Archived News : November-December 2017



Australian superstar Sam Kerr is on the brink of a dream move to European giants Paris Saint-Germain. The star attacker is reportedly in talks with the French club and is a chance to seal the deal in the upcoming January transfer window.

Kerr, AFC's 2017 Women’s Player of the Year, has continued her red-hot form for W-League side Perth Glory. And French site said clubs from the United States as well as a few in England, were also casting an eye over the Australian.



Young Perth Glory midfielder Brandon Wilson spent Thursday organising a visa to China where he will play for the Olyroos. But before he flies out on Monday for the month-long under-23 AFC Championships he has some important business to sort out tonight when Glory tackle A-League leaders Sydney FC.

It will be a bittersweet January for Wilson, who has gone from strength to strength since returning home last season after a three-year stint in England with Burnley’s under-18 and under-21 teams and making his senior debut for Stockport County. Botswana-born Wilson moved to Perth at the age of ten and worked under current Glory coach Kenny Lowe at the National Training Centre.

After consolidating his A-League spot last season when he played 22 matches, starting in 14, Wilson has already started eight of Glory’s 12 matches and made three more appearances off the bench this year. He believes sixth-placed Glory have turned the corner with their first back-to-back wins of the season against Wellington Phoenix and Brisbane Roar after a difficult start, with six of the first nine games away from home.

“We got off to a bit of a rough start, the schedule was hard, it’s no excuse but it is hard trying to perform at 100 per cent when you are travelling so much,” Wilson said. “Sydney are a hard team to beat, they are structured, they are solid, but we’ll go into the game confident. I don’t think you can look at the other team and feel threatened. You go in and see what happens on the night.

“We’ve done our homework, we know how they play, we’ve got to nullify their attacks and use our strength, which is counterattack. We work to try and change it up so we don’t become predictable as a team. The gaffer (Lowe) gives you the freedom to do something if it comes along. I’ve got a good feeling about this game and after that we have a couple of back-to-back home games coming up and we will kick on a bit.”

But Wilson will not be there for those games. “It’s an honour to represent your country, it’s what you dream of since you were a kid, but at the same time you don’t want to lose your spot,” he said. “We have a small squad but what we lack in quantity we have in quality and it can be very hard to come back and take your spot.”



Perth Glory face the toughest task in the Hyundai A-League on Saturday when they travel to the Allianz Stadium to take on league leaders and current A-League Champions Sydney FC in Week 13 (kick off at 4.50pm WST). It’s not been a happy hunting ground for the Glory, but the same was said about Brisbane last week, and they came home with all three points, but with the injury list clearing up – slowly – they head into the game looking to cause an upset.

Head coach Kenny Lowe gave his chargers Christmas Day off, but had them back in on Boxing Day as they prepare to take on Graham Arnold’s side and while aware of the quality in their ranks, Lowe is relishing the challenge of taking them on, on their patch. “They're obviously a very good side and are particularly strong at home," he said. “But we're heading over there off the back of consecutive wins and are really looking forward to it. The lads have trained well this week, there's a good buzz around the place and a quiet confidence within the group."

Lowe still has injury concerns with Shane Lowry and Xavi Torres both being monitored with groin injuries, but he has Alex Grant fit and ready to go and he also has teenager winger Jacob Italiano available, after missing the trip to Brisbane to head to Germany to speak to Borussia Mönchengladbach about a possible move. Skipper Andy Keogh is also pushing for a starting role, after coming off the bench last week, while Liam Reddy has recovered from the face injury that forced him from the field at Suncorp Stadium.

Sydney are five points clear on top of the table, in which they've posted 10 wins in 12 games. The only points they've dropped were in a shock 2-0 loss to Central Coast Mariners in round six and a 2-2 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers in round three. Perth have risen to sixth spot on the back of consecutive wins and are just three points adrift of third-placed Melbourne City. But they must overcome the odds on Saturday night to beat a Sky Blues outfit who are hot favourites to defend their title.

The Sky Blues have dominated most teams with the engine room in midfield of Josh Brillante, Adrian Mierzejewski and former Glory Brandon O’Neill outstanding, while the link up play with striker Bobo and Milos Ninkovic has caused all teams problems. They also have the best defensive record in the league, with Jordy Buijs and Alex Wilkinson leading a tight back four, so the Glory know they have their work cut out to come home with the points.

The Glory's winning percentage of 21 per cent against Sydney is the club's worst against any current team, but Keogh hopes they can give Sydney an unwanted surprise, and with Keogh and Diego Castro fit and firing again, Glory fancy their chances of getting a result. “We are aiming to back up the last two performances and try to get a result," Keogh said. "We've seen Sydney have slipped up a couple of times this year. Hopefully, we can give them a little surprise on Saturday."

Sydney FC - GK Andrew REDMAYNE, 4 Alex WILKINSON, 5 Jordy BUIJS, 6 Josh BRILLANTE, 7 Michael ZULLO, 8 Paulo RETRE, 9 BOBÔ, 10 Milos NINKOVIC, 11 Adrian MIERZEJEWSKI, 13 Brandon O’NEILL, 14 Alex BROSQUE (c), 16 Anthony KALIK, 17 David CARNEY, 18 Matt SIMON, 21 Charles LOKOLINGOY, 22 Seb RYALL, 26 Luke WILKSHIRE, 30 Thomas HEWARD-BELLE - *two to be omitted* - Ins: KALIK (promoted), SIMON (promoted)

Perth Glory – GK Liam REDDY, RGK Nick FEELY, 2 Alex GRANT, 4 Shane LOWRY, 5 Jacob POSCOLIERO, 6 Mitch NICHOLS, 7 Joel CHIANESE, 8 Xavi TORRES, 9 Andy KEOGH (c), 14 Chris HAROLD, 15 Brandon WILSON, 16 Joseph MILLS, 17 Diego CASTRO, 18 Andreu GUERAO, 19 Joe KNOWLES, 20 Jake BRIMMER, 26 Jacob ITALIANO, 29 Jeremy WALKER - *two to be omitted* - Ins: BRIMMER (promoted), ITALIANO (promoted)



With only six rounds remaining of the Westfield W-League, many are talking about a Grand Final preview when top of the table Brisbane Roar travel to Dorrien Gardens to take on Perth Glory in Week nine on Friday evening (7.00pm WA Time). Sam Kerr and Rachel Hill have been on fire up top, but the midfield guile of midfielder Raquel Rodriguez has helped Bobby Despotovski’s side to press for the title.

With her ability to impact the game at both ends of the field, 'Rocky' Rodriguez has certainly enjoyed her first taste of the Westfield W-League following her stint in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL). The Costa Rican international has showcased superb vision and work rate and chalked up three assists (the equal-highest in the league) in her first six appearances in a Glory shirt. However, the midfielder admits that the new competition has taken some adapting to.

"The biggest challenge for me has been how direct the game is here," she said. “Everything was new and it took some time to adjust being so far from home, but my teammates and staff are amazing and have made me feel welcome and a part of the family since day one. The team has been very professional in providing support on and off the field, so this has definitely made the transition easier."

Despite the obstacles, which included travelling to Costa Rica to take on Mexico in November, Rocky has gone from strength to strength. She netted a dramatic stoppage-time winner while on international duty and has become an integral part of the Glory’s title-chasing side through her tough tackling and quality distribution. "I think the game here in Australia is very physical," she said, ". “So the feisty and competitive ingredients are there which makes it very entertaining. "You really never know who is going to win and with several teams between one and three points away from each other, every game is so important."

The 24-year-old won the Rookie of the Year award in the NSWL with Sky Blue FC in 2016, and it has certainly been a bright start to her professional career for the dynamic number 10 who feels that she is still developing and refining her style. "I think I am in a stage of my career where I need to define what kind of player I am," she said. "In the past, I’ve played throughout the midfield, both in an advanced and deeper position and with my national team I've even played as a forward sometimes. I’m defining my style and my position, kind of my “soccer identity". You can’t really measure this, it is more of a mindset for me that needs to settle in before I set any goals going forward in my career."

Roar skipper Clare Polkinghorne is relishing the clash against Perth Glory duo Sam Kerr and Rachel Hill. "Polks" has been in stellar form in the heart of the Roar defence in the opening half of the Westfield W-League 2017/18 Season and a key reason behind the club's surge to the top of the ladder. But they are set for their biggest test yet when they take on red-hot strikers Kerr and Hill at Dorrien Gardens on Friday night.

“You want to be challenging yourself against the best players in the league. Sam has proven that she’s one of the best strikers in the world, and Rachel scored a hat-trick against us last time,” Polkinghorne said. “This season we have focused on playing how we want to and worrying less about the opposition. We still need to be wary of the weapons they have and they have dangerous players all over the pitch. We will have to nullify their attack so it’s just about limiting their chances at goal. That’s the kind of challenge I love as a defender and I’m sure we’ll all rise to the occasion.”

Glory caused the Roar’s first defeat of the season in their last meeting back in Round two, but Brisbane has bounced back in sparkling fashion to be sitting top of the table going into Friday’s game. They came to Suncorp [last time we met] and did a pretty good job,” Polkinghorne said. “We’ve come a long way since that loss back in Round 2 and I think we’ve developed as a team. If we keep using the momentum we built in the last win against Melbourne City, we’ll definitely put in a much-improved performance.”



Western Sydney Wanderers aren’t revolting they’re just playing badly. That’s the word from defender Josh Risdon who has dismissed suggestions there is dissension within the playing ranks as pressure continues to mount on coach Josep Gombau.

Western Sydney have just one win from six outings under Gombau and suffered a 4-0 shellacking at the hands of Newcastle Jets. It was a result which saw the immediate resignation of assistant coach Hayden Foxe who had worked as a caretaker after the departure of Tony Popovic.

Gombau has been developing a more attacking style than his predecessor but with very little success, having scored just three goals in their past six outings and conceded 14. He has also been challenging his playing group — including captain Robbie Cornthwaite who has been benched in their last two matches.

“No (the talk of player unrest) it isn’t true,” Risdon told the 'Daily Telegraph'. “Everyone is working towards the same goal. Things aren’t going well so there are going to be rumours but we all want the same thing and that’s to get out of the form slump we’re in. Everyone is together and that’s the most important thing.”

While the timing of Popovic’s departure has presented a big challenge for coach and players Risdon says the excuse is wearing thin. “We need to move on,” Risdon said. “The timing of the change of coaches wasn’t ideal but that’s something that happens in football.”

“We’ve had two months under Josep and it’s been tough but we had a couple of good games including the win over Central Coast. Things can change very quickly if we can get another good win. We’ve got some games in quick succession in the year so if we can get a bit of momentum the league is that close we can easily creep up the table.”

“We need to do the simple things well, we’re adapting a new system and a new style which will take a while. The effort was perhaps lacking against Newcastle and in previous matches and we need to lift that and fight out games. If we can grind out some results in the coming matches our playing style will help us towards the end of the season.”



Forgotten Socceroo Brad Jones wants to make a national team comeback as he continues to impress in his third season in the Netherlands. Mysteriously overlooked for almost the entirety of Ange Postecoglou's four-year reign, the 35-year old Feyenoord shot-stopper has the 2018 FIFA World Cup in his sights.

Jones, who helped Feyenoord to their first title in 18 years with 17 clean sheets last season, wants it known that there are no conditions to him being available for the green and gold. Last May, in the build-up to the Confederations Cup, reports surfaced that he would only accept a recall if he was guaranteed game time.

Jones' camp vehemently rejected those assertions at the time - and nothing has changed. "Brad is available for selection, there's never been any doubt about that," said Jones' his England-based agent Gary Williams. "There was all this rubbish in the media about him not wanting to join squads unless he was guaranteed game time - but nobody actually spoke to him."

"Brad has never put any stipulations on appearing for Australia. He just wants to play for his country again. He's absolutely available for selection, if needed. He's won goalkeeper of the year twice in Holland, and is having another good season (Feyenoord are fifth on the ladder going into the winter break)."

The last of Jones's four Australia appearances was a 30-minute cameo against Ecuador in 2014. But with long-time second choice Mitch Langerak struggling for game time at Levante (Spain), competition for number one Mat Ryan has lost some intensity. A recall for Jones would spice things up with a new Socceroos coach to be announced in February.



Perth Glory have come from behind twice to earn a hard fought 2-2 draw with joint leaders Adelaide United in Week six of the Foxtel Y-League at Marden Sports Complex on Thursday morning. Pacifique Niyongabire had given the Reds the lead on 20 minutes before Chok Dau levelled early in the second half. The home side regained their lead with a Charlie Devereux penalty, but the Glory restored parity when Yagoub Mustafa turned home Dau cut back. The Glory should have gone on and won it, but Reds keeper Daniel Margush produced good saves to deny them.

Glory Head Coach John Gibson thought his side deserved more from the game. "Happy but not happy today - we dominated from start to finish but didn’t capitalize on our chances,” he explained. “Their keeper Daniel Margush pulled off five unbelievable saves, while poor Jackson Lee didn’t have to make a save, but we conceded a soft goal and a penalty. However, a tremendous mature away performance which we deserved the three points. Super character to come from behind twice away and display an aggressive mentality - pretty cool. We overran them in the backend and had some glorious opportunities late in the game."

Gibson said they aim to perform in every match they play. "Every match we play we want to perform at our best - which goes hand in hand with winning. We are disappointed in ourselves results wise but overall our performances have been dominant apart from certain key moments in games," he said. "The group gave worked extremely hard, and for most of them it's their first season in the Foxtel Y-League, and they will be better for it. We have a young group and if they remain together for the journey they will grow into a pretty good unit. We have three games to go and we want to win all three.”

The Glory opened brightly and Bayley Brown-Montgomery fired wide from close-range after only eight minutes, and the home side were on the back foot. But after soaking up the early pressure the home side hit the front on 19 minutes. Niyongabire found himself one-on-one with Lee, and he finished well. Moments later Liam McCabe went close to a second, but the Glory defense blocked his effort. Margush then produced a great save to keep Adelaide’s lead, before Ninko Beric’s header crashed off the post and away to safety.

Margush was at it again early in the second half, producing a smart save to deny substitute Michael McDougall, before the Reds custodian saved low to deny Henry Hore moments later. It was a great start by Glory and they were rewarded with the equaliser on 55 minutes. Brown-Montgomery sent Dau racing into the box, he rounded Margush and rolled the ball into an empty net. But with the Glory taking control of the game they were set back on their heels 12 minutes later when referee Samuel Kuys pointed to the spot after Niyongabire was brought down in the box, and Devereux made no mistake from the resulting penalty.

But that disappointment didn’t deter the Glory and they hit back to level five minutes later. Dau was the provider this time, the former Inglewood United winger cutting the ball back to Mustafa, who finished well across Margush. Buoyed by the equaliser the Glory pressed for the winner and Mustafa put an effort over the top on 87 minutes, before Gomo Dukuly fired inches wide in stoppage time.

“I feel the result was a fair reflection of the game, as it was a tale of two halves,” Dau said. “If we finished the chances we had in the first 10 minutes it’s would have been a different ball game but after failing to capitalise we allowed them to take momentum and control the first half. We started the second half with a lot more fight and belief and were aggressive with the way we were creating chances.”



Tony Sage has threatened to leave nib Stadium and take Perth Glory to Optus Stadium over a pricing and scheduling dispute. Sage said that next year he would end his VenuesWest contract, which requires Glory to play 14 A-League games a year at nib Stadium, if the management company did not reduce its price and allow the club to play some games at Optus Stadium each year.

Glory are planning to play an A-League game at Optus Stadium in March and of the fans embrace the new stadium, and if the price was right, Sage would consider moving his team permanently to the venue. “If the deal is better, and the fans like it, we will move (exclusively) to the new stadium,” Sage said.

Sage must decide by April, which is the deadline for informing Football Federation Australia where Glory’s home games will be held the following season. Optus Stadium’s costs will be higher than the $100,000 to $110,000 charged for every game at nib Stadium, however, Sage believes the bigger venue would ensure more ticket sales.

Sage said Glory ticket sales could top 40,000 for a final but nib Stadium had a capacity of only 20,500. He said it was unfair nib Stadium charged more than the $75,000 which Melbourne facilities charged its A-League teams. “They’ve got to justify why it is that much more expensive,” he said. “We’ve been asking the State Government that for three years.”

Sage would ideally like Glory to remain the anchor tenant at nib Stadium with the option of playing bigger games, such as finals, at the new stadium. VenuesWest has allowed a one-off exception to its contract to allow the club to play an A-League game at Optus Stadium in March, though a final decision depends on costs.

A move by Glory to the new venue would cast a big shadow over the viability of nib Stadium, which has already lost the Western Force as a tenant. Losing Glory would increase the difficulty of finding a new sponsor for the venue after health insurer nib recently decided not to renew its naming rights contract.

Peter Bauchop, acting chief executive of VenuesWest, said nib Stadium is a world-class venue which was last year voted as having the best pitch in the A-league by the players. “We are in the process of contract negotiations with Perth Glory for season 2018-19 onwards and are confident of reaching a favourable result,” he said.



Perth Glory defender Shane Lowry is targeting a Socceroos call-up despite several years in the national team wilderness. The centre back has never represented Australia - although he has represented the Republic of Ireland at youth level - but has been close to selection several times in the past under Pim Verbeek.

Lowry is hoping a new Socceroos manager could re-open the on his international career. “Yeah definitely it’s still a goal of mine,” he told “I’m like any Australian player I’d love to play for my country. I got a sniff a few years ago but I haven’t been capped. It’s up to me to do well.”

“It’s another reason I came back to the A-League as well. I’ve seen quite a lot of players getting picked for the national team from the A-League. It’s always on the back of mind. But I’ve got to play well for Perth and stay fit. If someone likes me then I might get a call-up, if not then ... they’ve got a lot of good defensive players there.”

Lowry spent over a decade in England with the likes of Aston Villa, Sheffield United, Millwall and Leyton Orient for a total of 136 senior appearances. And he knows that in the run in to the 2018 World Cup different players could get their chance in the green and gold.

“You never know,” the 28-year old said. “There’s still six, seven months to the World Cup. There’s always people breaking into the squad late. You never like to see it, but there’s always injuries, people off form or haven’t played for their clubs in a while. There’s lots of things that can happen."



Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe admits Andy Keogh's A-League return was a risk he had to take, but that he may have pushed his luck trying to reintroduce Xavi Torres alongside him. The pair were both deployed off the bench last night after missing three weeks and one week respectively with groin injuries, Keogh scoring one and laying on the other in a 2-1 comeback defeat of Brisbane Roar.

Lowe said Keogh's arrival to start the second half allowed Glory's even share of possession to finally mean something as they pinched a vital win and move into fourth on the ladder. Goalkeeper Liam Reddy was forced from the field after a second half collision, while Torres played out the game after appearing to re-injure his groin.

"He shouldn't have really been on the bench but we're so thin, we took a gamble and got away with Andy," Lowe said of the decision to play his striker. "But I don't think we got away with Xavi (Torres), because I think he tweaked it again. We've lost Liam as well, I think he's got a broken nose, maybe a little bit of a cheek bone but he's all clear, no concussion."

Brisbane was unlucky not to go two-nil up after Massimo Maccarone was wrongfully deemed offside in scoring what would have been his second goal. But Lowe is not about to be drawn into another Video Assistant Referee-related debate. "I've got a new year's resolution before the new year - I ain't talking about refs or VAR," he said. "It's been done to death, it's boring."

Lowe said Diego Castro had enjoyed his reunion with Keogh and has crossed his fingers for good news on the injury front. "Back-to-back wins, eight away games out of the 12 ... we're in a good space and hopefully Xavi isn't that bad and we can kick on," Lowe said. "We've got good characters, we're working so hard and we've got quality going forward - it's always a dangerous combination."



Perth Glory have come-from-behind to claim all three points after a 2-1 win against Brisbane Roar in the opening game of Round 12 of the Hyundai A-League at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday evening. It’s not been a happy hunting ground for the men in purple, and it looked like that would continue when Massimo Maccarone gave the home side the lead in the first half, but goals from Andy Keogh and Diego Castro in the final ten minutes as Glory came from behind to secure a dramatic 2-1 victory over Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.

The visitors had fallen behind to Massimo Maccarone's sixth goal of the season late in the first half before rallying after the break and turning the game on its head as full time loomed. Keogh marked his return from injury by converting a Castro cross at the far post for the equaliser and two minutes later the Irishman returned the favour by providing the assist for the Spaniard to notch his second goal in as many games.

The victory, just their third in 19 visits to the Queensland capital and their first there in five years, elevated Kenny Lowe's side above Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United into fourth place. Although possession was split fairly evenly between the two sides in the first half, it was Roar who created the better chances, starting in the seventh minute when Petros Skapetis' shot drew a regulation save from Liam Reddy.

Glory responded in kind moments later when Chris Harold was just unable to get a meaningful connection on a low cross from the overlapping Jeremy Walker, before Nicholas D'Agostino went close at the other end with two headed efforts in as many minutes. Then seven minutes before half time, John Aloisi's side did manage to break the deadlock, Fahid Ben Khalfallah providing the assist and Maccarone finding the net, albeit slightly fortuitously as his shot deflected off Shane Lowry on its way past Reddy.

Lowe's response was to introduce Keogh at the start of the second half and the club skipper made an immediate impact as Glory began to look more threatening. Diego Castro rifled a free kick narrowly over on 50 minutes and shortly afterwards, Keogh got on the end of a Harold cross only to see his shot find the side-netting. Maccarone was then denied a second, the linesman raising his flag as the Italian fired his shot past Reddy despite replays showing the Italian to be on-side.

The visitors did survive a scare on the hour-mark, when Reddy suffered a nasty blow to the face as he bravely prevented the onrushing Corey Brown from converting a fine cross supplied by substitute Corey Gameiro. Reddy was unable to continue as the blow had left him with blurred vision, meaning Nick Feely was called into action off the bench and the replacement's first task was to parry a close-range header from the lively D'Agostino.

The 'keeper then also played a part in Glory's equaliser, his long clearance reaching Castro who controlled superbly and raced goalwards before sliding the ball to the back post where Keogh applied a composed finish. And three minutes the roles were reversed when Keogh unselfishly cut back Joseph Mills' fine cross for Castro and he rifled past the helpless Jamie Young in the home goal to seal a second away win of the season for Glory.



Perth Glory have received a huge boost with three key players set to return from injury for tonight’s A-League clash at Brisbane Roar. Captain Andy Keogh (groin) is set to return after missing three games, while marquee midfielder Xavi Torres (groin) and defender Alex Grant (hamstring) make earlier than expected returns.

The trio flew to Brisbane yesterday but only Grant is likely to start, with Keogh and Torres expected to make appearances from the bench. One change forced on coach Kenny Lowe is replacing talented teenager Jacob Italiano, who is overseas having talks with Bundesliga heavyweights Borussia Monchengladbach.

“Grant, Keogh, Torres all trained and they are all travelling which is a good sign,” Lowe said. “Whether they can play 90 minutes or not ... we might chuck two in and leave one on the bench or we might chuck all three in and then might have to change them out.”

With a short turnaround from the weekend, Lowe lightened the training load this week. “We’ve just freshened every one up this week,” he said. “We’ve had three sessions, normally we do two and a day off but because it’s a short turnaround we’ve just rolled through. But they’ve been light.”

Suncorp Stadium has not been a happy ground for Glory, who have won just two of the 18 games they have played there, with four draws. “It’s always historically been difficult for us but we’ll go there to look to win, to kick on and carry a bit of momentum and get people integrated back into the set up and the side,” Lowe said.

“You do that and you roll into the new year in a real positive frame of mind. Brisbane have also suffered through injury this year. They are probably a bit like us, should have won more games than they have. It’s going to be a tough game but hopefully we’ll go there and do well.”



Defender Rikki Smith has returned to Inglewood United for a third time after agreeing terms for the 2018 National Premier Leagues season. Smith, 30, will add to coach Andy Keogh’s defensive options and compete with David Cyrus, Scott Blackmore and Scott Robertson for a spot in the eleven.

“It’s really exciting to be back at Inglewood,” said Smith, who initially joined the club in 2009 and returned again in 2015 to take his Inglewood game tally to 166 appearances. “This is where I’ve played most of my football and I could not be happier about re-joining the club.”

“Andy and I spoke a few times during the off-season about the prospect of coming back to Inglewood and the vision he and the club have. Although I loved my time at ECU Joondalup the opportunity to return to a club as great as Inglewood and play with so many close friends was too hard to refuse.”

Smith has spent the past few weeks becoming reacquainted with his Inglewood teammates on the training track. “The focus has been on fitness and conditioning so far but as the start of the season gets closer we’ll move into more of the technical side of the game.”

“There’s a real buzz amongst the group. The boys did brilliantly last season and in the end were unlucky not to finish with a trophy. Our goal for 2018 is straight forward - to go one better and win the league ... and I hope to play a big part in bringing home that elusive title.”



Socceroo Trent Sainsbury admits setting his family up financially has been a huge motivator in his club choices so far in his career. But having done that, the defender says “itchy feet” in China have him eyeing a return to Europe, with Germany the preferred destination.

At the age of 25, Sainsbury has already played football in Italy, China and Holland, however, the centre back’s professional football journey found its roots in the A-League. Sainsbury made his national league debut in 2010 for Central Coast Mariners, where he collected a league champions medal in 2012/13.

“I reached that 50-game mark in the A-League, where you sort of looked to get yourself overseas and try to establish yourself over there and get a foot hold. After winning the grand final with the boys … I wanted out,” explained Sainsbury, who joined Dutch club PEC Zwolle in January 2014.

“An offer came up from Holland (and) I jumped at the chance. I sort of felt like I was on a different level to the players around me (in the A-League) and felt like training was sort of becoming less and less of a challenge. Just sort of getting frustrated at the other boys around me and if they were making mistakes.”

The defender said the chance to move to Europe was simply too good to refuse, especially given it could set him and his family up financially for the rest of their lives. “He’s (Sainsbury’s father) getting older … I didn’t want him to keep wrecking his body at work and then not being able to enjoy the other things in life,” he said.

“It was one of the main things for me, to be able to help to with their mortgage and give them some extra cash, so they can go on holiday. They can come watch me play overseas or whatever they want to do, so that was a big motivation for me … I’ve basically set my family up now and that was the goal all along.”

Sainsbury is again ready for a fresh challenge which means leaving Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning, where he’s played the last two years. “I’ve done China,” he said. “I definitely want to go back to Europe. I think lifestyle wise, football, it’s where it’s at. I’d like to go Germany … something different.”

“Switzerland, I’m up for anything really. England would be a hell of a challenge because of the physicality and the speed of things but at the same time, I already speak the language, so it would make things easier. I don’t know, just anything that’s a bit different. So we’ll see.”



Matildas striker Samantha Kerr has gained further international recognition with selection in a prestigious women's world team of the year. The International Federation of Football History (IFFHS) has announced its 2017 rankings in Zurich with Kerr winning approval from voters in 91 countries.

Kerr has already claimed the Australian Sports Woman of the Year, the ABC Sports Personality of the Year, the MVP of the USA National League, the Julie Dolan Medal for Australia's W-League and Asian Women's Footballer of the Year.

Kerr has been a prolific scorer for the Matildas as well as her W-League team Perth Glory and was the first Australian woman to be nominated for the FIFA Player of the Year. She scored 17 goals for American side Sky Blues FC and in August became the first player to score four times in a game.

On Saturday, Kerr scored a hat-trick in seven second-half minutes for Glory Women. "I think I can still get better and have a lot of learning and growing up to do," 24-year old Kerr said. "Hopefully I can become even better in the next three or four years."

The IFFHS Women's team of the year is Sarah Bouhaddi (France), Lucy Bronze (England), Wendi Renard (France), Stephanie Houghton (England), Anouk Dekker (Netherlands), Dzsenifer Marozsan(Germany), Pernilla Harder (Denmark), Carli Lloyd (USA), Samantha Kerr (Australia), Lieke Martens (Holland) and Alex Morgan (USA).



Former Perth Glory centre-back Jack Iredale has extended his deal with Scottish side Greenock Morton for another six months. 21-year old Iredale, who made two first-team starts for Greenock before being loaned to Scottish League One club Queens Park, has agreed to a contract extension that will keep him at Cappielow Park until June 2018.

Greenock Morton manager Jim Duffy said he's seen a lot of potential in 21-year old Iredale. "We signed Jack on a short-term deal and put him out on loan to Queen’s Park," Duffy said. "That was to get him competitive, first-team experience of the Scottish game coming from Australia, and he’s done that."

"We’ve monitored his progress (at Queens Park) and decided to offer him a new deal until the end of the season. He’s going to come back and compete. It’s going to be difficult, and I’ve explained that to him, that we have good players in the area he plays - left centre-back or left-back - but he’s looking forward to the challenge."

"And like a lot of boys at 21, he’s got a lot of potential. But potential has to be realised and Jack knows he’s going to have to work on certain aspects of his game and if he can, he’s got a lot of attributes that’s for sure." Iredale played locally for Perth Glory Youth and ECU Joondalup prior to inking a six-month deal with Greenock in July.



Jeremy Walker will be continuing his spell with Perth Glory after his injury replacement contract was extended today. The 24-year-old has acquitted himself superbly since arriving in the West back in October, making seven starts and establishing himself as a key part of the defence. With Marc Warren not expected to return from his ankle injury until the New Year, Glory's Head of Football Jacob Burns was pleased to confirm that Walker will be remaining on board. "Jeremy has really impressed us with his professionalism on and off the pitch," he said. "He was thrown in at the deep end on debut against Newcastle in Round 2, but responded well and has done a terrific job for us ever since."

Unfortunately, however, Mitch Mallia has parted company with the club following the end of his injury replacement deal. The Sydneysider debuted alongside Walker against the Jets, made a further five substitute appearances and found the net in the Round 8 win over Melbourne City. But with Joel Chianese now fully recovered from his cracked collar bone, the difficult decision was made to allow the winger to return to his native Sydney. "It was a tough one," confirmed Burns, "because Mitch, like Jeremy, has done really well since he's been with us. But hopefully his performances for us have put him in the shop window and he'll be snapped up elsewhere. "We'd like to thank him sincerely for all his efforts and wish him all the very best for the future."

Meanwhile the Glory expect to regain some of their injured stars for Thursday night’s A-League clash with Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium. Strikers Adam Taggart and Andy Keogh, defenders Alex Grant and Scott Neville and midfielder Xavi Torres trained yesterday, but Coach Kenny Lowe is wary of rushing all of them into the side. Lowe said he had to take a pragmatic approach if the side was to hold its finals place after moving into the top six with Saturday night’s 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix.

“Those players are maybe in contention if they come through which will be really, really pleasing,” he said. “You want to be entertained, I want to be entertained, I’m still a fan at heart, and when all the boys are there it adds to the entertainment factor. We all want to play good football, entertain, score loads of goals. But we’ve been a bit pragmatic, disciplined and hopefully with those boys coming back we can stay pragmatic and disciplined, but also look to entertain.”

Diego Castro will be better for 90 minutes against Wellington, while Andreu also made his first appearance in five matches after recovering from a calf problem. Castro was due to come off after an hour, but because of “knocks and niggles”, Lowe was forced to keep him on.

“It must have meant he was feeling OK which was very pleasing, very pleasing,” Lowe said. “We got some minutes into Andreu which was also good.”

Andreu, who came off the bench at the break, warned A-League rivals the side would become a major threat as players returned from injury. “We are suffering a lot with injuries, but in the next few weeks players will come back and we will improve,” he said. “It has been a tough season, but we will improve 100 per cent. We have the team to play much better. We will be positive for the game against Brisbane. I felt OK. I have to improve my fitness in the next two or three games and the football will come. Diego, we are good friends, and on the pitch we feel a good relationship with the ball. When we are fit we will play much better.”



Perth Glory' midfielder Brandon Wilson has been named in the Australia Under-23 squad set to take part in next month's 2018 AFC U23 Championship in China. He’s not the only Glory player on the radar of new Coach Ante Milicic, with in-form 16-year-old Jacob Italiano placed on standby for the squad. The tournament will be held in China's Jiangsu Province and Australia have been drawn in Group D where they will face Syria (January 11), Vietnam (January 14) and Korea Republic (17 January), with all three games taking place at the Kunshan Stadium.

Milicic has named a 23-man, with a maximum of three per club to minimise the impact upon the Hyundai A-League during what is a busy period of the domestic season. The squad will gather in China in early January for a preparatory camp, which will include an international friendly against Thailand in Shanghai on January 6. “This squad features a mix of European and (Hyundai) A-League-based players who will have the opportunity to show their quality both individually and collectively,” Milicic explained.

“This group will realise huge benefits in their development by playing against some of the best teams in their age in Asia. Playing in and adapting to Asia will present many challenges, but we know the players will improve for these experiences. With a FIFA World Cup just six months away, this is the ideal opportunity for these players to impress." A top-two finish in Group D will be required to propel Australia into the quarter finals and if they progress beyond that stage, Wilson could be set to celebrate his 21st birthday in China.

OLYROOS SQUAD: 2018 ASIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS Jonathan Aspropotamitis (Western Sydney), Keanu Baccus (Western Sydney), George Blackwood (Adelaide), Trent Buhagiar (Central Coast), Nicholas Cowburn (Newcastle), Daniel De Silva (Central Coast), Thomas Deng (Melbourne Victory), Ben Garuccio (Adelaide), Alex Gersbach (Rosenborg, Norway), Thomas Glover (Central Coast), Ajdin Hrustic (Groningen, Netherlands), Paul Izzo (Adelaide), Deni Juric (Hajduk Split, Croatia), Bruce Kamau (Melbourne City), Stefan Mauk (Melbourne City), Riley McGree (Club Brugge, Belgium), Daniel Nizic (Morecambe, England), Aiden O’Neill (Burnley, England), Milislav Popovic (Eintracht Braunschweig, Germany), Jaushua Sotirio (Western Sydney), Aleksandar Susnjar (Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic), Ruon Tongyik (Melbourne City), Brandon Wilson (Perth Glory).



Exciting Perth Glory youngster Jacob Italiano looks set to earn more than a well-deserved rest this week. The 16-year old is on his way to Germany to finalise a two-year deal with Bundesliga heavyweights Borussia Monchengladbach, who he’ll join when turns 18, on June 30, 2019.

Under the terms of the deal Italiano will remain with Glory for at least one more season. The former Inglewood United junior has not missed a beat since making his A-League debut last month and was again impressive in Glory’s 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix on the weekend.

Glory coach Kenny Lowe said the club was conscious of not running the prodigious talent into the ground. “We’re monitoring his load, we de-load him during the week, we try and pull him out a little bit,” said Lowe, who will be without Italiano when Glory travel to Brisbane Roar on Thursday.

“You look at what he does in the game and he’s up there in our top two or three players in distance covered and high-intensity work. He seems to be coping well. I think he’s probably due a rest, but after a performance like that he was electric. He was absolutely sensational.”



Goal hero Rhys Williams kept a lid on his jubilation after Melbourne Victory surged into the A-League's top six off a 2-1 defeat over Brisbane Roar yesterday. Williams put in a man-of-the-match display in Brisbane, opening the scoring with a bullet header from Leroy George's delivery.

George then chipped in with his second assist of the night by setting up Kosta Barbarouses for what proved to be the winner. "It’s about time," Williams said of his first goal of the season. "I think I’ve had the most shots in the team. It’s about time one went in and hopefully I can get a few more.”

Williams was quick to shrug off his personal contribution. "I think it's more about the team. We hit patches on and off and I think we need to be more consistent," he said. "It’s down to us, pick it up again next week. We’ve got a big one in the derby."



Perth Glory expects to regain some of their injured stars for Thursday night’s A-League clash at Brisbane Roar. Strikers Adam Taggart and Andy Keogh, defenders Alex Grant and Scott Neville and midfielder Xavi Torres trained yesterday, but coach Kenny Lowe is wary of rushing all of them into the side.

Lowe said he had to take a pragmatic approach if the side was to hold its finals place after moving into the top six with Saturday night’s 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix. “Those players are maybe in contention if they come through which will be really, really pleasing,” Lowe said.

“You want to be entertained, I want to be entertained, I’m still a fan at heart, and when all the boys are there it adds to the entertainment factor. We all want to play good football, entertain, score loads of goals. But we’ve been a bit pragmatic, disciplined and hopefully with those boys coming back we can stay pragmatic and disciplined, but also look to entertain.”

Star midfielder Diego Castro, whose second-half strike secured Glory three points after a lacklustre first period, played his first full game in a month. Castro’s Spanish midfield mate Andreu also made his first appearance in five matches after recovering from a calf problem.

Castro was due to come off after an hour, but because of “knocks and niggles”, Lowe was forced to keep him on. “It must have meant he was feeling okay which was very pleasing, very pleasing,” Lowe said. “We got some minutes into Andreu which was also good.”

Andreu, who came off the bench at the break, warned A-League rivals the side would become a major threat as players returned from injury. “We are suffering a lot with injuries, but in the next few weeks players will come back and we will improve,” he said. “It has been a tough season, but we will improve 100 per cent.”

“We have the team to play much better. We will be positive for the game against Brisbane. I felt okay. I have to improve my fitness in the next two or three games and the football will come. Diego, we are good friends, and on the pitch we feel a good relationship with the ball. When we are fit we will play much better.”



Perth Glory Youth disappointing start to the Foxtel Y-League continued after a 2-3 defeat against Melbourne Victory game at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday morning. Pierce Waring gave the visitors the lead at half time, but a penalty from Jake Brimmer, and a great solo effort by Henry Hore gave Glory the lead. But they went to sleep moments later, allowing Nicholas Sette and Nuh Sehavdic to score two quick goals. The home side pressed late but found Victory keeper Matthew Sutton in fine form, the custodian made a handful of saves to deny Glory and make sure of the points for Victory.

After a much improved performance last week against conference leaders Melbourne City, Glory put in one of their worst performances, and midfielder Henry Hore said it was a disappointing result. “We let ourselves down today,” he told the Glory website. “We made silly errors and it cost us, it wasn’t good enough.” Hore’s goal was superbly taken, but the midfielder said it meant nothing. “I scored, but it doesn’t matter we didn’t get the result we wanted,” he said. “We are better than and we have to take a good look at ourselves and put it right in the next game.”

Glory brought in Nick Feely and Jake Brimmer from the Hyundai A-League squad, and they started brightly, Walter Scott’s shot was saved low by Sutton, before Yagoub Mustafa fired over the top moments later. Victory were on the back foot as Glory looked for the opener, but against the run of play it was the visitors who took the lead on the half hour. Waring turning his marker in the penalty area and firing low past Feely to send them into the break with the lead.

Glory should have levelled two minutes into the second half, Mustafa raced down the right and crossed to Chok Dau, but the striker headed over from close-range. It was a lively start to the second half by Glory and on 52 minutes referee Shane Skinner pointed to the spot after he spotted a handball. Brimmer stepped up sent Sutton the wrong way from the resulting penalty to level things up. Then two minutes later, Glory hit the front. Hore picked the ball up in the middle of the park, raced past his marker and finished clinically past Sutton, for a great individual goal. It looked like Glory would go on with it, but three minutes later Victory levelled. Sette raced down the right and finished well past Feely.

It was end-to-end football, but Victory were taking their chances and on the hour they re-took the lead. Glory failed to deal with a cross from the right, and the ball fell to Sehavdic at the back post, and he made no mistake. Feely then produced a smart save to deny Sehavdic again moments later, before Sutton produced a stunning save to thwart substitute Michael McDougall’s half volley at the other end. Glory pressed late and Annis’ shot was turned around the post by the alert Sutton, and from the resulting corner Riley Warland headed inches over, but they couldn’t find the equaliser and it was Victory celebrating the three points.



Gifted Perth Glory teenager Riley Warland is poised to make history as the A-League’s youngest debutant in tonight’s home clash with bottom-placed Wellington Phoenix. Aged 15 years and 166 days, the defender will smash the previous record set in 2011 by Adelaide United’s Teeboy Kamara, who was 15 years and 212 days, if he gets his chance from the bench.

Warland was only 13 when he toured Malaysia with Glory’s under-18 side last year and earlier this year was selected for the Australian under-15 team that played in the AFF youth championship in Thailand. With his injury hit squad almost at breaking point, coach Kenny Lowe has already handed A-League debuts to teenagers Jake Brimmer, Jacob Italiano and Yagoub Mustafa, while Daniel Stynes made his first senior appearance in the FFA Cup.

Lowe will unveil another new-look back line and midfield and a possible new starting formation tonight, with defender Jacob Poscoliero given an opportunity with Alex Grant out with a hamstring problem. Midfield star Diego Castro is also set to start after coming off the bench last weekend, while fellow Spaniard Andreu has recovered from a calf injury that has kept him out for a month and will be on the bench.



Brandon O'Neill admits Sydney FC were well below par in a 3-1 defeat of Melbourne City on Friday night. The A-League leaders continue to set the pace but were flattered by the scoreline against a City side that was reduced to ten men on 70 minutes.

O'Neill said the Sky Blues failed to bring their A-game despite coming from a goal down to win. "We know we can play a lot better," O'Neill said. "We're still not playing at our best but we're winning games and we're scoring goals and that's the main thing."

Melbourne scored first through Luke Brattan but two defensive lapsed opened the door for an Adrian Mierzejewski and Bobo to level the game before half-time. Captain Alex Brosque finished off a razor sharp attack with virtually the last kick of the game to seal the three points.

The Sky Blues have now gone 22 games undefeated at home - one off the A-League record. But O'Neill said that wasn't uppermost in their minds. "All we want to do is win every football game we're in and that's our main goal," he said.

"We don't really focus on too much outside the club, all we can control is what we do on the park and this place is our fortress, it's our home and we play our best football and get results here. We can do a lot better but, like I say, it's important now that we keep getting results and we keep this momentum going."



Perth Glory maintained top spot in the Westfield W-League ladder after a 3-3 draw against second placed Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium. The game was preceding the A-League game between the Jets and Adelaide United, and it was Glory skipper Sam Kerr who stole the show. The Matildas star scoring a stunning 10-minute hat trick, but it wasn't enough as they shared the spoils after Sarah Carrol scored an own goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time to level things up.

It was the Jets who opened the brighter and Jenna Kingsley saw an early effort crash off the woodwork, before Kerr was denied by Jets keeper Britt Eckerstrom. But on the half hour the home side made the break through. Emily Van Egmond releasing Arin Gilliland who rounded Glory 'keeper Mel Maizels before rolling the ball home. Moments later Rachel Hill’s shot flashed wide of the target as the Glory looked for a quick response, but at the break it was the Jets one to the good.

It was the Glory on the front foot early in the second half. Kerr was again denied by Eckerstrom, before the Jets custodian superbly tipped Raquel Rodriguez shot over the top. It looked like it wasn’t going to be the Glory’s day but on 77 minutes Kerr levelled. She was sent clear by Rodriguez and outpaced her marker and finished with, aplomb past Eckerstrom. Sixty seconds later Kerr was at it again, this time firing home from the edge of the box after being picked out by Hill.

But moments alter the Jets levelled, American striker Katie Stengel bagging her fifth goal of the season, finishing well after the Glory failed to clear their lines from Tori Huster’s corner. But sixty seconds later Kerr regained the Glory’s lead and completed a memorable hat-trick. Substitute Shawn Billam’s cross found its way to Kerr and she finishing past Eckerstrom and raced off to do her celebrity back flip. This game had everything, and it wasn’t over yet. Deep in stoppage time a cross from the right by Van Egmond was turned into own net by the unfortunate Carroll. There was still one chance for the Glory to win it, but Kerr saw her header flash wide of the target.



Perth Glory returned to the winners-circle in the Hyundai A-League after beating Wellington Phoenix 1-0 in a tight tussle at nib Stadium on Saturday evening. Diego Castro was Glory's match-winner, in his first start since Round six, the Spanish maestro finished low from Mitch Nichols’ pinpoint cross, ironically in the A-League Spanish Round. Phoenix pressed late but a Man of the Match performance from Shane Lowry kept them at bay and the win retuned the Glory to the top six. “Delighted with the clean sheet tonight, I thought we deserved one last week, but that’s football,” Lowry said. “We’ve been solid in the last four games and tonight it clicked and we should have won the game by more if I’m honest, but happy with the three points. We’ve got players coming back from injury, and we’re sitting in a good place right now so I’m happy.”

Lowry’s form has been excellent after injury hampered his pre-season, and many in the game believe he could get a call up for the Socceroos, but he said he’s only one thing on his mind and that’s playing well and earning a new contract at his home club. “I’ve got to keep playing well, and I’m happy with my form at the minute, but what will be will be,” he said. “I’m trying to play for a new contract here, and I know that’s down to me and that’s all I’m focusing on at the moment.”

The first half wasn’t one that will be remembered long, but both sides went into the game undermanned and desperate for three points. The visitors suffered a blow early with skipper Dario Vidosic limped off with a knee injury after only 14 minutes. The Phoenix were appealing for a penalty on 24 minutes when Matthew Ridenton shot hit the arm of Lowry, and as the crowd waited for the VAR to have a look, a sigh of relief was heard when they gave it the all clear, something the Glory haven’t had with the new system. The Phoenix went close again before the break with Adam Parkhouse’s shot flashing wide of the target.

The Glory made a change at the break with Spanish midfield Andreu replacing Joe Knowles and the home side immediately looked more energetic and purposeful. But it was Phoenix who went close to the opener on 50 minutes, Ali Abbas picked out Ridenton, and his shot from the edge of the box crashed off the base of the post. Glory went close themselves six minutes later Jacob Italiano’s persistence down the right wing almost provided the opener for Chris Harold, but the 16-year-old's cut-back across the box was intercepted at the vital moment by Daniel Mullen.

But on the hour the Glory found the important opener. Jacob Poscoliero’s ball sent Nichols down the right, his perfectly weighted cross found Castro, who controlled first time and calmly finished low past former Glory keeper Lewis Italiano to give his side the lead. The Glory also had a penalty shout after Nichols was brought down by Lewis Italiano, but replays showed the Phoenix custodian was out bravely and got the ball. Glory dug deep and remained solid in the latter stages, with skipper Shane Lowry further pressing his Socceroos selection claims by producing another commanding display at the heart of the defence. Glory now face a quick turnaround ahead of Thursday's away clash with Brisbane Roar.



Perth Glory will be looking for a fresh injection of talent to boost their injury-stricken side when the January transfer window opens. And with 21 players off contract at the end of the season, the club will be doing some tough talking with their current squad.

Glory are looking at four possible midfield and defensive players after a horror run of injuries forced coach Kenny Lowe to blood three teenagers and sign National Premier Leagues players Jeremy Walker and Mitch Mallia on short-term injury contracts that end on Boxing Day.

Chief executive Peter Filopoulos said they would look at their needs and assess injuries before dipping into the market. “We are going to be recruiting around the highest priority needs. It’s as simple as that,” he said. “We are looking at all sorts of opportunities, but there are no definite plans.”

“We will have a close look at whether there are any good opportunities for us. The transfer window doesn’t open until January 3, so we’ve got a month from then to see what opportunities emerge. There’s no panic. Moves will be based around our injuries and our needs. We will see how we can make it happen.”

“We’ll need to determine the prognosis of some of the injuries. We need to work out how some of the injuries are going, when the players are going to be coming back, so we can determine whether we extend the injury replacements. We are working through all that at the moment.”

Filopoulos said negotiations on new contracts had started with some players. “There’s obviously (Diego) Castro, we don’t know what’s going to happen there, Andreu and (Xavi) Torres, they are another two,” he said. “We’re working through the renewals and they will unfold during the season.”

Lowe has nine players on the casualty list, the latest being Spanish import Torres and defender Alex Grant. The pair are expected to watch Saturday’s home game with Wellington Phoenix from the stands alongside Andy Keogh, Adam Taggart, Andreu Guerao, Scott Neville, Marc Warren, Joel Chianese and Daniel Stynes.



Perth Glory will be looking for some Spanish flair when they take on Wellington Phoenix at nib Stadium on Saturday evening. It will be called ‘The Spanish Round’, as the Hyundai A-League continue their themed rounds, but the Glory will hope to have Spanish due Diego Castro and Andreu Guerao available. In other good news Joel Chianese is back in the squad, Guerao has been sidelined by a calf injury since Glory last met Phoenix in Round 6, while former Sydney FC man Chianese has missed the entire Hyundai A-League campaign thus far after cracking his collar bone in training.

It’s a welcome change for Glory Head Coach Kenny Lowe, whose squad has been decimated by injury this season, so he is delighted to see the pair come back into the selection mix. “It’s well documented that we’ve been hit hard by injuries, and we picked up even more last weekend which was really frustrating,” he said. “But having another two quality players available for selection is a real plus. The key is for us is to stay as close as we can to the leading pack during this period when we have so many key players missing and then look to kick on when they come back.”

Alex Grant has been named in the squad, but he will monitored after limping off in last week’s loss against Newcastle. The Phoenix have also been hit hard with injuries, with skipper Andrew Durante, Roy Krishna and Michael McGlinchey all in doubt for their long trip, but Lowe is still wary of Darije Kalezic’s side whose only victory of the season so far came when they downed Glory at Westpac Stadium last month.

“They have some quality players and offer a real threat going forward,” he said. “The lad [Andrija] Kaludjerovic is the league’s top scorer at the moment and they have the likes of [Dario] Vidosic as well, so we need to be aware of them. But as always, we’ll focus mainly upon ourselves. “Even though we lost last weekend, we dominated the second-placed team and we can draw plenty of confidence from that.”

Phoenix have struggled on the road this season, but they are coming off a scoreless draw at Brisbane Roar, and they welcome back Iraq international Ali Abbas back into their squad for Saturday, along with Shane Lowry’s brother, Ryan. Should the Lowry’s end up going head-to-head, it will be the first time they have ever done so at professional level. Phoenix coach Kalezic said last week was a good result, and he hopes the travel factor doesn’t hurt them.

"You have to see it like this: I have a feeling now that we really start being competitive from last week. All of those things in pre-season and the first round of the competition, from my point of view, we used that to assess what is the real situation in the team, in the squad, in the club, all of those things,” he said. “"We needed that period to make a good analysis, to make good organisation and to make good preparation for the better performances in the future. Wednesday, we were tired when we arrived. I see the players on the plane especially really, really tired. Today [Thursday], I cannot say we are 100 per cent, but we will be Saturday."

Perth Glory squad: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY, 2 Alex GRANT, 4 Shane LOWRY (c), 5 Jacob POSCOLIERO, 6 Mitch NICHOLS, 7 Joel CHIANESE, 8 Xavi TORRES, 11 Mitch MALLIA, 14 Chris HAROLD, 15 Brandon WILSON, 16 Joseph MILLS, 17 Diego CASTRO, 18 Andreu GUERAO, 19 Joe KNOWLES, 20 Jake BRIMMER, 24 Callum TIMMINS, 26 Jacob ITALIANO, 29 Jeremy WALKER, 34 Yagoub MUSTAFA - *four to be omitted* - Ins: TIMMINS (promoted), MUSTAFA (promoted) - Unavailable: 3.Marc WARREN (ankle – 4 weeks), 9.Andy KEOGH (groin – 1 week), 22.Adam TAGGART (hamstring – 1 week), 23.Scott NEVILLE (toe – 2 weeks), 25.Daniel STYNES (hamstring – 2-3 weeks)

Wellington Phoenix squad: GK Lewis ITALIANO, GK Keegan SMITH, 2 Daniel MULLEN, 3 Scott GALLOWAY, 4 Goran PARACKI, 5 Ryan LOWRY, 8 Dario VIDOSIC, 9 Andrija KALUDJEROVIC, 11 Hamish WATSON, 12 Adam PARKHOUSE, 13 Marco ROSSI, 14 Alex RUFER, 16 Ali ABBAS, 18 Sarpreet SINGH, 19 Tom DOYLE, 23 Matthew RIDENTON, 24 Logan ROGERSON - *one to be omitted* Ins: LOWRY (promoted), ABBAS (promoted) - Unavailable: 6.Dylan FOX (hamstring), 10.Michael McGLINCHEY (groin), 21.Roy KRISHNA (knee), Andrew DURANTE (calf)



There is a stern test in prospect for Perth Glory's Westfield W-League side on Saturday as they travel to Newcastle for a top-of -the-table clash with the Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium. Glory, head into the blockbuster revitalised by a week off and seeking a third away win of the season. Meanwhile the high-flying hosts are coming off a resounding 3-0 win over a Brisbane Roar side that boasts a number of Matilda’s stars, a result which sent a clear statement of their intent to the rest of the competition. Their fourth victory of the campaign saw the Jets climb to second place and equal on points with the Glory.

Midfielder Nikki Stanton is wary of the challenge posed by the New South Wales side. “They’re on a high following their win over Brisbane and they’ll be full of confidence,” she told the Glory website. “We’re feeling refreshed after the bye round and we’re ready to take our attacking game right to them. It won’t be easy, but we’re confident we can get the job done. It’s first versus second so we’ll be taking them very seriously, especially after the really tough games we had against them last season.”

The Round 8 fixture has the potential to be season-defining, with Bobby Despotovski's side keen to make top spot their own as they look to push for their second W-League Premiership. It will be a huge battle between Rachel Hill and Arin Gilliland, the two American imports will be going head-to-head tomorrow night in what is set to be a fascinating duel.

Hill, who leads the Westfield W-League Golden Boot race, will be looking to add to her tally of seven goals from her first six matches in Glory colours, while Gilliland will be working equally hard to prevent her compatriot from doing just that. The Chicago Red Stars defender proved the unlikely goal-scoring hero for the Jets in their impressive win over Roar, with her brace and clean sheet rounding out a fantastic day for the Hunter Valley side. In team news the Glory welcome back exciting youngster Jaymee Gibbons, but are without keeper Gabby Dal Busco and Shannon May, while the Jets have brought in Tara Pender, but will be without Gema Simon and Tara Andrews



Midfielder Ryan Edwards was delighted after Partick Thistle bounced back from the disappointment at Kilmarnock with a 3-2 home win over Motherwell this evening. Despite going 3-0 up before half-time, it was a nervy second half but Edwards was happy to have held on for all three points

“We certainly made it hard for ourselves! It was relief at the end but we are absolutely delighted to get the win and three points,” Edwards told “After Saturday it was important that we went out and got the win, we got the job done in the end. It stops the run of bad form we were on and gives us something to build on.”

“We went and analysed the Kilmarnock game and had a game plan to try and rectify what went wrong in that game. I thought we carried it out perfectly in the first half. We were too pedestrian at Kilmarnock but we came out the traps and it showed when we went in at half time 3-0 up.”

“It wasn’t a good second half but we managed to hang on and got the win. That was the most important thing and we wanted to get the three points no matter how we got them. We maybe should have been a lot more comfortable but the win was what was important.”

Edwards grabbed the second goal against Motherwell, slamming in Miles Storey’s through ball. “I was happy with the goal,” said Edwards, who paid said the win was a real team effort. “Miles has put a great ball through to me and I was happy with my finish and getting on the scoresheet.”

“Martin (Woods) came in to steady up the midfield and I thought it helped, it allowed me and Adam (Barton) a little more freedom and I think it suited my game ... it makes us a lot more solid and allowed me to really play my game and support the front players.”

The games don’t get any easier or less important when Thistle travel to second-from-bottom Dundee on Saturday. A win for the visitors can move off the bottom of the table, but a loss could see them cut four points adrift of their nearest opponent. “We have another big game now against Dundee,” Edwards said.

“It’s a chance for us to get off the bottom of the table so we will immediately focus on that game, let ourselves recover and work hard ahead of that game. It’s important we now carry on with the momentum, a few results in this league and you can suddenly find yourselves moving up the table, it’s important now that we do that.”



ECU Joondalup skipper Gordon Smith returned to the campus last week and signed a new deal to keep him at the club in 2018. The Scottish striker’s form had a number of clubs chasing his signature but the 27-year-old said he wasn’t going anywhere. “I’m delighted to be back at ECU and I’m looking forward to playing under Dale, Toughy and Steve again,” he said. “I can’t thank the club enough for the past two seasons, and everyone has made me feel at home since the day I arrived from Scotland and that has helped me get on with my football.”

“There were other clubs interesting, but there was only one club I wanted to play for and I’m delighted it’s all been sorted out. My visa is being handled by the club, and they are doing all they can to give me the best opportunity to stay in the country and the sooner it gets resolved the better.”

Smith was the skipper of the WA State League side in the Tri-Series last season, and he said it was a great honour to lead them. “To be named captain of the state team was something I didn’t really expect haven been injured leading up to the games but it was a privilege and something I’m proud of,” he said. “I thought we put in good performances in the games and it was a huge honour for me.”

ECU committee member Steve Amphlett said they are delighted to have signed Gordon for the season. “Gordon has shown loyalty to the club, and we are delighted to have secured him for next season,” he said. “There were a number of clubs chasing Gordon, but it’s good for us to compete with the top clubs in WA for his signature. He is a great bloke on and off the pitch and I would say he is one of the biggest signing this club has made, and we’re looking forward to a big 2018 from our skipper.”

The Jacks have added some experience and quality to their squad for 2018 and the Striker is looking forward to helping the club to success. “The signings have looked good in training, we already have the nucleus of a good squad with some promising young boys coming through,” he said. “We will be looking to challenge at the top end of the table again, so keeping key players fit will be vital to our seasons aspirations.”

Smith headed back home to Scotland to see family and friends and he said it’s re-charged his batteries. “It was great to get home and see the family and friends, and I was pack packing around Asia for four weeks with a couple of my mates which was a great experience,” he said. “As soon as the holiday finished I couldn’t wait to get back and get myself fit and ready for the season ahead. Pre-season has been really good and has had a lot of variation already, from going down the beach to long distance runs to short sharp games. The boys look good and ready to go.”



Balcatta hit the road this weekend to spread the World Game, when they travel to Kalgoorlie, where they will be holding training camps for the local youngsters and also taking on a Goldfield X1. New Balcatta Coach Goran Stajic said the trip is important for their pre-season. “Our pre-season started early, and there are many reasons such as introducing new styles of play, arrival of new players, however the main one was to ensure we get a head start on everyone else especially our strength and conditioning,” he explained. “There is no denying that 2017 was a struggle on many fronts, and we recognised the positives that came out of it and we are building on those during the preseason.”

Stajic said the weekend will bring back memories for him, after working there in the past. “I lived and worked in the region along with playing a couple of seasons in the Goldfields Soccer Association, so the region was extremely beneficial for my family and we had a successful business for almost nine years,” he said. “During that time my daughter was born in Kalgoorlie which is now a sentimental place for us. I have kept in touch with people from there and always wanted to come back to the region and promote the game.

“As for the level of football and from what I can remember, there was always a healthy rivalry amongst the clubs and every club had special players, former pros or overseas students/workers who played at decent levels. Each year the GSA name a GSA XI however from what I heard they never ever have opportunities to play a fixture so this is another reason to promote the game and region. I have no doubt that the GSA XI will be a formidable opponent for Balcatta FC and provide the region a great spectacle and at a world class venue that many clubs in Perth would be enviable of.”

The club have been busy in the transfer market, and Stajic said they are working on bringing in some more. “Adriano Jelenovic has settled in very well, as has Mathew Olango both players provide another avenue towards goal and both offer different styles of play. I think everyone will agree that Adriano had a breakout 2017 and for him to choose BFC over other NPL clubs both locally and nationally is a testament to what we are building at the club.

“Both players we be unveiled as BFC players in the Kalgoorlie game and I am sure the Goldfields supporters will appreciate their football qualities along with their personalities. These young men are amazing off the field along with being scintillating on it. As for other signings we have obviously resigned Captain Callum O’Conell and one of the club favourites Jonathan Corness there will be further announcements and signings over the festive signings.”

It’s been a busy few months for the new Head Coach, preparing Balcatta for the new NPL season, and also coaching the Australian Pararoos. “I’m so blessed to be able to enjoy the game at so many different levels along with attaining football knowledge and making amazing friends that share the same passion,” he said. “Nonetheless 2018 will present its challenges no doubt but I have been planning for the year ahead and am expecting to see progress both as a coach and for the teams that I am involved with.

“The Pararoos have the Asian Cup which will be held in November and hosted by Iran and there is no hiding in the fact that Balcatta FC have a mountain to climb in 2018 starting with the Goldfields XI on Saturday night. Football certainly presents challenges and takes you places that no other sports can.”



Rockingham City have appointed Cameron Lord as their senior coach for next season. The 27-year-old takes over from Rob Crerar, and he is excited about the new challenge. “I feel privileged to be given the opportunity to coach at this club, at this level, and would like to thank Brian Kennedy (RCFC President) and the committee for showing such big faith in me. I am really looking forward to the challenges ahead,” he said.

“I’d like to thank Rob (Crerar), he saved a sinking ship on the back of Rockingham being relegated into Division Two, but he came in and improved the playing squad to get the club back into Division One, and then kept Rockingham up, which is probably the biggest challenge after promotion. There always has, and probably always will, be a great catchment of talent around the Rockingham area so my job here is to build on previous years and unlock the potential Rockingham has and take Rockingham to the next step.”

Kennedy said the club are delighted to have secured Lord’s services. “Rockingham City FC are very excited at the appointment of Cameron, re-joining us as First Team head coach,” he said. “He has been involved with Perth Glory as a Sport Scientist along with his PDH sports science background, by sending out the right messages to the playing group, the right answers will start to come back in improved preparation, performance and professionalism that will not only further enhance the clubs good image but also bridge the gap towards senior NPL status”

City re-signed James Harmer last week, and Lord said it was important as the league is stronger this season. “James was someone that I had identified very early as someone that the club needed, for his attributes as a player and a person,” he said. “The biggest thing for me was working hard on bringing back some of the big talent that had drifted away. Other clubs were benefitting from our development. Everything has been positive on that front, and there are an additional five players that have come back to the club, and we are hoping to add an additional few who have not previously been at the club before.

“This league is very strong - Gwelup and Morley up, Mandurah down... what a competition. NPL is a big target for Rockingham and again, down to the big potential the club has, with great facilities, strong junior development fronted by Matthew Brook and James Harmer, the clubs next step is to bring the senior success to the same level. If we can do this short-term, great, but it will always be a long-term target for the club - we must start moving toward it.”

Lord is looking to give something back to the club he once played for. “I played at Rockingham at Dowling Street from under 11’s to the first team, and saw them move to Lark Hill as a player, so it is a big honour for me to now be first team head coach,” he explained. “I also played at Canning for a year which I really enjoyed, and hope they bounce straight back up into Division 1. I always knew I wanted to get into coaching, the necessity for me to stop playing at the time after my season at Canning accelerated that. I first got involved in coaching with Rockingham under 18’s assisting Mike Tetlow before taking over for the following three years.

“In that time period I also enjoyed my time playing with Kwinana United. In the background, I completed a Master of Science in Sport Science at Edith Cowan University where I was involved at Perth Glory as a Sport Scientist, and started a Doctor of Philosophy in Sport Science. This required me to finish my data collection with Perth Glory NPL last season which is why I was not coaching last season. The Perth Glory experience has allowed me to see how Ian Ferguson, Alistair Edwards, Kenny Lowe and John Gibson work in an elite environment, so although this is my fifth year as a coach I can also draw on the 5 years I have been involved at Perth Glory seeing up close how coaches with big football pedigrees work.”



Defender Shane Lowry is hoping to earn a new deal at Perth Glory and stay with his hometown club. Lowry joined Glory in January 2016 on a two-and-a-half-year deal following an eleven-year spell in England where he played for Milwall and Leyton Orient, amongst others.

Lowry’s Glory contract expires at the end of the current season and he has made it clear he wants to remain with the club. “I’ve put a run of games together for myself,” Lowery told “Hopefully I can try and get a new deal here or we’ll wait and see, it’s up to the club.”

“I’m just concentrating on playing well and whatever happens will happen. Anything can happen in football. I’m not really looking at the next stage at the minute. I know personally from a selfish point of view that I have to stay fit and play well, keep my options open.”

Lowry, has has played 33 times for Glory, says family considerations are important to him when it comes to deciding his future. “I’m 29 in June,” he said. “I’m from Perth, I’m quite settled here. I think I moved four or five times in the last five years. I can say that I want to stay here and something can come up and I could move again – I don’t really know what’s ahead.”

"It’s such an unpredictable business. But I’m quite happy here and being in the A-League at the moment, I’m happy getting games. My family are here, which is quite important to me. I’ve got a little girl now, a three-year-old, and she comes into my equation as well. It’s not just about me being selfish anymore.”



Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe has hit out at the A-League’s controversial video assistant referee system after Saturday night’s gut-wrenching loss to Newcastle Jets. Glory defender Joseph Mills was inconvenienced in the penalty area by Joseph Champness as Roy O’Donovan headed on for John Koutroumbis’ 88th minute equaliser.

Glory had hung on to their slender lead for almost 70 minutes after Joe Knowles scored his first A-League goal. Four minutes later a Jeremy Walker own goal sealed the home side’s fate. Lowe will ask for a please explain over the decision to let the goal stand.

“I’m astonished,” Lowe said. “Why wasn’t it scrubbed out by the VAR? What was happening? Were they having a cup of tea at the time, had they clocked off, was it too late for them? He pushes Millsy to the floor. How wasn’t it picked up, everyone else saw it ... It’s a definite foul.”

Lowe was angered by the new technology in a 2-0 loss to Sydney FC earlier this season when it took nearly four minutes to conduct a review into a penalty awarded against Glory. Video assistant referees were tested in the A-League last season and will be tried out next month in England’s FA Cup.



Perth Glory’s injury crisis deepened last night with key pair Alex Grant and Xavi Torres limping out of the A-League loss to Newcastle Jets. Grant and Torres both exited the game after 67 minutes, the former suffering a hamstring problem and latter a groin issue.

Lowe already has captain Andy Keogh (groin), Scott Neville (groin), Adam Taggart (hamstring), Spanish import Andreu (calf), Marc Warren (ankle) and Joel Chianese (collarbone) unavailable. One bright note was the return of midfielder Diego Castro, who came off the bench to replace Torres after three weeks out with a calf injury.

“You’ve just got to keep smiling,” Lowe said of his lengthening injury list. “You just get on with stuff. You embrace it. It’s a challenge. We find out about ourselves. We’ll find out a lot about me. It’s going to be good. Somewhere down the line, the luck balances up for you.”



Perth Glory coach Kenny Lowe has played down fears Andy Keogh has re-injured his groin, saying he's confident the star striker will play against Newcastle Jets tonight. Keogh has been sidelined since injuring his groin in the away win over Melbourne City on 24 November.

31-year old Keogh cut a frustrated figure as he left training early yesterday, Lowe saying that stemmed from wanting to train longer, not injury. However, the Glory coach has a history of playing such issues down. Both Adam Taggart (hamstring) and Diego Castro (calf) have missed several weeks because of training setbacks, with Lowe initially brushing off concern when questioned.

"He didn't want to come off, that's why he was frustrated," Lowe said of Keogh's exit. "That's just Andy. It's the way he is. He's an out and out winner. Casto and Xavi (Torres) are the same ... Between here and the change rooms, they're probably muttering under their breath and kicking the odd car as they walk down. It's just their nature, which is a good thing to have."



Perth Glory have dropped to eight on the Hyundai A-League table after a 2-1 loss to Newcastle Jets at nib Stadium on Saturday night. Joe Knowles strike, his first in the A-League, looked to have won it for Kenny Lowe’s side but late goals from John Koutroumbis and an unfortunate own goal by Jeremy Walker gave the Jets the points.

Glory coach Lowe was left disappointed with the VAR for the first goal, as his team slipped to defeat, it’s second consecutive on home soil. “I’m astonished,” Lowe said. “Why wasn’t it scrubbed out by the VAR? What was happening? Were they having a cup of tea at the time, had they clocked off, was it too late for them? He pushes Millsy to the floor. It left a big hole. How wasn’t it picked up, everyone else saw it. It’s a definite foul. It’s a foul all day long. I’m astounded that the VAR did not pick it up. It’s getting beyond a joke.”

It was a scrappy opening, with clear cut chances few and far between, but it was the Glory, who began to take control. First an early penalty appeal was turned down when Knowles went down under pressure from Nigel Boogaard and then Mitch Nichols produced a spectacular chip shot that forced a brilliant save from Jets veteran keeper Glen Moss.

But on 20 minutes the Glory took a deserved lead. Knowles getting on the end of a low cross from the left from Joseph Mills, the striker firing home his first goal at this level. It was nearly 2-0 when a Chris Harold shot was fumbled by Moss, but Mitch Nichols failed with the rebound. Then moments later teenager midfielder Jacob Italiano raced into the area, his first cross-shot was easily dealt with by Moss but his second caused panic in the Jets defence. Harold, in his 150th A-League game, then headed wide before the break while the Jets did not cause the Glory defence too many problems.

Harold had another chance early in the second period, getting his boot to a neat Nichols cross but pushed the ball over the bar. Jets sharpshooter Roy O’Donovan, out injured for the past three weeks, had been waiting menacingly on the bench. He entered the fray on the hour and immediately came up with his side’s best chance only to be kept out by tenacious defending from Alex Grant.

His introduction added a thrust to the Jets attack, but the Glory suffered a blow with both Xavier Torres and Alex Grant both limping off with injuries, and it meant a re-shuffle at the back with Jacob Poscoliero slotting in the back four with Shane Lowry, while Diego Castro came on for his Spanish team mate.

There were another anxious moments when Glory keeper Liam Reddy stayed down after diving at the feet of O’Donovan but he recovered to continue. It looked the Glory would hold on for the three points but two minutes from time the Jets levelled. Koutroumbis volleying home, courtesy of O’Donovan header from the set piece. Then in stoppage time the Jets won it, O’Donovan flicked on a corner and Walker turned the ball into his own net.

The Glory’s injury crisis deepened as key duo Alex Grant and Xavi Torres limped off on Saturday night. Both Grant (hamstring) and Torres (groin) made way in the 67th minute. The Glory already has Andy Keogh (groin), Scott Neville (groin), Adam Taggart (hamstring), Andreu (calf), Marc Warren (ankle) and Joel Chianese (collarbone) unavailable, but one bright note was the return of Castro, who came off the bench to replace Torres after three weeks out with a calf injury.

“You’ve just got to keep smiling,” Lowe said. “You just get on with stuff. You embrace it. It’s a challenge. We find out about ourselves. We’ll find out a lot about me. It’s going to be good. Somewhere down the line, the luck balances up for you.” Jets Coach Ernie Merrick said they were lucky to get the win, but he’ll take it. “I thought it was a really scrappy game, but the better team was Perth Glory without a doubt.

“The police have just come into the dressing room and charged us with stealing three points,” he said. “Sometimes you need a wee bit of luck, we’ve played some really good games and finished up either losing or getting a draw … we were a bit lucky tonight. Playing over here, and to walk away with three points is a good result for us, but it was a very, very poor performance.”



Perth Glory have put in a much-improved performance against conference leaders Melbourne City, but came away empty handed after a 2-1 defeat in Saturday’s Foxtel Y-League game at MCY Academy, La Trobe University, Bundoora. The woodwork denied the Glory just before half time, with Young Socceroo Callum Timmins shot crashing off the post. But Henry Hore did give John Gibson’s side the lead just after half time, the midfielder scoring from Yagoub Mustafa’s cross. But two late goals from Denis Genreau and substitute Marko Delic gave City all three points.

Glory defender Ollie Annis said it was good performance but ultimately two errors cost them. “I thought we were very well organised and coped well against arguably the best team in both conferences,” he said. “We worked so hard to score, and showed great determination and scrambled well to keep the lead, but it was turned around by two mistakes in five minutes, and despite pressing late we couldn’t find the equaliser are performance deserved on the day.”

City were boosted with the inclusion of former Socceroo Neil Kilkenny, but it was Glory who went close to the opener early. Choc Dau found space inside the penalty area in the opening minute, but his shot was well saved by the legs of City goalkeeper Yaren Sozer. The home side hit back and Glory custodian Jackson Lee was alert to deny Gianluca long-range effort, before defender Mitch Graham headed wide from Josh Cavallo’s corner.

Walter Scott almost got on the end of a low cross midway through the half as the Glory ended the half the better. They went even closer moments later Jack Leech losing his marker and unleashing a powerful shot that Sozer tipped over at full stretch. Then in stoppage time Ollie Annis rolled a free kick to Timmins, whose shot beat Sozer, but the post came to the rescue of the City keeper.

City were out of the blocks quickly after the break and Kilkenny’s shot flashed inches wide of the target on 52 minutes, but five minutes later it was the Glory who hit the front. Some neat build up play ended with Mustafa racing down the right, and the striker, who made his A-League debut last week, swept in a pin-point low cross and Hore fired home from close-range.

The Glory back-four were working overtime as City lifted the tempo, but on 73 minutes City drew level. Leech brought down Lucas Derrick on the edge of the area, and skipper Genreau curled home the resulting free kick. The home side then hit the front five minutes later, substitute Delic pounced on a defence error to fire into an empty net. Glory pressed late looking for the equaliser but they couldn’t find it and it was City running out 2-1 in and hard fought encounter.

“It was a very good away performance from us today, but it is a tough learning experience for the group - it was a first away trip for a majority of the squad. We were well organized which enabled us to create numerous chances which we didn’t convert,” Glory Head Coach Gibson told the Glory website.

“Unfortunately both goals we concede were cheap and soft - both coming from us having possession of the ball. Plenty of positives and a wonderful 48 hour away experience for the players. “We deserved more - but the tiniest of details are again our nemesis - we limited their opportunities - their goals came from a direct free kick and a poor back pass. “On the flip side we create many opportunities - we were very competitive and went head to head away from home with a very tough Melbourne City Team.”



Perth Glory will be hoping to bounce back from last week’s narrow 0-1 loss against Central Coast Mariners when they host high flying Newcastle Jets at nib Stadium on Saturday evening in the Star Wars Round. The force has taken over Round 10 of the Hyundai A-League, with Star Wars themed match day experiences, prizes & giveaways, Star Wars themed Hyundai A-League merchandise and much, much more get your tickets - kick off 7pm.

The Glory will be hoping to maintain an impressive home record against Newcastle Jets who have lost on 11 of their last 12 visits to nib Stadium. But they will still be without skipper Andy Keogh, who hasn’t been named in the squad, after failing to recover sufficiently from his groin injury, but it’s a special day for winger Chris Harold, who plays his 150th A-League game. Harold has had five years in the West after moving over from the Gold Coast, and he likes playing the Jets the 25-year-old has scored more times against them than any other club, bagging five in 17 appearances, with two of those goals coming during their 6-1 triumph at McDonald Jones Stadium in January 2016.

He told the clubs website he has enjoyed his time in the West. “When I left Queensland and the Gold Coast, I was very different, much younger, less educated and a more stupid person,” he joked. “So I’d like to think that I’ve developed a bit as a person in that time. I’ve always been treated very well by the Glory members and fans. I like to think they recognise that I’ve shown loyalty to the club and that there is a level of respect there. They have always been very supportive of me and it hasn’t gone unnoticed - I really appreciate that support.”

The Newcastle Jets will head west in confident mood, Ernie Merrick’s side have already won three times on the road this season and scored a competition-best 21 goals in nine games. Midfielder, Ben Kantarovski will also play his 150th game fir the Jets, while they have been bolstered by the additions of Roy O’Donovan and Wayne Brown to the travelling squad, but Merrick won’t make any decision on their inclusion in his side until match-day.

Merrick said that while the trip to Perth was a big ask, the club have had a favorable draw in the 2017/18 season. “We’ve got quite a good draw this season, only travelling to both Perth and New Zealand once – so we don’t have much to complain about there,” he said. “But there’s no doubt that flying that sort of distance does impact performance and we have to do our best to manage that. They’ve got a very parochial crowd over in Perth and that’s a great advantage for them, they’ll be primed for a big match after a tough run over the last month playing a number of away games.”

Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY, 2 Alex GRANT, 4 Shane LOWRY (c), 5 Jacob POSCOLIERO, 6 Mitch NICHOLS, 8 Xavi TORRES, 11Mitch MALLIA, 14 Chris HAROLD, 15 Brandon WILSON, 16 Joseph MILLS, 19 Joe KNOWLES, 20 Jake BRIMMER, 24 Callum TIMMINS, 26 Jacob ITALIANO, 29 Jeremy WALKER, 34 Yagoub MUSTAFA - *one to be omitted* - Ins: TIMMINS (promoted) - Unavailable: 3 Marc WARREN (ankle – 4-5 weeks), 7 Joel CHIANESE (collar bone – 1 week), 9 Andy KEOGH (groin – 1 week), 22 Adam TAGGART (hamstring – 1-2 weeks), 17 Diego CASTRO (calf – 1-2 weeks), 18 Andreu GUERAO (calf – 1-2 weeks), 23 Scott NEVILLE (groin – 1-2 weeks), 25 Daniel STYNES (hamstring – 1-2 weeks),

Newcastle Jets: GK Glenn MOSS, GK Ivan NECEVSKI, 3 Jason HOFFMAN, 4 Nigel BOOGAARD, 5 Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6 Steven UGARKOVIC, 7 Dimitri PETRATOS, 9 Roy O’DONOVAN, 10 Wayne BROWN, 12 Mario SHABOW, 13 Ivan VUJICA, 15 Andrew NABBOUT, 16 Nick COWBURN, 18 Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 19 Kosta PETRATOS, 22 Lachlan JACKSON, 24 Joe CHAMPNESS, 44 Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY - *two to be omitted* - Ins: O’DONOVAN, BROWN (both return from injury) - Unavailable: 1.Jack DUNCAN (foot – 5 weeks), 8.Ronald VARGAS (ankle – indefinite) 17. Daniel GEORGIEVSKI (knee – 2 weeks)



Perth Glory headed to take on Central Coast Mariners without striker Andy Keogh, who failed a fitness test on his injured groin, but his disappointment was youngster Yagoub Mustafa’s joy. With the club having a long list of injuries Coach Kenny Lowe has dipped into the clubs youth set up to give these players a taste of A-League football.

Jacob Italiano and Daniel Stynes have showed the talent the club has coming through the ranks. Add to that Young Socceroo midfielder Callum Timmins has been in the squad for the past fortnight, while last week 18-year-old Mustafa was given his opportunity, coming off the bench for his A-League debut.

Winger Mustafa, who was five when he came to Perth from the Sudan, was spotted playing for Inglewood United in the NPLWA, by then Glory youth coach Bobby Despotovski two years ago. Despite missing several weeks of the last NPL season after having his appendix removed, he did enough to earn his A-League debut in Gosford. “I started playing for fun, kicking the ball around with mates. I didn’t expect it to lead to serious stuff,” Mustafa told the West. The speedy winger was told to pack his bags by the coaching staff after last Friday’s training, when Keogh failed a late fitness test, and he was on the plane.

“On Sunday Kenny and the players just told me to enjoy myself, treat it as a normal game and have fun,” he said. “They told me to be ready as I’d most likely be getting on and when I did it went very quickly. “It was intense. I didn’t have much time on the ball like you do with the youth team.”

Glory head of football Jacob Burns said Mustafa was a player for the future. “He’s a serious talent on the ball offensively and is definitely one to watch,” Burns said. “He has the ability to get at defenders and almost seems to glide past them. He’s physically strong and is capable of creating assists and scoring goals.”



Perth Glory W-League striker Rachel Hill has defiantly hit the ground running since joining the club from American side Orlando Pride, and her exploits have been rewarded by winning the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) Westfield W-League Player of the Month for November. The 22-year-old American has made a sensational start to her Glory career, bagging seven goals in the first six games of the season and also chipping in with several vital assists, playing a key role in driving Bobby Despotovski's side to the top of the ladder.

The US Under-20 and Under-23 international forged an instant understanding with new strike partner Sam Kerr and the duo have been on fire ever since. Hill was understandably thrilled to receive the award, but quick to acknowledge the contribution made by her teammates. “It’s a great honour to receive this award, especially with this being my first month playing in the competition," she said.

“But obviously I wouldn’t have won it without the incredible hard work of my teammates who have been fantastic. I feel that I’ve really gelled with the team and that’s down to this being such an easy group to jump into. They have been so welcoming since day one and made me feel so comfortable. We’re performing well, but are still looking to improve every time we train and play.”

PFA Executive and Matilda’s keeper Lydia Williams, added her congratulations to the in-form Glory star. “There is a host of quality foreign talent in the W-League this year and Rachel is proving to be one of the finds of the season so far,” she said. “If she keeps performing at this level, I am sure it will go a considerable way to Perth Glory being there again at the business end of the season.”



Perth Glory defender Shane Lowry says his side's 1-0 loss to Central Coast Mariners yesterday was "tough to take" after a strong defensive display. Blake Powell scored the game's only goal on 78 minutes after brilliant lead-up play from Daniel De Silva.

The defeat leaves Glory outside the top six, with Central Coast jumping up to fourth. "It's frustrating because I actually thought we defended quite well," Lowry told Fox Sports after the final whistle.

"Rocket (Liam Reddy) had one save in the first half but I think we minimised the chances against. I'm disappointed to be honest with you. We were out on our feet and stretched a bit at the end. That's the way football goes."

"It's still disappointing to lose the game. We said at half-time to try and keep it 0-0 for as long as we can. We'll go back, look at the video, dust ourselves down, we've got two home games now, we'll look forward to that."



Perth Glory youngster Joe Knowles is undaunted as he prepares for a likely first start for the season against Central Coast Mariners today. The 21-year old striker has been starved of minutes behind star trio Andy Keogh, Adam Taggart and Diego Castro in his time at the club.

But Knowles is poised for just the second start of his fledgling A-League career, with the big three all absent through injury. Keogh has not been able to shrug off a groin problem and did not join his teammates on the flight east yesterday, while Taggart (hamstring) and Castro (calf) remain sidelined.

Knowles said receiving a rare chance of his own to shine was a “lovely opportunity”. “I think every young striker would want to be in the shoes that I’m in at the minute. I’m looking forward to it,” said Knowles, who joined Glory's youth team in 2013 from ECU Joondalup.

Keogh, Taggart and Castro shared Glory’s Golden Boot award last season with 12 regular season goals each, scoring 67 per cent of the team’s goals between them. Knowles said he was happy to bide his time because he believed he was growing as a player by learning from his senior teammates on the training pitch.

“You couldn’t pick three better players in the league to learn off for my position, and they’re all in one team,” he said. “Every day I try to get better myself and with those players around me, and the coaches we’ve got here, I’m only going to get better. Hopefully one day I can get to the same technical level they are.”

“They’re obviously all top quality players so I’m just happy to be in and about and learning as much a I can off them and when I get the chance, hopefully I can take it.” Glory have been battered by injury and an onerous travel burden this season, with this weekend’s game their sixth trip in nine outings.



Australia assistant coach Ante Milicic says the Socceroos are satisfied with their 2018 World Cup draw and is already targeting qualifying for the Round of 16. Australia have been drawn in Group C for the tournament and will play France (16 June), Denmark (21 June) and Peru (26 June) at next year’s international showpiece.

Milicic, one of Australia’s representatives at the Final Draw in Moscow, said that the nation ought to be pleased with its draw. “We have to be satisfied with our draw,” said Milicic. “It is obvious when you are in Pot 4 that you are going to come up against three strong opponents, and if you look at the FIFA rankings that’s what we’ve got.”

“We will approach this group with the aim to progress to the next round, and I am sure that the players will be looking forward to the challenge. They will be looking forward to the friendly matches that we will have in March, as well as the preparation games that we will play prior to our arrival in Kazan next June.”



Central Coast Mariners moved into the top four of the Hyundai A-League after a dominate1-0 win against Perth Glory in Gosford. Second half substitute Blake Powell scored the only goal of the game, sixty seconds after coming on to the pitch, while a gritty performance at the back from the Glory almost earned them a point, but it wasn’t to be.

Kenny Lowe said his undermanned side pushed the Mariners all the way, especially missing a host of senior players, “I can’t fault their effort, their passion, their desire to work their socks off,” Lowe said of his players. “They’re a decent side, Central Coast, and I think If you look through our side we coped ever so well. In the first 20 [the Mariners] looked really dangerous. But I thought the second half could have gone either way. We were starting to feel comfortable – we weren’t disgraced here.”

Glory skipper Andy Keogh missed the game, the striker was unable to shake a groin injury, and Joe Knowles made his first start since his debut two years ago, the 21-year-old playing up top with Mitch Nichols playing just behind him, while 19-year-old debutant, Yagoub Mustafa was on the bench. The Mariners opened brightly but struggled to breakdown a defence superbly led by skipper Shane Lowry and Alex Grant. The best chances came midway through the first half when a Jake McGing cross was met by a glancing header from Kwabena Appiah, but Liam Reddy produced a great one-handed save to deny him.

Moments later, another McGing cross raced across the face of goal with Connor Pain reaching to get the final touch that skewed just wide. But the Glory ended the half well and created a couple of good chances. Nichols was involved in both of them, first dragging a low shot wide having been picked out by Chris Harold and then working another shooting opportunity, only to see Ben Kennedy stick out a left boot to block his angled strike.

The Glory went close again after the break, Jeremy Walker's cross was cleared only as far as Harold, but his goal bound effort was deflected wide by defender Alan Baro. It was backs to the wall as the Mariners lifted the tempo, dominating possession, and when Wout Brama burst free and deftly teed up Appiah in the box, but Joe Mills to get there first to clear the danger. But 12 minutes from time the Mariners got the winner. After replacing Kwabena Appiah one minute prior, Powell played in former Glory midfielder Danny De Silva, who sprinted down the wing and into the box before he cut back to Powell whose shot blasted into the net off the crossbar.

Glory skipper Shane Lowry agreed with his coach’s assessment of the game. “It’s frustrating because I actually thought we defended quite well,” Lowry told Fox Sports. “We spoke at half-time about trying to keep it 0-0 for as long as we could because we know we’ve got a lot of our injuries. It’s a tough one to take.” In better news for the Glory, injured stars Andy Keogh, Adam Taggart, Diego Castro, Scott Neville and Andreu are all likely to come under consideration for Saturday night’s visit from Newcastle Jets.



Perth Glory Youth have suffered back-to-back defeats to start their Foxtel Y-League campaign after going down 2-1 to Brisbane Roar Youth in hot conditions at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday morning. Daniel Leck and Bryce Bafford had given the Roar the advantage, but a fast finishing Glory pulled one back through substitute Michael 19 minutes from time, but they couldn’t find the equaliser.

Glory Striker Chok Dau was influential in the late resurgence from the Glory, and he said it was too little too late. “A couple of mistakes cost us today, but once we started to play our game we took control, but it was too late,” he told the Glory website. “We need to start from the get go, and put teams under pressure, we’ve given teams a head start in the game and you can’t do that in this competition. We pressed late and the lads really finished the game off well and our fitness showed, but we move on to Melbourne City next week, which is a really important game for us to get our season going.”

The game was moved to earlier in the day, as temperatures reached the high 20’s in the Perth metropolitan area, and it was Brisbane who opened the brighter and Finn Beakhurst’s shot on the run flashed wide of the target early. The Glory weren’t without early chances, and midfielder Michael McDougall made space down the left and fed Dau, whose low cross was inches away from Bayley Brown-Montgomery at the back post, before Henry Hore’s snap shot was saved low by Macklin Freke.

But on 22 minutes it was the visitors who hit the front. Defender Luke Bodnar was caught in possession by Bafford, who punished him by crossing to Leck to fire home from close-range at the back post. Glory almost hit back immediately, Dau was sent in on goal, but Kai Trewin got back with a last ditch tackle to block the strikers shot.

Glory opened the second half the better and Ollie Annis’ cross from the left found half time substitute Domfeh, but the striker couldn’t keep his shot down. But on 52 minutes it was the visitors who doubled their advantage. A great through ball from Trewin caught the Glory defence out, and Bafford raced clear, rounded Glory keeper Jackson Lee and rolled the ball into an empty net. Despite being two goals down the Glory rolled up their sleeves and started to get on top.

Skipper Hayden Stevens headed just wide, and 19 minutes from time they reduced the margin. Dau was sent clear down the right, he cut inside his marker and found Domfah, who made no mistake from four meters. It was the Glory who were ending the game the better and they almost found the equaliser four minutes from time. Stevens sent Dau racing down the right, outpaced his marker, but Freke was out quick to narrow the angle and the striker fired over the top.



Perth Glory bounced back from last week’s narrow loss against Canberra United, with Sam Kerr capping another memorable week, by doing what she does best, scoring the only goal as Glory beat Western Sydney Wanderers 1-0 in Week 7 of the Westfield W-League at the Marconi Stadium.

The hard-fought win maintained their position at the top of the table and sets up a massive game at McDonald John Stadium against the inform Newcastle Jets. The Glory skipper returned to the side fresh from having starred for the Matildas and taken out the AFC Women's Player of the Year Award. Import Raquel Rodriguez also returned from International duty to bolster the midfield, while Nicole Stanton also returned, but had to start on the bench.

It was a lively start from Bobby Despotovski’s side and Rodriguez went close early, but her shot on the turn was saved by Jada Whyman. Moments later Kerr’s shot flashed inches past the post, as they went in search of the opener. It was the Glory on the front foot and Shawn Billam’s long-range shot was wide if the target, before Marianna Tabain shot was well saved by Whyman, but at the break it was all square. Glory brought on Stanton at the break and it was more of the same after the break.

Rachel Hill and Stanton came close as the Glory continued to dictate terms, and their pressure was rewarded with the lead five minutes in. Hill sent Kerr racing clear, and the skipper made no mistake, rounded Whyman and rolling the ball home. The Wanderers looked for an immediate response and Melissa Maizels produced a smart save to deny Lo'eau La Bonta's free-kick on the hour.

The Glory custodian was at it again 12 minutes from time, again denying La Bonta, as the Wanderers continued to press. Glory almost wrapped up the point’s moments later, Kerr played in Rodriguez, but the Costa Rican international couldn’t find the target. Kerr went close to claiming a brace late on, but Whyman denied her, but it was Kerr’s goal that secured all three points.



Tempting as it would be to score against his old club, Wellington Phoenix defender Scott Galloway will settle for a clean sheet against Melbourne Victory tomorrow. The 22-year old full-back returns to the fray after a month injured on the sidelines at just the right time for Wellington, who sit bottom of the ladder.

Eighth-placed Melbourne are two points ahead, with a solitary win over Perth Glory to offset four draws and three losses. Melbourne have struggled to find the net this season, with just nine goals from eight games, and have also looked shaky defensively in conceding 12 goals. Six of the last eight goals against them have come from former Melbourne players.

Goals are few and far between for Galloway - he's scored three in the A-League to date - but he'll happily forego a fourth to concentrate on his core role at the heart of Wellington's defence. "I'll take a clean sheet," said Galloway, who played five seasons with Melbourne.

Galloway hasn't featured since limping off with a hamstring injury midway through Wellington's late October draw with Brisbane Roar. In the three games since, Wellington have conceded nine goals, and have struggled to field a consistent back four.

Galloway says it's been difficult watching from the sidelines. "It's always frustrating being on the sidelines - you always want to be out there and playing," he said. "As a team, we're just conceding too many goals, you can't win games conceding as many goals as we are."

Melbourne's equally slow start to the season isn't indicative of their potential, Galloway said. "They're a fantastic club, a fantastic team, they're just going through a rough patch now, but they've got the quality and the ability to just kick it on whenever they want. Hopefully for us it's not this week."



Partick Thistle midfielder Ryan Edwards reckons that the club’s hectic December schedule could determine their season, believing this to be a critical point in their campaign. Thistle currently sit at the bottom of the table, the same position they were in this time last year before a tremendous run of form propelled them to a top six finish.

The memory of that run is giving Edwards real hope that today’s game against Hibernians will be a platform to emulate such form as they go into eight matches in four weeks before the winter shutdown in January. “We can take encouragement that we were near the bottom at this time of year before kicking on,” Edwards said.

“Teams have picked up results against some big teams, like Dundee against Rangers, and that shows the league is getting stronger. Teams have strengthened their squad and all credit to them. We need to step up even more and I think this month will determine our season. Whether we are playing catch up after January or we are in amongst it.”

“We aren’t far away from the teams above us. It’s not nice to be at the bottom and having to rely on kicking on. We need to be more consistent instead of being in this position every year. But I can’t wait because we only had two games in November which was strange and frustrating. Everyone involved with the club is looking forward to eight games in December.”

“They come thick and fast, training will be lighter because we will be recovering and focusing on the next game. We have a lot of boys coming back from injury which has made training more competitive and lifted everyone’s game. That will be good for us going forward because it’s almost half a new team coming back.”



Perth Glory striker Andy Keogh will be given until kick-off to prove his fitness for tomorrow afternoon’s A-League clash with Central Coast Mariners. Keogh sustained nerve damage in his groin in the first half of last Friday’s win over Melbourne Victory but the injury is not as severe as first feared.

Keogh trained yesterday and although he did not finish the session coach Kenny Lowe said the Glory captain would travel to Gosford. “He trained a bit, he got through what he needed to get through so we’ll see how he goes,” said Lowe, whose team are placed fifth after eight games.

“We’ll have a little bit in the warm-up, that’s probably where we sit, give him as much time. If he doesn’t (play) so be it. We’ll deal with the cards like we’re always saying. It’s a good opportunity for young Callum Timmins who will come into the squad and Joey Knowles maybe, or maybe we chuck Mitch Nichols up there.”

Lowe said being unable to pick a settled side from an already small squad reduced by injury to key players such as Keogh, Adam Taggart, Diego Castro and Andreu was not unsettling. “It doesn’t affect the players,” he said. “It’s the most vibrant environment we’ve had in the three years I’ve been here because everyone is involved.”



After lasts fantastic win against Melbourne City, their first on the road this season, Perth Glory will be looking for back-to-back wins when they travel to Gosford to take on Central Coast Mariners at Central Coast Stadium ( WA time) The walking wounded Glory beat all the odds to beat City last week, a ground were they have a good record, but Gosford has not traditionally been a happy hunting ground for the WA side, but Head Coach Kenny Lowe feels that his charges are capable of turning that around this time,

He said his squad are in upbeat mood ahead of Sunday's Round 9 clash but he will still be without Diego Castro, Scott Neville, Andreu Guerao, Adam Taggart, Marc Warren, Joel Chianese and Daniel Stynes for the trip, but in some good news skipper Andy Keogh was named in the squad this despite limping off with a groin injury last week. "It's always been tough there for us historically, but the lads are focused and determined to change that on Sunday," Lowe said. "Spirits are high in the group after a good week on the training ground and we are really looking forward to taking on the Mariners. I was particularly pleased for the young players that came in and did so well against City. They did a job for us and it means that we now have great competition for places which helps lift the intensity at training."

The visit to Central Coast Stadium will bring to an end Glory's grueling opening third of the season which included six away games and Lowe is adamant that a positive result this weekend would set things up nicely ahead of next month's consecutive home games. "We've done a lot of travelling, and it's been tough, but a good performance and result against the Mariners would leave us sitting in a decent position heading into the first part of the busy Christmas period," he explained. "It'll be tough because they are a good side that like to get the ball down and play, but we are going over there confident that we can get the job done."

Glory downed the Mariners 2-1 at nib Stadium back in Round 3 with Andy Keogh and Adam Taggart both finding the net late after Dutch recruit Wout Brama had given the visitors an early lead. But in Gosford it’s a different matter the last time the Glory won there was in November 2014, Nebojsa Marinkovic’s stunner giving them a 1-0 win. In goal for the Mariners that night was Liam Reddy, while on the bench that night for the Glory was Daniel De Silva, and both will be on the opposite sides this time around.

Paul Okon's side currently sit one point and one place below Glory on the Hyundai A-League ladder and have won only one of their four home games so far this term. De Silva was rewarded for his sensational start to the season by earning a nomination for the Hyundai A-League, NAB Young Footballer of the Year 2017/18 Award, the midfielder said that the support from the stands has been immense and is hoping that will continue on Sunday against his former club.

“We’re coming off the back of a good win and we’re really starting to gel nicely together, and a lot of games this season we should have won, we haven’t but we’re a strong team together both mentally and physically,” De Silva said. “We go into this game like every other game and that’s with a mindset to win. We’re playing great football and I’m really looking forward to it on Sunday. Being at home with the great fans that we have, it’s always a bonus for us players but for sure – we’re excited. We love playing at Central Coast Stadium.

Central Coast Mariners Squad: GK Ben KENNEDY, GK Adam PEARCE, 4 Jake MCGING, 5 Antony GOLEC, 6 Tom HIARIEJ, 7 Andrew HOOLE, 8 Blake POWELL, 9 ASDRUBAL, 10 Daniel De SILVA, 11 Connor PAIN, 12 Trent BUHAGIAR, 13 Kwabena APPIAH, 14 Adam BERRY, 15 Alan BARO (c), 16 Liam ROSE, 17 Josh BINGHAM, 21 Kye ROWLES, 23 Wout BRAMA - *two to be omitted* - Ins: ASDRUBAL (return from injury), BINGHAM (promoted) - Unavailable: 2 Storm ROUX (ankle injury – 1 week), 3 Josh ROSE (calf injury – 1 week)

Perth Glory Squad: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY, 2 Alex GRANT, 4 Shane LOWRY, 5 Jacob POSCOLIERO, 6 Mitch NICHOLS, 8 Xavi TORRES, 9 Andy KEOGH (c), 11 Mitch MALLIA,), 14 Chris HAROLD, 15 Brandon WILSON, 16 Joe MILLS, 19 Joe KNOWLES, 20 Jake BRIMMER, 24 Callum TIMMINS, 26 Jacob ITALIANO, 29 Jeremy WALKER - *one to be omitted* - Ins: TIMMINS (promoted) Unavailable: 25 Daniel STYNES (hamstring – 1-2 weeks), 7 Joel CHIANESE (collar bone – 1-2 weeks), 3 Marc WARREN (ankle – 4-5 weeks), 22 Adam TAGGART (hamstring – 2-3 weeks), 17 Diego CASTRO (calf – 1-2 weeks), 18 Andreu GUERAO (calf – 1-2 weeks), 23 Scott NEVILLE (groin – 2-3 weeks)



Perth Glory teenager Callum Timmins, on the verge of his A-League debut, has already travelled a long road of frustration and disappointment in his short career. Instead of heading for leavers’ celebrations after graduating from Churchlands Senior High School, the central midfielder is poised to make the squad for Sunday’s away clash with Central Coast Mariners.

17-year old Timmins has been in Glory’s extended squad for the last two weeks, just missing out on final selection, but he has learnt to live with speed bumps that have slowed his rise. When he moved to Perth with his family, English Championship club Birmingham City refused to release him from an academy contract and he was forced to spend two years training with Glory’s youth without being able to play in a competitive game.

Then, after being selected to play for the young Socceroos this year it was discovered that, despite having Australian citizenship, he was just two months short of the five-year residential qualification period. “I couldn’t play for two years until I was 16 and that stunted my progress for a bit,” Timmins said.

“It was a long time. It was very frustrating. Birmingham wanted me to go back or wanted compensation but my family have helped me, they kept encouraging me. I’ve been so close and the closer you get the more you want it. A lot of my mates have been down south or in Bali for leavers but football is more important.”

Despite his disappointment, Timmins captained an Australian representative side that beat Singapore 4-0 in a friendly match earlier this year. Glory captain Andy Keogh could play in Sunday’s match after recovering from a groin problem. Fellow striker Adam Taggart (hamstring), Diego Castro and Andreu (both calf) may have to wait until the home clash with Newcastle in the next round.



Socceroos defender Trent Saisnbury has opened up about his disappointment with Ange Postecoglou quitting his role as the national team coach, admitting he feels "hurt" and "let down". Postecoglou announced his resignation last Tuesday, just days after securing Australia’s spot at the 2018 World Cup, confirming he would not be at the helm when the Socceroos head to Russia.

Sainsbury admitted the players were blind-sighted by his decision. "There was always a few inklings that he was going to leave the job, but it never really hit home at the time," Sainsbury said. "We always thought he was going to stick around and see it through and then all of a sudden word come out through the media which was a bit disappointing."

"He’s taken us on this journey and he’s done such a fantastic job, he’ left such a legacy winning the 2015 Asian Cup, qualifying the way he wanted us to qualify and I think the belief that in the squad now will carry on for the next generation. But I think the boys were looking forward to having him there and taking us to the World Cup in Russia."

Despite his disappointment 24-year old Sainsbury praised Postecoglou and the impact he had on him personally and the team. Sainsbury made his national team debut in 2014 under Postecoglou after missing the Brazil World Cup that year due to injury. He was central to Australia's qualification to the 2018 tournament, and was the Socceroos' best player at the Confederations Cup.

"I feel let down. Everyone’s got their own decision to make. We don’t know his side of the story , I don’t know if we ever will," he said. "But my personal feeling is that I feel let down. He was one of the most positive coaches I’ve ever had and one of the most passionate. When you have that it hurts when they leave because you know you may not ever get that again."

With Football Federation Australia currently engaged in a search for Postecoglou's replacement, Sainsbury strongly endorsed his former Central Coast Mariners mentor Graham Arnold. Sainsbury, who won the A-League championship with the Mariners in 2013 under Arnold and is in a relationship with Arnold's daughter Elissa, acknowledged the likely perception of bias.

But the former Armadale junior strongly encouraged the governing body to choose an Australian manager for the role. "People will probably say I’m biased if I said Graham Arnold," he said. "But I think if they go Aussie they have to go for the long term option and give them this World Cup and the next World Cup and even maybe the Asian Cup after that.

"But if they go international it would just be for the World Cup. I don’t think they should take it through to the Asian Cup. Why give this experience to a foreign coach when you can give it an Aussie for them to have that experience and put it on their CV and hopefully build that Aussie coach up. So my preference would definitely be an Australian coach."



What hasn’t Perth Glory Westfield W-League skipper Sam Kerr not won this season. The 24-year-old has taken out a raft of individual honours following her stellar performances at domestic level for both Glory, American NWSL side Sky Blue FC and on the international stage with the Matildas, and on Wednesday evening marked yet another high point in what has been a truly glorious year for the striker was she was named AFC Women’s Player of the Year at the AFC Awards event in Bangkok.

Kerr edged out DPR Korea forward Sung Hyang Sim, and Japanese defender Saki Kumagai to take top spot at a glittering ceremony and was typically humble when interviewed after the event. “This is the third time Australia have won the award and I think we are going in the right direction with women's football in Australia,” she said. “I am very proud to fly the flag for Australia. Individual awards are not important.

"It's been a good year for the clubs and the Matildas and my top memory on a personal level is breaking the record, and the award in the US which I will probably remember forever. My team mates are everything, like I said, without them it wouldn't be possible. “My two clubs mean everything to me and hopefully in the future I will have success also with the national team."

Glory CEO Peter Filopoulos was thrilled to see the striker’s achievements recognised once again.

“Sam is a huge asset to both our club and football in Australia at a wider level,” he said.

“The way she conducts herself on and off the pitch makes her a fantastic role model for young female players and she thoroughly deserves all the accolades that have come her way.

“Having already been named the Westfield W-League and NWSL MVP, WA Young Australian of the Year and Women’s Health Sportswoman of the Year, this latest award is another one that I’m sure Sam will be extremely proud to have won and everyone in the Perth Glory family shares that pride with her.”

The in-form striker flew direct from Bangkok to Sydney to link up with her Glory teammates who are set to take on Western Sydney Wanderers at Marconi Stadium on Friday afternoon (kick off 1.30pm WST).



Central Coast Mariners' Daniel De Silva isn't thinking about individual accolades after claiming the Young Footballer of the Year nomination for November. De Silva, 20, is the early favourite to claim the Young Footballer award after an outstanding couple of months in the 2017/18 A-League.

De Silva returned to the A-League after two underwhelming years in the Netherlands with Roda JC, having left hometown club Perth Glory in 2015. His form, which included a goal in Saturday's 4-1 win away to Wellington Phoenix, has seen him shoot into Socceroos calculations according to onlookers.

But the Perth-born attacking midfielder is solely focused on team success and improving as a player for now. "For me it's about taking each training session and each game at a time and if something good comes of that, then it's fantastic," he said.

"For me, my focus is not on awards, it's about helping the team to victories and make good performances and play good football. That's my goal, to become a better player as well. If something good comes of it, then that's fantastic but it's not the big thing for me."

De Silva spent three years at Glory, making 33 A-League appearances in which he showed glimpses of his potential. When a dream move to AS Roma fell through he switched to Roda where he gained just 16 outings in as many months. His return to the A-League has produced more consistent results.

"I think when I started off in the A-League I was still very young. I still had a lot to learn," he said. "I'm still learning a lot now. I've just matured a bit in my game now. I'm in a really good team with a great playing style and great players around me, so it makes it a bit easier for me."



Samantha Kerr says consistency is the key for the Matildas in the lead-up to the next year's Asian Cup in Jordan and the 2019 World Cup in France. The Matildas have had an enjoyable year including taking out the Tournament of Nations, finishing fourth in the Algarve Cup and recently picking up back-to-back friendly wins over Brazil and China on home soil.

In the past two years depth was an issue in the Matildas and Kerr now believes a win in a major tournament is very feasible. “I think it was a good year, it just sucks it wasn't a tournament year, if we had won seven games in a row we probably would've won a World Cup,” Kerr said. “That's the challenge, to keep going throughout the year next year.”

“It's good signs, but in a World Cup you have to play that amount and more, so it's good preparation and we're moving in the right direction. We think we can get fitter and just keep progressing, not take a step backwards and I think this year we've been on the up. We have a bit of time away from each other now which is difficult. We just need to try and keep progressing in our clubs and stay fit and healthy.”

The Perth Glory Women striker also capped off her stunning 2017 form in style with a brace in Australia's 5-1 over China in Geelong on Sunday. However, the message from the Matildas camp was that the score was not a true reflection of the game. Kerr also felt she was a bit lucky to bag two goals. “I didn't think my game was that good,” she said. “That's the joy of being a striker. You score two goals and it's all okay.”

“I'll watch the video back because I wasn't quite happy with my movement and I didn't think I was on the ball enough. We've said we want to win games when we're not playing our best football and I thought China did really well. We just overpowered them in the end. Our first few touches were a bit off, but that happens.”



Sydney FC star Brandon O’Neill has long been touted as a future Socceroo, but the midfielder might soon be faced with a choice about his international future. The 23-year-old has been informally approached about whether he would consider accepting a call-up from the Republic of Ireland, where his father, Miles, originally hails from and was both a professional footballer and boxer before heading to Australia.

It is understood that O'Neill, who started his football as a junior at ECU Joondalup SC, his brilliant ongoing form in the A-League has been known about for some time in Ireland but has now reached some key power brokers in Irish football. When contacted by SBS - The World Game on Monday night, O’Neill’s agent Tony Rallis confirmed there had been preliminary interest in the former Australian Under-23 representative.

"The fact that Brandon hasn’t been capped by the Socceroos has left the door ajar for Ireland and it’s no surprise to learn they’ve been tracking how well he’s been going here," Rallis said. "I’m sure Brandon’s first preference would be to play for the Socceroos, because that’s been the dream for his entire life.



Football Federation Australia have announced Central Coast Mariners midfielder Danny De Silva as the November nominee for the 2017/18 Young Footballer of the Year. De Silva joins Melbourne City’s Bruce Kamau as nominee’s for the A-League Young Footballer of the Year, which will be announced at the Dolan Warren Awards Night.

November has been a special month for De Silva. He was instrumental in the Mariners 2-0 victory over Sydney FC and also scored his team’s second goal in their win over the Wellington Phoenix last weekend. Stirling Lions, De Silva’s nominated junior club, will receive a Club Recognition Award, which includes a range of equipment along with $1,000.



Sydney FC midfielder Brandon O’Neill has long been touted as a future Socceroo, but the midfielder might soon be faced with a choice about his international future. The 23-year old has been informally approached about whether he would consider accepting a call-up from the Republic of Ireland, where his father, Miles, originally hails from and was a professional footballer before emigrating to Australia.

It is understood that O'Neill's brilliant ongoing form in the A-League has been known about for some time in Ireland but has now reached some key power brokers in Irish football. "The fact that Brandon hasn’t been capped by the Socceroos has left the door ajar for Ireland and it’s no surprise to learn they’ve been tracking how well he’s been going here," Tony Rallis, O’Neill’s agent, said.

"I’m sure Brandon’s first preference would be to play for the Socceroos, because that’s been the dream for his entire life. However, just the interest itself is obviously quite a thrill for Brandon and his family, in particular his father, who has very strong ties to his country. For now, he hasn’t been called up by Australia or Ireland, so it’s hard to say what will happen down the line."

Representing Ireland would put O’Neill in direct competition with James McCarthy (Everton), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion), Robbie Brady (Burnley) and Harry Arter (Bournemouth) for a midfield berth. Such exposure could also enhance his prospects of landing his dream move to a major European league.



Perth Glory slipped to their second defeat of the season Westfield W-League, being edged out 3-2 by Canberra United in the top of the table clash at McKellar Park. Grace Maher gave the hosts the lead early, before Rachel Hill levelled just before half time, her seventh goal in five games. Amy Sayer regained the lead for United, before Laura Bassett added a third 20 minutes from time. 16-year-old Alexia Moreno marked her Glory debut scoring a superb late free-kick, but it was too late, but despite the defeat the Glory remain top of the table on goal difference.

With Sam Kerr and Rocky Rodriguez both missing through international duty and Nikki Stanton and Jaymee Gibbons sidelined by injury, Glory made a number of changes and found themselves behind on 18 minutes. Maher found space on the edge of the penalty area, and her shot on the turn flew into the bottom corner of the net. The home side were creating the better chances and Ashleigh Sykes cut in from the left on the half hour, but her shot flashed over the top.

Glory went close to the equaliser moments later, Natasha Rigby eased past her marker on the left and her low cross was inches away from Nicola Bolger in the six-yard box. Then it was Hill who went close, the American striker saw her shot on the turn whistle inches past the post as the Glory ended the half the better. They were rewarded in the shadows of half time with the leveler. Hill was sent clear of the back four and slammed home her shot into the top corner of the net giving Haley Kopmeyer no chance.

Despite Bobby Despotovski’s side dominating the opening exchanges of the second half, it was the home side who regained the lead on 57 minutes. Sayer’s first time shot from the edge of the penalty area finished into the top corner of the net giving Melissa Maizels no chance. Hill went close to her second four minutes later, but her shot was saved low by Kopmeyer. Maizels then came to the rescue of the Glory on 69 minutes, Sykes raced in one-on-one with the Glory custodian who stood tall to deny her. But sixty seconds later Glory 'keeper was left helpless as Canberra made it 3-1.

England international Laura Bassett firing home from long-range, to put the home side in control. Maizels then produced another stunning save to thwart Sykes again, the keeper out smartly to deny her. Hill then saw her shot flash over the top as the Glory pressed forward and they narrowed the margin three minutes from time. Second half substitution Moreno fired home a free kick through a crowded penalty area to make it 3-2. Glory pressed for the equaliser and Hill’s long-range striker skimmed the crossbar, but time run out and it was Canberra celebrating the win. Glory return to action on Friday with another away fixture, this time at Western Sydney.



Perth Glory moved to fourth spot on the Hyundai A-League with a 3-1 win against Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Friday evening. Mitch Nichols gave the Glory the lead, before Ross McCormack levelled with a stunning free kick. Xavi Torres scored from the penalty spot after VAR decision to regain the lead, before a late effort from substitute Mitch Mallia helped steer Glory home over ten-man City, who had Osama Malik sent off. Lowe was delighted with his players' effort and said the penalty was there but thought the sending off was harsh.

“I've seen 'em given, seen 'em not given, but I thought it was a bit rough for a red," he said. "We worked ever so hard ... you've got to be pleased with the contribution of the inexperienced players." Lowe says teenage talent Jacob Italiano has been given a licence to showcase his talents. "Don't be conservative. You must go and enjoy yourself," he told the teenager. “I think in the first minute he had three [one-on-ones] and he just went at [Nick Fitzgerald]. I saw him twice, I think, put Manny Muscat on his backside going shoulder-to-shoulder and then he did it to the big centre-half [Bart Schenkeveld]. I was amazed for a boy of that age to actually cope physically like he did, with the ball and without the ball. And his intelligence to make good decisions is very pleasing."

The Glory went into the game unchanged from the side that lost to Melbourne Victory, with 16-year-old Italiano keeping his spot in the starting line-up and he was involved in the opening goal on 12 minutes. Glory broke down the left, with Brandon Wilson finding Italiano, who found Andy Keogh, the skipper then squared to Mitch Nichols, who’s shot from outside the area took a deflection off Bart Schenkeveld and wrong footing Eugene Galekovic. Keogh pulled up after another quick break from Italiano, who was impressing on his first away trip. The Irish striker looked like he had pulled his groin, and the Glory were looking to make a change, but the fourth official missed it and it led to the equaliser for City. Bruce Kamau was brought down on the edge of the box, and Elder gave a free kick, much to the displeasure of the players and Coach Kenny Lowe. McCormack stepped forward, and from outside the area, delivered a perfect free kick which looped over the wall and past Liam Reddy.

It was all too much for Lowe, whose complaints saw Elder show him a yellow card, earning him the distinction of being the first A-League coach, in fact the first anywhere in the world, to be punished since the FFA earlier this season brought in the rule allowing coaches to be carded for infractions in their technical area. The half then ended in drama with the VAR at the heart of it once again. Malik's studs-up lunge on Italiano was missed by the referee, but after viewing the video replay he awarded the penalty and sent Malik off. It was a penalty, but the sending off was harsh. Torres stepped up and calmly sent Galekovic the wrong way from the spot to give the Glory the lead at the break.

The second half began in similarly lively fashion with Lowry coming agonisingly close to extending Glory's lead when he was first to meet Torres' in-swinging free-kick, but sent his sliding effort straight at Galekovic. Despite their numerical advantage it was Warren Joyce's side who were still a threat going forward, with former Glory defender Scott Jamieson testing Reddy out from range, before Marcin Budzinski dragging a low shot across the face of goal when well placed. As the game moved into its final quarter, Tim Cahill was introduced from the bench for City, but the Socceroos star could only stand and watch as the Glory added a third. Last-man Nick Fitzgerald had his pocked picked by Mallia on the halfway line and the former Sydney FC winger raced clear before beating the exposed Galekovic with a composed finish to win it for the Glory.



Teenager Jacob Italiano became the fifth-youngest A-League debutant when he lined up for Perth Glory last Sunday. Two days later it was back to normal as he sat down for a school exam. And tonight he gets another chance to showcase his skills in an unchanged side for Glory’s away game with Melbourne City.

Italiano, 16 years and 112 days old when he started against Melbourne Victory, has been juggling studies and training since winning a Glory scholarship in August after the closure of the FFA Centre of Excellence in Canberra. But the former Inglewood United junior never dreamt he would be moving into the A-League so quickly.

“At first I couldn’t believe it, but I tried not to think too much about it,” said Italiano, who last year represented Australia at Under-19 level. “I guess the nerves started in the changing rooms and I was sitting next to players like (Andy) Keogh and (Xavi) Torres, but eventually it settled … I was pretty happy overall, maybe on the ball I could have done a few more things, but I stuck to my role.”

Glory boss Kenny Lowe said Italiano’s debut, on the back of Glory’s extensive injury list that includes Adam Taggart (hamstring), Diego Castro and Andreu (both calf) and Scott Neville (groin), proved he was capable of playing in the A-League. “We had no qualms about throwing him in,” Lowe said. “He played against good players, he gave them a few problems. He’s having a ball.”



Perth Glory will go in search of their first win in since round five of the Hyundai A-League, when they take on Melbourne City at AMMI Park on Friday evening. After the heavy defeat in Wellington, and a disappointing home loss against the Victory last week the undermanned Kenny Lowe’s side have dropped down the table, but they must take positives from their last game against City in the Finals last season, when they came home with the win, but injuries have hit the squad hard.

Adam Taggart (hamstring), Diego Castro (calf) Andreu (calf), Scott Neville (groin), Daniel Stynes (hamstring), Joel Chianese (collar bone) and Marc Warren are all unavailable, meaning Lowe will turn to 16-year-old midfielder Jacob Italiano again. Italiano was solid last week in his debut, showing poise beyond his years in the 2-0 loss to Melbourne Victory, while Joe Knowles is chopping at the bit for a start. Lowe has also called up Callum Timmins from the Youth side, the defender captained the Young Socceroos earlier in the season in the Tri-Series, and is line to make his debut.

Lowe said it was a chance for one of the club's young guns to make a name for themselves. "We're looking to see who's going to step up and be a Castro, be a Taggart," Lowe said. "You never know, the young 16-year-old might come up and bang a brace in and keep them all out of the team for the rest of the season."

The Glory coach said he hopes he doesn't see Cahill's name on the City team sheet, but believes the Socceroos veteran will be ready to play after helping the Socceroos to Russia. "I think Warren should keep Timmy wrapped in cotton wool for another week," Lowe joked.

"I think we should look after him. He's getting on a bit. Take care of him and unleash him next week - that would be nice."

Lowe said press reports Cahill needed to put in a big display to prove his worth to City is out or order. "You know what, Tim Cahill doesn't have to prove anything to anybody - dear me," Lowe said. "What he's done, where he's been, what he's achieved and the manner that he's done it - he doesn't need to prove anything to anybody. He's still got plenty left in him. But it would be nice if the plenty left in him was next week, not this week."

Third-placed City, having lost 3-1 last week to Brisbane, are set to be boosted by the return of Cahill and Ross McCormack. Iacopo La Rocca could be in danger of losing his spot in the side after his horror show against Brisbane. Luke Brattan impressed off the bench and could force the Italian out, but Marcelo Carrusca is still unavailable with a calf complaint.

These teams have developed a habit of producing thrillers, not least last season. Across the four games played, including their elimination final, they scored 22 goals over one draw and three Glory wins. Perth kept the only clean sheet in that final, in which City were hugely disappointing. Given the form of the teams, another goal fest is not on the cards but the prediction – Melbourne City 1 Perth Glory 2.

Melbourne City FC: GK Eugene GALEKOVIC. GK Dean BOUZANIS, 2 Manny MUSCAT, 3 Scott JAMIESON, 5 Bart SCHENKEVELD, 6 Osama MALIK, 7 Nick FITZGERALD, 8 Neil KILKENNY, 11 Bruce KAMAU, 12 Bradeyn CROWLEY, 13 Stefan MAUK, 17 Tim CAHILL, 22 Michael JAKOBSEN (c), 25 Iacopo LA ROCCA, 26 Luke BRATTAN, 27 Marcin BUDZINSKI, 35 Ramy NAJJARINE, 44 Ross McCORMACK - *two to be omitted* - Ins: CAHILL (returns from injury), McCORMACK (returns from injury) - Outs: Nil - Unavailable: 23 Bruno FORNAROLI (ankle), 9 Marcelo CARRUSCA (calf)

Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY, 2 Alex GRANT, 4 Shane LOWRY, 5 Jacob POSCOLIERO, 6 Mitch NICHOLS, 8 Xavi TORRES, 9 Andy KEOGH (c), 11 Mitch MALLIA, 14 Chris HAROLD, 15 Brandon WILSON, 16 Joseph MILLS, 19 Joe KNOWLES, 20 Jake BRIMMER, 24 Callum TIMMINS, 26 Jacob ITALIANO , 29 Jeremy WALKER - *one to be omitted* - Ins: TIMMINS (promoted) - Outs: Nil - Unavailable: 25.Daniel STYNES (hamstring – 2-3 weeks), 7.Joel CHIANESE (collar bone – 1-2 weeks), 3.Marc WARREN (ankle – 5-6 weeks), 22.Adam TAGGART (hamstring – 3-4 weeks), 17.Diego CASTRO (calf – 1-2 weeks), 18. Andreu GUERAO (calf – 1-2 weeks), 23.Scott NEVILLE (groin – 1-2 weeks)



Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold may be the leading candidate to replace Ange Postecoglou as Socceroos coach but that position may remain vacant for a number of weeks with Football Federation Australia yet to formally commence the job hunt. Fairfax Media understands the FFA's preference is to hire a local, Australian coach to lead the country to the 2018 World Cup in Russia and beyond putting Arnold in the box seat to take charge of the national team. However, that preference is far from iron clad and the abrupt departure of Postecoglou – despite weeks of speculation – came before the FFA had commenced any searches or interviews for their next coach.

An unrivalled experience within Australian football, a record of five major trophies in the A-League and a past with the national team makes Arnold the man most likely to take charge of the Socceroos but he will face competition from several other Australian coaches for that position, as well as others from abroad. Sydney FC have not been approached by the FFA on the subject of a potential move for Arnold but with another year-and-a-half to run on his contract and a frosty relationship between the organisation and clubs, it's possible Arnold would not be released freely.

"Graham Arnold is Sydney FC's head coach, he is under contract and we envisage further success for the club under Graham's leadership going forward," a Sydney FC spokesman said. "We have had no contact from anyone regarding Graham and his role at Sydney FC." Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat is another strong candidate for the Socceroos job and presents a closer alignment to Postecoglou's coaching style, having spent time working as his assistant. John Aloisi from Brisbane Roar is an outside chance while Socceroos assistant Ante Milicic may be considered.

As far as foreign options go, the FFA has not yet explored any but a set of strict criteria is being devised. It surrounds issues of playing styles – ensuring any foreign coach has a proven record of playing attacking football, will continue with the current support staff, has the experience of coaching international football and will work as an ambassador of the game within Australia. It's understood the FFA have not yet received many applications for the top job in Australia despite the opportunity to take charge of a team at a World Cup and through to an Asian Cup in January 2019.

With nearly four months until the Socceroos next possible friendly game, the FFA won't likely turn their attention to appointing a new coach until after the crucial EGM on November 30 which will be the last opportunity for chairman Steven Lowy to gain support for a new congress before FIFA will introduce a 'normalising committee' that disbands the FFA board. "We don't play till March, so we have got a bit of time and it's important we take that time to look at what is out there," FFA chief executive David Gallop said. "We will take our time and make sure we get the right person for the job."

Postecoglou's immediate departure from the FFA means the Australian delegation will travel to Russia next week for the World Cup draw without a head coach. It's understood the national team will be represented by assistant coach Ante Milicic and head of the national teams, Luke Casserly. FFA head of events, Aaron Humphries, will attend alongside head of International Affairs, Mark Falvo, who will likely finalise deals with opponents for pre-tournament friendly games while in Moscow. It's understood Lowy and Gallop are set to fly to Russia immediately after the FFA EGM.



The accolades keep coming for Samantha Kerr with the Matildas attacker last night named Western Australia's Young Australian of the Year, moments after scored twice to guide Australia to a 3-0 friendly win over China. Kerr will now represent Western Australia at the Australian of the Year awards ceremony in Canberra on 25 January, 2018.

Football Federation Australia Chairman Steven Lowy congratulated Kerr on her latest award, and explained that Perth Glory Women gun could add yet more silverware to her growing collection next week in Bangkok. "On behalf of Australia's football family, I would like to congratulate Sam Kerr for being named Western Australia's 2018 Young Australian of the Year," said Lowy.

"Sam's brilliant performances on the pitch in 2017, combined with her humble approach off it, means that she is truly deserving of every honour that comes her way. Sam could become the third Australian player in the last four years to win the AFC Women's Footballer of the Year Award when the annual AFC Awards are held in Thailand next week."



Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury has led a wave of tributes to Ange Postecoglou after the mentor stepped down as national coach. Postecoglou resigned this morning less than a week after leading Australia to its fourth successive World Cup.

"Just want to say thanks to Ange for everything he has done for football in Australia and me personally," Sainsbury tweeted. "He gave me my shot with the national team and I can never forget that. The belief and confidence he's instilled in this team that will keep us on the path to great things."



As the rest of the New Zealand squad departed for Peru last week, Storm Roux was on a flight bound for Sydney. The 24-year old right-back played no part in the All Whites two World Cup qualifiers, having arrived in camp with a leg injury sustained while playing for the Central Coast Mariners against Melbourne Victory.

It was the same leg Roux broke in February 2016, when a broken fibula, damaged ligaments and a dislocated shoulder ruled him out for the remainder of the 2015/17 A-League season. "There was a lot of bruising around my ankle and around the metal plate that I've got in my ankle," Roux said of his recent injury. "It was pretty aggravated."

Pushing through the pain, Roux was initailly able to train with the All Whites before making the decision to sit out the rest of the week. "Every other day I was doing my rehab, trying to get back. Whether it was running on the side of the field or working with the physios I was doing that but unfortunately I was only able to train one time," he said.

Roux watched the home leg of New Zealand's qualifer against Peru from the stands and watched the return game on television. "I was absolutely gutted," said the former Sorrento junior. "It was such a massive game for the country and obviously personally it would have been such an amazing game to play in.

"I was very upset that I couldn't make it but I've learned to accept it and it's just one of those things. It's football and it happens. Obviously I watched the game and our boys were very good. They dug in and played some good football but in the end it just didn't work out and they (Peru) ended up deserving to win the game."

Roux is still yet to fully recover from his injury, which means he is unlikely to travel for Central Coast's game at Wellington Phoenix on Saturday. "At this stage I'm not too sure. It looks like it may be a little bit longer but I'll be pushing for it," he said. "It's an important game and I always like playing Wellington and obviously against All Whites team-mates, which is always fun."



Matilda's star Samantha Kerr is one of four West Australian nominees for the 2018 Young Australian of the Year award. Kerr is up against social entrepreneur and humanitarian Jeffrey Effendi, refugee and human rights advocate Rahila Haidary and Perth Wildcat and youth mental health advocate Greg Hire.

Kerr was surprised to hear that she had been nominated for the award. "I only thought these awards were for people that have saved lives or changed the world. It was pretty special," she said. "I feel very lucky to be nominated next to people who are doing such great things in the community."

Kerr, who took up the world game at the age of 12, said it has been a great year for women's sport, especially football. "To be a part of such a great movement for young girls to grow up with female role models is something no matter if I win or not, I'm very proud of," commented the attacker, who has 53 international appearances to her name.



Swan United will start the new 2018 season with Mike Ford as Head Coach, as they look to bring success back to Francis Street. The Black and Whites won the State League Cup twice in the early 2000’s, under the guidance of Gary Marocchi and Carlo Scali, and they have handed Ford the task of bringing back the good times to the Swan Valley club. Ford, who began his coaching as a player coach at Bayswater United in the 70’s, before stints at Shamrock Rovers, Gwelup Croatia, and Subiaco, is looking forward to his new role.

“I’m very happy to be involved with Swan United, a club with a great history, with quite a few new passionate committee members, Anthony Dundo, Ben Kelly and Matt Debarro staying on, the future looks pretty exciting,” he explained. “The club can also announce the appointment of Willie Devlin, a very experienced and talented Technical Director. He has spent 3 years with Bendigo City (full time) and has an "A" license, and we also welcome Colin Morgan as the Reserves coach. Swan United are determined to become the club the choice for both seniors and juniors in the Swan, Ellenbrook, Midland and Bassendean area.”

United Director of Football Ben Kelly said they had a number of applicants, but Ford stood out. “We are excited to have Mike on as our new first team coach, we have been in talks for a few months and he helped us out in the last few games and training sessions,” he explained. “Mike has the same ambitions for the club as the committee and that's getting back to the top tier of football in WA. We have a plan in place and hopefully in the next few years we can gain promotion.

“Mike brings a wealth of experience and professionalism with him, and we know he will get the most out of the core groups of players we have and attract healthy competitions for a place in the first team. I would as like to thank Matt Debarro for his hard work, passion and dedication at the club for the last two years, Matt didn't just look after the first team job he was heavily involved across all aspects of the club, and he was a great clubman.”

The club have been on the slide in recent seasons, but they showed signs of improvement last season but missed out in the play offs, but Ford says the signs are good going forward. “We are looking to build on the good work that Matt (Debarro) has achieved over the last two years and I believe we are building an excellent team to take advantage of Matt's achievements,” he said. “I hope to bring a sense of professionalism to the club and with the coaching team help players to have self-belief and have confidence in themselves and that together we can achieve great things over the coming years.”



Perth Soccer Club have signed striker Richard Howles for the 2018 National Premier Leagues WA season. Howles scored 16 goals in 26 appearances in his first NPLWA season with Joondalup United in 2017, earning him selection to the WA State Team under the guidance of Perth Head Coach Ramon Falzon. It was a remarkable debut season for the 26-year-old, who was playing Sunday amateurs in 2016 with Carramar FC and with English semi-professional side Boldmere S&S before his move to Australia two years ago.

Howles said he was making the move to Dorrien Gardens in search of a league title. “I sat down with the club and they explained to me their goals,” he said. “Obviously, the club got really close to winning the title last season, just falling at the final hurdle. When I played against Perth this year, I enjoyed the style of football they played and thought the clubrooms were nice and everyone was well supported. So I decided to make the move, primarily because I want to help the club win the league.”

The Striker enjoyed his time at JUFC and said it was a huge decision to leave the club where he had formed some great friendships. “Yes I loved my time a Joondalup last year, I loved the lads and all the staff, everything to do with the club, and it was hard decision to leave,” he explained. “It’s taken me a long time to make decision to be honest but sometimes you’ve got to do what’s right for you.”

Howles is looking forward to working with Coach Falzon and helping the club to more goals in 2018. “When Ramon picked me to represent state, which I was both shocked and over the moon about, but it showed me an insight into his coaching, and I’m now looking forward to getting stuck into preseason at the club,” he said. “The club isn’t exactly short on scoring goals, Gustavo’s a really good striker and a very experienced player and I’ll be looking forward to playing alongside him and also learning a thing or two. But if I can help him and some of the other guys score a few more, and get on the scoresheet myself, then we should go a long way to having a successful season.”

Perth SC Coach Falzon welcomed Howles to the club. “Richard has an excellent attitude, displays the standard of professionalism that meets our expectations and more importantly, he has the drive to continuously seek to improve,” Falzon said. “From a football perspective, Richard performed very well in 2017 and he has the qualities to make a big difference in the attacking third. He will add to our firepower up front and I am sure that his abilities will be complemented by our playing style and vice versa.”



Matildas captain Lisa De Vanna is determined to soak in the embrace of bumper home crowds this week for two matches against China. The national women's team plays a two-game series against their Asian rivals, in Melbourne (Wednesday) and Geelong (Sunday).

For the first time in Victoria, they'll play in front of five-figure crowds and at elite venues. It's still a massive rush for veteran attacker De Vanna, who doesn't have to look too far back to remember tougher times on tour.

"It was crap. It was terrible," De Vanna said, reflecting on her early days with the Matilda's. "We had to wear boys (training) clothes. I was washing undies and bras in the sink staying in budget hotels. It was really tough."

"But what we had back then was the love for the game and that hasn't changed. What has changed is we have proper support to be better athletes. It's taken a very long time for that to happen but it's been worth it."

De Vanna said the Matilda's leap from obscurity to the mainstream made them more endearing. "People start to hear about the struggles and people like the unsung heroes," she said. "People are jumping on the bandwagon and I'm all for it."

While this week's crowds will rival A-League attendances, only a stellar walk-up crowd on Wednesday will see another record broken. In September, 16,829 people packed Newcastle's McDonald Jones Stadium to witness Sam Kerr lead Australia to a 3-2 win over Brazil.

Based on sales, FFA are expecting about 12,000 in Melbourne and 10,000 for the Geelong game. De Vanna said nothing beats a big home crowd. "We've played in big tournaments when we've had big crowds against us," she said.

"This is different. To come home and have friends and family support us and the nation support us ... it's the anthem that gets me every time. Everyone singing that anthem, it gives me goosebumps and chills down my back."

De Vanna will face hot competition for a starting berth on either game. Fit-again forwards Michelle Heyman, Kyah Simon and Larissa Crummer have been added to the squad, which already includes Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord and Hayley Raso.



Defender Shane Lowry was seething after an injury-riddled Perth Glory stumbled 2-0 to Melbourne Victory at Perth Oval yesterday. Second half goals to Besart Berisha and Leroy George dragged Melbourne off the bottom of the A-League ladder with their first win of the campaign.

But as the boos rang out on the final whistle, Lowry made it clear he was not happy with the performance. "I'm fuming to be honest with you," 28-year old Lowry said. "I'm so disappointed and angry. It's not good enough. We need to be better. We've got City on Friday night and we'll try to turn it around."

Glory's injury crisis has hit the club hard, the A-League outfit fielding a different back four in all but one of their matches this season. At the current time they have seven players on the treatment table including Spanish duo Diego Castro and Andreu, striker Adam Taggart and defenders Scott Neville and Marc Warren.

"You just have to get on with it. It's not ideal but that's football," said Lowry, whose team head east to play Melbourne City on Friday. "It's a quick turnaround which is a good thing. Get ourselves on the pitch again. This where we need to stand up as men and be counted now."



An undermanned Perth Glory have been beaten for the first time at home this season after a 2-0 loss against Melbourne Victory at nib Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Besart Berisha came back to haunt the Glory yet again scoring the opener as the Victory notched their first win of the season, before Leroy George wrapped up the points.

Glory defender Shane Lowry was outstanding all afternoon, but he said on Fox Sports after the game they need to improve. "In the second half we shot ourselves in the foot. I'm fuming now to be honest with you," he said. “So disappointed, angry. It's just not good enough. We need to be better and luckily we've got a game on Friday night to try to turn it around."

Glory’s injury crisis hit another level on Sunday, with Diego Castro (calf), Scott Neville (groin), and Andreu (calf) all missing the clash, and Kenny Lowe was forced to change the starting line-up. In came Joe Mills, Jeremy Walker and 16-year-old Jacob Italiano for his A-League debut.

Victory looked dangerous early and Liam Reddy produced a great one handed save to deny James Troisi, and he was alert to smother Berisha’s follow up shot. Wilson tried his luck from long-range but it was straight at Lawrence, before Reddy tipped over Rhys Williams’ header over the top at full stretch. Both sides had late chances, Berisha saw a header bounce off the post, before Italiano fired inches wide, but Victory went into the break on top but still level.

The visitors continued to dominate and Lowry got in a great block to thwart Troisi early, but on 56 minutes their pressure was rewarded with the lead. Mitch Nichols lost possession deep in the Victory half, and a quick break sent Jai Ingham down the right and his cross picked out Berisha, who tapped in his 16th goal against Perth, much to the displeasure of the Shed. Glory looked to hit back immediately, but Chris Harold’s snap shot from the edge of the box flashed wide of the target.

Victory doubled their advantage on 68 minutes, Troisi forcing his way through on the left before squaring for George to finish low past Reddy. The Glory pressed forward looking to get back in the game and Mitch Mallia’s curling shot drifted wide, but Reddy had to be alert again to deny Ingham, when he was sent one-on-one with the Glory custodian. Reddy then had to push Mark Milligan’s curling effort, before Andy Keogh saw a shot flash wide of the target in stoppage time, but the damage had been done earlier.

Melbourne Victory midfielder Mark Milligan praised his team after its win. "Today was important for us," he told Fox Sports. "We've got a big week of travel this week, we go straight to Newcastle tomorrow and we knew we had to turn our season around soon. We've been playing well in patches but we haven't really put together a full performance. Again, off a short week for most of us – I only trained yesterday, Jimmy (Troisi) the day before, we've still got Kosta (Barbarouses) to come back in. It was a good performance today in what is not easy conditions."



A brace from skipper Samantha Kerr helped Perth Glory to a 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory in Sunday’s Westfield W-League clash at nib Stadium. They had to come from behind to regain top spot on the table, after Victory captain Natasha Dowie had put the visitors ahead seven minutes into the second half, but they soon hit back with Rachel Hill levelling and Kerr’s brace gave them their third win from four matches this season.

Glory Coach Bobby Despotovski was delighted with the result. “It was a game of two different halves. I thought the first half we struggled to get into the game in terms of the speed of the game. To be fair, they put us under pressure, we turned over cheap possession and then we were on the back foot all the time,” he said. “The girls were confident, you could see from their demeanor. They didn’t drop their heads, they knew what they had to do. Once we scored that first goal, they started taking on the game and we started taking over the midfield.”

There was a late change to the Glory line-up with Jaymee Gibbons picking up an injury in the warm up and she was replaced in the starting line-up by Shawn Billam. The big crowd were delighted that Kerr returned to the side after last week’s loss to Adelaide United with a quad injury. She was back to pair American import Hill, who has been a star in front of goal this season, and the pair were a constant threat to the Victory defence from the opening whistle.

The visitors had the better opportunities in the first 20 minutes, Laura Alleways overhead kick went over the top on the quarter hour, before Melissa Maizels saved well to deny Dowie. Kerr went close the opener six minutes later, Hill’s cross picked out the Matildas star, who headed wide of the target. The Glory went close again on 25 minutes, Carroll’s header was saved low by Casey Dumont, Carroll managed to get to the rebound and cut the ball back to Raquel Rodriguez who’s first shot was blocked, before she sent her second over the top.

Dowie went close again for Victory, her shot on the turn flashed wide of the target on the half hour, before Ga Eul Jeon fired over the top moments later and moments later Maizels then denied Kyra Cooney-Cross with a smart save at her near post, as the visitors lifted the tempo. Kerr had a great chance to give Glory the lead at the break after she was sent clear, but Dumont was out quick to block her shot.

Kerr went close early in the second half, Hill’s cross picked out the Glory skipper, but her header crashed off the post. But on 52 minutes the Victory hit the front. Melina Ayres’ cross was headed home by Dowie, to silence the Glory faithful. The silence didn’t last long, however, as Hill latched on to a flick-on from Kerr before sidestepping Dumont and finishing via the underside of the bar to notch her sixth goal of the season.

Hill then combined with Nicola Bolger ten minutes later to set Kerr up for her first goal of the afternoon, with the Matildas star calmly slotting the ball past Dumont to give the home side the lead for the first time in the match. With Victory players tiring in the Perth heat as the match wore on, Kerr completed her brace when she sprinted on to another clever pass from Hill in the 77th minute, sealing the three points for Glory.



Perth Glory Youth side begun their 2017-18 Foxtel Y-League campaign with a 1-3 defeat against Adelaide United Youth at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday morning. The Glory youngsters created numerous chances in the game but failed to take them, but Adelaide striker Apostolos Stamatelopoulos striker was the difference bagging a hat-trick, while Yagoub Mustafa scored for the Glory.

Glory coach John Gibson said they deserved more from the game. "Disappointed with the result but I was super happy with large periods of the game," he told the Perth Glory website. "We need to be more ruthless in front of goal, we created a number of good chances but didn’t execute, so we need to have more confidence in the final third. “I thought we dominated for large periods today, but it doesn’t mean anything because we’ve lost 3-1. Fair play to their striker (Stamatelopoulos) scoring a hat trick, but I thought we finished strongly, the only downside is we conceded three goals, three really poor goals. We will get back to training this week and prepare for our game in two weeks’ time against Brisbane Roar."

It was a lively start to the game with Luke Bodnar firing wide early for the Glory, while Kristin Konstandopoulos shot from the edge of the box flashed wide for the visitors. The Glory started to get on top and created a number of good chances but found Adelaide keeper Issac Richards in fine form. First Mustafa's cross from the left picked out Chok Dau, but his header was well saved by Richards. Moments later Michael Domfeh was sent clear, but the Adelaide custodian stood tall to deny him.

But on the half hour, and against the run of play it was Adelaide who took the lead. Konstandopoulos played in Charlie Devereux down the left and his low cross was turned home by Stamatelopoulos at the back post. It was now Adelaide who were dictating terms and Devereux was denied by a last ditch tackle from Ollie Annis and Stamatelopoulos saw his effort cleared off the line. Glory went close to the equaliser just before half time, Domfeh cut the ball back to Mustafa, but Richards got down smartly to save.

It wasn't the best of starts for the Glory youngsters after half time, with the visitors doubling their lead seven minutes in. Stamatelopoulos raced down the left, cut inside his marker, his first shot was blocked, but the striker made no mistake with his second, giving Jackson Lee no chance. It was almost three moments later, a defensive slip let in Stamatelopoulos who fed Devereux, but with the goal at his mercy the skipper struck the post. Glory continued to take the game to Adelaide and they were back in the contest 20 minutes from time.

Mustafa nipped in when Adelaide keeper Richards dwelt on the ball and the Glory striker made him pay, pinching the ball off him and rolling it into an empty net. Glory were well on top and substitute Bayley Brown-Montgomery saw a header saved low by Richards, before Henry Hore stung the keepers palms as the Glory pressed for the equaliser. But with Glory pushing players forward they were caught out at the other end when Adelaide added a third. A long ball out of defense sent Stamatelopoulos down the left, he cut inside his marker and finished clinically past Jackson to win the game for the visitors and complete his hat trick.



Mandurah City FC have appointed Alex Grayson as Senior Head Coach for the upcoming 2018 season. The 26-year-old takes over the reins from Dough Hesketh, who stepped down at the end of last season. Dolphins were relegated to Division One, after a playoff loss against Forrestfield United, but new President Nigel Mann said Grayson is the man to take them back to the NPL. “Alex’s dedication, professionalism and the fresh ideas he has recently brought to the club, are already returning many good reviews, from the membership,” he explained. “These were some of the traits that were deciding factors on his appointment and he is a great fit for the club as it looks to rebuild for the new season in the State League”

Grayson, who played for Rockingham City in Division One most recently before his season ended through injury at Mandurah, is delighted to have been given the opportunity to coach at the Mandurah Stadium. “To be honest I’m over the moon on my appointment,” he said. “I’ve had a rough couple of months with my leg break, but I've been edging towards the coaching side of football for a few years, so now it's given me extra motivation to take the opportunity.”

Despite Mandurah’s relegation the club gave a number of young players the opportunity to play NPL, and Grayson said he’s looking forward to putting his plans in to place and working with the player group. “I think the most exciting thing about next seasons potential is the prospect of something fresh,” he said. “A lot of younger lads who I've spoken to can probably relate more to my style and philosophy, but more mature players have an opportunity to find some new motivation. There's some fierce competitors at Mandurah and I'm hoping to get the best out of young and old.”

The 26-year-old played at Liverpool youth academy for 10 years until he was 16, then spent three years on a full athletic scholarship at the University of Pittsburgh. He played in a few US state competitions in Iowa and Florida then heading to Perth. “I played for former Mandurah Coach Doug Hesketh at Stirling, where we became really close friends but unfortunately the season was derailed by injuries,” he explained. “I then played locally at Rockingham City for the past 3 years, who massively helped me on my pathway to coaching, and I owe a lot to the club for where I am now.”

So what will Grayson bring to the job at Mandurah? He said he will be doing all he can to bring success to the Black and Whites. “I hope to bring a sense of excitement coupled with the right amount of professionalism. My overwhelming focus right now is to make a career in football and I intend to tackle every obstacle with a learning mentality,” he said. “I have had great support so far from Mandurah and players alike so I'm positive we can take the right steps to success next year. The league will be highly competitive in 2018 so we are in no doubt of the work ahead of us.”



Forrestfield United have appointed former Perth Glory legend, and current Glory Westfield W-League Coach Bobby Despotovski as part of the clubs coaching staff in the NPLWA next season. The 46-year-old, who has played 240 games for the Glory, and helped them to the NSL titles in 2002–03, 2003–04, won the ‘Johnny Warren Medal’ as best player in the league in 2005-06, and also won four Socceroos caps, will assist Head Coach Rod Banjac and Terry Brown next season and he said it’s a great opportunity to get back into local men’s football. “I’m really looking forward to have an influence on the men’s football again,” he explained. “FUSC is the club with the high ambitions, and also the club that is coached by very good friend of mine Rod, and I am looking forward to the challenge.”

Banjac said Despotovski is a perfect fit for the club going forward. “Bobby and I go back 20 years, but it was during my time at Glory FC as an assistant to legendary Frank Arok (Head of Youth Development) that our friendship was forged as we are 100% aligned in regards to how football should be played,” he explained. “So it was just a matter of time before we teamed up and I can’t express the gratitude towards all the hardworking members of Forrestfield United for creating such a fantastic football environment that attracts the services of such a gifted individual as Bobby.”

Banjac said the striker CV in football is impressive, and he will be invaluable passing on his experience in the game to the young players at FUSC. “During his playing days Bobby was one of the most talented and intelligent footballers I have ever seen and rightfully acknowledged by being awarded just about every award there is at the highest national level including a call up to the national team, top goal scorer and the Johnny Warren medal winner as the best player in the country,” he said.

“It is so satisfying to see that his talent continues to benefit our game in WA through coaching for which he has already been acknowledged as the best coach in the W-League during last year. Forrestfield United is buzzing at the moment as we have now become a well-structured footballing institution with a fantastic coaching team that has been operating together for four years while surrounded by some of the best facilities in the state and supported by a very knowledgeable and dedicated administrative group.

“We take a lot of pride in playing our part to benefit our community by focusing on the attractive style of Football while developing our regions players as well as coaches and there is no doubt that everyone will benefit from Bobby’s knowledge and extensive experience at the highest level. Bobby joins our coaching team as an Assistant Head Coach at the end of W League once his commitment to Perth Glory Women has been fulfilled and the whole region is excited about that.”



Feyenoord fans paid tribute to goalkeeper Brad Jones’ son, who passed away six years ago on Saturday. In the early stages of Feyenoord’s 1-1 draw with VVV Venlo, the home fans lit up De Kuip with their mobile phones and lighters before a rendition of 'You’ll Never Walk Alone' in a touching tribute to Jones’ son.

Jones, who has kept goal for Liverpool and Middlesbrough, lost his five-year-old, Luca, six years ago after a battle with leukaemia. Jones and his wife Dani are vocal supporters of the Anthony Nolan organisation which finds blood stem cell and bone marrow donors for those who are suffering from blood cancers.



Perth Glory striker Adam Taggart is refusing to give up on earning a ticket to Russia next year, declaring he was confident of making a strong comeback from his latest injury setback. Taggart made his return to the training pitch at McGillivray Oval on Friday, completing some light jogging just eight days after tearing his right hamstring.

Speaking for the first time since the injury blow, the 24-year old said the position of the tear was favourable and he did not believe the injury was related to the ongoing groin trouble that cruelled his time with English championship outfit Fulham. Glory have diagnosed Taggart’s hamstring as a five to seven week injury.

“I’ve never done a hammy. I couldn’t really put my finger on this one and neither can anyone. It was probably the last kick of training, so I don’t think there’s an underlying issue. I just think it was a bit of bad luck,” he said. “It was a fairly long run. A cross came in and I tried to extend for a header and I sort of felt it go straight away.”

“It was pretty painful at the start, but it seemed to settle down pretty quickly over the first few days. I seem to have recovered really quickly. There’s still a long way to go, but yeah it’s definitely good signs so far. I was expecting a lot worse. It still is what it is, I’ve just got the positioning of it on my side and where the fluid is on my side.”

Capped seven times for Australia, Taggart will aim to return for Glory after Christmas and push his case for a call-up to a second World Cup. He has not figured in qualifying for Russia, but could yet time his run nicely if he can stay on the park given Australia’s ongoing search for goalscorers to support ageing legend Tim Cahill.

“The Socceroos is the closest thing to my heart and I’d do anything to get back in there,” Taggart said. “I guess right now it’s not the focus, but it was a special time to be involved in that (2014) World Cup, so I’m going to be working as hard as I can to get back fit and do well for the club and see where that takes me.”

“A day is a long time in football and things change so quickly. Before you know it, I’ll be back on the park. I think it’s just about thinking positively, making sure you’re using your energy in the right direction and focusing on getting better.”



Gifted youngster Jacob Italiano is in line for his A-League debut today, as Perth Glory scrambles to cover an injury crisis that is stretching their thin squad towards breaking point. At 16 years and 112 days, Italiano is set to become the youngest Glory player since Danny De Silva began his stint with the club as a 15-year-old in 2013.

Italiano, also an attacking midfielder, could even earn a shock place in the starting eleven to face winless Melbourne Victory at Perth Oval today. Spanish pair Diego Castro and Andreu have joined the club’s long injury list with calf complaints, with the casualty ward also including star striker Adam Taggart, defenders Scott Neville and Marc Warren, attacker Joel Chianese and youngster Daniel Stynes.



Trent Sainsbury has paid tribute to Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou for taking the heat when the national team has come under scrutiny. The Socceroos prevailed 3-1 against Honduras at a packed Sydney Football Stadium on Wednesday night to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Postecoglou’s future still remains uncertain and he has been under immense scrutiny for his tactics, attitude, and the length it has taken to get Australia to Russia. Sainsbury said he was in gratitude to the gaffer for throwing himself under the bus to protect the players from the external noise.

“Ange is the one that takes all the flak from the media and he’s our first line of defence in terms of keeping us out of harm’s way, so he’s going to take a lot of stick,” Sainsbury said. “When he started this job four years ago, he had a goal and everyone got behind that. He wants to be an offensive team and an aggressive team.”

“He doesn’t want us to be the team that sits back and takes punishment for 90 minutes, he wants us to be the team that gets into pole position and the team has bought into that. From the inside, it’s been really tranquil and it’s been really peaceful … we’ve had a lot of ups and downs but at the same time, this team never stopped believing.”

The Jiangsu Suning defender is determined to make Russia count after missing out on the 2014 World Cup due to a kneecap injury. “Last time I was this happy, I think I proposed to my missus and she said yes! It’s been a hell of a journey … with a brilliant family,” he said.

“(My injury before Brazil) makes this one all the more sweeter. I’ve had a lot of problems along the way physically and mentally, it’s been really tough. There’s been a lot of questions asked of this team. Everyone says Australia likes to do it the hard way … it’s been a very hardening experience for the team and now this team is ready for battle.”



Australia's Sam Kerr has another chance to add to her already glittering CV after being announced as one of three nominees for the Asian Football Confederation's Women's Player of the Year, which will be announced in Bangkok on 29 November. Kerr is in the hunt for the award along with North Korea's Sung Hyang-sim and Japan's Saki Kumagai.

Kerr, whose backflip celebrations after scoring a goal have become football folklore, was originally among ten players up for FIFA's Women's Player of the Year. The Perth-born raised attacker was part of the Matilda’s squad that won the Tournament of Champions in July, when they defeated host nation the United States for the first time ever and thrashed Japan and Brazil. Kerr scored four times in those three games.



Melbourne Victory defender Rhys Williams says there will be no room for sentimentality when he faces former club Perth Glory this weeknd. Williams cut short his time with Glory at the end of last season, when a falling out with coach Kenny Lowe saw him miss a large number of mid-season games.

Williams returns to Perth Oval for the first time on Sunday evening. “I can’t wait. I’ve been speaking to a few of the boys and it’s my hometown club, I love the club,” said Williams, who made 18 appearances for Glory. “But don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to do them any favours on Sunday.”

Williams added that communication with his folder teammates had been kept to a minimum in the lead-up the weekend. “It’s actually been quite quiet. I speak to them more when we’re not playing, to be honest,” he said.

“I keep in touch with a few of the boys, some of my family still go to every game to watch them and I get a bit of insight form them. I can’t wait to get back to the ground. It was a good time for me. But I’d like to take three points.”

Melbourne will be looking to register their first win of the campaign but must find a way to win in Perth for the first time in nearly four years. Meanwhile, Glory will hope to bounce back from a 5-2 away drubbing at the hands of Wellington Phoenix last weekend.



Perth Glory will be looking to bounce back from last week’s surprising heavy defeat against Wellington Phoenix when they host Melbourne Victory in a double header with the W-League being played before the A-League at nib Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The 5-2 defeat against the Nix’s was something not many people saw coming, especially with the Phoenix missing a number of players on international duty, but after taking the lead and levelling just after half time the home side took control and defensive errors cost Kenny Lowe’s side dearly.

The loss of Adam Taggart is a huge blow, the former Socceroo was in sparking form, but he will miss the next month, and has left a huge hole up top, and with the Glory short on firepower in front of goal it will be interesting to see how Lowe sets up against a Victory side who haven’t won a game this season. In some good news Joe Mills returns and Jeremy Walker has also been added to the squad.

Defender Marc Warren is not expected to return from an ankle issue until January, teenage midfielder Daniel Stynes hopes to be back next month after recovering from a torn hamstring, while forward Joel Chianese, who broke a collarbone in the pre-season, may be available in a fortnight. Perth Glory chief executive Peter Filopoulos said the club had no intention of panicking in the wake of Sunday’s defeat.

“Sometimes you have to look at the quality versus quantity,” he said. “We felt like we had the right mix at the beginning of the year. We knew we were going in a little bit lighter with the view that we may look at the market in January. We may have a play with the January market depending on available options. “If we read and acted upon every social media post after a loss we would be permanently in destructive mode.”

Victory regain the services of Mark Milligan and James Troisi from Socceroos duty, and Kosta Barbarouses from All White commitments, while Mitch Austin returns from suspension. It will be former Glory defender Rhys Williams’ first return to the nib Stadium after his move east, while Glory nemesis Besart Berisha, and former Heidelberg United striker Kenny Athiu, who was linked to the Glory in the off-season is also in the squad.

Perth Glory Squad: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY, 2 Alex GRANT, 4 Shane LOWRY, 5 Jacob POSCOLIERO, 6 Mitch NICHOLS, 8 Xavi TORRES, 9 Andy KEOGH (c), 11 Mitch MALLIA, 14 Chris HAROLD, 15 Brandon WILSON, 16 Joseph MILLS, 17 Diego CASTRO, 18 Andreu GUERAO, 19 Joe KNOWLES, 20 Jake BRIMMER, 23 Scott NEVILLE, 29 Jeremy WALKER - *two to be omitted*- Ins: MILLS (promoted), WALKER (promoted) - Outs: nil - Unavailable: 22.Adam TAGGART (Injured), 25.Daniel STYNES (hamstring 2-3 weeks), 7.Joel CHIANESE (collar bone – 2-3 weeks), 3.Marc WARREN (ankle 7-8 weeks), 22.Adam TAGGART (hamstring 5-7 weeks)

Melbourne Victory squad: GK Lawrence THOMAS, GK Matt ACTON, 2 Jason GERIA, 4 Rhys WILLIAMS, 5 Mark MILLIGAN, 6 Leigh BROXHAM, 7 Kenny ATHIU, 8 Besart BERISHA, 9 Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10 James TROISI, 11 Mitch AUSTIN, 14 Thomas DENG, 18 Matias SANCHEZ, 21Carl VALERI (c), 22 Stefan NIGRO, 23 Jai INGHAM, 31 Christian THEOHAROUS, 41 Leroy GEORGE - *two to be omitted* - Ins: MILLIGAN, BARBAROUSES, TROISI (all return from international duty), 11 Mitch AUSTIN (returns from suspension) - Outs: 15.Cameron McGILP, 16.Josh HOPE (both omitted) - Unavailable: 17.James DONACHIE (quad)



Perth Glory Westfield W-League Coach Bobby Despotovski will be looking for a response from his players when they take on Melbourne Victory at nib Stadium. The league leaders lost for the first time this season in Adelaide, but they were missing a number of players, including Sam Kerr and Nikki Stanton, but the coach said they should have taken something from the game.

“Injuries to Sam and Nikki were crucial blow to us last week but in saying that we had enough of the play over all to get something out of the game,” he explained. “But we were not clinical enough and also defensive lapses of concentration cost us goals at the crucial times in the game, but we worked so hard this week to fix the problems and I hope we will be better prepared for the Victory game this weekend.”

The coach said they will be looking to get back into the winners circle on Sunday. “For sure we do not want to lose two games in the row also we do not want to lose our home games,” he said. “It very important that we get on the foot from the start, and I can assure you that we will be doing everything we can to win the game.” There was some good news on the injury to Stanton, who has been given the all clear from the specialist to join back in training from Friday.



Trent Sainsbury has delayed returning to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning to undergo surgery he put off until the end of the Socceroos’ World Cup qualification campaign. Australia’s star defender has battled injury but he was an unsung hero in keeping Honduras dangerman Anthony Lozano quiet in last night’s 3-1 victory.

Sainsbury did not reveal the exact nature of his surgery, but he was hampered by a groin injury for Asian qualifiers against Japan and Thailand in August and September. “I’ll be staying around here (in Australia),” Sainsbury said. “I’ve had problems with my body lately, so Monday I’m going to go in for surgery. It’s been about six months coming so finally I can get it done and get it to rest.”

An ultra-consistent performer, Sainsbury has started every World Cup qualifier since the 8 June defeat of Saudi Arabia - a stretch comprising seven matches in four countries. The game with Honduras took his senior international tally to 33 games, with three goals scored, since debuting in 2014.



The Socceroos will have a recovery advantage over Honduras in their World Cup intercontinental play-off thanks to a $1.1 million chartered flight, defender Trent Sainsbury said yesterday. Australia's squad assembled at the airport within two hours of Friday's 0-0 draw in San Pedro Sula and arrived home yesterday, giving them an extra day to recover before Wednesday's return leg in Sydney.

"Recovery time is a very important thing in international football, especially over such distances," defender Sainsbury told reporters upon arrival. "Every little bit counts in such big games. Honduras still have a long way to go. We're already here and we can recover and be fresh. That's an advantage for us and we'll take every little advantage we can get at the moment."

No expense was spare on returning the Socceroos to Australia. Sports scientist Craig Duncan was given free rein over the plane's temperature, while setting meal times and sleep patterns to aid the team's recovery. A makeshift treatment room was set up on board dispensing massages as team management got to work on analysing and reviewing highlights ahead of the home leg.

By contrast, Honduras are taking a series of commercial flights via the United States. The Central American's left 24 hours after Australia, with the majority of the players flying in business class. That will leave them around 60 hours to acclimatise and prepare for the make-or-break World Cup qualifier.

Now with home and fitness advantages, Sainsbury said the Socceroos had the tactical edge in that game. "If we can play any team back-to-back we get to know what they're like and their tendencies," the 25-year old said. "So it's an advantage coming back here on home soil after a good performance away. I can't see them changing many different things. Tactically they might tweak a few things but we'll be ready."



Fresh from her rookie season in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) with Orlando Pride, American forward Rachel Hill has swiftly emerged as one of the Westfield W-League's best newcomers. The sprightly attacker, who enjoyed a prolific college career at the University of Connecticut (61 goals in 89 games), has continued her fine form by scoring five times in the opening three games of the season, following up a brace in the opener against Melbourne City with a superbly-taken hat-trick in the win over Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.

Despite not getting on the scoresheet during the away loss to Adelaide United last Friday, it was Hill's rapid run down the right wing and subsequent cross that forced Emma Checker into slicing the ball into her own net to get Glory back in the contest. The New Hampshire-born player has transitioned into Australian football seamlessly and believes that the squad’s mentality has helped propel her to new heights. “Even though I wasn’t here last year, I’ve got the vibe that this team has something to prove and that gives everyone extra motivation to go out in every game and show that we are capable of being one of the top teams in the league,” she said.

While delighted to have earned plaudits from around the country, Hill was quick to praise her teammates for providing her with so many goal scoring opportunities and the 22-year-old also acknowledged the influence a certain USWNT icon has had on her career. “A major key to scoring is having good players around you to set you up," she said. “After playing my first season in the NWSL with Orlando, I learned a lot from Alex Morgan. She always seems to make the right runs and knows when to take a touch, where she should take it, or if she should shoot first time. I’m still learning and I know I will get a lot out of this season and learn so much playing alongside Sam Kerr.”

The chance to play with Kerr was a major selling point for Hill and she’s flourished up top alongside our Matildas superstar, with the pair forming a formidable partnership that has already yielded a couple of assists and a combined tally of seven goals from three games. “From the day I signed with Perth Glory, I was excited to have the opportunity to play beside Sam," she said. “She's an incredible player and now, after just three weeks, the first thing that comes to mind about her on the pitch is that she’s a complete team player, as she always puts the team before herself. She’s so talented and never stops working.”

The on-field chemistry between the pair has been a major talking point throughout the league, with Hill loving every minute. “Sometimes I don’t even think she knows where I am, but somehow she’ll set me up perfectly right in front of goal and the best part is she always seems to be having so much fun whenever she steps out on game day.”

It’s exactly this kind of positive attitude towards football that Hill's new coach, Bobby Despotovski, has identified as one of the greatest attributes of the new signing. “Rachel’s always playing with a smile on her face and that filters throughout the rest of the squad,” he said. “She’s got so much energy and her personality really suits the team.”

The U-23 US international hasn’t had too many opportunities to explore her temporary home just yet, but she is in awe of the WA coastline. “From what I’ve seen, it’s a real nice place to live and the beaches are incredible," she said, "so I think I’ll be going to the beach a lot when we have some free time.”



Australia are Russia bound for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals after skipper Mile Jedinak scored a hat-trick against Honduras as the Socceroos secured World Cup qualification with a 3-1 win in their inter-continental play-off at a packed ANZ Stadium on Wednesday evening.

The Socceroos had been held to a goalless draw in the first leg in San Pedro Sula last week but three second-half strikes, including two from the penalty spot, secured their ticket to Russia. The Australian fans in the crowd celebrating at the final whistle, with the Socceroos qualifying for their fourth consecutive World Cup, which was a huge relief for Postecoglou after his side finished third to Japan and Saudi Arabia in the group stage.

Nevertheless, the coach's future remains uncertain after he was heavily linked with the exit regardless of the Socceroos' qualification fate, we’ll wait and see what happens on that in the future. The Socceroos certainly qualified the hard way. They started their qualifying campaign in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on June 16 of 2015 and it took them 22 matches all up to book their ticket to next year's finals.

It was a tentative start to the game and Matthew Jurman was perhaps lucky to still be on the pitch after clumsily going in over the ball when making a challenge on Elis in the second minute, he was fortunate to get away with a yellow card to avoid the earliest of showers. It was a tight, occasionally tetchy encounter, and Aaron Mooy's low free-kick from the left was pushed clear by goalkeeper Donis Escober, being the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock in the opening half an hour.

Escober was on hand once more eight minutes from the interval to keep out a Tom Rogic strike from an Aziz Behich cutback, as the Socceroos dominating possession but creating few goal scoring opportunities. The visitors lost Emilio Izaguirre to injury before the break and his replacement, Henry Figueroa, was involved in the Socceroos' opener eight minutes into the second half. Jedinak free-kick deflected off the unfortunate defender and beyond Escober into the net to set off wild celebrations both on and off the pitch.

Cahill, who returned to the side after shaking off an ankle injury, then headed onto the top of the crossbar as Australia looked to put the match to bed. Australia's place in the World Cup was all but certain when, after Acosta was deemed to have handled in the area, Jedinak placed his penalty low to Escober's right. The visitors rallied but couldn’t find a way past a tight defence superbly led by Trent Sainsbury.

But at the other end Kruse found a gap in their defensive line to race clear on goal, only to be hacked down by Palacios before he could pull the trigger. Jedinak stepped up to convert the penalty to seal his hat-trick and crown a memorable night for himself and Australia, although Elis did register a consolation goal as the celebrations got under way in the stands.

Coach Ange Postecoglou, who is the first Australian to lead the Socceroos to the World Cup, could not speak highly enough of his captain after the match. "When we started our journey from zero four years ago it was important that the experienced players that did stay on like Mile not only had to be good players but good characters who had to buy into what I was trying to do," Postecoglou explained. "From day one Mile has been an outstanding leader on and off the park."

Jedinak was understandably elated to have come through a tough home-and-away play-off unscathed and in so doing help the team book the ticket to Russia thanks to a deflected free kick and two penalties. He also said he never had any doubts that the playing style imposed by Postecoglou would be rewarded with Australia's fourth straight qualification for the World Cup.

"We were always confident. Obviously results get scrutinized, that's the way it is. But we stuck to our guns because we all had the belief and we carried it out throughout the whole campaign,” he said. "Ange has been fantastic for us. He always backed us in every situation and that's not always easy when you have World Cup spots at stake."



ECU Joondalup have continued their recruitment for next season by signing experienced keeper Johnny Perkins from Stirling Lions and midfielder Josh Whitmore from Joondalup United.

The 29-year-old keeper said he is looking forward to the new challenge at the Campus. “The coaching staff made contact with me about a move to the club, and after meeting with them it was clear to me that their ambition was something I wanted to be part of,” he said. “I’m feeling excited to getting started and meeting the lads as we prepare for a new season, and I’ll be doing all I can to bring success to the club.”

The keeper played for Shamrock Rovers in Ireland for seven years, and also represented the Senior Republic of Ireland National Futsal team. He headed down under and played four season at Ashfield, before heading to the Lions, and was the clubs Player of the Year last season. He said he had two good seasons at Macedonia Park, but he was left a little disappointed they couldn’t kick on. “On a personal level the last two years has been good, although I felt as a team we underachieved, but I enjoyed my time there and played under two gents in Rob Milevski and Derek Johnstone (who is now at ECU),” he explained. “That being said I felt it was time for a fresh start and I really like what ECU are doing both on and off the field. The team is one I’m excited to play in, and I felt it was all a perfect fit so the decision for me to head north, was an easy one.”

Jacks Head Coach Dale McCulloch said the addition of Perkins is a huge boost for the club. “The signing of Johnny is huge for the club going forward, he has a vast amount of experience in the NPL and he will add to the talented goalkeeping stocks we have at our club,” he said. “Fraser (Greenwood) performed well for us last season and the signing of Johnny will make competition for places at training interesting and both will push each other and bring the best out of each other, which is a good problem for me to have.”

The Jacks will be looking for a big season after just missing the finals in 2017, but injuries hurt them, but Perkins said the club will be working hard to capture their first top flight title since 1999. “The ability and talent in the team was very obvious last year, but it just seemed that with injuries and other circumstances the momentum never really got going to put serious pressure on the top four,” he said. “With the players staying at the club and additions coming in I feel that the team can match anyone. It’s very early days yet and there’s a lot of work to be put in during pre-season but the outlook is a positive one.”

Whitmore played 24 games for United last season as they finished tenth in their first season in the PS4NPLWA, but the 25-year-old English-born midfielder can’t wait for the season. “I’m really looking forward to joining ECU for the 2018 season. The move is a great opportunity for me to develop as a player, challenge for the league and join a fantastic club, and I’m really looking forward to getting stuck into the months ahead,” he explained. “After conversations with Dale McCulloch and David Tough they made their intentions for the season clear and I’m excited to be a part of the squad going forward.”

Jacks head Coach McCulloch said Whitmore is a great signing. “We’re delighted to have secured Josh’s service for next season, he’s a good player and a good lad as well, and played well against us last season for United,” he said. “After speaking to him we know he would fit into our plans for next season. We are building nicely for 2018, but we’re making sure the players we bring in add to the spirit we’re trying to implement at the campus, and Josh fits the bill nicely.”

English-born Whitmore has played the last four years at Joondalup United, and said it was a great club be at. “I’ve had the best four years at JUFC and couldn’t have imagined what we achieved. Moving through the leagues was a big accomplishment for the club and something I’m proud to have been a part of,” he explained. “The lads and management team there are a credit to the club and I can’t thank them enough for making my time there so enjoyable.”

The central midfielder is looking forward to the new season with a new spring in his step and will be doing all he can to bring success to the campus. “I think the 2018 season is going to be an exciting one for ECU and I’m happy to be part of it,” he said. “The team we are putting forward is strong with some great new recruits and experienced players putting us in a great position to challenge for the league and I’ll be doing all can to bring success here.”



Joondalup United's preparations for the 2018 PS4 National Premier League season continued this week with the signing of hot prospect Elliot Tattersall. The 19-year-old moves to JUFC from Perth Soccer Club where he was an integral part of their title-winning 20’s side in 2017. The former Balcatta and Sorrento man is sure to excite JUFC supporters next season with his attack-minded attitude, as well as pace and flare in the final third.

JUFC coach Nick Jennings expressed his delight at picking up a player who had attracted interest from other NPL clubs. "Elliot is an exciting young prospect whom a number of NPL teams were chasing, so I'm delighted to have secured his signature for the 2018 season," said Jennings. "He was a standout last year in the Perth 20’s team that lifted the league crown and featured on a number of occasion in their first team squad. A technical, attacking left sided player, he is a great addition for JUFC as we move forward into our second year in the NPL."

Having put pen to paper on a deal to move to the northern suburbs, Tattersall said that the chance to play first team football was too good to turn down. "Nick and I talked about possible opportunities and I trusted him; if I work hard and show promise those opportunities will come," he said. "I hope to play a good year of first team football with JUFC and contribute to the club as best I can so that, as a team, we can have a successful and enjoyable season."

In other good news for the club striker Alex Wild has re-signed with the club. The 21-year-old scored five times in 16 appearances for JUFC last time round and will be hoping to better that in 2018. "Alex is a hard working centre forward who is fully committed to JUFC and was keen to sign on early to display his loyalty to the club," Jennings said.

"His work ethic is second to none and last season he scored a number of crucial goals for us. He's still very young and learning the game, I can see him making an impact in the forthcoming season; he's a real handful for defenders and they certainly know they've been in a game whenever they come across our Boy Wonder."

Wild began his senior career with JUFC in the Amateur League before making the switch to Bayswater City where he captained their 20’s side to the Cool Ridge Reserves Cup title. Having also played for Baysie's first team on a number of occasions, Wild returned to JUFC for the club's inaugural NPL season. Wild joins new signings Johnny Chalmers Tattersall in the first team squad ahead of preseason training.



Forrestfield United have signed defender Tom Southgate from Western Knights, as they prepare for their first season in WA’s top flight of football since 1986. The versatile player can play in a number of roles, and was a stand-out for the Knights in their push to the Division One league title last season, but he said to return to Hartfield Park is exciting.

“It’s good to be back playing for the club it all started at for me,” he explained. “I’m excited to be here, to challenge myself at the best level in the state. Rod got in contact with me and we arrange to have a meeting and have a chat, and after having a chat with him and seeing what he wants to accomplish with the side for the coming years made me really keen to get on board.

The move home was tinged with sadness, after leaving Nash Field where he had enjoyed three good season’s but he wishes them all the best in the future. “Western Knights over the last 3 years has been incredible, from the staff all the way through to the boys,” he explained. “Having won the double last season was something that I will remember forever. The decision to move on wasn’t an easy one at all, but after speaking with close friends and family I felt it was the right move for me to progress my footballing career.”

Forrestfield Head Coach Rod Banjac said to have secured Tom for next season will strengthen the squad. “Although we have a very good squad, we were on a lookout for quality additions as we intend to make an impression in a very competitive environment of NPL WA,” he said. “Tom was one of the players we identified earlier in the season as a potential recruit and we are delighted that he chose to come back to Hartfield Park and continue his career where he played as a junior.

“Tom has had a standout season in Division One throughout the year, but it was the games against Bayswater during the semis and Sorrento in the grand final of the FFA cup that he impressed me the most. Although 23 years of age he is an intelligent player with great vision, he is comfortable on the ball, reads the game well and is a fierce competitor which makes him perfectly suited to our style of football.

“Having the ability to play in a variety of positions makes him a very valuable player to us, and although he prefers the centre back role, he’s just as comfortable in holding midfield or right back. We are very pleased to have Tom at Forrestfield United and look forward to helping him reach his potential as a footballer and as a person.”

The 23-year-old arrived from the UK in 2013 and played junior football at Forry, before heading to the Knights, and he said the club has grown both on and off the pitch since he was last at the club. “Forrestfield have come a long way and look to be getting better with each season,” he explained. “I’m really eager to get started with the boys and coaching staff and see how far we can push ourselves against the best in the state and hopefully win some silverware for our efforts.”



Adam Taggart's unlucky run with injuries has continued with the Perth Glory striker suffering a hamstring tear that will force him out for six weeks. The 24-year old suffered the injury at training on Thursday, when he needed to be carried from the field by two staff members. Subsequent scans revealed a 2cm tear that will rule him out for an extended period.

Taggart missed five games early last season with a calf injury while his two-year stint overseas following the 2014 World Cup was blighted by groin issues. His absence comes with Glory yet to discover their attacking mojo despite boasting a squad that features the likes of Andy Keogh and Diego Castro, having not won away from home this season.

Taggart scored 12 goals for Glory last season and has already netted three times in five games this campaign. His absence will place more pressure on the likes of Castro and Keogh ahead of Sunday’s game at Wellington Phoenix. The hosts will be without key duo Michael McGlinchey and Andrew Durante because of international duties.



Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury says the players had been preparing hand signals to communicate to each other against Honduras to combat the intense noise from the fans in San Pedro Sula. Australia's players were forced to find alternative ways to communicate to each other during the opening stages of their 0-0 draw at the infamous Estadio Olimpico.

Most of the Socceroos had not played in front of such a hostile and loud crowd before. Sainsbury said the players spent their time during the week preparing ways to send messages knowing they would likely be unable to hear one another on the field. "We've been practicing sign language all week so that helped. It was obviously difficult when they were using the vuvuzelas," Sainsbury said.

The stadium is infamous for the pressure it places on opponents due to the vibrant, loud and often aggressive atmosphere from the Honduran fans. At one point just after kick-off, the concrete stands were vibrating as 40,000 supporters started stamping their feet that created the sound of a loud drum roll that could be heard across the stadium as the floor began to shake.

Horns, drums, chants, whistles and taunts were constant two hours before kick-off inside the stadium and the surrounding precinct. Western Sydney Wanderers defender Josh Risdon was thankful the players went through the appropriate measures to prepare for the atmosphere.

"Very tough to communicate, especially at the start of the game. (It was) hard to hear yourself think at one point. It was so loud, it was tough but we knew that before we went in. We communicated before we went out there and everyone knew their roles so we didn't have to rely on that so much," Risdon said

The decibels dropped after the Socceroos were awarded a penalty midway through the first half, only for it to be rescinded shortly after. However, from then on the home fans became slightly more nervous and whilst remaining loud and vibrant, they lacked the same hostility and intimidation.

Risdon said it was an experience he will cherish. "The best atmosphere I've ever played in," he said. "It's what you want to play in, World Cup qualifiers to get through to a World Cup, in a different country, in circumstances like that, it's what you play for and dreamt of as a kid. I tried to soak up every moment ... really enjoyable."



Josh Risdon doubts he would even be in the Socceroos squad, let alone in strong contention to start against Honduras, had he not moved from Perth Glory to Western Sydney Wanderers in the off-season. In the absence of the suspended Mathew Leckie, Risdon is favoured to start in the right wing-back role for Australia in the opening leg of their World Cup qualifying play-off in San Pedro Sula.

Risdon also started the first leg of Australia’s play-off success over Syria last month despite a lack of club football at the time due to the domestic competition having not yet started. It was just reward for 25-year old Risdon, who worked harder than ever in the pre-season under then Wanderers coach Tony Popovic.

“During pre-season in the A-League, didn’t really expect to be involved in that camp last time around … so to start that first game (against Syria) was unreal,” Risdon said. “Now I’ve played a few games in the A-League season, so I feel like I’m in good stead and hopefully get a run (in the first leg).”

A proud West Australian, Risdon made 153 appearances in all competitions for Perth Glory from November 2010 to April this year. Admitting he was too comfortable in his home state, Risdon sought a new challenge, and the Wanderers came knocking. “I moved over the Sydney for a few reasons, and one was to get back into that Socceroos squad,” he said.

“He’s (Popovic) helped my game immensely. I feel a lot fitter, I feel better defensively and I’ve learnt so much off him. I was in Perth and I was in an environment that was very easy to get caught up in, and I wanted to step out of my comfort zone, and Wanderers is known for being very physically demanding.”

Bunbury-born Risdon revels in Socceroos’ coach Ange Postecoglou’s attacking formation, which includes a three-man central defence and demands wing-backs who get “up and down” regularly out wide. “As a full-back, I love to get forward and join in the attack. To have that licence to work up and down I really enjoy it. It’s a lot more running, which I do enjoy,” he said.



Inglewood United is delighted to confirm the recruitment of talented young centre back Scott Robertson. 20-year old Robertson becomes the first player to relocate to Inglewood so far this summer as coach Andy Keogh adds depth to his squad for the 2018 National Premier Leagues campaign.

“I’m absolutely delighted that I’ll be an Inglewood United player in 2018,” said Robertson, who helped Northern New South Wales club Broadmeadow Magic to place fourth last season. “Inglewood is an ambitious club with big plans and I want to be a part of what’s going on here.”

“Next season we’ll be aiming to win the league. The club has been desperately unlucky the last two seasons, almost winning the league both times, so there’s a real hunger to go that one better next year. Hopefully I can bring some quality to an already great team … I can’t wait to get started!”

Perth-born Robertson played juniors with Whitfords City and ECU Joondalup, making his first team debut at the latter as a 16-year old. He spent four years in Perth Glory’s youth system before heading to New South Wales last year, when he played under former Socceroo Ruben Zadkovich at Broadmeadow.

“Ruben and I became quite close during our time at Glory, he was a great mentor for me during a difficult period of time,” commented Robertson. “Ruben and Andy (Keogh) are good mates and one night Ruben mentioned to him that I was back in Perth, and within a few minutes I had Andy on the phone.”

“There were a few other clubs in contact with me at that point but as soon as I spoke to Andy I knew I couldn’t turn him down. We met and he spoke about his and the clubs vision, where they want to be and how they’re going to get there. I realised this was the best fit for me as a player, it just feels right.”



Attacker Nikita Rukavytsya says the Socceroos have just one goal in mind for tomorrow morning's World Cup Qualifier against Honduras. Australia will step onto the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano pitch with a view of establishing a scoreboard advantage over the Central Americans.

“First games are always important to get a good result,” said former Inglewood United junior Rukavytsya, who is expected to make his 16th appearance for the national team against Honduras. “We’ll try our best to get something out of the game, to help us set up for the second one.”

Rukavytsya is among the most-travelled Socceroos to join camp having flown into Central America from Israel, where he plays for Maccabi Haifa. “It’s been quite difficult to get here, I had three stops, four flights, so it took a bit of time,” Rukavytsya explained. “But finally I’m here and I can focus on the game now.”

The Socceroos go head-to-head with Honduras on Saturday morning (6am Perth time) at Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in Honduras, before meeting again on Wednesday, 15 November, at Stadium Australia in Sydney. The winner of the series will book their place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.



Perth Glory were hit by a huge blow ahead of Sunday morning’s A-League clash with Wellington Phoenix when star striker Adam Taggart was carried off at training this moirning. Taggart, who has scored three times this year, fell heavily in the goalmouth after jumping for a cross in the final practise move at UWA Sports Park. Taggart was carried off by trainers and driven straight from the ground with a suspected hamstring injury.



Goalkeeper Lydia Williams believes the Matilda's upcoming friendly with China in Melbourne can be a sell-out. The Matildas recently took on Brazil in back-to-back friendly wins in Sydney and Newcastle which both attracted over 15,000 at the games.

Williams said she certainly sees the women’s game is rising with 25 A-League/W-League double headers during the regular seasons. Now she feels Victorians can upstage the crowds which turned up in New South Wales for the 22 November game.

“I think the Penrith and Newcastle games surprised all of us, we didn’t really go in with much expectation on the numbers,” Williams said. “We weren’t sure ... they were saying it’s a sell-out but we weren’t quite sure what it is to sell-out an Aussie stadium with Aussie fans.

“I know all of us were overwhelmed with both the numbers and support we got in those games against Brazil. Hopefully the momentum drives and it’s just as good, if not better than the Brazil matches.”

“The crowds we’ve got with the national team are up there with some of the best in the world. The drive for getting more players in the W-League and the competition getting better ... it just shows we can be one of the best leagues in the world.”

Melbourne City play their third consecutive double-header this weekend, taking on Newcastle Jets on Sunday. The Melburnians were thrashed 4-1 away to Perth Glory in Round 1, but managed to down cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory 1-0 last Friday.

Williams returned for their win against Victory after missing the first game and was excited to play against the in-form Newcastle. “I love playing at AAMI, love playing before the boys, having the support of the fans of both the women and the men,” Williams said. “To have another double header is great.”



Defender Trent Sainsbury will be surprised if his Chinese club Jiangsu Suning cut him loose. Sainsbury will be crucial to Australia’s hopes of emerging unscathed from Saturday's World Cup qualifier with Honduras. And that’s despite his lack of club football this year.

Loaned by Jiangsu to Inter in January, Sainsbury played just 19 minutes during five months with the Italian giants. He returned to Jiangsu but started only five games in the recently completed Chinese Super League season. Thankfully, three of those came in the final weeks of the campaign, giving Sainsbury valuable game-time.

“I returned to the club, and played five games with them and we got ten points, so I think it’s saying something about what I bring to the squad,” he said. “I think the coach (currently Italian Fabio Capello) has seen that now. Hopefully they don’t screw up again and make the wrong decision to send me off.”

“Anything can happen in the transfer window. But being in China it’s even more crazy than usual. I’ve got the security of one year left (in his Jiangsu contract). If they decide they are going to ... chop me and send me on my way, we’ll start (again) from there.”

At just 25, Sainsbury has become the Socceroos’ first-picked defender. His cool head will be vital against Honduras in a squad that’s missing a combined total of 170 caps in Mark Milligan, Mathew Leckie (both suspended) and Robbie Kruse (injured), and potentially 103 more if Tim Cahill’s ankle doesn’t mend in time.

“With a lot of caps not being here, it’s a loss for us, but at the same time we’ve got a lot of other boys that have been around for a long time (and) been in camp for a long time that can step up and fill the void,” Sainsbury said. “We’ve got a really solid leadership base at the moment.”



Perth Glory kept their first clean sheet of the season in the 1-0 win over Adelaide United — now they have to repeat the shut-out on the longest trip in the A-League next Sunday. Victory over the Reds at Perth Oval on Saturday night left Glory unbeaten in two home games. But midfielder Mitch Nichols said they still needed to work on the defence that leaked 53 goals last season.

“We gave away too many turnovers and simple mistakes. It’s something we need to rectify,” Nichols said. “We got away with it this week. Defensively, the back six, we weren’t working as one and made it hard for ourselves. A big positive was we kept a clean sheet ... it was pretty scrappy, we started well and should have taken our chances and been 3-0 in the first 10 minutes.”

Nichols was confident Glory would score, even as the clock ticked over. The winner eventually came from Andy Keogh, playing an unusual left-side role, in the 80th minute when he headed home a Mitch Mallia cross. Earlier though, Diego Castro had missed a penalty and Keogh, Adam Taggart and Chris Harold failed to put away good chances.

Glory will have a great chance of opening their away account this coming weekend against the winless Wellington Phoenix, who will have defender Andrew Durante and midfielder Michael McGlinchy on international duty. “We’ve got to fix that away record and it’s a good time to play them,” Nichols said. “That was my first start, I was blowing, but it’s good to get it out of the way.”



Versatile utility John Migas will walk away from top flight football on his own terms after confirming his retirement from the National Premier Leagues. Migas enjoyed a successful 16-year career in which he wore the club colours of Fremantle City, Floreat Athena, Balcatta, Western Knights and Inglewood United.

Along the way the 32-year old gained in excess of 350 senior appearances, collected State League and Cup winners’ medals with Floreat and represented West Australian at senior level. But after playing the game he loves for more than half his lifetime, Migas feels the time has come to put away his boots for the final time.

“The decision to retire wasn’t made over night, I’d been thinking about it since the end of last season,” admitted Migas, who last year added Inglewood United’s Fairest and Best trophy to the one he collected at Floreat in 2006. “This season was tough for me and I felt like I wasn’t 100% committed to playing.”

“I missed too many trainings due to work commitments and a player at my age can’t afford to be doing that. I’ve been playing since before I can remember and have made some lifelong friends along the way. I wanted to finish playing at this level on my own terms and I feel my best football is behind.”

“I was never a very skilful player but I’d like to be remembered for my determination and ‘never give up’ attitude. For me it was always about backing your team mates up and putting absolutely everything on the line for them and the club. My dad (Wally) made a name for himself in WA football and I hope I’ve done the Migas name proud.”

Migas began his senior football career as a 16-year old with Fremantle but it was six seasons at Floreat that his fondest memories stem. “I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in some great teams who’ve won a few trophies,” he said. “And there’s nothing better than celebrating a Cup or League title with some of your best mates.”

“It’s hard to go past winning the League undefeated with Floreat Athena (in 2007) as co-captain with Baju Savic. I still look back and think how proud I am to have been part of such a talented side. Around this time I represented my State and I could not have been more honoured at pulling on the black and yellow of WA.”

Migas would spend three seasons at Balcatta and another with Western Knights before a late 2015 move to Inglewood, where he tallied up 50 appearances across the past two campaigns. And while trophy success evaded Migas while at Inglewood, he says he found something a lot more important - a sense of belonging.

“Inglewood is much more than a ‘football club’, it really felt to me like a family,” Migas said. “The amount of support and well wishes that I received from within the Club when my dad passed away earlier in the year was overwhelming. They helped me get through a rough time and for that I’m forever grateful.”

“I’ll still come down to a few games and support the guys but I very much doubt I’ll ever be tempted to pull the boots back on at this level again. Since my first child arrived six weeks ago my priorities in life have changed … maybe one day I’ll be lucky enough to see my son pull on the blue and yellow jersey like his dad did.”



Perth Glory continued their great start to the Westfield W-League, after a Rachel Hill hat-trick inspired them to a resounding 4-1 win over Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday. It was a second consecutive 4-1 win for Bobby Despotovski’s side following last week’s win against reigning champions Melbourne City and the win took the clear at the top of the table.

It was a warm day in the Queensland Capital, and it was a fairly even contest for much of the first half with neither side able to establish any dominance. Glory suffered a blow midway through the half with US international Nikki Stanton forced off with a suspected broken arm, but it didn’t stop the Glory as they took the lead three minutes before the break.

Sam Kerr swooping on a turnover in Roar’s half before setting up Rachel Hill for a powerful finish into the roof of the net. But there lead lasted only a minute. Katrina Gorry’s free-kick wasn’t dealt with by Melissa Maizels, and in the goalmouth scramble that ensued Clare Polkinghorne poked the ball home, despite Maizels getting a hand to it, so it was 1-1 and all to play for after the break

Kerr was having her own battle with Matilda’s team mate Mackenzie Arnold, the Brisbane custodian making a number of important saves to thwart the Glory striker. But it was the Glory who regained the lead on the hour, Hill grabbing her second, the American being in the right place at the right time to sweep the ball home after Arnold could only parry Raquel Rodriguez’s shot.

Kerr got her revenge on Arnold on 78 minutes, after the keeper brought her down in the box and the referee pointed straight the spot. Kerr made no mistake with the resulting penalty, driving down the middle of the goal to give the Glory a 3-1 lead. Hill then completed her hat-trick with a clinical low drive into the bottom corner with seven minutes left to cap another big win for Glory. Next up for Bobby Despotovski side is another away trip, this time to Adelaide United on Friday evening.

Brisbane Roar: GK Mackenzie ARNOLD, 2 Carson PICKETT, 4 Clare POLKINGHORNE, 6 Celeste BOUREILLE, 8 Kaitlyn TORPEY (11 Natalie TATHEM 55’), 9 Wai Ki CHEUNG, 10 Katrina-Lee GORRY, 12 Allira TOBY, 13 Tameka BUTT (7 Ayesha KIRBY 81’), 14 Summer O’BRIEN, 15 Abbey LLOYD (3 Amy CHAPMAN 63’) - Subs not used: RGK Kirsten VEEREN

Perth Glory: GK Melissa MAIZELS, 2 Sarah CARROLL, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Natasha RIGBY, 7 Nicole STANTON (8 Shawn BILLAM 25’), 9 Rachel HILL, 10 Raquel RODRIGUEZ, 11 Nicola BOLGER, (17 Marianna TABAIN 75’) 12 Shannon MAY, 16 Amanda FRISBIE, 20 Sam Kerr (6 Danielle BROGAN 90+3’) – Subs not used: RGK Morgan AQUINO



Perth Glory moved to fourth on the Hyundai A-League ladder after a 1-0 win against Adelaide United at nib Stadium Saturday evening. Skipper Andy Keogh got the all-important goal ten minutes from time, the Irish striker heading home substitute Mitch Mallia cross from the bye-line to send the 11,049 crowd home happy. It could have been more but for the performance of Adelaide keeper Paul Izzo who pulled off a number of fine saves included a penalty from Diego Castro early, and reaction save to deny Keogh moments later.

Mitch Nichols made his return to the starting line-up and played well before making way for Brandon Wilson on 77 minutes, but he said they need to tighten up all over the park if they are to keep getting results. “We gave away too many turnovers and simple mistakes. It’s something we need to rectify. We got punished last week in Sydney, we got away with it this week,” Nichols said.

“Defensively, the back six, we weren’t working as one and made it hard for ourselves. A big positive was we kept a clean sheet. That’s definitely a good sign. One-nil, we’ll take it. A win’s a win. It was pretty scrappy, we started well and should have taken our chances and been 3-0 in the first 10 minutes. The front three, Keogh, Cas (Castro) and Tags (Taggart), are always going to have chances and create, and Keogh worked hard for the team and got his reward.”

The Glory had the perfect opportunity to take the lead after only four minutes when Keogh was brought down by Michael Marrone and referee Stephen Lucas pointed to the spot. Castro stepped up but Izzo guessed the right way to save low to left. Moments later, Alex Grant header was blocked by the Adelaide custodian, before he saved well to deny Taggart, and produced point blank save to thwart Keogh on ten minutes.

Castro was brought down again in the box on the quarter hour, but Lucas was quick to turn down the Glory penalty claims. Adelaide went close themselves four minutes later, George Blackwood was sent in on goal, but Xavi Torres got back to clear the danger. It was the best period of the game for the visitors and Blackwood was denied by Scott Neville, as they won consecutive corners, which were well defended by the men in purple, and it was scoreless at the break.

Isaias was a constant threat, and Ben Warland’s long-range shot flashed over the top, while at the other Chris Harold headed straight at Izzo. Reddy then saved well to thwart Daniel Adlung’s free kick, before Nikloa Mileusnic long-range shot whistles just past the post. There were chances at both ends as the game opened up and a cross picked out Mileusnic, who fired wide when well placed. The Glory faithful thought they had the lead on 76 minutes when Taggart was sent clear, one-on-one with Izzo, but the Adelaide keeper produced a great one handed save to deny him.

It looked like it wasn’t going to be the Glory’s night but that all changed on 80 minutes. Substitute Mallia raced down the right and crossed the ball from the bye line and Keogh was jogging on the spot to head home powerfully at the back post. Adelaide pressed late looking for the equaliser and Brandon Wilson got back with a last ditch tackle on Ryan Kitto, and they forced a number of late corners but the Glory hung on for three valuable points.

Perth Glory GK Liam REDDY, 2 Alex Grant, 4 Shane LOWRY, 6 Mitch Nichols (15 Brandon WILSON 77'), 8 Xavi TORRES, 9 Andy KEOGH (C), 14 Chris HAROLD (11 Mitch MALLIA 71'), 17 Diego CASTRO, 18 Andreu GUERAO, 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Scott NEVILLE – Subs not used: RGK Nick FEELY, 20 Jake BRIMMER, 29 Jeremy WALKER

Adelaide United GK Paul IZZO, 2 Michael MARRONE, 4 Benjamin WARLAND, 8 ISAIAS, 10 Karim MATMOUR (12 Mark OCHIENG 58'), 14 George BLACKWOOD (7 Ryan KITTO 68'), 16 Nathan KONSTANDOPLOUS (25 Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS 83'), 17 Nikola MILEUSNIC, 19 Ben GARUCCIO, 23 Jordan ELSEY, 37 Daniel ADLUNG - Subs not used: RGK Daniel MARGUSH, 24 Jordan O'DOHERTY – Referee: Stephen Lucas



Perth Glory have set their sights on posting a rare clean sheet this weekend as they attempt to close the gap on the A-League's early pace setters. Glory kept just four clean sheets last season in a campaign where they leaked a competition-high 53 goals.

It's been a similar story so far this season, with Glory conceding seven goals in its opening four games for the return of one win, one draw, and two losses. Three of those matches have been on the road, but Glory have the chance to get the ball rolling when they host Adelaide United at Perth Oval on Saturday night.

Captain Andy Keogh is keen to narrow the gap on third-placed Newcastle Jets, who are three points clear of Glory. "We just don't want the gap to get too big between us and the top three," Keogh said. "It (keeping a clean sheet) is a huge challenge for any team. It's hard to do. Teams that do the most win the league, and we want to win the league."

Adelaide are just one point ahead of Glory in fifth place, and they'll be aiming to bounce back from last week's loss to Melbourne City. Six of Glory's nine first matches are away from home, meaning they can ill afford any slip-ups on their own turf.

Glory coach Kenny Lowe said his team had a simple aim this week. "We've got to win. Especially when we're at home, we want to win," Lowe said. "We've got six out of the first nine away from home, so we've got a tough trot. But we're in a good space. Playing at home suits us. I'm sure we'll do really well."



After last week’s defeat against Sydney FC, Perth Glory return home to the nib Stadium on Saturday night when they entertain Adelaide United (7pm) The VAR controversy was the major thing to come out of the defeat, but the Sky Blues did deserve the points, but the Glory created some good chances, and they looked more impressive when Mitch Nichols and Jake Brimmer were introduced mid-way through the second half, but will Head Coach Kenny Lowe tinker with the line-up?

It’s been a sharp week at training, and Lowe has a virtually fully-fit squad at his disposal, and he will have a few tough selection decisions to make ahead of the Round 5 clash with the Reds. With long-term absentees Marc Warren, Joel Chianese and Daniel Stynes all still sidelined, every other member of the squad is fit and pressing for a spot in the line-up, and competition for places is well and truly hotting up.

Lowe admitted that he has been left with plenty to ponder. “We’ve had a really good week on the training ground, with the lads performing well and putting their hands up for selection,” he said. “Obviously we had Mitch [Nichols] come back from suspension last week, our injury-replacement players are getting right up there in terms of their fitness levels now and in general, we’ve got a lot more game time into people’s legs. So I’ve got a real headache in terms of picking the squad for the Adelaide game, but it’s not the kind of headache I’ll be complaining about!”

Glory took seven points from the South Australians last season, but the Reds’ do have a good record in the West, and have five wins and five draws from 16 visits. Lowe is well aware the quality Adelaide have in their squad, and is expecting them to provide a stern test as they look to end a three-game winless run against Glory which included a 5-0 hammering at Coopers Stadium last season. “With a new coach in charge, they’ll pose a different challenge, but from what we’ve seen of them so far this season, they are pretty compact and well organised,” he said.

“They also have some serious attacking threats that we’ll need to be aware of and I’m sure it’ll be another good game to watch. It’ll be great to be back home at nib Stadium and I know the lads are really looking forward to it. The atmosphere at the Mariners game a couple of weeks ago was fantastic and hopefully it’ll be the same again on Saturday night.” Glory have added Jacob Poscoliero and Jeremy Walker to the squad for Saturday’s game.

Marco Kurz’s side were beaten last time out against top of the table Melbourne City, but defender Ben Garuccio is expecting a tough game on Saturday, highlighting the Glory’s potent attack, though stressed the Reds will be looking to clinch the three points. “Perth are a good team and have got great players up top and we have to be very careful of that,” he said. “We want to win and take points away from these teams, so that’s what we have to be doing.”

The 22-year-old also said the team’s ability to create an abundance of chances has been one of the biggest improvements under Head Coach, Kurz, to start the season. Only Sydney have fired more shots at goal than the Reds from the opening four matches this campaign. “I think we are just creating a lot more opportunities, I think the attacking players that have come in are doing really well,” he explained.

“Nikola (Mileusnic) is getting more game time, Johan (Absalonsen) has been really, really dangerous and once George (Blackwood) starts firing as well we are going to be really hard to stop. Sometimes it just takes one goal to get off the mark and then you’re flying, so it would be good to see George off the mark and we’ll be a really tough team to stop going forward. We have got a lot of pace, we can get in behind and we are going to be dangerous.”

Perth Glory squad: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY, 2 Alex GRANT, 4 Shane LOWRY, 5 Jacob POSCOLIERO, 6 Mitch NICHOLS, 8 Xavi TORRES, 9 Andy KEOGH (c), 14 Chris HAROLD, 15 Brandon WILSON, 16 Joseph MILLS, 17 Diego CASTRO, 18 Andreu GUERAO, 19 Joe KNOWLES, 20 Jake BRIMMER, 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Scott NEVILLE, 29 Jeremy WALKER - *two to be omitted* - Ins: POSCOLIERO (promoted), WALKER (promoted) - Outs: Nil - Unavailable: 25.Daniel STYNES (hamstring – 5-7 weeks), 7.Joel CHIANESE (collar bone – 5-7 weeks), 3.Marc WARREN (ankle 8-10 weeks)

Adelaide United squad: GK Paul IZZO, GK Daniel MARGUSH, 2 Michael MARRONE, 4 Ben WARLAND, 7 Ryan KITTO, 8 ISAÍAS (c), 10 Karim MATMOUR, 12 Mark OCHIENG, 14 George BLACKWOOD, 16 Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 17 Nikola MILEUSNIC, 19 Ben GARUCCIO, 23 Jordan ELSEY, 24 Jordan O’DOHERTY, 25 Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS, 28 Kristin KONSTANDOPOULOS, 29 Ryan STRAIN, 37 Daniel ADLUNG - *two to be omitted* - Ins: KONSTANDOPOULOS (promoted), STRAIN (promoted) - Outs: Nil - Unavailable: 5.Taylor REGAN (ankle - 6-7 weeks), 6.Vince LIA (knee - 2-3 weeks), 9.Baba DIAWARA (hamstring - 1-2 weeks), 11.Johan ABSALONSEN (thigh - 3-4 weeks), 21.Tarek ELRICH (knee - long term), 22.Ersan GÜLÜM (lung - 3-4 weeks) - Referee: Stephen Lucas



It may be only the second round of a the new season but it’s a top of the table clash in the Westfield W-League on Sunday when Perth Glory travel to the Suncorp Stadium to take on Brisbane Roar. The Glory thrashed last season’s Champions Melbourne City 4-1 in the opening round while the Roar beat Sydney FC 3-1 on the road.

It only took two minutes for Glory to open their 2017/18 Westfield W-League goal scoring account, with Sam Kerr on target, but a great second half performance made a statement to the rest of the league the Glory mean business this season, and new US import Rachel Hill and Costa Rican international Raquel ‘Rocky’ Rodríguez particularly caught the eye, as well as Nicola Bolger.

It was a great attacking performance form the side, but keeper Melissa Maizels was in outstanding form, producing a number of fine saves when it was 1-1, while the performance of another new recruit Amanda Frisbie was encouraging to see. Glory Coach Bobby Despotovski said it was a great start from his side. “It was a massive win last week against the Champions, a great start for the girls,” he said. “It wasn’t as easy as score indicates, and the game was in the balance for long periods. I think we finished the game much stronger and the goals we scored indicates that, as they were scored last 15 minutes."

Despotovski said the new players performed well but it was a great all-round team performance, and he will be looking for more of the same on Sunday, and he said it will be a battle. “Yes all the imports were terrific, but I also thought the local girls did extremely well,” he explained. “It’s a great mix of local talent and overseas players. We know it’s going to be great battle as Brisbane are a very well organized team with lots of local and overseas talent. So we will need to be at our absolute best to get anything out of this game, we will try our best to get maximum points.”

Brisbane Roar FC squad: GK Mackenzie ARNOLD, GK Kirsten VEREEN, 2 Carson PICKETT, 3 Amy CHAPMAN, 4 Clare POLKINGHORNE (c), 6 Celeste BOUREILLE, 7 Ayesha NORRIE, 8 Kaitlyn TORPEY, 9 Wai Ki CHEUNG, 10 Katrina GORRY, 11 Natalie TATHEM, 12 Allira TOBY, 13 Tameka BUTT, 14 Summer O’BRIEN, 15 Abbey LLOYD, 16 Hayley RASO, 18 Lucinda PULLAR - *two to be omitted *- Ins: CHAPMAN (promoted), TORPEY (returns from international duty), BUTT (promoted)

Perth Glory squad: GK Melissa MAIZELS, GK Gabby DAL BUSCO, 2 Sarah CARROLL, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Natasha RIGBY, 5 Patricia CHARALAMBOUS, 6 Danielle BROGAN, 7 Nicole STANTON, 8 Shawn BILLAM, 9 Rachel HILL, 10 Raquel RODRIGUEZ, 11 Nicola BOLGER, 12 Shannon MAY, 13 Jaymee GIBBONS, 16 Amanda FRISBIE, 17 Marianna TABAIN, 20 Samantha KERR (c) - *two to be omitted* - Ins: CHARALAMBOUS (promoted), GIBBONS (promoted) - Referee: Maddison Kennedy



Perth Glory could soon kick-start their season if their Spanish recruits start to fire. The re-signing of Diego Castro provided Glory a major off-season boost, and the recruitment of Xavi Torres, a La Liga veteran, and Andreu has further bolstered the clubs options

The Spanish trio are still working their way towards peak fitness having arrived later in the pre-season than the rest of the squad. Glory have made a slow start to the season, posting just one win and a draw from their opening four matches.

But defender Alex Grant is confident Castro, Torres, and Andreu will soon be in full flight. "They're a bit underdone at the moment," Grant said. "For Xavi and Andreu, who has had a year out of the game pretty much, it's going to take them a few rounds to get clicking together."

"I'm confident that the three of them will come good. Even if it takes a few rounds - we might be a bit behind, but we can claw it back. We know we've got the capabilities of winning a lot of things this year."

Grant made his long-awaited return from injury in last week's loss at Sydney FC. The 23-year-old missed the second half of last season after rupturing a ligament and suffering a fracture in his left foot.

Grant formed a formidable defensive partnership with Shane Lowry during Glory's scintillating finish to the 2015/16 campaign. But Glory struggled defensively last season when the duo were hampered by serious injuries.

Now, Grant and Lowry have the chance to pick up where they left off, with Glory eager to post their first clean sheet of the season when they host Adelaide United on Saturday night. "That's what will win you the league," said Grant, ahead of the weekend game.

"Look at Sydney last season - they conceded 12 goals over the entire season," Grant said. "But a lot of tactics go into keeping clean sheets - it's not just the defence." Glory and Adelaide go head-to-head at Perth Oval from 7.00pm on Saturday.



Aston Villa midfielder Jordan Lyden is understood to be on the radar of several lower league English clubs. Northampton Town and Blackburn Rovers are two of the clubs who are said to be interested in taking some of Villa’s brighter prospects on temporary spells when the transfer window re-opens in January.

Lyden is highly regarded by Villa’s coaching staff and has been in fine form for their under-23 side this season, scoring four goals from his defensive midfield position. However, Lyden does not appear to be close to breaking into manager Steve Bruce’s team, and club management have reportedly decided that his development will be best served by moving elsewhere.



Assistant coach Richard Garcia believes it is only a matter of time before Perth Glory strike peak form. But he also knows they cannot afford a slow burn and need to beat Adelaide United in Saturday night’s A-League clash at Perth Oval. In sixth spot with a win, a draw and two defeats, Glory are just a point behind Adelaide.

It will be Glory’s second home game in the first five matches and Garcia said the travel was something their new signings were still coming to terms with. “It’s still early in the season, it has been a slow start, but once we find our feet we’ll be fine,” he said.

“We’ve always been of a mentality that it’s a marathon, not a sprint and you want to be hitting your best form at the pointy end of the season. You have quite a few players come in that are new. We’re still working on getting the team to play the way we want and find out what best suits the boys.”

“We’ve started a little bit indifferently, but we’ve got enough character in the squad to be able to get over these early tinkering problems. It’s always hard when you’ve got so many away games. The travel’s tough and a few of our guys have not experienced that before, being able to get over flights and everything that goes with it.”

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This page was last updated on the 27th October, 2017