I love to play,” she said. “The work we’ve been putting in on the training track is really starting to show on game day, and I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved so far. But we all know it’s only the beginning and we know every week we will be chasing better performances.”

The keeper said Saturday will be another tight encounter, with the Jets thrashing Victory last week, but she said every team can beat each other on the day. “To be honest I don’t think that results bother us much, because every team has the ability to pull off a result like the Jets did, so we are just going to focus on our game,” she said. “Under Bobby and Jessine’s guidance we plan to execute our game plan to the best of our ability and we do that no team can touch us.”

Carla Bennett will miss the trip to Newcastle, but Despotovski said they are looking forward to the challenge. “They (Newcastle) are coming off a big win last week against the Victory, so they will be confident and will a very hard opponent for us,” he explained. “We have a game plan and will try to execute it on the day, but knowing Jet’s Coach Craig Deans they will be well organised with some international flavour in their team. It’s a long trip but we will try everything to come home with a result.”



Former Perth Glory defender Jacob Collard will have a busy 2017, after signing for former Champions Bayswater City and also joining the WA police force. The 21-year-old will start his training with the police later this month and has already started pre-season training with Bayswater, and he said to join City is a great move for him. “Growing up in the state Bayswater City has always been a great team, so to get the opportunity to be signed and play for this fantastic club and players is a great thrill,” he said. “I’m excited for the season ahead and everything that comes with it and my drive is to help the club back to winning trophies.”

Collard, who was courted by a number of clubs in WA and interstate, is looking forward to working with former Socceroo defender and City coach Chris Coyne, and he believes he will improve his game. “Chris has played at the highest level in football, and is a coach who expects a lot from himself and his players,” he said. “I believe working alongside such a prestigious player and now coach is really going to improve my game immensely.”

City have also recruited Declan Hargreaves, Bor Bor Sam and have Jack Allen back in the frame after missing most of last season with a knee injury, but Coyne said bringing in Collard is massive both on and off the pitch. “It’s a great signing for us, both on and off the park,” he explained. “He is a very impressive young man who displays great leadership qualities and has a very good head on such young shoulders.

“His playing ability is second to none and he can play a various number of positions, a great reader of the game and will suit our passing game with the range of passing he possesses. He will lead by example, he is very hungry to resurrect his career and get back to at least A-League and hopefully beyond. It will suit the expansive game that we like to play and with the change in the way we will set up this year, Jacob is a perfect fit.”

Joining the WA police force is something Collard has been working towards and he said he looking forward to both new challenges. “I’ve always had a passion for the criminal justice system, so landing this job was an absolute goal of mine,” he said. “I was ecstatic getting the news and I commence late November. I have the opportunity to do great by people and that is all I have ever wanted, and it’s a huge challenge with me also signing for Bayswater, but I’m excited about the new challenges ahead.”

The defender headed east last season joined Hobart side Olympia, before heading to Melbourne based Oakleigh Cannons, and he enjoyed the challenge and seeing more of the Country. “My time at both clubs was short lived, although I did enjoy playing in both states,” he explained. “It was an adventure I can always look back on and say I have lived and explored there, and that is priceless.”

Collard made two A-League appearances for Perth Glory and won the Glory Youth MVP in his two seasons in the side, and was bitterly disappointed not to be signed on by the club, but he said that’s in the past and he is looking forward to playing for Bayswater next season. “I have been disappointed all year, but recently I’ve let it go and want to get back playing,” he said. “I’ve moved on with my life and working in the community and joining the police and Bayswater has me back on track. Although I can’t wait to meet them this season to show them what they are missing.”

Off the pitch Collard has been doing some great work with Perth’s indigenous children, and he said to help talking to them and helping them was a real eye opener. “Mentoring has been so good for my heart, it’s really opened my eyes and taught me that there is always someone worse off,” he said. “I’m just blessed that a little input in their lives can help, something they truly need, and if I’ve helped them just a little then I feel it was all worth it.”



Jordan Lyden could hand Aston Villa a timely boost by returning to first team action for the hectic Christmas period. The promising young midfielder has been hit by injuries in the past six months but is now edging closer towards a return to training.

Providing there are no further set-backs and the final stages of his rehabilitation programme go to plan, Lyden could be in contention for next month’s festive fixtures. His return will be welcomed by new boss Steve Bruce who wants added competition for places in the centre of midfield and has already been told promising things about the 20-year old.

Villa rate Lyden highly and were pleased to tie him down to a long-term contract earlier this season. After impressing as captain of the development team, he stepped up to the senior side last season with six first team appearances to earn an improved deal. But a quad injury, suffered on the final day of last season, has thwarted his recent progress.

Lyden appeared to have recovered from that setback when he broke down again in September. He’s now close to returning to outdoor training after working on his conditioning and recovery in the swimming pool and gym at Bodymoor Heath. When fully fit he will compete with Mile Jedinak, Gary Gardner, Ashley Westwood and Aaron Tshibola for a place in the heart of midfield.



Defender Scott Neville believes Western Sydney Wanderers needs to urgently rectify the mistakes that he says are “killing us”. Faced with an unwelcome record - the most goals Western Sydney have conceded at this stage of any season - and the arrival on Friday of Melbourne City’s potent attack, Neville said his team needed to address both their goals for and against tallies.

Neville has only missed one game, left out through soreness from last Saturday’s loss at Melbourne Victory, and is the only regular member of the back four left from last season. But as Western Sydney launched their kit on Wednesday for the Asian Champions League later in the season, Neville refused to blame the churn in defensive faces.

“Apart from probably the Sydney FC game, when we just capitulated as a team in the second half, every goal has been avoidable - not just as a team but individual errors are killing us,” Neville said. “We’re getting punished for things that other teams don’t seem to.”

“When a team then scores against us it becomes a big negative for the player who’s made the error. So as a team we have to defend better from front to back. That includes putting our chances away, putting pressure on teams and not being vulnerable to counter attacks. As a whole team we need to do the defensive stuff properly.”

Neville emphasised he was not apportioning blame further up the pitch, but trying to return the team to its previously successful team structures. “We attack as a team and we defend as a team,” he said. “As fullbacks we get up in the box, we have shots and chances too.”

“So as a collective unit we have to do better in both boxes. In the middle part of the field we’re doing very well and we’re dominating teams. But if we don’t score then we’re always vulnerable to the counterattack, and copping goals on the break. We need to take chances and put games to bed when we do take the lead as well.”

The exit of Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Alberto and Scott Jamieson since last season have led to inevitable claims of confusion in Western Sydney’s back four, but Neville said that was too easy an excuse. “We know the structures that we have to do in every individual role,” he said. “Suspensions you can’t do anything about, Nikolai (Topor-Stanley) leaving you can’t do anything about.”

“Everyone just has to do their job, and we have to do better as a back four and a back six a lot better than we have been. City have two very good players upfront, but then Melbourne Victory had four or five good players and another in Rojas who didn’t even play. It doesn’t matter who we play we just have to do better, and hopefully we can start this weekend by eliminating sloppy goals.”



Perth Glory striker Adam Taggart is likely to miss his sixth straight game after the club eased off him at training in a bid to get his nagging calf injury right. The former Socceroo has been missing since scoring a double in his return to the domestic competition on the opening day of the 2016/17 A-League season.

His absence is a source of continuing frustration for Taggart, the club and Glory fans, and it appears set to continue for at least another week. "Tags has got a minor injury, he's got fluid around the sheath of his calf muscle. It's minor, but it's just not responding, so we've just taken a step back a bit now," coach Kenny Lowe explained.

"We were training and he'd be okay and then he'd get a little irritation which set him back a couple of days. So we've just stepped back and we're strengthening it and when that feels good then we'll go into the training again. It's a week-to-week thing, but now, because he's de-conditioned, he's going to have to do some extra work to get back up."

Lowe was non-committal when it was suggested Taggart wouldn't be ready for Friday night's home game against Adelaide United. "I think we've just got to get him right, that's all," Lowe said. Taggart, 23, had previously endured an extended period with injury that severely damaged his chances of making a success of a UK move.



ECU Joondalup have begun their recruitment for the 2017 PS4NPLWA season by signing defender Nathan Diaz from Champions Perth SC. The 25-year-old said he is exciting about the new challenge and helping the club go one better than last season. “I think it will be great move for me, there are a few familiar faces down here and the coaching staff have already welcomed me with open arms so I’m feeling really good about the move,” he said. “They lost Ryan Lowry and I’m hoping to fill in the space he left and take up the same role, and hopefully I can add some more experience more pace and urgency and quality at the back.”

The decision to leave Dorrien Gardens was a difficult one but Diaz said when he heard ECU was interested in him it was an easy decision. “It was a very difficult decision that I had to make, Perth’s such a great club everyone down there does and outstanding job but it was just one of those decisions that I had to make for myself,” he explained. “I’d spoken to Toughy (David Tough) last season and they were very keen to get me down so they were just following up again obviously losing Ryan was a big loss for them so they were on the hunt for someone to step in and thankfully they picked me and giving my circumstances I wasn’t going to turn the move down I think it will benefit me and the club.”

Tough, who worked with the defender at Wanneroo, said Diaz is a perfect fit to replace former skipper Lowry, who joined A-League side Wellington Phoenix. “I’ve worked with Nathan before and ticks all the boxes of the type player we’re are trying to bring to the club. He is very athletic and has excellent attitude to training,” he said. “He’s a winner, a leader in the pitch and is very good player. He had a great second half of the season with Perth last year but I still think the best is still to come for Nathan. Were delighted he’s committed to the club and I’m sure he’s going to be a big player for us next season.”

Diaz started his football at Heathridge as a youngster, and went onto Sorrento, Wanneroo and then to Bayswater, before heading back to The Roos, where he helped them win the First Division title. He then moved to the NPL with Subiaco before heading to Perth last season. “Winning the league last year with Perth was a tremendous feeling,” he said. “But I’ve come here to do the same, and I’m hoping for a repeat this year at the Jacks.”

He has worked with assistant Coach Tough but he’s looking forward to working with him again, and Dale McCulloch and Steven McGarry. “The club have a great coaching structure with Dale, Steven and Toughy, who is a great character and had a big input on the move,” he explained. “I’m sure when you ask anyone they’d never have a bad thing to say about him. He’s a great coach, really knows his stuff, and looks after all the players, so I’m looking forward to working with him again.”



When Trent Sainsbury made the shock move from PEC Zwolle in the Dutch Eredivise to Jiangsu Suning in the Chinese Super League it raised more than a few eyebrows back in Australia. But after a season in the Middle Kingdom the 24-year old defender insists he wouldn’t have had it any other way.

“There’s a lot of negativity that came with me moving to China from Holland," said Sainsbury, who is currently in camp with the Socceroos ahead of their World Cup qualifier with Thailand. "But at the same time I wouldn’t change it for the world, I’ve enjoyed it immensely and until this roller coaster ride is over I’m going to keep enjoying it.”

Sainsbury insists that playing in China against the likes of Jackson Martinez and Hulk, and alongside Alex Teixeira and Ramires at Jiangsu, has made him a better player. “It’s been a good experience for me, a good eye-opener,” he said. “It’s helped me progress as a leader on the pitch because that’s what they look for in a defensive foreigner, they want you to lead the team from the back.”

Sainsbury said his Socceroos team-mates had been asking him and the other China-based players in the squad questions about life in China. “I think some of the boys are getting recognition and getting a few sniffs from China and they want to know what it's like over there, and we try to give them as much an honest truth as possible,” he said.

The former Armadale junior believes there is still improvement needed if the Chinese Super League is to close to gap on Europe’s top club competitions. “Some of the football we play can be quite attractive at times, but then you come up against lesser teams that just park the bus for ninety minutes,” Sainsbury said.

“It can be difficult to get the match intensity that I need to maintain international level. It’s a passion of mine, they see you doing that and you teach them about nutrition and the things we get day-to-day in Australia, they probably haven’t done that before. They are getting there, it’s just going to take time.”

Sainsbury still has the Chinese FA Cup final against league champions Guangzhou Evergrande to look forward to at the end of the month, but said the season in China was a success for Jiangsu in their first season under Suning’s ownership. “At the start of the season they outlined to us what the expectations were,” he explained.

“They said they’d like us to qualify for the Champions League and anything after that is a bonus. We’ve still got the Cup final to play and I think depending on how that outcome goes they’ll review the season depending on that outcome, (but) so far without playing the Cup final it’s been a successful season.”

The target next season, however, is clearly much higher and with Brazilian Jo already shipped off there is room for more big name signings in January. “It was basically a complete overhaul of last season’s players (with) all new foreigners coming in,” he explained. “So everyone will be better for the experience of it … the players expect themselves to go further and do better in terms of the ACL, the Cup and the league as well.”



Perth Glory midfielder Rostyn Griffiths has played down any issue with coach Kenny Lowe despite his angry reaction at being substituted against Sydney FC on the weekend. Griffiths was taken off late in Sunday's game with Glory trailing 2-1, the team captain tossing his armband to the ground and refusing to shake his Lowe’s hand. Glory went on to concede two more goals to lose 4-1.

28-year old Griffiths insists there is no rift with Lowe, admitting it wasn’t right to “throw your toys out of the pram.” But he says there’s nothing wrong with a player being disappointed when substituted and wanting to remain on the pitch. “I don’t think any player should probably be happy to come off the pitch unless you’ve scored a hat-trick and you’re getting applauded by all the fans,” Griffiths commented.

“I was disappointed, but that’s just his (Kenny’s) game. Me and Kenny get on well. We spoke about it after the game and he hasn’t got a problem with that. He was a player himself, so he knows how people feel ... there’s no issue. Looking back now, it’s not the right thing to do to come off and throw your toys out of the pram. No-one wants to see that, but hopefully that makes Kenny not want to take me off the next time.”



Balcatta defender Jonathan Corness was a standout in a disappointing 2016 for the club, and the defender was rewarded by taking out the clubs MVP Award ahead of runner-up Alan Carroll at the clubs Presentation Night at the Stirling Community Centre. The 21-year-old joined the Grindleford Reserve club from Cockburn City last season and continued his improvement under Coach Marc Anthony.

Corness said it was a huge honour to take out the award. “It’s very pleasing to win Balcatta’s MVP Award, especially with the quality we have amongst the player group here,” he said. “The atmosphere around the club was very relaxed and easy going throughout the year, and I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly.”

The defender said they couldn’t find consistency during the season and that cost them. “It was a season full of up’s and down’s,” he said. “We did have good run of wins around the middle of the season, but after that we couldn’t manage that consistency we wanted, which was disappointing. In the end an eight place finish was fair, but not good enough to be honest, and we’’ be doing all we can to improve next season and aim for a top four finish.”

Balcatta coach Marc Anthony said Corness was outstanding during the season and was a worthy winner. “It was a fantastic season for Johnny, proving that the year before, where he picked up the Fairest and Best at Cockburn, was no fluke,” he said. “His attitude to training and playing is second to none, hopefully moving forward he take his game to the next level, and having him with me at Balcatta again next season is extremely important for our team.”

In other awards on the night Gomo Dukuly impressed in his first season in the first team and was awarded the Coaches Award. In the under 20’s Kyle Murry pipped Alec Femia for the MVP, while Caleb Sheedy won the Coaches Award. Keeper Josiah Godfrey was rewarded for a stellar season by taking out the under 18’s MVP and the perpetual ‘Luke Beyer Rising Star Award’. Tim Higgins was the runner-up and he also won the Coaches Award.

Perth Glory Women’s Caitlin Doeglas won the Women’s League MVP ahead of Glory keeper Gabby Del Busco, while Tessa Deleo won the Coaches Award. Alanah Veroni won the Reserves MYP, ahead of Lexi Njirich, while Stephanie Sprague won the Coaches Award.



Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe says his decisions to substitute captain Rostyn Griffiths and install veteran Dino Djulbic at left back will form part of a review into yesterday's 4-1 loss at Sydney FC. Griffiths was angered when his number was called in the second half, flinging his captain's armband in disgust and then refusing to shake Lowe's hand.

Lowe played down the incident, explaining that it was a failed attempt to spark his team against Sydney's high-pressure defence. "That's players. They don't want to come off. They want to stay on the pitch," Lowe said. "(He) was a little big leggy at the end there, it was more to protect him than anything. Maybe a little bit of freshness in there. Maybe that didn't work either. It's one of those days."

33-year old Djulbic has been primarily used at centre-back this year but deputised for Socceroo Josh Risdon on the left and was at fault for Sydney's opening goal. He overplayed with the ball and then relied on goalkeeper Liam Reddy to save his blushes only for Milos Ninkovic to steal the ball and put away an easy goal.

Lowe insisted Djulbic wasn't the only one to blame for the defeat. "Dino's played there before and he's done that for us," Lowe said. "Maybe it didn't work ... It's not an individual thing, it's a team thing. You don't poke the finger at Dino, we're all in it together and I'm a part of that as well. You go back and analyse yourself and see whether we did the right thing."



Former Perth Glory coach Bernd Stange will be handing out awards to some of his old players at the Football Hall of Fame WA 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner/Induction Night on November 26. Stange, who coached the Glory for three seasons and guided them to their first NSL grand final before departing in 2001, will be one of two Special Guests at the event at Crown Perth. The other guest is Les Murray, the iconic Australian football broadcaster.

Stange, who went on to coach the national teams of Iraq, Belarus and Singapore after his stint with the Glory, will make the journey from his home in Germany to meet up with many former colleagues. "I loved my spell at the Glory and I had a special relationship with the fans. I hope to see many of them when I return to Perth," said Stange.

"The work which the committee of the Football Hall of Fame is doing is very important - and I am honoured that I can make a contribution to the anniversary celebrations." Stange will hand out plaques to the new inductees into the Hall of Champions. These include former Glory stars Jamie Harnwell, Jason Petkovic, Tony Carbone, Paul McVittie and Paul Strudwick, who all played under Stange.

Two other former Perth Glory stars Jamie Coyne and Andy Petterson will also be inducted into the Hall of Champions, as will former Socceroos goalkeeper Michael Petkovic. Les Murray will present a posthumous award to the family of Dylan Tombides, the budding West Ham superstar who tragically died from testicular cancer at the age of 20 in 2014. He will be inducted into the Hall of Merit for Players and will be the youngest male to be posthumously honoured. In all, there will be 32 new inductees (including four women) into the Football Hall of Fame WA, which was the first of its kind in Australia when it was established in 1996. This will be the sixth induction ceremony.

Apart from Stange and Murray, many other footballing celebrities will attend the event, including Socceroos goalkeeper coach Tony Franken, former Socceroos players Gary Marocchi, Robbie Zabica, Dave Todd, who is making the journey from Sydney for the function, and ex-England international John Sydenham.

Stange, meanwhile, will have a busy week. A new tell-all biography about the German coach - written by Perth-based author Thomas Mackay - will be launched on Tuesday, November 22, and Stange will oversee a Coaching Clinic for local youths at Dorrien Gardens the following evening.



West Australian State Amateur side have won all three games on their tour of Kuala Lumpur beating their Malaysian opponents, in hot and humid conditions. They started their tour with a hard fought 1-0 win against NPNG. Skipper Matt Bennion said it was a great first up performance. “It was a great win, everyone worked really hard for each other in the hot and humid conditions,” he said. “PNG probably had more possession than us but we kept our shape and discipline which made it hard for them to break us down and create any real chances on goal. The win was just reward for the effort everybody put in.”

The only goal of the game came after only two minutes. Good link up play down the left hand side, ended with North Lake’s Kudzi Chigwanda, who crossed in to Felim Rugel, and the Southern Spirit player slotted it home with a clinical finish. Rugel had another great chance to score, on the counter attack but it hit the post. “The conditions are quite hard to adjust too, very different to what we are used to playing in Perth,” Bennion said. “It's extremely humid and hot, and the pitches are quite wet/muddy due to the daily downpours of rain which makes it tough.”

WA then took on PKNS and ran out 1-0 winners, and Bennion said it was another tough encounter. “The second game against PKNS was a little bit tougher I thought. It was a massive pitch which was hard to adjust too initially but again we kept our shape very well which made it hard for them to do anything meaningful with their possession,” he said. “We had a few great chances during the match, which unfortunately we didn't put away.” The only goal of the game came from North Lake’s Aaron Bahador, who headed home a free kick at the back post.

The final game of the tour was on Friday against PNSB FC, and WA ran out convincing 4-2 winners. Rugal bagged a brace with North Perth’s Eamonn Kelly and Phil Clarke scoring the others. It was a fantastic tour and WA’s Sebastian Munoz was voted the player of the tournament and the Gwelup Croatia skipper said it was a great honour. “It was a humbling experience for me,going over for my second and final year,” he explained. “We went into the games with a strong mentality and high concentration levels.

“Playing with the best players in the state was very enjoyable and humbling at the same time, everybody was playing at extremely high levels and to get 'MVP' was a great way to cap off the three wins in front of the CEO of Football West. I just want to thank everyone involved for the experience, it is something I'll always treasure and good luck to the boys in the following years to come.”

WA Squad: Matthew Bennion (Southern Spirit); Tom Dixon (Gwelup Croatia); Juan Cabrera (Fremantle Croatia); Paul Rainford (North Perth United); Jesse Higgins (Kingsley); Phil Clarke (Hamersley Rovers); Alpha Sheriffe (Belmont Villa); Eamonn Kelly (North Perth); Kudzaishe Chigwanda (North Lake); Aaron Bahadori (North Lake); David Morris (Hamersley Rovers); Sebastian Munoz (Gwelup Croatia); Nicolas Tatasciore (Gwelup Croatia); Felim Rugal (Southern Spirit); Brad North (Southern Spirit); Isaac Koomson (Gwelup Croatia).

Coach: Rob Pagnoni - Assistant coach: Jack Monaco - Team manager: Graeme Marinkovich



Matildas captain Lisa De Vanna insists she's not ready to walk away from the sport despite taking an break from playing that has extended to this year's W-League season. The nominee for Asian Player of the Year has been a noticeable absentee from this year's domestic women's football league.

After playing in every previous W-League campaign, De Vanna is watching her Matildas teammates from the sidelines as she rests from a taxing 18 months which included a World Cup, Olympics and Olympic qualifying tournament and two club campaigns at home and abroad. But she revealed her break was about more than just physical and mental recovery.

"You can't play forever so I'm starting to look at different avenues in my life," said De Vanna, who has played domestically for Perth Glory, Brisbane Roar, Newcastle Jets, Melborne Victory and Melbourne City. "I'm doing my coaching stuff and have to really focus. I don't think I can play football and do this at the same time."

De Vanna is chasing her coaching badges and is completing a C-Licence, ruling out any W-League action in 2016. But she is likely to get involved in the new year, with the Matildas next assignment - the Cyprus Cup - looming in early March. The fleet-footed forward said national team coach Alen Stajcic gave his blessings to her plan.

"My life after football is something that I need to think about even though Staj says I could play until I'm 38 which I don't want to do. I'm 32 on Monday and that's a bit scary," she said. "The Olympic Games, emotionally and mentally, was a big drain ... I needed a mental break away from football, focus on other things, and then I'll get back into the swing of things."

De Vanna turned out for title-winners Melbourne City last season but said she "hadn't put a thought" to which club she might turn out for when she leaps back into the league. The Asian Player of the Year award will be conferred on 1st December, with fellow Matilda Caitlin Foord among the three nominees. Australian's Kate Gill (2010) and Katrina Gorry (2014) have previously won the award.



Perth Glory gave Sydney FC a helping hand before going down 4-1 in the Hyundai A-League round six clash at the Allianz Stadium. A comical mistake from make shift right back Dino Djulbic let in Milos Ninkovic and it went downhill from there. The Glory had started the better and should have been two up early, but Bobo added a second before the break after Nebojsa Marinkovic was caught in possession. Joe Mills’ deflected shot gave the Glory some hope early in the second half, but Ninkovic and Alex Brosque put the game out of their reach.

Glory Coach Kenny Lowe said it could have been a different game if they had taken their early chances. “You don’t take your opportunities early on then give a goal away like that, it changes the momentum of the game,” he said. “You have opportunities you have to take them and then don’t give goals away. “When that happens it flips to the other side. We had two great chances to get on the board early on and then it was a poor goal to give away and they get in the ascendency.”

Lowe made two changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Western Sydney Wanderers last week, with Rhys Williams and Rostyn Griffiths coming into the side, with Brandan Wilson missing due to injury and Josh Risdon was away on international duty. The Glory made an impressive start and should have hit the front on four minutes. Milan Smiljanic sent Andy Keogh in on goal with only former Glory keeper Danny Vukovic to beat, but the Sydney custodian stood tall and Keogh fired wide of the target, but Diego Castro was free at the back post for a pass.

The visitors were bossing the game with Royston Griffiths dominating in the middle of the park and they went close again four minutes later. Marinkovic’s teasing cross was only inches away from Keogh at the back post. But they were punished for their profligacy on 14 minutes when Sydney hit the front. Djulbic attempted clearance was blocked by Ninkovic, but what happened next was ‘Comedy Central’. Djulbic didn’t clear the ball and miscommunication between the defender and Liam Reddy left Ninkovic clear to run into an open goal and score.

It was a huge blow, but that’s what happens when you play playing out of position, we did have other options, but it was an error that stalled the good Glory opening and they were now on the back foot. Reddy then produced a great save to deny Filip Holosko, before Brosque curling shot flashed just wide of the post. The Sky Blues pressed forward and seven minutes before half time they doubled their advantage. Rhyan Grant dispossessed Marinkovic on halfway and played it to Brosque, who then released Ninkovic to drive into the box. The Serbian striker squared it to Bobo to tap in from close range to give the home side a 2-0 lead at the break.

The home side continued to dictate terms after the break, and Brosque, who was making his 150th game for the club, tried an audacious long-range volley which had Reddy scrambling across goal, but it flashed wide of the post. But against the run of play the Glory were back in the game just after the hour. Keogh sent Mills racing down the left, the former Burnley defender’s cross took a deflection off Rhyan Grant which wrong footed Vukovic and into the net.

The Glory thought they had levelled four minutes. Mills and Ninkovic both challenged for the ball in the box the ball falling to Keogh who scored but referee Peter Green gave a free kick for a high foot on the Glory player. It looked like but both players were going for the ball and anywhere else on the pitch it would have been play on. Reddy then had to be alert to deny Josh Brillante on 72 minutes as Sydney looked to finish off the game. The Glory were pushing forward looking for the equaliser, and eight minutes later they hit on a counter attack and added a third.

David Carney raced clear, rounded Reddy his shot from the angle crashing off the crossbar, before falling to Ninkovic who made no mistake from the rebound. It was tough on the Glory but it could have been so different if they had taken their early chances. Substitute Matt Simon’s diving header was tipped over the top by Reddy, but two minutes from time they added a fourth. Simon’s cross wasn’t cleared and Brosque was on hand to fire home from close-range to seal the 4-1 win.

Match Details

SYDNEY FC: GK Danny VUKOVIC, 4 Alex WILKINSON, 5 Matthew JURMAN, 6 Joshua BRILLANTE, 7 Michael ZULLO, 9 BOBO (18 Matt SIMON 73’), 10 Milos NINKOVIC, 13 Brandon O’NEIL, 14 Alex BROSQUE (22 Sebastian RYALL 90’), 21 Filip HOLOSKO (17. David CARNEY 67’), 23 Rhyan GRANT – Subs not used: RGK Mitch EVANS, 8 Milos DIMITREJIVIC - Yellow Cards: Holosko 25’, Brillante 30’, Zullo 41’

PERTH GLORY: GK Liam REDDY, 2 Alex GRANT. 5 Rhys WILLIAMS, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 8 Rostyn GRIFFITHS (4 Shane LOWRY 78’), 9 Andy KEOGH, 10 Nebo MARINKOVIC, 14 Chris HAROLD (7 Joel CHIANESE 54’), 16 Joe MILLS, 17 Diego CASTRO, 24 Milan SMILJANIC – Subs not used: RGK Nick FEELY, 20 Aryn WILLIAMS, 23 Kosta PETRATOS – Yellow Cards: Nil

Referee: Peter Green



Perth Glory and Brisbane Roar have fought out an entertaining 0-0 draw in week two of the Westfield W-League game at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday afternoon. Both sides had chances in a tight tussle, but it was both keepers who shone, with Glory’s Melissa Maizels and former Glory’s Mackenzie Arnold both making vital saves to keep it scoreless.

Maizels, who joined Perth this season from Canberra United, said it’s a good point and she thought it was a good defensive display. “You need to have a connection between the defensive four and the keeper to ensure everything is in sync, everything’s moving as it should,” she said. “We knew a win would get us back to the top of the ladder, but a hard-fought draw we’ll take it. The plan is to go unbeaten at home. We should really have a fortress here and no team should be able to travel out west and take points off us.”

The Glory opened brightly at their hew home ground and after only 10 minutes good link up play between Rosie Sutton and Sam Kerr, ended with the Matilda’s striker in on goal, but she fired wide of the target. The Roar thought they had the lead two minutes later, when Katrina-Lee Gorry picked out Emily Gielnik who finished well, but the flag was up for offside. Kerr was in again on 17 minutes, a great ball from Nicole Stanton sending her clear, but Arnold saved low.

Arnold was inspired and she saved again to deny Alyssa Mautz, but Maizels wasn’t to be outdone, the Glory custodian producing a great save to thwart the lively Gielnik. Kerr was a constant threat and on the half hour she was sent clear by Mexican international Arianna Romero, but Arnold saved again. Glory’s American import Vanessa DiBernardo then went close, but her shot flashed inches past the post. The Roar had the ball in the net again in first half stoppage time but Sunny Franco’s header was ruled out.

Kerr was in again early in the second half, racing clear from a defence splitting pass from Nicole Stanton, but she fired straight at Arnold. Gielnik was a real handful for the Glory defence, and she went close to the opener on the hour, but she couldn’t find the target. It was end-to-end football and had the crowd of nearly 700 on the edge of their seats, but the keepers were keen not to be beaten. Arnold produced a stunning save to deny Mautz’s long-range strike, before Maizel saved well to deny Gorry.

The Roar was ending the game the better, but Maizels was in superb form and the Glory defence were working overtime. First Maizel saved well to deny Gorry, before second half substitute Allira Toby was stopped by a last ditch tackle from Kim Carroll, but at the final whistle the points were shared. Arnold was also full of praise for Glory’s emerging group of youngsters, including Caitlin Doeglas, Carla Bennett and Sarah Carroll. “I played with a lot of Perth’s young players coming through and to see them step up today like they did was a real step forward for them,” she said. The Glory are on the road next week, against Newcastle on Sunday 20th November.

Match Details

PERTH GLORY: GK Melissa MAIZELS, 2 Sarah CARROLL, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Alyssa MAUTZ, 5 Patricia CHARALAMBOUS (6 Carla BENNETT 85’), 7 Nicole STANTON, 9 Rosie SUTTON, 10 Vanessa DIBERNARDO (13 Jaymie GIBBONS 53’), 14 Caitlin DOEGLAS (8 Shawn BILLAM 68’), 20 Samantha KERR, 22 Arianna ROMERO - Subs not used: RGK Gabby DAL BUSCO - Yellow cards: Romero 65’

BRISBANE ROAR: GK Mackenzie ARNOLD, 3 Amy CHAPMAN (8 Kaitlyn TORPEY 78’), 4 Clare POLKINGHORNE, 6 Angela BEARD, 7 Sunny FRANCO (12 Allira TOBY 63’), 10 Katrina-Lee GORRY, 11 Maili FORBES (13 Tameka BUTT 67’), 14 Summer O'BRIEN, 16 Nina FRAUSING-PEDERSEN, 17 Emily GIELNIK, 18 Madlyn EVANS - Subs not used: RGK Georgina WORTH - Yellow cards: Nil

Referee: Lara Lee



West Australian pair Lewis Italiano and Ryan Lowry will get rare starts when Wellington Phoenix take on Central Coast Mariners this weekend. With five first-choice players - Glen Moss, Andrew Durante, Kosta Barbarouses, Louis Fenton and Michael McGlinchey - away with the New Zealand national team, coach Ernie Merrick has called Italiano and Lowry into his match day squad.

It will be 566 days between A-League appearances for Italiano, whose last outing came against Sydney FC in late April 2015 when regular goalkeeper Moss was out with a knee injury. "It feels fantastic," Italiano said of his call-up. "It's been a long time, I think it's been almost a year and a half since my last A-League appearance so I'm looking forward to this one."

Itliano has been back-up 'keeper for the better part of three years, but he's confident his time as a starter will come. "There is a second choice for every team," said the 25-year old. "You've got to bide your time. Mossy has done exceptionally well throughout the seasons I've been here. My time will come, it's just a matter of training hard."

Lowry, who joined Wellington six weeks ago, is confident he could do the job if selected, saying he has learnt a lot from Itanlian Marco Rossi during his short time with the club. "His English ain't great but I can still understand what he's trying to say," Lowry commented. "It's critical and it's positive, which is what you need to learn."

Regardless of whether he's in the starting eleven or not, Lowry feels there is no lack of motivation within the Wellington squad. "It gives a chance for other boys to step up and stake their claim to be in the starting line-up, which is what I want to do ultimately," commented the defender.



Perth Glory take on the undefeated Hyundai A-League leaders Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Sunday (2.00pm WA Time) The Glory players will wear a Poppy on their game day shirts in support of the Remembrance Round. The 2-2 draw against Western Sydney Wanderers last week was probably two points lost for Kenny Lowe’s side, and they need to find other avenues to goal against a side who have only concede one goal in their first five games of the season.

They conceded a goal after only 30 seconds last week, but fought back to level and take the lead and the opener came from a typical Nebojsa Marinkovic free kick. Stand in Coach Andrew Ord said they are dangerous at set pieces but they also need more options in front of goal. “It’s always been a real strength of ours and there’s no shame in being good at set-pieces,” Ord said of Marinkovic, who is starting for the injured Adam Taggart.

“When he’s not on the pitch the delivery’s not as good and other teams don’t threaten with set pieces. We knew when we brought him (Marinkovic) to the club; it was one of his weapons so why wouldn’t you use it. So there’s no secret that we are good at set-pieces, but we’d like that to be the winning things, not to get us back in the game. We want that to be the way to get three points, and we need to find other avenues to score as well.”

Sunday’s game against Sydney FC is a huge challenge, but Ord is confident they can go well, but know they need to improve. “We’ve had a couple of wins over there the past two seasons, so we know we can win there,” he said. “We’ve probably got to get better in quite a few areas to be serious about going there and winning. It’s a place where if you can take three points and deserve it, you really set the season up.”

Last week was the starting debut for new Glory Serbian midfielder Milan Smiljanic, and he said Sunday’s game will be tough, but one they are looking forward too. "It’s a very difficult game for us because Sydney are first in the league, and have every win, and we must go to fight there,” the former Espanyol midfielder said. “I think its defence, maybe one or two goal conceded only. This team is very strong and have very, very good players like Ninkovic, like striker Bobo and for us it’s first time we face against these players and I think we go to get a good result.

“This is a long season. We have 25, 26 games more and we must go to fight for every game but the next game is most important for us.” In team news Head Coach Kenny Lowe will be back on the sidelines for the trip, and defender Shane Lowry, Marc Warren, Aryn Williams and Mitch Oxborrow have been added to the squad. Rhys Williams and skipper Royston Griffiths should return to the starting line-up after starting on the bench last week, but Adam Taggart will miss with his calf injury, and Brandan Wilson has a quad injury, while Josh Risdon is away with the Socceroos.

The Sky Blues, who will have former Glory duo Brandon O’Neill and Danny Vukovic in their starting lineup, extended their perfect start to the season with a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Melbourne Victory in the Big Blue last week, and will look to make it six in a row against the Glory. Skipper Alex Brosque will make his 150th A-League appearance for the club in the game, and the 33-year-old said it’s a huge honour. “To play that many games for your home club is special, it’s quite rare to be able to do that,” he said. “Particularly after last year’s injury to come back now and I’m feeling good and definitely enjoying every game more and more.”

Though they rode their luck against Victory, the Sky Blues came from behind to win in a game that was a much-needed test of character as Graham Arnold's runaway leaders prepare to host the Glory on Sunday and defender Rhyan Grant said Sunday’s game will be a big test and he believes they (Glory) will be looking for revenge after the Sky Blues knocked them out of the FFA Cup round of 16. “Perth are doing okay at the moment so it will be a tough game for us, but I'm sure we'll be up for it and quietly confident we can get the win again," Grant said. "We don't really talk about getting on a run, but when it's pointed out that we're five on the trot now you sort of do think, 'yeah, I wonder how far we can go, but it's very early, the season is very long."

Squads for the Match:

Sydney FC: GK Danny VUKOVIC, GK Vedran JANJETOVIC, 4 Alex WILKINSON, 5 Matt JURMAN, 6 Joshua BRILLANTE, 7 Michael ZULLO, 8 Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9 BOBÔ, 10 Milos NINKOVIC, 11 Bernie IBINI, 13 Brandon O’NEILL, 14 Alex BROSQUE (c), 17 David CARNEY, 18 Matt SIMON, 19 George BLACKWOOD, 21 Filip HOLOSKO, 22 Sebastian RYALL, 23 Rhyan GRANT - *two to be omitted* - Ins: IBINI (promoted), BLACKWOOD (promoted) Outs: Nil - Unavailable: Nil

Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY, 2 Alex GRANT, 3 Marc WARREN, 4 Shane LOWRY, 5 Rhys WILLIAMS, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 7 Joel CHIANESE, 8 Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9 Andy KEOGH, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 14 Chris HAROLD, 16 Joe MILLS, 17 Diego CASTRO, 18 Mitch OXBORROW, 20 Aryn WILLIAMS, 23 Kosta PETRATOS, 24 Milan SMILJANIC - *two to be omitted* - Ins: WARREN (promoted), LOWRY (promoted), OXBORROW (promoted), WILLIAMS (promoted) - Outs: 15.Brandon WILSON (quad – 1 week), 19.Josh RISDON (international duty – 1 week) - Unavailable: 22.Adam TAGGART (calf – 1 week)



Perth Glory will be looking for back-to-back victories to open their Westfield W-League campaign, when they host Brisbane Roar at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday afternoon (4PM). They opened their account with a hard fought 4-2 win against Western Sydney Wanderers last week, a game Coach Bobby Despotovski said they couldn’t have started any better. “We started the game very hot and took the lead after only 14 seconds, which set us up very nicely for the next 10 - 20 minutes,” he explained. “We then doubled the lead from the corner which was good as we have been practising set pieces, but we then stopped playing.

“It’s always dangerous for the side that scores two quick goals, you relax and think the game is over, and I think that’s how we were after the second goal. We were brought to earth very quickly after that conceding a goal and nearly second on the brink of half time. There was a kind of momentum change after we conceded the second goal, and we climbed ourselves back in the game and scored two good goals to run away with the win.”

The coach is delighted the way the side is gelling, and said the international players have taken the youngsters under their wings, but he said he hopes the injury curse that hit the club last season stays away. “The side gelled well and I think that is to the calibre of the players we have in the group. We have internationals from USA, our own matildas, local players, a young group of players that want to be footballers on the highest level,” Despotovski said.

“You have to remember a number of players from last year, were in their first year in the league, so now they know where they need to be game wise, speed of the game and fitness wise. We have leaders in the team that are willing to put their bodies on the line and lead by example, and we are all here for one reason together. Last year we had lot of injuries and disruptions with our Matildas being away for 3-4 games, but there is none of that this year, so I would say we are better prepared this year than last.”

Saturday’s game against the Roar will be a tough encounter, and Despotovski has been impressed how they have started the season. “We are expecting a very hard game this week against a Brisbane side that have impressed me with their style of play,” he said. “Their result against Sydney who is one of the favourites to win the league was impressive as well. We hope we have big crowed on offer to help us get positive result against very good organised team.”



Young gun Alex Grant is relishing the opportunity to play against high flying Sydney FC. The Perth Glory defender scored a cracking header in last weekend's clash with Western Sydney Wanderers, and with one goal under his belt the 22-year old is hopeful of adding a few more to his tally.

"Yeah, it's always good to get one, especially as a defender as you only get forward for corners and free kicks so yeah it's good to get on the scoresheet," he said. "I should have probably had a few more last year to be honest with you. I got there quite a bit and had a few cleared off the line and what have you so I was a bit disappointed I only racked up one last year so hopefully there is more to come."

Grant attributes Glory strong start to the season to the quality of the squad. "If you look across the squad, we've got players who can play in several positions and there's definitely depth within the squad," he said. "We know that people can come in and fill in and do a job and hopefully that will get us a win at the weekend."

Sydney are yet to lose a game this season but Grant is confident that the side can pick up points on Sunday. "Any team in the A-League is beatable," he said. "That's the thing with Sydney, they've rocked up to all five games with the right mentality and that winning ethic and that's why they are sitting at the top of the table. We haven't done that with every game and if people apply that in the game early, they can get the win."

Glory have picked up maximum points from their last two visits to Allianz Stadium and that gives Grant confidence of another success. "You got to approach every game with a bit of confidence," he said. "Obviously, we'll take something out of the Western Sydney game and look forward to this week. We know their threats but we're confident we can break them down."



West Australian striker Lisa de Vanna and Matilda's teammate Caitlin Foord are among the three nominees for the Asian Football Confederation women's Player of the Year award. De Vanna and Foord were part of the Australian squads that won the Asian qualifying tournament for the 2016 Olympic Games, where they reached the quarter-finals.

"It was a bit of a shock when I found out because there are a lot of fantastic players not only in the Matildas squad but throughout Asia," De Vanna said of her nomination. "Representing your country at any level is a huge honour in itself and to be nominated for an individual award like this is really humbling." China's Tan Ruyin completes the field for the Asian Player of the Year, which will be awarded on 1st December.



Midfielder Ryan Edwards may only be 22 but the Partick Thistle player is already planning for life after he hangs up his boots. Edwards has only recently become ineligible for Australia's under-23 side, which he captained, but he has already started his coaching badges along with some of his Firhill teammates.

His father Alistair, himself a former Socceroo and now a sporting director at Malaysian club Johor, is an obvious inspiration. And even though retiring from playing may be a long way off for Edwards, he firmly believes that more young players should be bucking the trend by planning for life after football as soon as possible.

"I go in on Tuesday for my assessment for the B licence, so hopefully that goes well," Edwards said. "It's been good, we've been in for four or five days in each international break and we do our practical work on four different topics. It's challenging, but it's good."

"I'm probably one of the youngest in the group, if not the youngest, out of the 25 or 26 players that are doing it. I think it's really good to start early. You learn a different side of the game that you maybe haven't seen yet, and it allows you to see things through your boss's eyes and gives you an insight into his thought process."

"My dad is a coach and I like the stuff he does, so I thought I would throw myself in there. I'm 23 this month, and I thought I would have a go and see if I enjoyed it. My dad played at a high level in his football career and played for the national team, so from that aspect it's great to have your father doing that."

"He then went into coaching and I really like what he's done with his career after football as well, and that's something I'd definitely like to do as well. When I told him I was doing the B licence he was really happy and told me to go for it, and that it was a really good thing to have your badges. If I pass this, then he has encouraged me to press on and go for the A Licence too."

"If not, at least I would have tried it and I think it's a great thing to have, even if you don't use it. I can see myself looking at coaching or becoming a manager at the end of my career. It's a good option to have. It's the game I love and I'd love to stay in football."

Edwards was presented his second Partick player of the month award in as many months prior to the weekend game with Aberdeen. While the midfielder has managed to maintain his own high level of performance, the fact that the rest of the team followed suit during October was the most pleasing aspect for Edwards.

"I didn't expect it to be honest," he said. "The boys have been performing really well and any of the boys could have won it. I'm very happy. I said last month that I would have traded it for three points, and this month has been great. We got seven points in a week and we've moved up the table, so it's been a good month."



Defender Trent Sainsbury says his Socceroos "brothers" are making it easy for him to perform in the national team. Sainsbury comes into camp on the back of a strong first season in the Chinese Super League, with his side Jiangsu Suning finishing in second spot and qualifying for this month's FA Cup final against Guangzhou Evergrande.

The 24-year old has been content with his performances in China and it has translated into the green and gold, with Sainsbury playing every minute in this phase of qualifying so far. "A lot of it has to do with being comfortable in the team as well...and not just on the pitch," Sainsbury said. "Getting to know the players around you, instead of just calling them team-mates, it's more calling them brothers. Then you start to get the feeling of that camaraderie and that you belong. It does help."

Australia must be prepared to deal with Thailand's off-the-cuff style in next week's World Cup qualifier in Bangkok. With Thailand coming off four straight losses, Sainsbury is expecting to face a "wounded beast" next week. And although he's confident of taking another significant step towards Russia 2018, Sainsbury is aware of the tricky test awaiting the Australian side.

"I've watched a little bit of the AFC Cup and you see a few of their players in the teams there and also in the (AFC) Champions League," Sainsbury said. "They are exciting players, they are not the most technically brilliant in the world or tactically but at the same time they are a bit off-the-cuff which is extremely dangerous to most teams ... It's not going to be an easy situation for us."

With eight points - from two wins and two draws - from the first four matches, the Socceroos are well-placed approaching the halfway mark on the final stage of the Road to Russia. Ange Postecoglou's side is currently second, two points behind Saudi Arabia and one ahead of third-placed Japan, and a win in Thailand will put them in a strong position ahead of their final five qualifiers.

"I think we're going to qualify with a good style of play," Sainsbury said. "I don't think it's going to be comfortable for us but it never is going to be comfortable. The way that we want to play and the way we want to dominate teams, we're going to have to give it our all. At the moment we're very well placed to go through. We've got a lot of home games to come so if we get the fans behind us it will be a huge boost for us."



Former Perth Glory goalkeeper Aleks Vrteski has been appointed as first team coach of newly promoted Division Two side Gwelup Croatia. The 28-year-old said to be given the opportunity by club President Jure Denona is exciting, and said it is a great opportunity for him. “I’m thankful to the club for giving me the chance to coach, and I’m looking forward to the new challenge ahead,” he said.

Terry Nicolaou has been appointed the First Team Assistant Coach, while former Stirling Lions assistant Coach Dejan Vilic has been appointed as the clubs Senior Technical Director of Coaching. Other appointments are Adam Kostrencic as the reserves coach with Cisco Jorquera as his assistant, while Tom Dixon is the under 18’s Coach. Mike Leigh is the Technical Director of Coaching, for the clubs juniors, while David Metcalfe is the clubs Goalkeeping Coach.

The group offers the club a wealth of football knowledge and experience from the state league ranks, and Denona said after speaking to Vrteski the decision was easy. “When the opportunity to speak to Aleks came along and once he explained his vision for not just the First Team, but the club as a whole, we simply couldn't refuse the chance to work with him,” he said. “He brings a great deal of professionalism to the club and our coaching structure, having played locally in the NPL and State League, at A-League level with Perth Glory and even at National-Team level, being involved with the Macedonia setup.”

With the club preparing for their first season in the All Flags Division Two, Denona believes the coaches they have put in place will give them the right structure going forward. “We feel that a fresh approach is required as we enter the State League for the very first time, with Aleks already on the lookout for some quality young players to work with our existing squad, hopefully building on the success of the past few seasons in the Amateur Premier League,” he said.

“In Terry Nicolaou, Aleks has an experienced assistant coach by his side who will work in tandem with the new Reserves coaches (Adam Kostrencic and Francisco Jorquera), current Under 18s Coach, Tom Dixon, new Goalkeeping Coach, David Metcalfe and Technical Director of Coaching, Dejan Vilic, in ensuring collective ideas are utilised, young players are developed for the future and that the success ultimately continues in season 2017 and beyond.”



Former Perth Glory midfielder Cameron Edwards has taken out Cockburn City’s Fairest and Best Award for 2016. Edwards pipped another former Glory player Harry O’Brien to the clubs top award, while O’Brien also took out the Golden Boot. “I’m very happy to win the award this season,” Edwards said. “I’d just like to say thanks to everyone involved at the club for making it an enjoyable season for myself.”

The midfielder said it was a successful season for the Dalmatinac Park club, but said they still need to improve. “The season itself was a successful one, as we achieved above expectations but we know there’s room for improvement,” he said. “Reaching the Cool Ridge Cup Final and going to Melbourne for the FFA Cup against the Knights were the highlights. Considering the players we lost last year, and the young boys we had, we were competitive all year round and we look forward to next season.”

In other awards on the night Reuben Tristao won the Players’ Player of the Year, while Daniel Santich won the Clubman of the Year. Mohammed Suilaman won the under 20’s Fairest and Best, with Sam Garces the runner-up. James Oldfield won the Players’ Player of the Year, while Ryan Hassett won the Gold Boot. In the under 18’s Adam Anfuso won the Fairest and Best, just ahead of runner-up David Dos Santos. Jesse Lippert won the Players’ Player of the Year and Riley Van Dieken won the Golden Boot.



Western Sydney Wanderers defender Jack Clisby says his team could have won its 2-2 away draw to Perth Glory on Sunday. Western Sydney are struggling to pick up this season, with a 2-1 win in Adelaide their only 'three pointer' after five games.

Clisby said his team was guilty of complacency against Glory but indicated there were positive signs. "Perth's always a tough place to go and win the game, I feel we more than deserve the point especially with the way we played," Clisby said. "I felt we had large periods of the game with the ball and we probably could have had more."

"Getting the early goal was great but we switched off, I think it was a few minutes later and we let them get back into the game real early. That was disappointing but from there on we kicked on and we had good possession of the ball, it was creating those final chances and we did have chances, we just weren't able to put them away."

Clisby took the heat for the second goal scored by Andy Keogh after collecting the rebound of Andrew Redmayne. "I'd have to say I was a bit at fault with my positioning for the second goal," he said. "Moments after half-time we need to be switched on and be aware anything can happen at any time in the game."

"There's always more to get out of yourself, I feel my fitness is improving every week, there's always room for improvement. I look back at my games and my own biggest critic, I've sat back and watched the game reviewing what I can do better."



It's been little over 18 months since Matthew Davies first popped up in Malaysia but during that time the young defender has gone from strength to strength. From establishing himself as at right-back for Pahang to representing Malaysia at the South East Asian Games to captaining his club, it has been quite the rollercoaster ride for Davies.

And it seems that ride is not yet over with Davies on course to be named in the final squad for Malaysia's ASEAN Football Federation Cup squad. The 21-year old has been in camp this week with national coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee, who has switched training to a mid-afternoon slot as way of preparing his players for Malaysia's first two games in Yangon, Myanmar.

"It's hot," Davies commented of the new training routine. "It's good that we get to acclimatise but at the same time, it's very difficult for us. It will be a challenge for us but at the same time, the other teams will have to play in these conditions also. It will be challenging for both teams and hopefully it won't affect the quality of the football too much."

Davies played under Kim Swee during last year's South East Asian Games, where he also lined up alongside several of his Malaysian team mates. "I know most of the players by now," he said. "I've been with the squad a fair few times. The team is bonding quite well especially those three days in Port Dickson really helped us and joined us together."

Davies is focused solely at the moment on proving his worth and earning his place in the Malaysian squad. He knows that to achieve this he faces stiff competition for the right-back role from a player high on confidence, Kadah's Rizal Ghazali. Davies feels he has what it takes to catch the eye of his coach.

"I have a lot of self-believe and confidence in my own playing ability," said Davies, who made 16 appearances for Perth Glory before moving to Pahang. "Of course Rizal is in good form. It's good competition for both of us and we're both working hard in training. Whoever trains the best in the next weeks, I suppose will start (in Myanmar)."



West Australian goalkeeper Mark Birighitti has been added to the Socceroos squad for next weeks' World Cup qualifier against Thailand. The 25-year old has replaced an injured Mitch Langerak as one of two changes to Australia's 23-man squad. Attacking midfielder Massimo Luongo has also been sidelined with a foot injury, with Melbourne City's Luke Brattan taking his place.

Birighitti, who has joined English Premier League club Swansea City on a two-year deal, returns to the Socceroos frame for the first time since friendlies against England and Greece in June. The former Perth SC junior is expected to start reserve behind regular keeper Mat Ryan. Perth Glory right back Josh Risdon and fellow defender Trent Sainsbury are the other West Australian players in the Socceroos squad.



Perth Glory has fought out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday afternoon at nib Stadium, in week five of the Hyundai A-League. The visitors shocked the Glory in the first minute with Argentine import Nicolas Martinez scoring, but defender Alex Grant opened his account for the season, equalising for the Glory four minutes later. Andy Keogh bagging his fourth goal of the season to give the Glory the lead, but Brendan Santalab earned the Wanderers a point just after the hour. “You can’t criticise anyone’s effort but we didn’t have enough goalmouth action and didn’t threaten them enough,” Glory assistant Coach Andrew Ord said. “The first goal was a great response, I’m pleased for Alex (Grant) getting on the end of it putting it away.”

Glory made three changes to the side that lost to Brisbane Roar last week. Defender Joe Mills and Milan Smiljanic both come in, to make their starting debuts, while Brandan Wilson also came into the middle of the park. Surprisingly Rhys Williams and Royston Griffiths dropped to the bench, while Marc Warren was omitted. There was a big crowd on hand at kick off, and the some of the 13,290 were still finding their seats when the Wanderers hit the front. Former Glory midfielder Mitch Nichols played in Martinez, and the Glory didn’t close him down and he finished clinically from 20 meters.

But the Glory were level four minutes later. Nebojsa Marinkovic’s perfectly weighted free kick picked out Grant, who rose highest to head home powerfully past Andrew Redmayne. The Glory should have hit the front on 10 minutes, a back heel from Keogh sent Diego Castro clear in on goal, but the Spanish striker’s low shot flashed inches past the post, as the crowd waited for the net to bulge. The Wanderers, who included three former Glory players in their side, Nichols, Jack Clisby and Scott Neville, were looking dangerous going forward and Martinez went close again on the half hour. He found space on the edge of the box, but his curling shot whistled over the top. Santalab went close in first half stoppage time, the striker was sent clear, but his shot was straight at Reddy.

The Glory began brightly and attacked the Shed End in the second half and Castro had an early shot deflected wide, and on 51 minutes they hit the front. Josh Risdon, who will join up with the Socceroos this week for the World Cup Qualifier against Thailand, sent Chris Harold down the right channel, his cross shot was parried by Redmayne, but only to Keogh who made no mistake from six meters. It was the home side that looked they would go with it, Castro raced clear on the right and fed Williams, but the ball skidded away from the midfielder and the chance was gone.

But on 67 minutes the Wanderers levelled. Nichols fed Martinez, who slipped a great through ball into the path of Santalab who raced in on goal and finished low past Reddy. The Glory were convinced the Wanderers striker was offside, it looked tight but the flag never came, and Nichols celebrated with the small contingent of Wanderers fans in the corner. The Glory went in search of the winner, Smiljanic shot from long-range was saved by Redmayne, and three minutes from time the Wanderers custodian saved well to deny Harold’s header, and the points were shared.

Match Details

Perth Glory 2 (Grant 5’, Keogh 51’)

Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Martinez 1’, Santalab 67’)

Referee: Kurt Ams

Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, 2 Alex GRANT, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 15 Brandon WILSON (5 Rhys WILLIAMS 57’) 9 Andy KEOGH, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC (7 Joel CHIANESE 73’), 14 Chris HAROLD, 16 Joe MILLS, 17 Diego CASTRO, 19 Josh RISDON, 24 Milan SMILJANIC - Subs not used: RGK Nicholas FEELY, 8 Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 23 Kosta PETRATOS - Yellow Cards: WILLIAMS 61’, DJULBIC 62’, SMILJANIC 86’, CASTRO 87’

Western Sydney Wanderers: GK Andrew REDMAYNE, 3 Jack CLISBY, 6 Mitch NICHOLS (15 Kearyn BACCUS 79’), 8 DIMAS Delgado, 10 Nicolas MARTINEZ, 11 Brendon SANTALAB, 12 Scott NEVILLE, 13 Bruno PINTARES (5 Brendan HAMILL 89’), 16 Jaushua SOTIRIO (14 Jumpei KUSUKAMI 55’), 17 Aritz BORDA, 22 Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS - Subs not used: RGK Jerrad TYSON, 23 Lachlan SCOTT - Yellow Cards: PINATARES 29’, Delgado 34’, BORDA 89’, SANTALAB 90’



Perth Glory’s Matilda striker Sam Kerr made a perfect start to the new Westfield W-League season, bagging a double in their 4-2 win against Western Sydney Wanderers at nib Stadium on Sunday evening. The game was the second part of the double header between the two clubs, following the Glory’s A-League 2-2 draw with Western Sydney. Caitlin Doeglas opened the scoring in the first minute, before Rosie Sutton doubled the lead. Joanne Burgess pulled one back for the Wanderers before half time, and Helen Petinos levelled early in the second half, but a Kerr brace wrapped up the points in front of over 2,000 fans.

Glory Coach Bobby Despotovski was happy the way the new look side gelled. “The mix we have now is amazing, their spirit and camaraderie is unbelievable. It’s very pleasing to see and it makes it easier for them to gel,” he said. “We started the game extremely well and deservedly gone 2-0 up, but then just fell in a little bit of a hole but we dug ourselves out of that hole in the second half. I’m not setting any expectations for the girls, they come up with the expectations themselves, they want to be in the top four and then try to win it from there.”

It was a perfect start for the Glory and they were ahead after 18 seconds. Kerr made the interception before playing in Doeglas, who made no mistake for her first W-League goal. Returning striker Sutton then doubled Glory’s advantage on 22 minute, finishing well after the Wanderers failed to clear a corner, and in the goalmouth scramble she powered home from close-range.

The Wanderers were on the back foot, but they went close themselves on the half hour. Paige Nielsen’s lob beat Melissa Maizels, but the woodwork came to the rescue of the Glory custodian. But eight minutes later they did reduce the margin, Burgess finishing with aplomb. Burgess almost levelled in first half stoppage time, but she was denied by Maizels.

Burgess continued to be a thorn in Glory’s side after the break, firing in a low cross for Petinos to put the match back on level terms. The Wanderers were on top and Petinos and Katie Stengel both went close, before Nielsen hit the crossbar. But it was the home side who regained the lead on 68 minutes, Kerr easing past her marker and curling the ball around Casey Dumont. The points were made safe seven minutes from time with Kerr bagging her second. Nikki Stanton initial shot was only parried by Dumont and Kerr pounced to seal the win.

Match Details

Perth Glory 4 (Doeglas 1’, Sutton 22’, Kerr 68’, 83’)

Western Sydney Wanderers 2 (Burgess 38', Petinos 50')

PERTH GLORY: GK Melissa MAIZELS, 2 Sarah CARROLL, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Alyssa MAUTZ, 5 Patricia CHARALAMBOUS (17 Natasha RIGBY 84’), 6 Carla BENNETT (10 Vanessa DIBERNARDO 61’), 7 Nicole STANTON, 9 Rosie SUTTON, 14 Caitlin DOEGLAS (8 Shawn BILLAM 78’), 20 Samantha KERR, 22 Arianna ROMERO – Subs not used: RGK Gabby DAL BUSCO - Yellow Cards: Carroll 20’, Charalambous 64’, Stanton 69’, Billam 92’

WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS: GK Casey DUMONT, 2 Caitlin COOPER, 3 Nikola ORGILL, 5 Helen PETINOS (17 Sophie HANCOCK 64’), 6 Kendall FLETCHER, 9 Katherine STENGEL, 10 Paige NIELSEN, 13 Eliza AMMENDOLIA, 14 Alexis ARLITT, 16 Alix ROBERTS, 23 Joanne BURGESS (4 Chloe O’BRIEN 79’) – Subs not used: RGK Courtney NEWBON, 18 Angelique HRISTODOULOU - Yellow Cards: Nil



Perth Glory's Shane Lowry ready to make up for lost time after being forced under the knife for the first time in his career. Lowry, who had hip surgery three months ago, is likely to be included on the bench for his return against Western Sydney Wanderers tomorrow. Having missed the opening month of the A-League season, the defender said his time on the sidelines had been a struggle.

"This is the only time I've ever had surgery, touch wood, so it's been a frustrating one for me because I've never been out for this length of time before in my career,'' Lowry said. "I went to England when I was 15, so I've done well to be fair. I had 11 or so years without anything major. So it's kind of foreign to me. It's something I've had to deal with, the mental side of it as well, being frustrated at not being out there."

Glory, which has never kept a clean sheet against the Wanderers, will be determined to continue its strong home record after last Sunday's 2-1 loss at Brisbane Roar. They are riding an eight-match unbeaten streak at Perth Oval, but must again cope with the absence of coach Kenny Lowe from the sideline. Lowe will serve the second and final week of his ban for his half-time clash with the referees a fortnight ago.

Lowry, who joined Glory in January after a journeyman career in England, formed a strong combination in central defence with Alex Grant in the second half of last season. The no-nonsense 27-year old is likely to have to bide his time as he works his way back, but offers Glory a strong option off the bench with his ability to play at centre-half or left-back.

Lowry said he was glad he opted for surgery when he was troubled by a labral tear in his hip at the beginning of pre-season. "I probably could have carried on with it throughout the season but it would have been niggling at me, so I thought it was best to get it sorted,'' he said. "I can concentrate on the season now. I think it was the right decision, for the long term as well."



Perth was where it all began for Jack Clisby, but the Western Sydney Wanderers defender returns to his old stamping ground with the club that has taken his game to the next level. Western Australian-born Clisby first played professional football at Perth Glory, before moving east where he spent last season with Melbourne City.

Now at Western Sydney, 24-year old Clisby said his move to Western Sydney had been career-changing under the guidance of coach Tony Popovic. "I've found the training has taken to me another level. It's definitely the most intense training I've had since I've been playing as a professional," Clisby said. "I feel like I've been reaping the rewards week by week and I couldn't be happier with how I'm adjusting to life at the Wanderers."

"It's obviously early days, but I feel like it definitely has taken my confidence up a notch and I feel more confident with the players around me. It's a great team chemistry as well, there's no negativity, it's all just positive and everyone wants to work for each other, which is great. It helps as a player to believe in yourself more. It's a really good environment here and feels like a family."

Clisby's actual family will be at Perth Oval tomorrow and, though he has experienced playing against Glory before with Melbourne, it's a trip he always enjoys. "It's always nice to go back to Perth and play there," he said. "I always have respect for Perth because it was the first professional club I signed for. Mum, my dad and brother will be coming to the game ... I always love playing in front of my family and friends."

Having played against Western Sydney and watched the club's rapid rise from the outside, Clisby was always impressed with how methodically the team was prepared for each game. So when Popovic offered him an opportunity to join the club, Clisby didn't hesitate. "The Wanderers have always been a very well-structured team. I think you can put that down to the coaching staff," he said.

"There's a reason why the Wanderers have always been towards the top every year - they're always up there battling for the grand final or for first place. It's a great club and as soon as I heard there was an opportunity to come here I jumped at it because I knew it would improve me as a player and take me to that next level. I couldn't be happier with my move here at the Wanderers."

Clisby knows this weekend it will be tough against quality Glory side and with the constant threat of Andy Keogh up front. "Perth are obviously a pretty physical team and are quite good at hitting on the counter. We just need to make sure we're aware of that," he said. "Andy Keogh is obviously a great striker and you can see from the game against Melbourne City that he can finish from just about anywhere."

"Every week we come up against good strikers that can finish, it's just understanding how they play and how we can deal with them in the best way. He's not the only dangerous player, we look at more of a team perspective. The target is to hold out a solid performance for 90 minutes and we're confident we can achieve that."



Perth Glory takes on Western Sydney Wanderers on Sunday in week five of the Hyundai A-League at nib Stadium, looking to bounce back from last week’s first defeat of the season against Brisbane Roar. (4.00pm kick off) Both teams will be hoping to improve on poor performances last week, with the Wanderers also disappointing when being held to a 1-1 draw with the Central Coast Mariners.

Last week after Nebojsa Marinkovic levelled, the Glory were on top but they just couldn’t go on with it. Andy Keogh found it tough up top, and the service to the Irishman was poor, which was a complete reverse from his tremendous hat-trick against Melbourne City, while star import Diego Castro experienced a frustrating day, despite being constantly involved. Despite the loss Perth still sit in fourth place on the ladder - a position they probably would have taken after one month of the season.

Skipper Rostyn Griffiths is expected to recover in time from a neck injury and tooth damage to lead the side on Sunday, after the 28-year-old was replaced early in the first half last week and sent to hospital after a heavy collision with Roar’s Brett Holman. He chipped one of his front teeth in the encounter, but also aggravated a neck strain he sustained in the previous round’s victory over City.

Adam Taggart also returns to the squad, after recovering from a calf injury, and Scans have since cleared Griffiths of any serious injury and stand-in coach Andrew Ord said he should be good to play. “He’s our captain and he’s a good player, and I don’t think he was quite right going into the game looking back,” he said. “We thought he was OK, but the fact he hasn’t been able to see the first half out maybe that’s a factor why we never quite got to grips with the first half because when Rostyn plays well, we play well.”

The Wanderers squandered an early lead for the second straight week at home to be held to a draw, this time by the lowly Mariners. Kerem Bulut was dropped in favour of veteren Brendon Santalab and the striker instantly produced, scoring after just 82 seconds to put the Wanderers ahead. However a double howler from defender Robbie Cornthwaite and goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne gifted the Mariners an equaliser in the second half.

Midfielder Nicolas Martinez made his first start of the season last week, and the 29-year-old, who is on loan from Greek giants Olympiacos, says he feels more accustomed to his new club and is looking forward to the game against the Glory. “After this match, I feel like I can do it in this position, I feel comfortable with the running part, physically, with the ball, with the rhythm. I’m happy the coach has given me the trust to start,” he said.

“Sunday is going to be a difficult match. They’re going to be physically strong, which is why we have to be mentally prepared. Sometimes, we have to be more patient with the ball, don’t lose it so easily and be more compact when we have the ball, and match by match, we’re going to improve a lot.”

Squads for Sunday’s Game - Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY, 2 Alex GRANT, 3 Marc WARREN, 4 Shane LOWRY, 5 Rhys WILLIAMS, 6 Dino DJULBIC, 7 Joel CHIANESE, 8 Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9 Andy KEOGH, 10 Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 14 Chris HAROLD, 15 Brandon WILSON, 16 Joe MILLS, 17 Diego CASTRO, 19 Josh RISDON, 22 Adam TAGGART, 24 Milan SMILJANIC - *two to be omitted* - Ins: LOWRY (promoted), TAGGART (promoted) - Outs: Nil

Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: GK Andrew REDMAYNE, GK Jerrad TYSON, 2 Shannon COLE, 3 Jack CLISBY, 5 Brendan HAMILL, 6 Mitch NICHOLS, 7 Steve LUSTICA, 8 Dimas (c), 9 Kerem BULUT, 10 Nicolás MARTÍNEZ, 11 Brendon SANTALAB, 12 Scott NEVILLE, 13 Bruno PIÑATARES, 14 Jumpei KUSUKAMI, 15 Kearyn BACCUS, 17 Artiz BORDA, 18 Robbie CORNTHWAITE, 19 Jacob MELLING - *two to be omitted* - Ins: COLE (promoted), BULUT (promoted), PIÑATARES (promoted) - Outs: 23.Lachlan SCOTT (not selected)



Brazilian striker Gustavo Catarcione scored 19 league goals this season to help Perth SC to the PS4 NPLWA league title and the West Australian Top Four Cup, and last weekend he was rewarded by being voted the clubs Fairest and Best at their end of season Presentation Night at Dorrien Gardens, pipping defender Tom King for the clubs best player.

The former Bayswater City and Balcatta striker said it was a huge honour to win the award at such a big club. “To win this award is huge for me, and I’m really happy and honoured to go on the list of some fantastic players that have won the award over the years,” he explained. “The club made me really welcome when I joined them and I was happy to help them win the league this season, and I’m just proud to be part of this club.”

Perth skipper Clark Keltie said the striker was outstanding, scoring goals at vital times for the club. “I think as a number 9 you’re judged on goals and goals alone over the course of a season,” he said. “Gustavo has been there for us when we’ve needed him, and although he may have quiet spells, he’s still very much a danger as he’s shown time and time again. I’m pleased he came away with some reward in his first season with the club and hope he can progress more in the future for us.”

Catarcione was the joint winner of the NPL Golden Boot, with ECU Joondalup’s Gordon Smith, and he said it was probably his best season of football in WA. “I believe last season was one of my best seasons and to play with such a great bunch of players made it even better,” he said. “I played most of the games, and I didn’t get any long term injuries, which I had in my time in WA Football, but when you’re scoring goals you know that you’re in the right place.”

In other awards on the night Alex Silla won the under 20’s Fairest and Best ahead of David Molinari, and Silla also won the Youth Development Player of the year. Jordan De Leo was the winner of the Robert Giorgi Memorial Trophy, and Griffin Becsi won the under 18’s Fairest and Best, with Shubham Mokala the runner-up.



Sydney FC's Brandon O'Neill has been nominated for the A-League Young Footballer of the Year Award for a series of outstanding performances in the opening four rounds of the 2016/17 season. O'Neill's on-field influence have been a major reason for Sydney taking maximum points from their first four games, not to mention his sensational free-kick against Western Sydney Wanderers which is already a contender for goal of the year.

"It is a massive honour to be recognised as the Young Footballer of the Year for the month of October," O'Neill said. "I'd like to thank all my team mates because without them and all of their hard work, I wouldn't have gained this recognition. It has been a great start to the season and it's very enjoyable to be part of a team playing great football, and also to be mixing with a group of friends who get on very well off the field as well as on it."

O'Neill is the first player to be nominated for the 2016/17 Young Footballer of the Year, the winner of which will be announced at the Dolan Warren Awards Night in April. The midfielder started out with ECU Joondalup and made 13 appearances for Perth Glory before switching to Sydney, where he's made 30 appearances in competitions since mid-2015.



Central Coast Mariners defender Storm Roux has revealed he wasn't expecting to be named captain going into last weekend's game against Western Sydney Wanderers. With club captain Nick Montgomery sidelined by injury, coach Paul Okon handed the armband to 23-year old Roux who responded with a man-of-the-match display in guiding his team to a 1-1 draw.

"It was a massive honour to be named captain when Monty was injured, I took a lot of pride in it," Roux said. "I wasn't expecting it. I got a message from Paolo before the game. It was a huge privilege. It's not really something I pictured myself doing - I thought later in my career (captaincy) is something I might grow into, but to get it anyway, at 23 years old... it's a massive honour."

In a sign of respect to Montgomery, Roux was clear that he took plenty of cues from his team's regular on-field leader and stressed it was just one game. "I pick up on what Monty's like - he's a great captain," he said. "I tried to take different things from him, and make them into my own - but as I said it's just for one game and everyone's looking forward to getting him back in the team."

It's been a long road to recovery for Roux following a series of injuries suffered late in the 2015/16 season. With a handful appearances now under his belt, the defender is keen to continue to improve. "My main goal was to get 90 minutes of football under my belt", Roux explained. "I've been feeling better each game, that's a big positive for me, and hopefully I can keep building on that."

Roux says there is plenty of confidence growing within the squad leading into Sunday's clash with Adelaide United. "We're confident we can come out with the result," said the former Sorrento junior. "We've been showing signs each week, we're getting better at different areas in our game - hopefully we can come away with the three points."

After shipping seven goals in the opening two rounds, Central Coast have conceded two goals in their two most recent outings. Roux says that is a real sign of improvement across the squad. "We're slowly stamping out those errors out of our game," he said. "We're still waiting on that clean sheet - it's a big goal of ours not to concede and something we focus on each day in training."



On the day that Ange Postecoglou unveiled his latest Socceroos squad, utility player Chris Herd trudged out to training on a freezing morning in England still dreaming of breaking back into the national team. Herd, 27, was greeted as a Socceroos star in the making when he burst into Aston Villa's first team four and a half years ago.

The future bristled with promise for Perth-raised Herd, but fast forward to 2016 and it's been a tale of injuries, angst and unfulfilled expectations for a player who has just three caps to his name. He is currently playing for struggling English League One side Gillingham, after signing and then extricating himself from a deal with Perth Glory for family reasons.

But Herd is feeling recharged and reinvigorated and insists his best years could be yet to come. He acknowledges that valuable time has passed him by due to several long-term absences which limited hiim to 42 league and cup appearances for Villa across five seasons. A further 43 outings came through loans to the likes of Port Vale and Lincoln City before playing last season with Chesterfield.

"I am feeling fit and strong again and I am at a good club with a good manager and good players," said Herd, whose sixth league appearance last weekend saw him replaced at half-time after suffering a minor injury in the 2-1 loss to Fleetwood Town. "I played 25 games last year (at Chesterfield) and I am just trying to build on that."

"I am trying not to think too far ahead and just put everything I can into my club form. I want to be consistent week to week, after a few years when I was playing very little football, and hopefully that can get me noticed again (by the national team). For me, it's just about doing all the right things and putting in the performances."

Sadly, up to this point, Herd, who can play in midfield, right-back or centre-back, is best remembered for the amount of squads he had to pull out of, rather than any of his on-field exploits for the Socceroos. But his energy, zest, versatility and combative qualities could yet be of use to Postecoglou if he can conjure the consistency he craves.

Herd said he's enjoying his football after a "stop-start" season at Chesterfield and believes there is plenty more to come from him on his mission of reinvention. "I have plenty of goals and the drive to do well," he said. "I think there are a lot of good years still to come and I have learned a lot and matured as a player, and have a lot still to offer."

Renowned for a commitment and tackling style which sometimes left him exposed to high impact injuries, Herd said he is now wiser and smarter. "As I get older and more experienced I have adapted a maybe changed my game a little bit," Herd said. "I am still fully committed, but it's about those split second decisions you make and I want to make sure I stay on the pitch and get as few injuries as possible."

"I am a bit smarter and more clever now about how I approach everything. I think I am a lot calmer now also. Most of my injuries were from impact ... It was never a case of having breakdowns of muscles. They all came from impacts. I probably approach the game in a different way, and I have a bit more know-how."



Stirling Lions have signed promising Perth Glory striker Nikola Talimdzioski for 2017. The 19-year-old scored eight times for the Glory last season and finished high in the Gold Medal count, so the decision to leave the A-League franchise must have been a difficult one. “The decision to leave the Glory would have to be the hardest decision that I have made in my football career,” he said. “I believe it is the right move for my football development, but I’m sure others will disagree.”

The move to Macedonia Park came really quickly, but after speaking to Coach Rob Milevski and his assistant Dejan Vulic, Talimdzioski said he was convinced to join the Lions’ Den. “It was a surprising and tough move for me, it happened so quickly, but I’m confident with what the future holds with Stirling,” he said. “I think Stirling has a great side and plenty of firepower up front, but I’m definitely hoping to contribute to scoring goals as best as I can.”

Lions Coach Rob Milevski said Nikola is a talented player and will fit in well as the club look to improve on last season’s 7th position. “Nikola is a talented young player who is a proven goal scorer at NPL level and we welcome him to Stirling Lions. He has an excellent attitude and is a quality striker who has been with the Glory for the last three years and is looking forward to joining the Stirling Lions forward line,” he said. “It was definitely a disappointing end to the season for us after such a good start and then slipping out of the top four due to a lack of depth in the squad. Our aim is to strengthen the squad for next season and Nikola is a great signing for us and will add pace and quality up front for Stirling.”

Talimdzioski had a stellar season with the Glory youngsters last season, and was well liked at the club, and the lively striker said his time at the A-League franchise was one he will never forget. “The three years I’ve spent at the club have been the most enjoyable of my career thus far,” he explained. “I’ve met and made some friends for life. What I was offered had nothing to do with the decision I made, it was merely what would be the most effective for my career and I believe joining Rob and Dejan at the Lions is the right decision.”

It’s a return home of sorts for Talimdzioski, who started his football just down the road from Macedonia Park. “I started my football down the road at Stirling Suns, before moving to Balcatta where I played the majority of my junior football,” he explained. “I played in the 18’s and had a sniff at the Reserves at Grindleford Reserve, but then moved to Inglewood United 23’s, and made my senior debut for them, which was a huge highlight for me as a 16-year-old.”

He has had a taste of playing for an A-League club and the teenager said if the opportunity came up again he would jump at the chance, but that is the furthest from his mind at the moment. “Of course if the opportunity arose to move to an A-League club I would jump at the chance, like any other player, but at the moment all I’m worried about is playing well for Stirling,” he said. “I know I need to work hard at the Lions and make sure I’m ready for it if the chance came up.”



Bunbury-based South West Phoenix has appointed Italian Mauro Marchione has their head coach for 2017. The former Bayswater City and Perth SC, heads South with a wealth of coaching experience at the highest level of football in WA and they are very confident that Mauro is a great fit for club and will be pivotal to the club achieving both its’ on field and off field goals and aspirations.

Phoenix President Guy Italiano said the club are ready to push for the NPL and he believes Marchione is the right man for the job. “In the last couple of years SWP has focused on putting juniors into the NPL to provide pathways for talented young players in the region, our juniors need our seniors and our seniors need our juniors to ensure we have talented local players coming into senior ranks,” he explained.

“Having our seniors in NPL will insure that local players have a complete path way to follow.

With our juniors set up in place, in 2017 and beyond our primary focus is successful promotion into the NPL, the appointment of Mauro as senior coach is pivotal for us to achieve our goals, as he brings a wealth of experience, he will instill the discipline and commitment required from the playing group who are hungry for NPL promotion.”

Marchione has most recently been coaching in the State League Division 1 with Dianella White Eagles and in previous years has been at the helm at Bayswater City and Perth FC. He was senior coach at Bayswater in 2010 and led them to win the Division 1 State League title that year to earn promotion to the NPL, where they have enjoyed much success. The new Coach is keen to meet all current and prospective players as soon possible, and get an early head start on season 2017 with pre-season training commencing in early December.



In his first season at Bayswater City winger Jason Mirco stood out, and the 26-year-old scooped the awards at the clubs Presentation Night at Crown Perth. He took out all the awards and said it was a great night and the professionalism is what brought him to the club. “The club put together an amazing night, and as always with Bayswater it was a very classy event which everyone enjoyed,” he said. “I was privileged to take home the Fairest and Best, Players’ Player of the Year and the Golden Boot and it capped off a great season for me.”

Mirco, who edged out Jamie Coyne for the Fairest and Best, said the calibre of players at the club made it even more pleasing to be recognised by the coaches and his fellow players. “Considering the amount of quality in our squad and the list of previous winners I was honoured to have taken home the awards,” he explained. “I’ve really enjoyed my first year at the club and everyone made me feel extremely welcome and for that I’m grateful, and I’m looking forward to next season.”

It was a disappointment that City missed out on the Top Four Cup last season, but Mirco said they will be back bigger and stronger next season. “It’s obvious our season didn’t go to plan, and being Champions the objective next season is a simple one, do it again,” he said. “A lot of things didn’t go our way last season, we lost key players at the wrong times, and that ultimately cost us. I believe the quality is there for everyone to see, it’s just a matter of getting us back to our best. I’m sure Chris (Coyne) and the coaching staff have a clear plan of how to go about it and the players are looking forward to making emends this season.”

Coyne said Mirco was a well-deserved winner of the Fairest and Best. “Jason was fantastic for the team and the club last season. He gave everything he had in a team that couldn’t buy a win and I think that hunger he displayed rubbed off on his team mates,” he said. “He created and scored a lot of goals, and was quality throughout, and he was very humbled by the honour received with the playing group he was part of.”

The coach said 2016 is one to forget, but he said the players are ready for a big 2017. “Last season was a massive flop for us as we should have been up there with the quality of the league this season,” he explained. “That is not taking anything away from Perth SC, who worked very hard to win the league, but a dig at myself and the group as with the players we had we should have been getting better results. Sometimes you need to go back to move forward, and I believe that the fact we were unsuccessful last season has given the players the desire to get back to the top again and they all have that fire in their guts again.”

In other awards on the night Luke Ninkovic won the under 20’s Fairest and Best ahead of Hifzhan Hiyaxi, Ninkovic also won the Golden Boot, while Jamie Murphy won the Players’ Player of the Year. In the under 18’s Giordano Colli won the Fairest and Best, with Declan Hughes the runner-up. Dean Gordon won the Players’ Player of the Year, while Julian Alteri won the Golden Boot.



Perth Glory defender Josh Risdon is set to gain his fourth international cap when the Socceroos take on Thailand later this month in a World Cup Qualifier. Risdon's recall to the squad is one of four changes made by coach Ange Postecoglou, who has also brought in Japan-based striker Nathan Burns, Milos Degenek and Brisbane Roar striker Jamie Maclaren.

Risdon was understandably thrilled with winning a spot in the 23-player squad which will face Thailand in Bangkok on 15 November. "It was a goal of mine starting the season to get back into the Socceroos' side," said Risdon, who last weekend set a new club record of 120 A-League appearances for Glory. "I'm very happy to be heading to Thailand."

But Risdon knows he is far from assured of a starting berth at right back, with Germany-based Milos Degenek also vying for the role. "There's been a few boys who have played (at right back) recently," he commented. "If I get the chance, it would be great to put in a good performance and make that spot mine." Risdon will line-up for Glory on Sunday against Western Sydney Wanderers before flying to Thailand on Monday.



Perth Glory defender Alex Grant has welcomed the fierce competition for centre-back spots after forcing his way back into the team. Grant impressed as he featured for the first time this season in Glory’s 3-2 win against Melbourne City nine days ago, having been called up to replace Rhys Williams who missed the game for personal reasons.

“I was fortunate enough to be given the call-up and obviously took my opportunity well, so I had a good game and it was a good result”’ 22-year old Grant said. “Every year there’s always going to be competition for spots. I don’t care what football club you are, there’s always going to be competition and it’s healthy competition.”

“It makes me train better. It makes me play better. Because I’m chewing at the bit if I’m not playing, so I just want to work my hardest and do well for the team. I’m confident in myself I can always put a shift in with the lads. With me still being young and inexperienced, a lot of the lads here have got a lot of game experience behind them so they help me a lot.”

Grant’s central defensive partnership with Dino Djulbic is expected to continue this weekend when Glory play Brisbane Roar. The defender said he felt Glory have defended well so far this season, despite conceding three goals to Central Coast Mariners on the opening day and two more the following week to Melbourne City.

“Obviously the first game we were a bit sloppy and we should have never let Central Coast get into the game, but that was early doors,” said Grant, who played for English clubs Portsmouth, Stoke City and Macclesfield Town prior to joining Glory in mid-2015. “Then we kept a clean sheet the Phoenix which was positive.”

“I think we kind of cost ourselves against City. The goals that we conceded - I think the first one was really controversial. And the second one was just an honest mistake. We’re trying to do the right things and mistakes will creep in throughout the season. But we’ve just got to work on cutting them out



Matt Wardle has been appointed as senior coach at Ashfield, as the club look to push for a spot in the NPL. The former Inglewood United defender takes over the reins from Paul Dundo, and President Bill Busby said it is a good move from the club. “Matt is by no means a new face to the Ashfield family,” he said. “He’s a former player and club captain who in 2010 was one of the first players signed that triggered the State League revival and relative success the club has experienced since.”

Bushby said Wardle has a vast amount of experience in the game and will get down to overseeing the trials for next season. “Matt has an extensive resume as a player with NPL experience with Inglewood United and was also signed by Scottish side Livingston FC in 2005,” he explained. “Matt will initially be joined by Mark Humphreys (Youth Development) and will be overseeing and conducting trials for all three grades commencing shortly. The club is continuing the selection process for our remaining 2017 coaching positions which will be subject to further announcements in the coming weeks.”

Wardle said to be given the opportunity to coach Ashfield is an honour. “I'm very honoured to be given the job at Ashfield, especially considering I'm still quite young, it is a big task for myself and my coaching staff to take on, but one we’re looking forward too,” he said. “We are ready to dive head first into this new season and with a new football committee at Ashfield backing us and supporting us I firmly believe we will be successful in 2017.”

The coach said the club have been great and he wants to re-pay the faith they have shown in him and his coaching team. “The new committee has already started organising a lot of off field things so that myself and my coaches can concentrate on football and getting things right on the pitch,” he explained. “As for myself, what I will bring to Ashfield, I will work heavily on installing confidence into my players, along with the passion and desire to want to play the game in what I believe the right way. Ashfield will be a very honest, organised and hardworking football team next season.”



Irishman Sean Browne has won the Fremantle City Player of the Year, to cap of a great season for the former Inglewood United and Shamrock Rovers midfielder. The 27-year-old said he was delighted to win the award, but to gain promotion with City was far more important to him. “It’s always nice to win a personal award, but the most important thing for me was promotion for Fremantle City,” he explained. “Every single player and club member gave 110% commitment to the cause and that was the foundation of our success.”

Browne said the club are ready for next season as they look to take the First Division be storm. “The club has very high ambitions and it’s great to be part of that,” he said. “It was a fantastic season for us, losing just one game and we are currently unbeaten in 19 matches. So we will be full of confidence going into the First Division next season and certainly won’t be there to make up the numbers.”

Fremantle coach Steve Plucknett said the Irish midfielder was a worthy winner, and said his experience was a major reason why they won the title. “Sean was a deserved winner, in an outstanding season for the club and himself personally,” he said. “He was Mr Consistent and the engine that drove our midfield. He was a role model in how the game should be played and who never seeks personal praise, but just gets on with his job, and he will be a key player for us next season.”

In other first team awards Ben West was runner-up in the Player of the Year, while Alec Robinson won the Players’ Player of the Year. Robinson was also recognised on the night after winning the Football West State League Division Two Player of the Year and the league’s Golden Boot. In the Development Squad Bob Foley, who will be assistant First Team Coach next season, won Player of the Year, with teenager Liam Hoskin the runner-up, while the Players’ Player of the Year was won by Revie Bukuru. James Holloway won the under 18’s Player of the Year, ahead of runner-up Jacob Guarino, who also won the Football West State Golden Boot, while keeper Cian Flynn won the Players’ Player of the Year.

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This page was last updated on the 27th October, 2016