Archived News : September-October 2017



Socceroos coach Ange Potecoglou has named his 25-player squad to face Honduras in next month’s make-or-break World Cup play-offs. National team captain Mile Jedinak made the cut for the two-leg series in San Pedro Sula (11 November) and Sydney (15 November) despite missing over a month through injury.

Postecoglou feel the player group selected represents a good combination of experience and form. “It has been pleasing to see so many of our players performing strongly for their clubs domestically and abroad, and I believe that puts us in good stead for our upcoming play-off matches," said Postecoglou.

"With two games in five days and extensive travel between the fixtures, every member of our squad will play an important role this November. We'll be looking to get positive result in San Pedro Sula, before aiming to seal a place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia in front of our home fans in Sydney."

The Australia squad to play Honduras is Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Tim Cahill (Melbourne City), Milos Degenek (Yokohama Marinos), Alex Gersbach (Rosenborg), Craig Goodwin (Sparta Rotterdam), Jackson Irvine (Burton Albion), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), James Jeggo (Sturm Graz), Tomi Juric (Luzern), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Bluewings), Robbie Kruse (Bochum), Mitchell Langerak (Stuttgart), Mathew Leckie (Hertha BSC), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers), Ryan McGowan (Al Sharjah), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers), Tom Rogic (Celtic), Nikita Rukavytsya (Maccabi Haifa), Mathew Ryan (Brighton and Hove Albion), Trent Sainsbury (Jiangsu Suning), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory), Daniel Vukovic (Genk) and Bailey Wright (Bristol City).



Striker Adam Taggart says team-mates working on a myriad of times zones to suit individual needs isn’t a proven formula for success. Scientific assertions humans can take up to a day for every hour the clock is shifted to recover from changing a time zone means Perth Glory’s players - who lose between five and two and a half hours every time they play away from home - are often dealing with significant fatigue.

Taggart agrees with this, claiming the constant time changes can put hard-working bodies out of whack. “All the players do it differently, but I personally stay on Perth time,’’ Taggart said. “I sleep a little bit longer on the day of the game when we travel. So I’ll have a really late breakfast and pretend in my mind that I’m playing at 2pm in the afternoon in Perth rather than 5pm in the east.”

“We tried to do it before where we would adjust our time to the zone that we’re in, but now it’s left up to the players to decide what they think is best. But for me travelling every second week to the east, my body would be going crazy with the time zones constantly changing for a weekend every second week.”

In just three away games this season Glory have already clocked up around 24000km in travel and spent about 30 hours in the air. But Taggart is grateful that Glory will have spent at least eight nights in their own beds leading into Saturday’s home clash with Adelaide United. The time between games also eliminates any potential jet lag issues after Glory lost at Sydney FC on Friday.

Taggart said that apart from keeping the body clock sane Glory is also faced with another hurdle which has been forced upon them. The 24-year old believes Glory would be a complete disaster if the player group didn’t get on, especially given all the time the squad spends in hotels, airports and on flights during away games.

“Lucky enough we’re a real close knit group,’’ he said. “They want to make sure they sign top players but good guys off the field as well. They have to fit in easily and luckily we’ve got that and that was for last season as well. It’s a normal thing at the club to have team harmony. If there wasn’t it would be a disaster and really hard to travel harder than what it already is.”



If someone has played for his country, captained a big club in the English Championship and been frequently linked with big-money transfers to Premier League clubs, then most people would think that he has had a decent career. But Rhys Williams, Melbourne Victory's new central defensive lynchpin, is not most people.

Williams has more exacting standards. So being in the running for two World Cup squads before injury cruelled his hopes and leading Middlesbrough through the warzone that is the Championship for several seasons falls short of what he believes he could have achieved had serious injuries not curtailed his career at crucial times.

The 29-year old describes himself as Australian football's nearly man. "I feel I haven't really succeeded much in my career. I know it's all hindsight now, but I missed a lot of games for a lot of teams," Williams told "Even with the Socceroos I feel like I could have had a bigger position, I could have been in a better place, so I think there is so much more that I feel I can achieve, and I want to do it here at Victory.

"I am proud of what I have done but I almost feel like 'I almost did that, I almost went there, I almost played in two World Cups and I am sick of the almosts ... I have had a few personal accolades which is nice, but you want a team one, and that's the one thing I have missed in my career, being part of a team that's won something. That was the reason for coming here."

Williams' family is steeped in football. Born to an English father who has played and coached all his life, and an Anglo-Indian mother, he was the oldest boy in the family and the first to move to England. His talent was enough for Middlesbrough to sign him as an academy player, and quickly excited the attention of international scouts from Wales, for whom he qualified through family ties.

It was touch and go for a while as to whether he would play for the Dragons. He was part of an exciting Wales under-21 squad which went on to form the nucleus of the Welsh side that made the semi-finals at the Euro 2016 championship, with players such as Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsay, Sam Vokes and Joe Allen all making their mark as youngsters.

Williams looks back fondly to rooming with Arsenal star Ramsay and becoming friends with Bale, but says there was really only one international choice for him. "I played with Bale, we grew up in the 21s together. I was always quite close to him. When I was on the bench for the first team for Wales I roomed with Aaron Ramsey," Williams recalls.

"Their golden generation now, that was our 21s team. I remember Ramsay coming through when he was at Cardiff, he has just kicked on. And the same with Gareth, he was called up to the first team a lot more, but in vital games for the 21s he came back down to us. You could see his class, he is a big, strong well-built lad, he is fast, solid and he's a really good kid … he deserves all the success he has had."

"I have no regrets. It just didn't feel right. The under 21s was a great experience, but ultimately I am Australian, I am not Welsh. When the national anthem came on and I sat on the bench for the first team, it wasn't quite right. I knew I wanted to play for my country of birth, and I had the chance and took it with both hands when I got my debut against Japan."

Williams, naturally, cannot help but reflect on what might have been, particularly at the World Cups in South Africa and Brazil. He travelled to Johannesburg in 2010 with Pim Verbeek's squad and would certainly have been in the final 23. But he was battling injury throughout the lead-up, and although Verbeek delayed naming his squad until almost the final moment, Williams lost his race against time.

Those who saw him holding back the tears as Verbeek broke the bad news to him will remember his devastation, but looking back now he says that disappointment was not as great as the let down he felt at not being able to even be considered for Brazil 2014, again because of injury. "I have had injuries, but it's part of the game," Williams says.

"I am lucky in that I have got my health and my family's health. That means more to me than an injury, or missing the World Cup. I was in South Africa in 2010 and I knew I was young (21) and I was going to be a squad player because Lucas Neill and Craig Moore were still in the team and that I would get more chances later on if things went the way I hoped."

"In 2014, it was more disappointing. I had played in Ange's first game in charge (against Costa Rica) and he had a leadership group meeting and I was in it. I was really surprised, I had only played for 12 or 13 caps. I was excited for the future, being part of it. But after that was another major injury. I did my Achilles in the January of 2014.

"I was about to leave and go to Swansea in the Premier League, or Celtic because they had also come in for me. My house was packed and ready to go, I thought it was going to happen and two days before the transfer window closed, I ruptured my Achilles. That's part and parcel of the game, but I think everything happens for a reason so I never dwelt on it."

Williams is the sort of ball-playing defender well suited to the modern game, happy to play at the centre of the back three or four, or move into midfield. Given his previous record, it is little surprise that even at this stage he is being touted as a potential squad member for Russia 2018 should the Socceroos get past Honduras in the final World Cup eliminators in November.

Williams, however, is not getting too far ahead of himself. "It's nice of people to talk about me for the Socceroos, but I have always said I need to be fit and to perform here before anything else comes up. I have only played three league games, but I played nine pre-season games," he said.

"I feel good, and hopefully the boys can do the job around me and we can have a good season. Who knows, come March, that's when the next set of games are. I have always said I need to concentrate on my club football, but if I am doing that and everything is going well here, then why not at least dream of it."

Prior to return home to play for Perth Glory last year, Williams had spent his entire career in the English Championship. So he is well placed to draw a comparison between the second tier in England - widely regarded as one of the toughest leagues in the world - and the A-League. He has been surprised at how good the standard has become in Australia in such a short time.

"Coming back last year I was pleasantly shocked, to be honest," he commented. "Everyone boosts England and Europe to be this huge thing and Australia down below, but it's not the case, it's so competitive this league. I would say it's a lot fitter than a lot of leagues. It's the way the game is played here - the weather is hot, the grounds are hard and there is a lot of travel required."

"Even in the Championship your centre-backs have a bit of time on the ball. Here it's full on. Coming back you realise it's a very good league, it's very testing and you can see the players who have come back don't always succeed. That shows the strength of this league. We need to get the A-League seen as much as we can, although financially we are never going to be able to match the big leagues overseas."



Gwelup Croatia made it back to back promotions last season after winning the All Flags State League Division Two title, and vice-skipper James Sammut was rewarded for a stellar season by taking out the clubs Fairest and Best award at the clubs presentation night last weekend. The midfielder edged out runner-up Cameron Yorke to win the award and he said he was honoured to win it. “We have a great squad and a lot of quality players at the club so it was an honour for me to pick up this award,” he explained. “I was happy with the season I had and I would like to thank everyone at Gwelup for a good year, and to win promotion capped a great season for the club.”

Sammut said it was a fantastic season for the club, beating NPL teams in their great Westfield FFA Cup run and to win the title made all their hard work worthwhile. “I felt that it was a successful season for the club, and winning the league with a couple of games to go is a massive achievement and we had a pretty good cup run also beating Balcatta and Mandurah before eventually going out in the Quarter-Final to Bayswater City, who were the standout side in WA football this year!,” he said. “The club is under no illusions though and know that next year is going to be a tougher challenge, although hopefully we can keep a majority of the lads, add a couple of quality inclusions and be up there challenging for the league again.”

Gwelup coach Paul Dundo said Sammut was outstanding and was a deserved winner. “James was a worthy winner of our 2017 Best and Fairest award, winning in front of Runner Up Cameron Yorke,” he said. “James was excellent all year, polling votes consistently, showing his ability, experience and leadership each on the park each week. He also scored some important goals this season for us and played a massive part in creating opportunities for others.”

It was Dundo’s first season at Wishart Street and he said it was he will remember for a long time. “2017 was a fantastic year for Gwelup on all accounts. The clubs first year in the State League presented many challenges making the transition from Sundays Amateurs to Saturday State League and our hard working President, Committee and Management team need to be congratulated on the achievement and progress the Club is making,” he explained.

“It was evident at the beginning of the year, when I was presented the opportunity with the club with the Juniors, that the Clubs focus was not aimed solely at the senior sides and there was a huge focus on the Junior setup to establish the structure and coaching set up to develop young players and provide a pathway for players into senior football. The focus on our juniors was led by our Technical Director Terry Goddard and Laura Denona from the Committee and the hard work from all involved with the juniors has now set strong foundations for Gwelup for 2018 and beyond. 2017.

“It was another step forward for Gwelup as our juniors were competitive in all grades and our under 12’s crowned League Winners. The club also fielded an Under 18’s team in State League football for the first time and the under 18’s did the club proud finishing in fourth position which was very pleasing to see. With our First team and Reserve team both winning their leagues in style and gaining promotion to Division One for the club, 2017 was a very successful year for Gwelup Croatia.”

Other wards on the night - FIRST TEAM Coach’s Player of Year: David Martins Top Goal Scorer: Noah Shamaki - RESERVES Best & Fairest: Domenic Mann Runners-Up: Vincent Longo and Alen Karaselimovic Coaches Player of Year: Jordan Howell Top Goal Scorer: Joshua Giacoppo - UNDER 18s Best & Fairest: Nikola Rajcinoski Runner-Up: Angel Dejkovski Coaches Player of Year: Cameron Krsanac Top Goal Scorer: Samuel Di Stefano



Christian Hogge’s good form during the season has seen him being awarded the Rockingham City’s Player of the Year award for 2017, and seeing him go back to back. Hogge said it was shock to win the award, especially after missing a number of games during the season. “It was a fantastic honour to win the Rockingham City Football Club fairest and best for the second year in a row,” he explained.

“For me personally it was an indifferent season, and with out of football distractions, and a six week trip to Europe in the middle of the season. I would just like to thank Rob Crerar for the involvement both on and off the pitch since I've joined Rocky and also to Smithy and Billy for the last couple of seasons and all the best in the future.”

Hogge said the season didn’t go to plan, but injuries took their toll during the season, but he is hoping they bounce back bigger and stronger next season. "Our season started off with such promise and we were playing some good football, rolling over the lower table teams and then matching it with the top of the table teams. The season was very much a season of two halves with us sitting in the top two at the halfway mark and then finishing in the bottom half come the end of the season,” he explained.

“At one point just after the halfway, there was as much as eight first teamers not available which would have made it difficult for any team in that competitive league. So in the end it was a disappointing season but we will just go again next season, hopefully pushing for a top four finish.”

Rockingham City President Brian Kennedy said it was a tight vote but Hogge was a worthy winner. “Congrats to Christian on his RCFC Player of Year Award for the 2nd consecutive year (back to back 2016 & 2017),” he said. “The vote went down to the last league game between Christian and Jason Pottier, but Christian won out and was a worthy winner.” Former Rockingham Coach Rob Crerar said Hogge is capable of playing at a higher level. “Christian is a fantastic player, he has all the attributes to go on and play at the next level, a real pleasure to have in your team as he never lets you down,” he said.

“There isn't many players who go back to back in the player of the year category, so a huge accolade for him as he has been up against some quality competition the last two years. He’s a great kid, I brought him up from Kelmscott when they were losing every week by a big margin, one of my best signings.” In other awards on the night Callum Ribbans won the Reserves Player of the Year while Luke Richards won the under 18’s.



Some elite athletes are uncomfortable with the idea that they should serve as idols or even role models for children. Sam Kerr welcomes it, not that she has much say in the matter. Unshackled from the injuries that threatened to end her career, Kerr reached new heights this year.

After being pipped in last season’s W-League Grand Final by Melbourne City, Kerr flew to the United States to play for Sky Blue FC in the National Women’s Soccer League. There she broke the league’s scoring record and was named most valuable player, adding the award to her W-League MVP honour from earlier in the year.

But for all of the money and fame of the NSWL, it means little to Kerr compared with the semi-professional W-League. “I’ve got no connection to the club over there other than I play there,” Kerr said. “Here it’s so much deeper than that. I grew up watching Perth Glory.”

In August, she helped the Matildas win the first Tournament of Champions, scoring two goals in the final against Brazil. The Brazilians were wary of Kerr when they arrived last month. They played two friendlies, Kerr scored three times.

The adversity Kerr has overcome and lessons she learnt from her brother, former West Coast Eagle Daniel, helped her harness her athleticism and skill. “I still have times when I turn off from football and hang out with my friends,” she said. “I don’t think my brother did that so at the end of his career he just kind of went bang.”

A quick browse through social media shows there are girls all over the world who daydream about being Sam Kerr. If that helps grow the game, she is all for it. “People always ask me who my childhood hero was and my answers are always male athletes, so I think it’s cool that young girls growing up have female athletes now,” she said.

Kerr said she had learnt relationships made in sport were more important than the games. “If I’m known for anything at the end of my career, I’d rather be known as a better person than a better footballer,” she said. Kerr will lead her beloved Glory out onto Perth Oval again in this evening’s W-League opener against Melbourne City. p> 27.10.2017


Perth Glory have been beaten 2-0 by Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium, on a controversial Friday night in the Hyundai A-League. The home side deserved their three points but all the talk from the game was about the VAR. In first half stoppage time Luke Wilkshire’s shot hit the arm of Joe Mills and referee Shaun Evans pointed straight to the spot.

It looked a little harsh, but as usual the VAR looked at the incident and three and half minutes later they still couldn’t make a decision and it was passed to the on field referee to make a call and he duly awarded the penalty much to the confusion and anger of the Glory coaches, players and supporters. "Very ordinary," Perth coach Kenny Lowe said. "We're making a mockery of a lovely game."

Bobo had missed a penalty earlier in the game but he sent Glory Man of the Match Liam Reedy the wrong way to give the home side the lead. The Glory pressed late in the game and Adam Taggart fired inches wide, but the points were made safe in second half injury time when Adrian Mierzejewski convert another spot kick to end a controversial night.

“We’ve got people up there to make a decision. Let them make a decision and do the right thing but … if it takes that long to make a decision, that’s reasonable doubt. It’s crazy,” Lowe added. “I just don’t understand it and it’s not a great reflection for the game I don’t think. If you can do something clinical and it’s black or white, then brilliant. But if there’s an element of doubt, how can you make a decision? And how can it take so long?”

Lowe insisted he would rather officials make a decision on the spot than have it referred upstairs.

“I’d rather the ref hone his craft, polish his skills and make a decision,” he said. “We’re all human. At the end of the days, the VAR’s not computer, it’s another human up there making a decision, so it’s fallible. We’ve already got someone who’s fallible on the pitch, what’s the point of making someone fallible upstairs. The guys will make a mistake. Everyone get off their back a little bit, but this just compounds it now.”

Lowe made one change to the side that beat Central Coast last week with Alex Grant coming into the back four, with the unlucky Jeremy Walker missing out, while on the bench Mitch Nichols made a return to football after his three game ban. Sydney Coach Graham Arnold had asked for a fast start from his players and he got it in this one. Reddy had to be alert to save Jordy Buijs’ powerful shot early, before Scott Neville got back with a last ditch tackle to deny Milos Ninkovic.

The Glory went close themselves on the quarter hour, Chris Harold was brought down by Buijs just outside the penalty area, and Diego Castro’s curling free kick was tipped over the top by Andrew Redmayne. Andy Keogh was pushed in the back moments later by Buijs, and replays showed there was contact, but VAR ignored it. But Sydney looked dangerous and Bobo was sent in on goal on 20 minutes, but he sliced his shot wide when well placed.

But five minutes later Sydney were rewarded a penalty after Mills was adjudged to have pushed David Carney, and referee and VAR gave this one. Two hands in the back – just like the Keogh one – but a penalty this time, much to the frustration of Mills. Bobo stepped up, and justice was done, his spot kick crashing off the bar and away to safety. Reddy then produced two great save to deny Wilkshire as Sydney pressed for the opener.

Then five minutes before half time Wilkshire’s shot hit the arm of Mills and Evans again pointed to the spot. The VAR went to work, and we waited, and waited and no decision, this with Bobo waiting to take his spot kick. Still no conclusion from the video referee, and if there is that much doubt about the decision, should it stand? Well it was and four and half minutes later Bobo sent Reddy the wrong way to give Sydney the lead. Glory almost hit back immediately, Castro cross headed inches wide by Shane Lowry at the back post, but the Sky Blues went into the break with the lead.

Sydney were out of the blocks early in the second half and it looked like they had found the second when Bobo found space in the box, but Lowry got back with a superb last-ditch tackle to deny him. The heavens opened in the NSW capital and Lowe made a double change bringing on Nichols and Jake Brimmer, but it was Sydney to go close again on the hour. Again Bobo found a pocket of space but Reddy was off his line in a flash to save well at the striker’s feet.

Moments later Castro raced clear and with the goal at his mercy the Spanish maestro lost his footing at the vital moment. Castro was in again but this time Redmayne got down low to save, as the Glory went in search of the equaliser. Reddy then produced a great double save to deny Bobo, as the game opened up. The Glory custodian then saved well from Mierzejewski, as the Glory were leaving holes at the back as they pressed for the leveler.

That nearly came on 92 minutes, Taggart getting on the end of Mills low cross, but his shot was well saved by Redmayne low at his near post. But in the last minute of stoppage time, Ninkovic was brought down by Xavi Torres and Evans pointed to the spot for the third time. Mierzejewski kept his nerve to seal a 2-0 win for the Sky Blues. The Glory are back in action next week when they host Adelaide United Saturday evening at nib Stadium.

Sydney FC:GK Andrew REDMAYNE, 4 Alex WILKINSON, 5 Jordy BUIJS, 6 Josh BRILLANTE, 7 Michael ZULLO, 9 BOBÔ (18 Matt SIMON 87'), 10 Milos NINKOVIC, 13 Brandon O’NEILL, 14 Alex BROSQUE (c), 17 David CARNEY (11 Adrian MIERZEJEWSKI 66'), 26 Luke WILKSHIRE - Subs not used: RGK Tom HEWARD-BELLE, 8 Paulo RETRE, 22 Sebastian RYALL

Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY, 2 Alex GRANT'(6 Mitch NICHOLS 57'), 4 Shane LOWRY, 8 Xavi TORRES, 9 Andy KEOGH (c), 14 Chris HAROLD (19 Joe KNOWLES 69'), 16 Joseph MILLS, 17 Diego CASTRO, 18 Andreu GUERAO (20 Jake BRIMMER 57'), 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Scott NEVILLE - Subs not used: RGK Nick FEELY, 15 Brandon WILSON - Referee: Shaun Evans



Perth Glory have start their 2017-18 Westfield W-League season with a bang, and taking out revenge for last season’s Grand Final defeat with a crushing 4-1 win over Melbourne City at nib Stadium on Friday night. Glory opened the scoring early with Sam Kerr on target, but City hit back just after half time with Kyah Simon levelling things up, but the Glory took over from there with US import Rachel Hill netted a brace and fellow-new recruit Nicola Bolger found the back of the net to seal the comprehensive win.

“There’s nothing more I can ask,” Glory Coach Bobby Despotovski said. “We came here to get three points and we got three points. I’m over the moon. We defended well and we scored four good goals. We didn’t have that many friendlies in the lead up, so I think the players did an extraordinary job tonight.”

The rain clouds were hovering rain the ground at kick off but a big crowd was on hand to watch the opener and the home side made a perfect start after only three minutes. Kerr racing clear from a Nikki Stanton through ball and going one-on-one with City keeper Emily Kenshole and the Matilda’s star finished clinically. City almost hit back seven minutes later, Larissa Crummer’s cross picked out Simon, but the striker blazed over the top.

Glory custodian Melissa Maizels then saved well to deny Yukari Kinga’s close-range header as the game opened up. Costa Rican international Raquel Rodriguez saw her free kick flash wide of the target, before Maizels got down well to save Simon’s powerful shot. The rain hit the ground moments later and Maizels produced a fingertip save to thwart Ashley Hatch shot from the angle, but at the break it was the home side with the advantage.

But three minutes into the second half City leveled, Simon’s was given far too much room and her curling long-range shot flew past Maizels. There was chances at both ends as the game opened up. First the impressive Rodriguez saw a shot flash wide of the post for the hosts, before Kinga’s shot was turned around the post by the alert Maizels. The Glory keeper was in inspired form and she produced her best save of the night on the hour, pushing Simon’s long-range effort around the post.

Kerr was next to go close for the home side, racing clear but her lob was cleared off the line, but on 75 minutes the Glory regained the lead. Hill raced down the right, before cutting inside Alanna Kennedy and curling the ball around Kenshole, much to the delighted of the home faithful. It was 3-1 eight minutes later, Kerr and Hill combining and Bolger made no mistake. Rodriguez looked to get into the scoring, her long-range stung the palms of Kenshole, before Maizels stood tall to deny Hatch.

But in stoppage time the Glory added a fourth, Rodriguez played in Hill, who finished with aplomb to give the Glory a perfect start to the season. Glory skipper Sam Kerr said it was a good performance. “We were under a bit of pressure but I thought we handled it well,” Kerr said. “The only real danger was Hatch down the right side and I thought Tash did a great job on her for 80-90% of the game. Other than our mistakes, I honestly don’t think they put too much through.”

PERTH GLORY: GK Melissa MAIZELS, 2 Sarah CARROLL, 3 Kim CARROLL (6 Danielle BROGAN 89’), 4 Natasha RIGBY, 7 Nicole STANTON, 9 Rachel HILL, 10 Raquel RODRIGUEZ, 11 Nicola BOLGER (8 Shawn BILLAM 84’), 16 Amanda FRISBIE, 17 Marianna TABAIN (12 Shannon MAY 46’), 20 Samantha KERR (C) - Subs not used: RGK Gabrielle DAL BUSCO

MELBOURNE CITY: GK Emily KENSHOLE, 2 Yukari KINGA, 3 Lauren BARNES, 4 Ashley HATCH, 7 Stephanie CATLEY (C), 9 Larissa CRUMMER, 10 Jessica FISHLOCK, 13 Rebekah STOTT, 14 Alanna KENNEDY, 15 Amy JACKSON, 17 Kyah SIMON - Subs not used: RGK Emily SHIELDS, 5 Lia MULDEARY, 11 Rhali DOBSON, 19 Tyla Jay VLAJNIC - Referee: Rachel Mitchenson



Lisa De Vanna will never let herself get too comfortable. Even sitting on a lounge in an apartment high over Bondi, the view across the harbour seeming to go forever, the Matildas’ leading goalscorer is prepared to challenge things.

On the eve of a new W-League season, De Vanna has - not surprisingly - strong views, but also thoughtful views, that reflect the uncompromising style that has allowed her to be successful for so long. This is the first W-League season under a new pay deal trumpeted by all sides as changing the dynamics of women’s football fundamentally.

It’s a good news story, but De Vanna is also concerned to make sure it doesn't have a consequence that no one expects. “Yes and no,” she says after a pause when it’s suggested that this new level of financial resource will automatically lift standards. “I’m very old school. I came from an era where I had to pay, but it made me the player I am. It made me appreciate everything I had as a player.”

“I’m hoping that with the new pay deal, it drives players to be better. I don’t want them to be complacent; to feel that they’ve got their money, that’s what they always wanted. I am happy, it’s great that these conditions have been put in place, but at the same time, I don’t want it to have a negative effect that way.”

“What I’d like the benefit to be is that more girls want to play and want to be a Matilda. Everyone has their own story. I like my story because the struggles and sacrifices that I made, also made me the player I am, the calibre of player and the personality I have. That’s a big thing. If I’d gone through a different channel I might be a different kind of player.”

De Vanna will lead Sydney FC’s attack this year, having won the league previously with three different clubs, and has a fair sense of where the W-League sits internationally. The positive aspect to the upgrade of conditions, to her, is where the competition could rise to. “Coming into the tenth season, with the pay deal we’ve got, there’s no excuses,” she said.

“It’s a fair competition, I wouldn’t say there’s a favourite. Anyone can beat anyone, which is what we want. That creates depth across the league, and benefits the Matildas because it drives competition for places. If we want to be world number one that’s the way to go. If we do it right, who’s to say that the W-League won’t become a major professional opportunity, like in the US, and we get them wanting to come to play here.”

“It’s a big dream, but the better we get the more money comes in, the more sponsors come in. Instead of a three-month competition it could become six months, and as players we’d have less need to go overseas away from family and friends. We could build from here, and make the W-League in its own right a base for our players to develop and grow, just like the NWSL.”



After picking up their first win of the Hyundai A-League season last week against Central Coast Mariners, Perth Glory will be looking for more success when they venture to NSW to take on Champions Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium in the opening round four game on Friday evening.

The 2-1 come-from-behind win was a huge tonic for the Glory boys, and Adam Taggart was the star with an assist and a goal. But they have struggled against the Sky Blues in recent seasons in fact Graham Arnold’s side have won the last five games between the two sides, and scored 18 goals to the Glory’s two, so it’s a huge challenge but one I’m sure Kenny Lowe and his players are looking forward too.

The Glory seem to be running over teams late in games, and they have scored three in the final 15 minutes of games already this season, more than any other team in the competition, but they need to bring their A-Game against the Sydney this week. Which way will Coach Kenny Lowe go? Alex Grant is back in the squad, but does Lowe split up Scott Neville and Shane Lowry, to bring the former Stoke City defender in, or will Neville go back to right back and dis-lodge Jeremy Walker, who has impressed in his two games so far.

Chris Harold and Brandon Wilson also impressed off the bench last week and will be pushing for a role, while Mitch Nichols returns and would fit really nicely in the middle of the park, a few selection headaches for Lowe. Some players had a reduced training loads this week because of the short turnaround from the Mariners game, and striker Andy Keogh wore a protective brace after breaking a bone in a hand when he hit the knee of Mariners defender Antony Golec.

Lowe said the side would not take the direct, aerial approach used against a high-pressing Newcastle defence. “We probably overdid that at the weekend to be truthful. We probably went back-to-front too often,” he said. “Against Sydney you have to be a little more cultured and creative and have a little more craft and guile, but we’ve got that in the locker.”

Lowe is relishing the game and said they can get a result. “They [Sydney FC] were the best team in the country last season and they still are,” he said. “They’re a super team, very well coached and it’ll be a tough game, but one that we’re really, really looking forward to. I love going there. I don’t love getting beaten by them, but it’s a great place to go and they play the game the right way. We’re game and we’re looking forward to it.”

Sydney FC Coach Graham Arnold said they are ready for a big clash. “We need our senior boys to step on Friday, and I’m sure they will,” he said. “We’re playing at the best stadium in the country and in front of our home fans, and I’ve been a bit cranky with the players because were nowhere near where we should be. But I’m expecting we will put in a top performance against the Glory. We will focus on our game, as we know their strengths and we know there weaknesses, and it’s our job to expose their weaknesses.”

The Champions welcome back Adrian Mierzejewski into the midfield, the Polish international has been impressive in the opening two games, but missed last week with a tight hamstring, but is fit for Friday’s clash. Midfielder Brandon O’Neill will be looking for another good game against former club, while Johnny Warren Medal winner Milos Ninkovic is the danger man, stopping him will go a long way to securing the points – Prediction – Sydney FC 1 Perth Glory 1

SYDNEY FC SQUAD – GK Andrew REDMAYNE, GK Tom HEWARD-BELLE, GK Alex CISAK, 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, 22 Sebastian RYALL, 26 Luke WILKSHIRE - *two to be omitted*- Ins: MIERZEJEWSKI (return from injury), CISAK (gk) (promoted) - Outs: Nil

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 Joe 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: GRANT (promoted), NICHOLS (returns from suspension) - Outs: 11 Mitch MALLIA



The Westfield W-League kicks into action this weekend and there is a repeat of last season’s Grand Final when Perth Glory entertain Melbourne City at nib Stadium on Friday evening (7.00pm) Both sides have added depth and quality to their squads with a number of high-profile signings, Perth adding Costa Rican midfielder Raquel 'Rocky' Rodriguez and City welcoming Matildas star Kyah Simon from Sydney FC.

With February's Grand Final heartbreak still well and truly fresh in the memory bank, Bobby Despotovski's talented side will be hoping to take the first step towards a maiden title with a win over one of their main rivals in front of the Glory faithful. “It’s a Grand Final rematch, and it would be great to start with the win,” Despotovski said. “It will be hard task, but the girls and I are looking forward to the challenge. They (Melbourne) are a very good side with lot of good players and good coach so for us to get anything out of this game we have to be at our absolute best.”

Despotovski said it’s great to be at home in the season opener and he hopes many supporters get down to watch the side and their new imports. “Yes it is great to be able to play on the best stadium and best surface in Australia, we’re looking forward to it,” he said. “We have three new players from USA and few players that come back to Perth and couple from Sydney, it’s a very good blend of talent all across the park, yes It will take little time to gel, but so far it has been good.”

Glory’s Sam Kerr has been on fire for the Matilda’s and her American club, Sky Blue FC, but she is looking forward to the game, but knows it will be a tough game. "City are a great team, but it’s a new season, so I’m assuming the first ten minutes will be a bit hectic, but after that, it’ll settle,” Kerr said. “They’re a footballing team, we’re a footballing team and I honestly think whoever shows up on the night will win. I don’t think there’s much between us."

Perth Glory squad: GK Gabby DAL BUSCO, GK Melissa MAIZELS, 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*- Unavailable: Nil

Melbourne City FC squad: GK Emily SHIELDS, GK Emily KENSHOLE, 2 Yukari KINGA, 3 Lauren BARNES, 4 Ashley HATCH, 5 Lia MULDEARY, 7 Steph CATLEY (c), 9 Larissa CRUMMER, 10 Jess FISHLOCK, 11 Rhali DOBSON, 13 Rebekah STOTT, 14 Alanna KENNEDY, 15 Amy JACKSON, 16 Sofia SAKALIS, 17 Kyah SIMON, 18 Hayley RICHMOND, 19 Tyla-JAY VLAJNIC - *two to be omitted* - Unavailable: 1.Lydia WILLIAMS (unavailable)



Some elite athletes are uncomfortable with the idea that they should serve as idols or even role models for children. Sam Kerr welcomes it, not that she has much say in the matter. Unshackled from the injuries that threatened to end her career, Kerr reached new heights this year.

After being pipped in last season’s W-League Grand Final by Melbourne City, Kerr flew to the United States to play for Sky Blue FC in the National Women’s Soccer League. There she broke the league’s scoring record and was named most valuable player, adding the award to her W-League MVP honour from earlier in the year.

But for all of the money and fame of the NSWL, it means little to Kerr compared with the semi-professional W-League. “I’ve got no connection to the club over there other than I play there,” Kerr said. “Here it’s so much deeper than that. I grew up watching Perth Glory.”

In August, she helped the Matildas win the first Tournament of Champions, scoring two goals in the final against Brazil. The Brazilians were wary of Kerr when they arrived last month. They played two friendlies, Kerr scored three times.

The adversity Kerr has overcome and lessons she learnt from her brother, former West Coast Eagle Daniel, helped her harness her athleticism and skill. “I still have times when I turn off from football and hang out with my friends,” she said. “I don’t think my brother did that so at the end of his career he just kind of went bang.”

A quick browse through social media shows there are girls all over the world who daydream about being Sam Kerr. If that helps grow the game, she is all for it. “People always ask me who my childhood hero was and my answers are always male athletes, so I think it’s cool that young girls growing up have female athletes now,” she said.

Kerr said she had learnt relationships made in sport were more important than the games. “If I’m known for anything at the end of my career, I’d rather be known as a better person than a better footballer,” she said. Kerr will lead her beloved Glory out onto Perth Oval again in this evening’s W-League opener against Melbourne City.



Mitch Nichols is ready to repay the faith shown by Perth Glory to him, if he plays his first game of his second spell with the club in Friday’s game against Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium. The midfielder has finished his Football Federation Australia ban after being caught with cocaine during a random drug sweep at a Sydney nightclub earlier this year.

The 28-year-old, who also had spells at Brisbane Roar, Melbourne Victory was on the verge of a move to Europe after being released by Western Sydney Wanderers, but had to rethink his options and Glory stepped in with a two-year deal, and the Queenslander is looking to show they made the right choice.

Nichols, who has won five caps for the Socceroos, said after signing that he owed Glory for giving him a chance and wanted to pay them back, and he is in the squad for the trip east. Glory coach Kenny Lowe was keeping team selection close to his chest, and would not say whether he would start. “

Definitely, he’ll be involved definitely, he’s a quality player, and you want quality players involved. I haven’t got the bingo balls out. I haven’t picked the team,” he said. “He’ll get some part of the game I’m sure. He’s just a very good footballer, he’s intelligent, understands the game, he knows the game upside down and he adds to us, he’ll be great for us I’m sure.”



ECU Joondalup have signed Adam Tong for season 2018. The big defender heads to the campus from Inglewood United and he said it’s a good move for him. “It’s a great pleasure to sign for ECU, and after speaking to Dale, the coaching staff and committee it’s a great opportunity for myself to make the transition from Inglewood and help the Jacks to move forward after last year’s disappointment of not make my top four,” he said. “ECU have some great players and hopefully I can come into the squad and try and use my experience on some of the younger players.”

Tong enjoyed his time at Inglewood and thanked them for the opportunity, but after speaking to head Coach Andy Keogh he knew it was the time to move on. “Speaking with Andy he couldn’t promise me game time so I thought it was my time to move on,” he said. “The club and lads have been great about it as I really enjoyed my time there, and it’s now a new chapter in my football career.”

The big defender played for FC United and Burscough FC in the UK, before heading to Perth and playing for Balcatta, Bayswater and Inglewood over the last nine seasons, but he is looking forward to playing at the campus. “I’m 35 now but still fit and mobile, and I’m looking to get back in early for pre-season and build a good dressing room with the existing characters that are here,” he said. “With the injuries ECU had last season it would be hard for any team to get results, but we are hoping to keep everyone fit and have a better start this year and there aim would be top four again which I’m hoping with the squad so far they can do that.”

Head coach Dale McCulloch said the signing of Tong is the first of their targets. “We’re delighted to have signed Adam, a great pro and a good bloke to boot,” he said. “He will give us a huge presence at the back and will be handy at set-pieces. Adam came up for a chat and said all the right things and is an ambitious player, and were really happy to have him at our club.”



Socceroos boss Ange Postecoglou has welcomed Mile Jedinak back into his preliminary 30-man squad for the upcoming crucial World Cup qualifier against Honduras. Postecoglou will give Jedinak, Australia’s spiritual leader and the coaches on-field lieutenant, every chance of proving his fitness for next month's home-and-away tie.

Bolters Matthew Jurman and Nikita Rukavytsya have retained their places in the squad after impressing in this month’s win over Syria. Rukavytsya is one of four West Australian’s in the squad, joining goalkeeper Mark Birighitti and defensive pair Trent Sainsbury and Josh Risdon.

The Australia squad to play Honduras is Mustafa Amini (Aarhus), Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Mark Birighitti (NAC Breda), Tim Cahill (Melbourne City), Milos Degenek (Yokohama Marinos), Alex Gersbach (Rosenborg), Craig Goodwin (Sparta Rotterdam), Ajdin Hrustic (Gronigen), Jackson Irvine (Burton Albion), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), James Jeggo (Sturm Graz), Tomi Juric (Luzern), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Bluewings), Robbie Kruse (Bochum), Mitchell Langerak (Stuttgart), Mathew Leckie (Hertha BSC), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers), Ryan McGowan (Al Sharjah), Awer Mabil (Pacos de Ferreira), Jamie Maclaren (Darmstadt), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers), Tom Rogic (Celtic), Nikita Rukavytsya (Maccabi Haifa), Mathew Ryan (Brighton and Hove Albion), Trent Sainsbury (Jiangsu Suning), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory), Daniel Vukovic (Genk) and Bailey Wright (Bristol City).



The standard of Australia's W-League is close to drawing level with the USA National Women's Soccer League, according to Matildas star Sam Kerr. And she's well placed to judge. Kerr last week added to the W-League 2016/17 player of the season award by claiming its United States equivalent, after she shot to the top of the National Women's Soccer League's all-time goal-scoring lists with Sky Blue FC.

Kerr has returned home to help kick off the 10th W-League season for Perth Glory on Friday in a grand final re-match against defending premiers Melbourne City. And while Kerr has long regarded the overall standard of professionalism at Australian clubs higher than elsewhere, she believes it's now starting to show more specifically on the field as well.

"It's right up there," Kerr said. "The only difference is that everyone is full-time professional in the (US) national league which obviously gives the quality a bit of a boost. But I think the quality here is right there. I always say the teams that make the top four - Melbourne City, Perth Glory - we would compete in the NWSL. So I think we're right there."

Melbourne will again start favourites to claim their third straight title but be challenged by the likes of Sydney FC who have recruited Matildas' all-time leading goalscorer Lisa De Vanna, while Canberra United have signed English defender Laura Bassett. The W-League inched closer to professionalism this year with its first collective bargaining agreement for players, ensuring minimum season payments of $10,000.

In her ninth W-League season, Kerr said she is now seeing overseas players stand up and take notice of Australia's domestic competition. "A lot of people look at this league now and take it very seriously," she said. "In the first few years people came out for a little bit of a holiday to come see Australia. But I know that a lot of the girls in the US now are fighting for spots here - there's only four."



Perth Glory captain Andy Keogh says his side is full of confidence despite this afternoon's unconvincing 2-1 win over Central Coast Mariners. Glory needed two goals inside the final 20 minutes, from Keogh and Adam Taggart, to edge a Central Coast line-up that dominated possession 57% to 43% and opened the scoring through Wout Brama.

"I think a win like this breeds confidence," Keogh said. "They outplayed us for the first half hour. We were chasing shadows. To come away with three points after that, it gives us great confidence. It shows what good team spirit we have and belief. We'll keep working hard and the points will come our way."

Keogh acknowledged Central Coast made Glory work for their first win of the season. "It's the first win of the season, that's the most important thing," Keogh said. "Fair play to Central Coast, they played some good football. They made us work for those three points."

Keogh defended Glory's sluggish performance, stating they did creating some chances. "We created chances today, Tags had a couple in the first half, I had a couple in the second half," he said. "We are getting in behind defences ... with a bit more sharpness and match fitness we'll be a little bit more lethal."



Rising star Danny De Silva admitted it would be an emotional homecoming when he lines up at Perth Oval today for the first time since leaving Perth Glory in 2015. Tempted by a romantic return to the A-League after leaving Dutch club Roda JC, De Silva's decision to reunite with his former Young Socceroos mentor Paul Okon has been justified if last week’s eye-catching display against Western Sydney Wanderers is a guide.

The De Silva clan will be torn today with many of his family and friends still supporting Glory, where he played 33 games and scored three goals. But Landsdale-raised De Silva, who debuted for Glory almost five years ago at the age of 15, said there would be little room for sentiment when the whistle blew. “It’s the club where I started my professional career, I’ve got a lot of respect for them for giving me the opportunity,” De Silva said.

“But I’m at the Mariners now and hoping we’ll get the three points. I’m excited by the game and really looking forward to going out there and go back to where it started. I’m not sure where my family and friends will be sitting, maybe they’ll be spread. A lot of them still support Glory, maybe some of them will sit in neutral territory.”

De Silva, 20, is unsure whether he will celebrate if he scores against Glory, but was chuffed with last week’s effort that was topped by a stunning goal on the end of a lung-bursting 70-metre run. “I’m coming to play. I’ll want to try and score again, which is the best feeling in a game. But I’ve got no idea, it may depend on the type of goal I score. We just need to win,” he said.

“It was good (to score against Western Sydney), a bit of a confidence boost to come early in the season and hopefully kick on from there. I’ve worked on my fitness, so to be able to make that run and score is a great feeling. As a number 10 my job is to score goals and make assists and help the team win as many games as possible. I feel like there are very good players around me and we have a good environment to help me thrive.”



Australian football is littered with stories of young players forced to return home with their tail between their legs after an unsuccessful shot at trying to make a success of a club career overseas. The lucky ones get a chance in the A-League, others find their way into the lower leagues at state level while some disappear off the radar, never to be seen again.

Then there are the few who are not prepared to wither and die on the vine and have the determination and drive to continue to chase their dream no matter the obstacles put in front of them. Falling into that latter category is Perth Glory’s immensely talented striker Adam Taggart, who struck some dynamic early-season goalscoring form with a brace in last week’s 2-2 draw at Newcastle Jets.

Fitter, stronger and with his body in much better shape, 24-year old Taggart is ready to make an impact in the national competition and, hopefully, set himself up for another tilt at Europe. “I don’t think about it every day because I need to focus on my job with Perth, but going back to ­Europe is definitely at the back of the mind,” Taggart told ‘the Weekend Australian’.

“I love my hometown club and the lifestyle in Australia, but I know how special it is to be involved at European and international level and I want to see how far I can go with my career. I want to challenge myself at every level. My last move to Europe was a lot more difficult due to injuries, without doubt, and who knows what would have happened (had he stayed injury free), but I am still motivated as ever.”

“I didn’t come back here to be comfortable and live a nice life at home. I came back for the right reasons, to get my body right, to try and win something for my hometown and to get a move to Europe again. Some people don’t know the full story or understand what it’s like (over there), but it doesn’t bother me. I know within my mind exactly what I am going to do, and that is to improve.”

“Last time I went, I went blindfolded so now I at least have an understanding and know the level. I am not frightened or scared off. It is a massive target, but I know how you get there ... by performing every week, by being better the next day at training and by putting pressure on yourself.”

Taggart certainly showed signs he was back on track with Glory last season, after returning from the United Kingdom where he played seven games while on loan to Scottish club Dundee United after failing to get on the field for Fulham. Despite picking up an injury, he managed 12 goals for Glory and was reasonably happy with the ­return.

“Last season wasn’t too bad coming off two injury-plagued seasons, but I am never happy. If I score 30 goals (in a season), then I want to score 31 the next ... I am an idiot like that,” he said with a laugh. “It’s the way I’ve always been. I want to do something for my hometown, I am extra motivated for that. I love putting that pressure on myself.”

Taggart, who played for Australia on seven occasions, also wants to revitalise his national team career. “Playing for the Socceroos is one of the biggest honours you can have. I’ve had a taste of it and playing in the World Cup has only fuelled my intense desire to be part of it again,” he said. “But first things first. It is about Perth Glory and how I can help them.”



Dean Evans was rewarded for an outstanding season at Floreat Athena by taking out the clubs Fairest and Best Award in the clubs’ recent presentation evening. The midfielder beat fellow WA State representative Jesse Fuller to the award and said he was delighted to win the trophy. “It was a great honour to win the 2017 B&F award in only my first full season at the club,” he said. “I feel I had a pretty consistent year without any injuries so was proud of my efforts but there were also a couple of consistent performers for us this season that could have won the award.

“Individual awards are always nice but would swap it for a league trophy any time of the year.”

Evans said it was a disappointing end to the season, and he hopes they can push on in 2018. “I think in the end we under achieved, especially after such a strong first half of the season being top of the league at the half way point,” he explained. “It was a bit unfortunate to have some poor results and end up missing the top four on goal difference. Our squad wasn't as big as the other top four sides which I think ended up playing a part in where we finished in the league.”

President Dimitrios Thomas said Evans was a worthy winner. “Dean showed a commitment and dedication to the competition and Floreat Athena in 2017, and he is a very worthy recipient of our Fairest and Best title,” he said. “His exceptional skills and talent shone throughout the season and exemplary leadership qualities guided and unified our team. He's been an asset to our club and very well-liked and respected. He polled 29 votes in the Football West Player of the year Award which is a reflection of the year that he had, and I'm looking forward to Dean leading our club into the 2018 season.”

“I’d also like to give a special mention to both Jesse Fuller and Jackson Morgan. Jesse won our runner up and also had a fantastic season, and he played many games out of position when needed and was rewarded with a state team berth. Jackson won our Troy Bernard Young player of the year and showed maturity beyond his years, and I'm sure he'll go on to bigger and better things.”

Thomas said the club are looking forward to 2018 and said they learned lessons last season. “In summarising our 2017 season we had a relatively small squad and even though we led the ladder for many weeks throughout the season once injuries to key players start to appear it makes it hard to sustain that pace,” he said. “On the plus side we had six boys from our u/20's make their league debut which holds the club in good stead.

“Together with the above mentioned and players of the caliber of Ludo Boi, Jon Stynes, and the Saldaris Brothers and so on, the club is looking forward to being one of the leading clubs once again in 2018.” In other awards on the night Benjamin Meier won the under 18’s Fairest and Best, with Amos Gama the runner-up, while Sam Losondo won the Golden Boot . Joe Tweats won the under 20’s Fairest and Best, with Juma Awaka the runner-up, Awaka also won the Golden Boot in the 20’s.



Balcatta FC midfielder Jonathan Corness is the clubs Most Valuable Player for 2017, after their presentation night at the Rendezvous Hotel Perth Scarborough. Corness overcame runner-up Carmello Giufre, and Coaches award winner Daniel Hepworth to win the top award and said it was a great honour to go back-to-back. “It was a real privilege to win Balcatta's MVP award on its 40th anniversary and go two in a row, I want to keep improving my game and this is a nice boost for my confidence,” he explained.

“It was a tough season for the club no doubt, but a new coaching staff and a lot of new players joined us so it was somewhat of a transitional year, but we always give 100% and receive great support back from the club. One of the best moments was winning our final home game against Mandurah in front of a big crowd and a whole heap of junior players, so we look forward to a new season and I'm certain we can turn things around next year.”

Head of the Football Department Gabriele Valentini said Corness was a deserved winner and a great contributor to the side last season. “Jon was a consistent performer, in what was a disappointing season for our senior team, and is a deserved winner,” he said. “Jon is generally quiet by nature, but leads by example, in the way he approaches and applies himself, for each and every game. He is an underrated talent within our NPL, and we look forward to Jon, being a big part of a successful 2018 season, for Balcatta FC.”

In other winners on the night Abbas Alshaikh won the under 20’s MVP, with Giordano Serra the runner-up, Serra also picked up the Coach’s Award. Mitchell Norman won the under 18’s MVP, with Liam Petley the runner-up, Jake Seymour won the Coaches Award and Tyler Uglow won the Luke Beyer Rising Star Award. In the Women’s team Ellie La Monte won the MVP, with Monique Gooding the runner-up, while Cassandra Harvey won the Coaches Award. Monique D’Opera won the Reserves MVP, with Suzan Tong the runner-up and Katherine Pattillo won the Coaches Award.



Nathan Smith capped a fantastic season at Subiaco by taking out the clubs Fairest and Best Award at their recent awards night. Smith pipped runner-up defender Alex Castiello and Players Player of the Season David Perich to win the top award, and he said it was a shock. “I didn't expect it at all to be honest, but I'm extremely humbled and honoured to win the award and it tops off a great season for the club overall,” he explained. “I thought overall the improvement from our first game to our last game was very impressive. We recruited heavily in the off season and once the boys gelled together and our understanding increased with each other the results followed. We'll be looking to improve our results on the pitch even more next season and this season gives us a great platform to build off.”

Subiaco Coach Ian McMurray said Smith was a great recruit and was worthy winner. “Nathan was a great signing for us this season, and he was tremendous for us all year, a very consistent and steady player who very rarely put a foot wrong. On top of that he scored a few goals from left back which was great to see,” he said. “He is a quiet lad who never complains and always gives 100% in training and on match day. A great achievement for him and thoroughly deserved, and our squad and I have no doubt he will be determined to go one better next year.”

It was a great season for David Perich, and after a year away from the game the midfielder came back with a bang and was the runner-up in the Football West Gold Medal count, and he said the side improved with each game. “Winning the Players Player award - It is always a great feeling to have your teammates think you performed for the team. I think the most satisfying part is that it shows I made it through a full season without my legs completely falling apart,” he joked. “Even though I missed the entire pre-season with an injury and had a couple of little injuries over the season it was the first time 4 years that I've been able to play to the level I've thought I could. 2 years ago I couldn't run for 10 months so I was happy just to be back playing in the NPL.

“We obviously performed far above the expectations many people had for us and even the goals we had for ourselves at the beginning of the year. I think in the first game of the year we had 6 or 7 players who hadn't even played a friendly together. There were signs of good football in those early games, but it obviously took the team a long while to build cohesion. We also had a really young team and Macca and Laurence did a great job early in the season keeping the team positive and building towards something. We signed a few more players in the middle of the season who added quality but also just fit well into the team and structure. We only lost four games in the second half of season which would have put us in fourth if we'd played like that for the whole year. That is a pretty positive sign for the next year.”

McMurray said Perich was outstanding once he got his injuries sorted. “Dave had a tremendous season for us, even though he had a foot injury at the start of the season which held him back, but once he overcame that he improved each week, and a runners-up spot in the Gold Medal proves that,” he explained. “He is very professional and all the players (young ones especially) look up to him and respect him which was shown with him picking up the clubs players player award. He has been a great addition to our squad and I have no doubt he will be determined to go one better next year.” In other awards from the night Nic Specca won the 18’s Fairest and Best and also the players Player of the Year award, with Robbie Harding the runner-up in the F&B. Mat Clark won the under 20’s Fairest and Best, with Ger Fitzgerald the Players Player of the Year, with Ross Jarmen winning the Young Player of the Year.



Daniel De Silva is hoping coach Paul Okon and Central Coast Mariners can get him a route back to the Socceroos as soon as possible. After a lightning start to his A-League return with a blistering performance against Western Sydney Wanderers last weekend, the 20-year old attacker is wasting no time pinpointing his next ambition.

And he is even eyeing up the upcoming crucial World Cup clashes against Honduras to make his green and gold debut. Although he's yet to get his first Socceroos cap, he's already appeared for the Olyroos, Young Socceroos and Joeys, with four goals to his name. And he's hoping he can now impress enough to get into consideration for next month's matches.

"Working with Paolo in the younger national teams, I know he believes in me," said De Silva, who will line up against former club Perth Glory on Sunday. "And I believe in him as a coach, and the way that he wants us to play. It's a footballing way and it's a successful way and I think he's doing a really great job with the team so far."

"I think any Australian footballer wants to play in the Socceroos. Obviously they have a couple of important games coming up before the World Cup so for sure it's an ambition of mine. To just keep performing well for the Mariners - that's my first priority ... and then if an opportunity comes from doing that then I'll be very grateful."



Perth Glory play their first home game of the Hyundai A-League season on Sunday when they entertain Central Coast Mariners at nib Stadium (4.00pm) Kenny Lowe’s side are still looking for the first win of the new season, but he will take heart from a battling undermanned performance last week at Newcastle, when an Adam Taggart brace earned them a 2-2 draw.

That point was even better with injuries hitting the squad ahead of the game, with Shane Lowry, Alex Grant and Spanish import Andreu Guerao all unable to travel to the East Coast, and with Mitch Nicolas suspended and Daniel Stynes, Joel Chianese and Marc Warren all out with long term injuries, it was a real backs to the wall performance from the Glory boys, and they also had chances to win it, with former Glory custodian Jack Duncan producing a stunning save to deny Taggart a hat-trick.

New signings Jeremy Walker and Mitch Mallia were rushed into the side as cover and both put in good shifts, with Walker really impressing at right back, while Mallia, although subbed at half time, showed what he could do further up the field. Brandon Wilson came into midfield and put in a good 90 minutes, while off the bench Chris Harold and Jake Brimmer proved their worth.

It will be interesting to see which way Lowe goes on Sunday, does he rush back his experienced central defensive partnership of Lowry and Grant, or does he go in unchanged, one things for sure the coach is looking forward to playing at home and Lowe expects this will boost the confidence of his squad, he has also seen a higher level of determination when playing away. “I think so, air miles are going through the roof at the moment,” he said.

“[We’re] looking forward to going home – we’re a little bit short on players at the moment [with] a few knocks and niggles – but it’s a great result for us, gives us real confidence. We could have pinched something last week at Western Sydney [but] it wasn’t to be, but we definitely deserved something today. It shows the levels of our fitness…that we can actually in the first two games away from home with all the travel, is that we’ve kind of run over teams. That bodes well when we’ve got a very young squad out there.”

Former Glory defender Antony Golec says that the Mariners are full of confidence heading into Sunday’s game in the west. "It always is a homecoming when you're playing an ex-club," Golec said. "I've got nothing to prove to anyone, so I'm going to go out and do what I do best and what's best for the team. But I'm going there for business and that's to get the three points, that's all that matters.

“Kenny's a good coach, he's got a lot of experience, and he knows what he wants. Perth are a good side, they're hard to beat. "He's got some quality players in there so they will be tough to beat. But we've got a lot of quality players as well so it's going to come down to us turning up and doing what we have to do and know we can do. For us we have to stick to what we're good at and hopefully it comes off and we can run away with the three points.”

Perth Glory squad: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY, 2 Alex GRANT, 4 Shane LOWRY, 5 Jacob POSCOLIERO, 8 Xavi TORRES, 9 Andy KEOGH (c), 11 Mitch MALLIA, 14 Chris HAROLD, 15 Brandon WILSON, 16 Joe MILLS, 17 Diego CASTRO, 19 Joe KNOWLES, 20 Jake BRIMMER, 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Scott NEVILLE, 26 Jacob ITALIANO, 29 Jeremy WALKER - *two to be omitted*- Ins: GRANT (returns from injury), LOWRY (returns from injury) - Unavailable: 3 Marc WARREN (ankle 9-12 weeks), 6 Mitch NICHOLS (suspended – 1 week), 25 Daniel STYNES (hamstring 9 weeks), 7 Joel CHIANESE (collar bone – 9 weeks), 18 Andreu GUERAO (hamstring – 1 week)

Central Coast Mariners squad: GK Ben KENNEDY, GK Tom GLOVER, 2 Storm ROUX, 3 Josh ROSE, 4 Jake McGING, 5 Antony GOLEC, 6 Tom HIARIEJ, 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, 23 Wout BRAMA, 24 Lachlan WALES - *two to be omitted* - Ins: BUHAGIAR (promoted), BERRY (promoted), WALES (promoted) - Outs: 7 Andrew HOOLE (suspended – 1 week)



Perth Glory Women is delighted to confirm that American forward Rachel Hill has been added to the squad for the 2017/18 W-League season. The 22-year old enjoyed a stellar college career, scoring a remarkable 61 goals in 89 games for the University of Connecticut before joining Orlando Pride earlier this year.

Hill made an instant impact at Orlando by finding the net eight times in just 15 appearances to help fire the club to the National Women's Soccer League semi-finals, where they were eliminated by Portland Thorns. A United States Under-20 and Under-23 international, Hill is comfortable operating anywhere across the front third.

“Rachel is a talented young striker with a high work rate and we feel that she can help take some of the goalscoring burden off Sam Kerr’s shoulders,” Glory Women coach Bobby Despotovski said. “With the strengths that she has, our system should really suit her and we’re really pleased to have her on board.”

“Sam (Kerr) will also be away at times during the season with the Matildas, so we’ll need cover and Rachel will certainly help provide that.” Hill is set to join her new team-mates later this week as the countdown to the start of the new season, which commences with a home clash with Melbourne City on Friday 27th October, continues.



Matilda's attacker Sam Kerr lavished praise on her teammates after beating a star-studded field to win the major award at last night’s Women in Sport awards in Sydney. 24-year old Kerr has enjoyed a stunning year which has included winning the W-League's Julie Dolan Medal and top scorer in United States' National Women's Soccer League.

Kerr also scored a hat-trick in a 4-2 win over Japan during Australia's triumph at the Tournament of Nations in the USA in July and August. “I’m very grateful that I’m part of such a great team as the Matildas,” she said after accepting the award. “I couldn’t ask for a better team to be part of.”

Kerr fended off Sally Pearson (hurdles), Britt Cox (mogul skiing), Isis Holt (para-athlete), Emma Mckeon (swimming) and Rhiannan Iffland (high diving) to win the award. The Matildas were also recognised, winning the A-Team award following a strong mid-year effort in which they won the prestigious Tournament of Nations, and a home series against Brazil.



Sydney FC midfielder Brandon O'Neill has laughed off Brendan Hamill's claims that playing this weekends' derby will be like a home game for Western Sydney Wanderers. The Sydney rivals meet on Saturday night at Allianz Stadium, where the Sky Blues are unbeaten in the past five derbies.

Hamill said playing at Allianz would be akin to a home game for Western Sydney, claiming there was a 60-40 split in support in favour of Western Sydney. O'Neill ignored those claims, labelling Allianz as their 'fortress' and pointing out Sydney's record at the ground where they were undefeated last season, winning 12 out of 15 A-League home games.

"Allianz is our home. It's where we play our best football," O'Neill said. "I think it's a fortress for us. We have our fans there every single week making sure we put in a good performance and get the win. We've proven that this season and the fans are a massive help for us."



Socceroo Josh Risdon says little will change for Australia’s players should coach Ange Postecoglou exit his post, based on his experience following Tony Popovic’s departure from Western Sydney Wanderers. Risdon was part of the squad during Australia’s World Cup play-off against Syria last week, starting the first leg 1-1 draw.

Risdon made his A-League debut on Saturday for Western Sydney under interim coach Hayden Foxe, less than a fortnight after Popovic quit to take up a club post in Turkey. Popovic’s resignation on the eve of the season has many similarities to Postecoglou, who has been linked with Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua, despite the looming 2018 World Cup.

Risdon said regardless of whether Postecoglou stays or goes after the Honduras tie, it wouldn’t affect the players. “I don’t think it changes too much,” Risdon said. “Like what happened the week before (at Western Sydney), all the (Socceroos) players are reaching towards the one goal and that’s to make the World Cup. Whoever is there after, I don’t think it’ll change too much.”

Risdon also said he felt Postecoglou wasn’t fazed by having to qualify via the play-offs, despite reports that the constant criticism aimed at him had led to his alleged decision to leave. “I don’t think he was too stressed about the games coming up,” Risdon said.

“He actually really enjoyed it. It’s four more competitive games to get us ready for the World Cup. I think we will qualify. Getting them out of the way will be nice to make sure we’re there. (I’m) really looking forward to those next two qualifiers, hopefully we can get through.”

Risdon’s own position in the squad isn’t assured, having four caps to date and been in and out of Postecoglou’s line-ups. The 25-year-old defender’s call-up for the two-legged Syria play-offs came as a surprise, with the A-League out of season.

“I think it’s important I play well here for the Wanderers,” he said. “Ange looks at how you’re playing at club level. It’s really important I keep my momentum going and put in some good performances over the next few games so I can get back in the squad for those next qualifiers.”



Ryan Edwards says it is time for the on-field actions of Partick Thistle’s players to speak louder than their words off it. The West Australian midfielder has been mystified by the drop in performance levels from Thistle over the last two games, and particularly with the lack of a reaction from the defeat at Motherwell in Saturday’s loss to Kilmarnock.

Edwards believes that it is unacceptable for the Jags to raise their game against the bigger sides in the league only to drop their standards for matches against teams of a similar stature. “We spoke about getting a reaction and it didn’t happen,” Edwards said. “It’s all well and good saying we performed well against the bigger sides, but we needed to continue with those intensity levels and desire against the other teams too.”

“It’s one thing to raise your game against a Celtic or a Rangers, but we have to do that throughout the whole season against teams we need to be beating. You want the win so desperately, but we seemed to drop the intensity, and mentally we have to stay strong. We keep saying we’ve had these bad starts before and we can get out of it, but it’s up to us to make sure it comes right in the end rather than just waiting for it to happen.”

“We’re all ready to fight. We’re in a relegation scrap now with the way we’ve started. On the face of it, this is the best squad Thistle have had for a long time, but again, it’s all well and good saying that, we have to put what we are saying into action on the pitch and really up our game … we as players need to stand up and say that this isn’t good enough. We have to be better, it is as simple as that.”

Edwards is honest enough to admit that all of the Thistle players, himself included, have been way off the standards they have set themselves. “It’s difficult to hit the nail on the head as to what is going wrong,” he said. “When we’re performing well there are eight or nine players all on form, but at the minute we’ve got 10 or 11 players who aren’t in good form. We have to stay positive and keep going.”

The need for the Thistle players to pull their socks up and get some points on the board could hardly be more pressing if they want to avoid becoming detached at the foot of the table, with games against Dundee and Hamilton in the next week. “The manager and Scotty (Paterson) both said today that we have all mulled over it on Sunday, and now it is a new week,” he said. “We don’t forget about it, we learn from it, and move on.”

“The game this week is another massive one, and is even bigger for us now. We don’t want to get cut adrift … I think four points is a realistic target from the next two, but we will aim for six. We have a home game and that’s one we really need to win, then we go to Hamilton which is always difficult. We have to get some points on the board as quickly as possible.”



2017 Amateur League Premier Division winners Wembley Downs have declined an invitation to join the State League Division Two next season. As state amateur champions, the club had earned the right for promotion into the semi-professional competition. However, Wembley Downs at this stage feels it's not ready to make the move, "The committee feels that at this point in time, it is not in the best interests of the club to accept promotion and that our Amateur Firsts and Reserves will continue to play in the Amateur Premier League for season 2018", read a club statement. This means Shamrock Rovers Perth, who would have been relegated to the amateurs, will continue in the State League next season.



Striker Adam Taggart returned to his former club and scored a double which gave an undermanned Perth Glory a 2-2 draw against Newcastle Jets in their Round 2 clash at McDonald Jones Stadium. Missing a host of players due to injury and suspension, the point was more impressive, and Taggart gave Glory the lead after just eight minutes. But Roy O'Donovan levelled things up with his fourth goal of the season before the break, and Ronald Vargas then fired the hosts in front on the hour-mark. But Glory weren’t to be denied and two minutes into stoppage time, Taggart's powerful header earned them a deserved share of the spoils.

“After all the disruption of having three players drop out through injury on the day of travel, I thought we did really well,” Glory Coach Kenny Lowe said. “When you look at it, we had two one-on-ones with Diego Castro and Chris Harold, plus Taggart’s header that Jack Duncan did incredibly well to save, so we might even have come away with all three points instead of the one. We came home really strongly in the last half-hour, just as we did against Western Sydney the week before and that’s a testament to how hard the lads worked in pre-season.”

Lowe made three changes to the side that lost the opening game, with Shane Lowry out injured, and Chris Harold and Jake Brimmer dropping to the bench. In came Brendon Wilson, and new signings Jeremy Walker and Mitch Mallia were both given debuts, while 16-year-old scholarship player Jacob Italiano was named on the bench. It was the Jets who went close to the opener after only three minutes, Vargas’ shot was well saved by Liam Reddy. But on eight minutes Glory hit the front, Diego Castro's cross from the right was superbly finished by Taggart.

The Jets looked to hit back but Glory we’re defending well and almost doubled their advantage on 25 minutes. Mallia picked out Castro, who raced in on goal, but the Spanish maestro delayed his shot Nigel Boogaard got back to clear the danger. It was a huge let off for the home side, but five minutes later the Jets found the equaliser. Vargas sent Andrew Nabbout away down the left and his low cross was swept home from close range by O’Donovan, much to the delight of the big home crowd. The home side should have gone into the sheds with the lead, when a great ball into the box picked out Daniel Georgievski, but with the goal at his mercy the former Melbourne Victory defender blazed over the top.

Lowe brought on Harold at the break to replace debutant Mallia, who had impressed, but it was the Jets who went close early, Dimitri Petratos’ shot from the edge of the box flashed over the top, before Nabbout’s close-range effort failed to find the target. But on the hour the Jets went ahead. Petratos’ free kick was headed onto the post by former Glory defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley, and Vargas was on hand to bundle the ball home from close-range. Reddy kept his side in the game two minutes later, saving well to deny Petratos, but Glory weren’t out of this one and Taggart sent Harold in on goal, but former Glory keeper Jack Duncan stood tall to deny him.

Then on 78 minutes Harold picked out Taggart whose header looked destined for the top corner but Duncan produced a stunning one handed save to thwart the Glory striker. Harold then went in the book after he was given a yellow card for simulation by referee Shaun Evans, when he fell under a challenge from Steven Ugarkovic, but replays showed there was contact. Glory continued to press and two minutes into the five minutes of stoppage time they were rewarded with the equaliser. Harold made space on the left and whipped in a teasing cross, and Taggart lost his marker and headed home superbly to restore parity and give the Glory a hard earned point.

Match Details

Newcastle Jets: GK Jack DUNCAN, 4 Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5 Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6 Steven UGARKOVIC, 7 Dimitri PETRATOS, 8 Ronald VARGAS (10 Wayne BROWN 72'), 9 Roy O’DONOVAN, 13 Ivan VUJICA (22 Lachlan JACKSON 81'), 15 Andrew NABBOUT (24 Joe CHAMPNESS 76'), 17 Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 44 Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY - Subs not used: RGK Glen MOSS, 16 Nick COWBURN

Perth Glory: GK Liam REDDY (GK), 5 Jacob POSCOLIERO (20 Jake BRIMMER 65'), 8 Xavi TORRES, 9 Andy KEOGH (c), 11 Mitch MALLIA (14 Chris HAROLD 46'), 15 Brandon WILSON, 16 Joseph MILLS, 17 Diego CASTRO, 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Scott NEVILLE, 29 Jeremy WALKER - Subs not used: RGK Nick FEELY, 19 Joe KNOWLES, 26 Jacob ITALIANO - Referee: Shaun Evans



Niccolo Sabatini was rewarded was a super 2017 season in the PS4NPLWA, by winning the Perth Soccer Club ‘Fairest and Best’ Award at the clubs recent presentation night at Dorrien Gardens. The flying Italian pipped Brazilian striker Gustavo Catarcione on the night, and he was delighted to win the prestigious award, but said the rest of the players also deserve credit. “It’s been an honour for me to win the club fairest and best award, he said. “But I want to share it with the whole team and thank the boys to making me feel welcome at the club.”

Sabatini, who joined the club from Sorrento, also went on to play for the State team in the Tri-Series games, and he said it was a great first up season at the club and he said the young players will be better for the game time they got this season. “Last season for Perth SC has been a bit unlucky, but very positive for the club,” he explained. “In fact the team is made by many young lads who gained experience during the past season, and surely will secure a spot in the first positions of the ranking for the season coming.

“We finished the season well, but we have given away too many points due to lack of concentration, but I expect that not to happen anymore in the future because the last two seasons taught us that 2/3 points can make the difference to win the league.” In other awards on the night midfielder Harley Orr won the ‘Robert Giorgi Memorial Trophy’, while keeper Malek Kuc won the ‘Youth Development’ Player of the Year. Adam Carlino won the under 20’s Fairest and Best, pipping out Matthew Cherrie, while Kristian Santich won the 18’s Fairest and Best, with Lennon Crane as runners-up.

Perth President Gay Marocchi said Sabatini was a worthy winners. “Perth SC wishes to congratulate Niccolo Sabatini for winning the club’s best and fairest in his first season, following his transfer from Sorrento FC, and we would also like to congratulate Gustavo Catarcione on being runner-up,” he said. “Niccolo has been a great asset to the club playing as an attacking left sided midfielder. He has fitted into the structure of the club immediately and has been very well received by our supporters. As a club we were disappointed for him, that he did not poll better in the Gold Medal count. We thought he had a good chance to be in the top three or four players, but did not make the top ten with only 15 votes.”

Marocchi, who was presented with the ‘Club Person of the Year’ on the night, said it was a good season for the club all-round. “Perth SC has been satisfied with our overall performances in 2017, with our U20 team winning the League and Top Four title, and our U18 team winning the state cup, while our senior team finished third and with a bit of luck could have gone back to back, however, full credit to Bayswater FC for their league championship victory,” he said. “The NPL competition has been very competitive in the last two seasons, with the title decided on the last round. Promotion of the game needs to improve, as crowds are dropping. Clubs are doing there all to make the competition as strong as possible, however, the public are not supporting the games.”

Dorrien Gardens is undergoing redevelopment, and Marocchi said it shows the ambition of the club. “We have invested heavily into our facilities at Dorrien Gardens, with our synthetic turf pitches behind the club-house, set to be ready for use in January 2018. They will allow our junior players from U6 – U12’s to train and play regularly at our home, as well facilitate 5v5 & 7v7 competitions for public on week nights. The facility will be available for private use during the day to community groups, schools and city businesses wishing to partake in social activities,” he explained. “Perth SC wishes to thank the state government, the City of Vincent and all our supporters who have contributed to the project, which will ensure Perth SC remains a force in WA Football.”



Midfielder Charlie Kenna was voted Armadale SC Fairest and Best winner for 2017, after a successful first season at Alfred Skeet Reserve. The dynamitic midfielder edged out skipper Nathan Costello for the major award and he said it was a great surprise. “It's was an honour to get the award at my first year at the club,” he explained. “It's been a great season for me here and getting the award topped it off.”

Armadale Coach John O’Reilly said Kenna stepped up to the plate and was worthy winner. “Charlie stepped up from state league this year, and he adjusted to the tempo of the game very quickly,” he said. “His commitment and determination is a strength to our team and we will be looking for more of the same in 2018.”

Kenna said injuries hit them hard, and the season fell away, but it was an improvement from last season. “I think we had a great season, unfortunately with injuries during the season we fell short coming into the last 6 games and didn't get the points we needed,” he said. “But training is always 100% and the boys work very hard. Hopefully next year will be another good year and hopefully be competitive for the top half of the ladder.”

Veteran defender David Annall won the Players Player of the Year and O’Reilly said he was outstanding on and off the park. “David has been a silent leader all year, and his actions speak volumes on the training ground and on the pitch,” he said. “His composure and experience has certainly gained the respect of his team mates.”

In other awards on the night Beau Rahim won the Coaches Award, Darragh Nigel won the under 18’s Fairest and Best, with Daniel Cumming’s the runner –up, while top goalscorer went Daniel Stone and Coaches Award going to Charlie Simpson. Alec Radonich won the under 20’s Fairest and Best, with Broden Brown the runner-up, and Anton Mangano won the Players’ Player of the Year, and Rion Robertson won the Coaches Award.



Perth Glory’s suspect defence will face a stern test against free-scoring Newcastle Jets tomorrow afternoon. Glory cannot afford to give the ball away cheaply on attack against Newcastle, who counterattack with pace as they demonstrated in their 5-1 destruction of Central Coast Mariners last weekend.

And they cannot afford the concentration lapses that led to their 2-1 downfall in the season opener against Western Sydney Wanderers. Glory winger Chris Harold said the Jets looked solid and organised. “They are quite direct, can pinch the ball back and counter-attack quickly,” he said. “We are going to have to be wary if we give the ball away cheaply.”

“They are going to be ready to pounce on us. You have to be switched on when you are attacking, you have to be aware of your defensive responsibilities if you turn the ball over. The first game of the season is not a particularly good gauge for the season, but the Jets looked like they are going to be strong.”

Newcastle has been a happy hunting ground for Glory, undefeated in their past eight games at McDonald Jones Stadium. They have won 13 of the sides’ last 16 meetings and have also won five of the last seven games they have played against teams coached by Ernie Merrick.



Perth Glory will be looking to bounce back from their opening Hyundai A-League defeat when they make the trip to McDonald Jones Stadium to take on table toppers Newcastle Jets on Sunday (2.00pm WA time). The 2-1 loss at Western Sydney Wanderers is behind them, but they face another trip across the Nullarbor, but do have a good record against the Jets, and they’ve won 13 of their last 16 games against the Jets and are undefeated in their last eight visits to McDonald Jones Stadium, last losing at the venue all the way back in 2011.

Defensive errors cost them dearly last season, and conceding two goals from quick breaks last week is a concern, and with Jets trio Roy O’Donovan and Dimitri Petratos and Andrew Nabbout in good form in their opening 5-1 win against Central Coast Mariners, they need to get it right from the first whistle. Glory Coach Kenny Lowe lamented his team’s sloppiness at the closing minutes of the first half which saw goals from Wanderers imports Oriol Riera and Jumpei Kusukami put them two up at the break. “(We) didn’t really come to the party in the first half, we were kind of riding it and suddenly we had a two-minute implosion,” he said. “We had the ball in both instances, one we gave the ball away and the second we had a corner.

Lowe was disappointed in the sloppy defending leading to the goals but was proud of their fight to get a goal back in the second half and take the game to the Wanderers. “I don’t think we were unlucky, I think on another day given the chances we had we might’ve gotten something out of it,” he added. “The main thing (is) I’m proud of is the character for them to come back in the second half and actually control the game a bit to create a chance for us to get back into it. I thought we showed good character in the second half to perhaps pinch something out of it. I think there’s a lot more to come from a lot of the boys, Xavi (Torres) has played only 90 minutes there’s a lot more in him, there’s a lot more in Diego Castro, Andreu played only 45 minutes so there is another level we can hit.”

Glory bring in new signings Mitch Mallia and Jeremy Walker to their squad for the trip, while Alex Grant will be chopping at the bit to get a starting role, after the former Stoke City defender being an unused substitute last week. Brandon Wilson and Guerao will also be putting their hand up for a spot in the middle of the park, as Glory look to kick start their season. Lowe said he might tinker with the starting line-up for Sunday against a Jets side that impressed last week. “The two new lads may well feature in the squad, and there’s a possibility that Andreu could start after he did well off the bench last week,” he said. “We know that the Jets are a good side as they showed with their big win against the Mariners last weekend. They recruited well in the off-season, have a very lively front four that we’ll need to be aware of and will obviously be full of confidence after that fantastic start. But we'll back ourselves like we always do against every team that we play."

Jets Coach Ernie Merrick has brought in former Glory midfielder Kostas Petratos to the squad, and he knows despite the difficult start to their Hyundai A-League campaign, he is expecting attacking football from the Glory. “Perth are always a very tough team to play against and Ken has them well-structured and organised,” he said. “They’ll play an aggressive brand of football with Castro, Taggart and Keogh all dangerous in front of goal and they’ve recruited will in midfield with Xavi Torress and Andreu Guerao. It’s going to be a great spectacle for the fans and will offer similar qualities to our clash with the Mariners – open, end-to-end football.”

A bumper crowd is expected at the game, with well in excess of 6,500 tickets already given away as part of a club promotion. Merrick said there was no intention to move away from the attacking approach that fueled his side’s standout performance at the Mariners. “I just want to see more of what we saw last week – front foot, attacking football from a talented bunch of players,” he explained. “We’ve got 26 enjoyable rounds ahead and we’ll be continuing with an attacking mindset – we can’t promise five goals each week – but we can promise we’ll be playing every game to win.”

Newcastle Jets Squad: GK Jack DUNCAN, GK Glen MOSS, 3 Jason HOFFMAN, 4 Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 5 Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6 Steven UGARKOVIC, 7 Dimitri PETRATOS, 8 Ronald VARGAS, 9 Roy O’DONOVAN, 10 Wayne BROWN, 13 Ivan VUJICA, 15 Andrew NABBOUT, 16 Nick COWBURN, 17 Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 19 Kosta PETRATOS, 22 Lachlan JACKSON, 24 Joe CHAMPNESS, 44Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY - *two to be omitted*- Ins: HOFFMAN (return from injury), Kosta PETRATOS (promoted) - Outs: nil

Perth Glory Squad: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY, 2 Alex GRANT, 4 Shane LOWRY, 5 Jacob POSCOLIERO, 8 Xavi TORRES, 9 Andy KEOGH (c), 11 Mitch MALLIA, 14 Chris HAROLD, 15 Brandon WILSON, 16 Joe MILLS, 17 Diego CASTRO, 18 Andreu GUERAO, 19 Joe KNOWLES, 20 Jake BRIMMER, 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Scott NEVILLE, 29Jeremy WALKER - *two to be omitted* - Ins: MALLIA (injury replacement player), WALKER, (injury replacement player) - Unavailable: 6 Mitch NICHOLS (suspended – 2 weeks), 25 Daniel STYNES (hamstring 9-12 weeks), 7 Joel CHIANESE (collar bone – 9-12 weeks), 3 Marc WARREN (ankle 9-12 weeks) Referee: Shaun Evans



Perth Glory have brought in some Costa Rican flare to their squad for the 2017-18 Westfield W-League campaign, after signing midfielder Raquel Rodriguez Cedeno. The 23-year-old, who is known as ‘Rocky’ by her teammates, joins Glory's Westfield W-League squad following a season at Sky Blue FC playing alongside Glory’s Sam Kerr and Nikki Stanton in the US National Women’s Soccer League.

The midfielder was born in San José, Costa Rica, where her father played professionally with Club Sport Herediano and also represented the national team, and from a young age, she was keen to follow in her father’s footsteps. “I knew I wanted to seriously play football at age 7,” she told the Glory website. “Dad was a huge influence in my choice of playing, he was very supportive and would always encourage me.”

Despite the challenges posed by limited training opportunities and a lack of support for women’s football in Costa Rica at the time, Rodríguez retained her deep desire to play the game in packed-out stadia and never lost her dream of one day becoming a household name. “I had dreams that I wanted to chase, but when I would look at the reality of women’s football in Costa Rica,” she explained. “I would feel anger towards the whole situation, it wasn’t easy.”

Remarkably, she was asked to train with the Costa Rican national team aged just 11, a move which paved the way for her to fulfill her childhood dream. Rodríguez went on to attend an American school, International Christian School in Heredia and subsequently enjoyed a successful college career at Penn State, where she became team captain in 2015 and led her side to victory at the NCAA College Cup, scoring the goal which ultimately clinched the trophy.

More glory was to follow for ‘Rocky’ who starred for Costa Rica at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup and created history by scoring her country’s first ever goal at the tournament in a 1-1 group stage draw with Spain. “When I look back, I feel proud of being a professional football player,” she said. “Worldwide, women’s football still has so much ground to cover in many areas and the fact that I am part of a generation that keeps breaking ground for future generations makes the frustrations, the highs and lows, all worth it.”

In her first season at Sky Blue FC her impressive, all-action displays, led to her taking out the 2016 NWSL Rookie of the Year award, and she then added to her long list achievements in June this year by scoring the fastest goal in NWSL history after just 24 seconds. Glory fans will be hoping that Rodriguez makes a similarly spectacular start to her Westfield W-League career and the gifted import can’t wait to get into the action. “I am very excited to be part of Perth Glory this season,” she said. “I am looking forward to learning from a new culture, teammates, and style of play.” The new Westfield W-League campaign kicks off at nib Stadium on October 27th when Glory face Melbourne City in an eagerly-anticipated re-match of last season’s Grand Final.



Perth Glory have confirmed the signing of defender Jeremy Walker and attacker Mitch Mallia on injury replacement contracts. Walker arrives as cover for Marc Warren who has suffered an ankle injury, while Mallia joins the club as a replacement for Joel Chianese, with the winger sidelined with a collarbone complaint. Walker has previous Hyundai A-League experience having registered 16 appearances for Melbourne Heart between 2012 and 2014. The 24-year-old defender, who can operate at both left and right-back, made his Hyundai A-League debut against Sydney FC in December 2012 having previously attended the Tasmanian Institute of Sport and played for Oakleigh Cannons while in Heart’s NYL side.

After parting company with Heart in 2014, he joined Hume City and then moved to England where he turned out for Concord Rangers and Braintree Town in the Conference South. The former Australia Under-20 international returned to Hume City in 2016 before joining Green Gully for whom he made 25 appearances in the NPL Victoria last season. “Jeremy is an astute defender who is very comfortable on the ball,” Glory’s Head of Football, Jacob Burns said. “He’s had a great NPL season in what is a very tough competition over in Victoria and his positional versatility means that he provides excellent balance and cover.”

Mallia also has extensive Hyundai A-League experience. He became the youngster player ever to represent Central Coast Mariners in the Hyundai A-League when he made his senior debut, ironically against Glory, in January 2010. He then spent three seasons with Sydney FC, making 17 appearances, 6 of which were starts. The ex-Australia Under-17 and Under-23 international left Sydney FC in 2014 and joined NPL NSW side Blacktown City for whom he has since averaged a goal almost every other game.

It was this sparkling form that brought him to Glory’s attention according Burns. “We keep a very close eye on who is performing well in the various NPL competitions around the country and we’re always willing to give those players an opportunity, as we’ve shown with our recent signings of Joe Knowles and Daniel Stynes," Burns said. “Mitch was Blacktown City’s standout player as they enjoyed a very successful season. Obviously he has previous A-League experience and he’s quick, has great technical ability, an eye for goal and can use both feet. Several other A-League clubs were keen to secure Mitch’s services, so we’re delighted that he opted to join us here in the West.”



Perth Glory are set to make three new signings with the A-League club rocked by pre-season injuries to striker Joel Chianese and defender Marc Warren. Heidelberg United's big forward Ken Athiu is top of Glory’s wanted list and likely to sign on the dotted line along with fellow attacker Mitchell Mallia and defender Jeremy Walker.

Glory can ill-afford injuries as they are already travelling light with a squad of only 20 players, three less than the maximum size. Chianese will be out for up to ten weeks with a chipped collarbone while Warren is likely to be sidelined for up to three months with ankle ligament damage.

Athiu has scored 38 goals in 51 National Premier Leagues matches across the past two seasons, last year topping the competitions Golden Boot and Player of the Year awards. He was four when his family fled war-ravaged Sudan for Kenya, where they lived seven years before arriving in Australia in 2004 as a refugee.

Mallia has 19 A-League appearances to his name through spells with Sydney FC and Central Coast Mariners. He has been with New South Wales club Blacktown City for the last three years. Walker had two seasons with Melbourne Heart from 2012 but has spent his time since then playing in Victoria and England’s non-League.



Inglewood United striker Alex Salmon capped a great season for the club, after claiming top honours at the Western Australian Football Awards ceremony at Crown Perth on Saturday night. Salmon was awarded the Consolidated Energy Gold Medal plus $10,000 prize money as the National Premier Leagues best player. Salmon polled 30 votes to pip Subiaco AFC midfielder David Perich by a single vote to become Inglewood’s seventh Gold Medal winner after Gordon Todd (1977), Lee Adam (1978 and 1980), Norrie Sutton (1982 and 1996), Jason Ainsley (1995), Louis Parkinson (2003) and Jack Clisby (2012).

“It’s surreal, especially at the end how tight it was,” said Salmon, whose had earlier collected the Golden Boot award for his 28-regular season finishes. “I didn’t personally think I played too well in the last couple of games so I thought I was going to get pipped.” Salmon thanked the Inglewood club for their support, but said ending the regular season in second place after leading the NPL across the season half of the winter was disappointing. “As soon as I came to Australia I’ve loved every minute and Inglewood have done everything for me,” he commented. “On a personal level, I’m happy with this award but to be honest it would have meant a lot more if we secured the league title. But we go again next year and that’s all we can do. I’m humbled by it (the Gold Medal) and I can’t thank Inglewood enough … this is for them.”

Former Westfield W-League striker Katarina Jukic earned the Bankwest Women’s State Premier League Gold Medal and $10,000 for her sensational season with champion club Queens Park. Jukic, who also won the Bankwest Women’s State Premier League Golden Boot, picked up 21 votes, 1 vote clear of Balcatta’s Ellie La Monte and NTC’s Abbey Meakins. “It means a lot, especially having the girls and other teams congratulating me tonight,” Jukic said. “I’m ecstatic. It wasn’t until they started calling the points per game at the end of the night that I realised I was in the running for this award. I knew I had a really good season but I missed about five weeks being away, so I didn’t expect the award because of that. But I’m so stoked to not only win top goal scorer but also to take home best player.”

Bayswater City’s Chris Coyne was named PS4 NPLWA First Team Ron Tindall Coach of the Year after an incredible season during which his side claimed the Night Series, PS4 NPLWA league title and McInerney Top Four Cup. Cockburn City’s Luke Radonich was awarded the PS4 NPLWA Goalkeeper of the Year award, while Adam Fielding took home the Golden Whistle Award for Referee of the Year. – Check out all the award winners at



Perth Glory have opened their 2017-18 Hyundai A-League season with a 2-1 defeat against Western Sydney Wanderers at Spotless Stadium. Two late first half goals from Oriol Riera and Jumpei Kusukami were enough to hand the Red & Black all three points despite the Glory pulling one back after a Brendan Hamill own goal late. It was the first time the Wanderers’ have won a Round 1 fixture in the Hyundai A-League and comes after a tumultuous week in which inaugural head coach Tony Popovic left to pursue an opportunity abroad with Hayden Foxe taking the reins, but the Glory will be looking to bounce back at Newcastle Jets next week.

“We started a bit slowly but got into the game as it wore on,” Glory Coach Kenny Lowe said. “I was a little bit disappointed that we didn’t get something out of it in the end. We’ll go back and watch the game and analyse certain things, but I was pleased with the character we showed when we came out for the second half and forced our way back into the game. “They were hanging on in the last 20 minutes and with a bit more luck, we might have come away with something. The boys are still slightly underdone in terms of game time, but that will only improve now and it was good to see Andreu come on and get game time and likewise, Xavi Torres.”

It was a lively opening by the home side and debutant defender Jacob Poscoliero foiled Kusukami as he prepared to pull the trigger on nine minutes, before Liam Reddy produced two saves in quick succession to deny Roly Bonevacia. But Glory were also a threat, with Spanish play-maker Xavi Torres forcing Vedran Janjetovic into a save with a header after fine approach work from Joe Mills and Keogh then stung the palms of the Wanderers’ custodian having latched on to a clever ball from Diego Castro.

Just as the two sides looked set to head into the break locked at 0-0, the Wanderers turned the game on its head. Alvaro Cejudo sent Riera into goal and he clipped past Reddy to open the scoring. Things went from bad to worse for Lowe’s side and two minutes later the Wanderers doubled their advantage. The Glory had a corner at one end, but a quick counter attack ended with Kusukami who finished clinically into the far corner past Reddy.

Wanderers started the second half as brightly as they had ended the first, with Cejudo forcing a fine point-blank save from Reddy and Riera wastefully hooking a superb chipped pass from Chris Herd over the bar. But Glory's attacking threat grew as the half wore on, with Adam Taggart going agonisingly close on three occasions in quick succession.

The Socceroos striker firstly hit the post from close-range after reacting quickest to a deflected Mills cross, was then denied by a superb block from Janjetovic and seconds later, met a Castro free-kick with a diving header which clipped the top of the bar. But three minutes from the time the Glory found themselves a lifeline, when Keogh’s header was deflected into his own net by Hamill. This set up a tense final few minutes, but despite their best efforts, Glory just failed to salvage a point.



Experienced defender Trent Sainsbury has heaped praise on his less-seasoned international team-mates ahead of game two of Australia's World Cup play-off against Syria. And he's reserved particular platitudes for fellow central defender Matt Jurman, who debuted in Malaysia.

“When you've got a guy like Matt Jurman coming in for his first cap, he was outstanding,” Sainsbury told Fox Sports. “I didn't have to tell him one thing during the game, I didn't have to scream at him or anything - he's a top professional.”

“You've got Aziz Behich coming back into the squad, he was fantastic. Milos (Degenek) has set that place for himself in the squad now and you'd almost call him a regular. I thought Josh Risdon was fantastic as well. The back five in general were outstanding with Maty Ryan behind us having a blinder as well.”

Syria brought physicality to last week's first leg encounter, with the contest often descending into a war of attrition. But Sainsbury says that's exactly what they expected. “There's a lot on the line. They were very physical (with) a few rash challenges,” said Sainsbury.

“We expected that, we watched a lot of video on them and were prepared for that and were prepared to match them in every tackle. Our philosophy is going to stay the same and I don't think the Syrians are going to change at all ... it's still going to be a very physical game.”

“We've got a nice pitch to play on so we're going to try to pop the ball about quite a lot and get them moving. I can't give away all the tactics, but (we'll play) a very high tempo game to get them moving about and get them tired. I can't see them staying with us for the full 90.”



ECU Joondalup flying winger Daryl Nicol has swooped the awards at the clubs 2017 Awards night at the ECU Club rooms on Friday evening.

The Scotsmen who joined the club from Scottish Highland Club Cove Rangers last season, picked up all four first team awards, as Fairest and Best, Players Player of the Year, Sponsors Player of the Year and top goalscorer.

He said it capped a great season for him, after representing the WA State side on three occasions, and captained them in the 1-1 draw with Perth Glory. “It's always nice to pick up the individual awards and too win so many last night was extra special but it doesn't happen without having good teammates around you and an excellent coaching staff preparing you for games,” he said. “What I really want to be picking up at the end of the season is team silverware and hopefully that will be the case next season.”

Jacks assistant Coach David Tough said Nicol was a worthy winner. “It was a fully deserved clean sweep for Daryl, not just for his match day performances, but his attitude to training and his positive influence in the changing room is second to none,” he said. “He’s a player that all the lads look up to and having him resign for 2018 has given the whole club a massive boost.”

Tough said the speedy winger also performed well in the Gold Medal night finishing third on 23 votes, just behind Subiaco midfielder David Perich and winners Inglewood United striker Alex Salmon. “Finishing third in the gold medal just shows his quality particularly as when we were missing key players,” Tough said. “That would mean opposition teams would focus more on stopping Daryl, and he still put in good performances for us, which shows the quality the lads has.”

In other awards on the night Danny O’Shea won the Under 18’s Players Player of the Year, with Callum Speed taking out the Coaches Player of the Year, while Keiron Craig was the top goalscorer. Logan McIsaac won the Under 20’s Player of the Year, with Thomas Hough winning the Coaches Player of the Year, while Ethan Kerridge won the top goalscorer.



National team coach Ange Postcoglou has called NAC Breda goalkeeper Mark Birighitti into his squad for next week's World Cup qualifier against Syria. Birighitti will replace Danny Vukovic, who will return to Belgium club KRC Genk after sustaining an injury earlier this week while in Malaysia with the Socceroos.

Birighitti, whose solitary Socceroos appearance to date was against China in 2013, will link with Postecoglou’s squad in Sydney today. The 26-year old takes West Australia’s Socceroos contingent to four alongside Trent Sainsbury (Jiangsu Suning), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers) and Nikita Rukavytsya (Maccabi Haifa).



Englishman Alex Salmon has celebrated his first winter in Inglewood United colours by winning the clubs’ top two prizes, the Player of the Year and the Players’ Player of the Year. A bumper crowd was in attendance at tonight’s Gala Ball, held at the Clubhouse, to celebrate the 2017 National Premier Leagues season.

Salmon, who joined the club on the eve of the home and away series, set his sail early and was a deserved winner of the Player of the Year. His talents were also recognised by his peers in the form of the Players Player of the Year while 29 goals in 26 NPL appearances earned him the Leading Goalscorer trophy.

Jason Barrera, a regular fixture in the middle of the park, was named the Player of the Year Runner-up. Matthew Ntoumenopolous will look back on his first season at Inglewood with great fondness after taking out the Rising Star Award. The Siggy Kramer Club Person Award was presented to juniors coach John Papadopolous.

Team captain Lachlan Ryan collected the Under-20s Player of the Year to sit alongside the Runner-Up trophy he won last year. Scott Newland was presented the Player of the Year Runner-up with Nicholas Challot the Leading Goalscorer after netting fourteen times over the winter.

For the second year in a row, the Under-18s Player of the Year went home with promising midfielder Tyler Garner. Renee Alba was a worthy recipient of the Player of the Year Runner-Up. Ben Pellizari’s seventeen regular season finishes were rewarded with the Leading Goalscorer prize.



Perth Glory head east in opening round of the 2017-18 the Hyundai A-League season, when they take on Western Sydney Wanderers at Spotless Stadium on Sunday. (3.00pm WA Time) After an early exit from the Westfield FFA Cup, it’s been quiet pre-season for Kenny Lowe’s side, but they have quietly gone about their business and have assembled a strong squad, but a trip to Wonderland is a tough first up challenge. New signings Jacob Poscoliero, Xavi Torres, Jake Brimmer, and former Wanderers pair Scott Neville and Andreu Guerao have all been selected in the squad, but Mitch Nichols is suspended and Daniel Stynes is injured.

Last season the Glory played well at times, but results were mixed, but they made the finals, and beat Melbourne City on the road in the elimination Final, but lost to eventual winners Sydney FC in the preliminary Final. The fans in the shed were happy with the goals, the Glory scoring 53 goals in the regular season, but it was at the back where they struggled, conceding 53, which was the equal-worst in the league, but Lowe is hoping they can fix this, and also hopes players can stay injury free. Neville is a solid replacement at right back for the departing Josh Risdon, and Jacob Poscoliero gives Lowe options, but with Alex Grant and Shane Lowry both having a full pre-season the signs look good.

In the middle of the park, and up top, the Glory have players that can hurt teams. Diego Castro, Andy Keogh and Adam Taggart are a trio who will be their avenue to goal, while in the middle of the park Torres, Andreu and Nichols are a sloid trio. We know there is certainly going to be plenty of attacking football and goals in Glory games, but can they tighten up at the other end, Liam Reedy will have a big say about that. Neville has returned west for another chance at Glory, and he said he wants to win the title with home town club.

“It’s been a while between drinks but it’s good to be back. There’s a bit of unfinished business here so it was a pretty easy decision to make,” said Neville. “Being away I think I’ve grown a fair bit, learned a lot about myself and as a footballer. I think I’m more mature player. Western Sydney was where I found my niche, it was really good for me and I learned a lot. I want to win the A-League and we have assembled a pretty formidable squad. There’s a lot of goals in the front three, and we have to work on not conceding so many goals. That was the downfall last season and as right-back hopefully I can contribute to making the defence a lot tighter.”

The Wanderers have been in turmoil this week with head coach Tony Popovic’s surprise exit, but former Glory defender Hayden Foxe will be the interim coach for the opener. Foxe played eight games for the men in purple in two seasons, which was hampered by a knee injury. He has been the assistant at the club and new skipper Robbie Cornthwaite said the plan doesn’t change on Sunday. “We want to get off to a better start than last year,” he said. “It’s important to start well in this league. It’s a short season, and it’s difficult if you’re playing catch-up. We want to be a team that plays on the front foot and puts opponents under as much pressure as possible. We’re a side capable of scoring a lot of goals, and that’s exciting for fans. At the back, we want to be ruthless and keep opponents to as few goals as possible. There will be a few tweaks to our game and hopefully fans can see that.” In team news former Glory defender Rosh Risdon will miss the game due to being on international duty with the Socceroos while Jarred Tyson, another former Glory player is out injured.

Western Sydney Wanderers squad: GK Vedran JANJETOVIC, GK John HALL, 3 Jack CLISBY, 5 Brendan HAMILL, 6 Jacob MELLING, 7 Steven LUSTICA, 8 Roly BONEVACIA, 9 Oriol RIERA, 10 Àlvaro CEJUDO, 11 Brendon SANTALAB, 14 Jumpei KUSUKAMI, 15 Kearyn BACCUS, 16 Jaushua SOTIRIO, 18 Robert CORNTHWAITE (c), 19 Mark BRIDGE, 24 Raúl LLORENTE, 25 Chris HERD, 33 Michael THWAITE - *two to be omitted* - Unavailable: 1.Jerrad TYSON (shoulder - indefinite), 4.Josh RISDON (international duty – 1 week), 21.Marc TOKICH (international duty – 1 week)

Perth Glory squad: GK Liam REDDY, GK Nick FEELY, 2 Alex GRANT, 3 Marc WARREN, 4 Shane LOWRY, 5 Jacob POSCOLIERO, 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, 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Scott NEVILLE - *two to be omitted* - Unavailable: 6 Mitch NICHOLS (suspended – 3 weeks), 25 Daniel STYNES (hamstring 9-12 weeks)



Teenage winger Daniel Stynes was over the moon when he signed for Perth Glory, after a stellar season in the PS4 NPLWA with the youth team, but the 19-year-old has found out about the incredible highs and crushing lows of professional football. But it’s rare that a player should experience both extremes in the space of just an hour, but that’s exactly what Stynes found out at Glory’s McGillivray Oval training ground a couple of weeks ago, when doing extra work after training he tore his hamstring.

“At the start of the session, I was presented with my jersey having signed my first professional contract, and that was just a dream come true,” he told the Perth Glory website. “I’d worked so hard for it, been at the club for so long and to be rewarded like that in front of all the boys was incredible. But then the realities of football struck because when I was doing extras at the end of the session working on my left foot crossing, I managed to pick up a 9cm tear in my hamstring tendon. It’s a pretty severe injury with a 12-week recovery time.”

While admitting that he was devastated at the time, however, the talented winger is now more philosophical and keen to try and look on the bright side. “I’ve been training and playing for a really long time and probably needed a break,” he joked. “But it also gives me a chance to build up my upper body, get stronger and become more A-League ready, as it were. It seems like there’s a big step up in physicality from the NPL to the A-League and I need to be ready for that. Kenny [Lowe] has been really supportive and helpful, as has Garc (Richard Garcia). It’s a hard one to take, but I’m just getting on with it now.”

Manchester United fan Stynes comes from a footballing family which also contains former Kilmarnock youth team player, Jonathan, who now plays for Floreat, and he admits that they have a healthy sibling rivalry. “He still thinks he’s better than me,” he said, “but I’ve got something to say about that now,” he said. “My parents are over the moon for me because they’ve seen the hard work that I’ve put in. My mum helped me get through school and made sure that I finished that with a good stature behind me so that I could go on to university. They’ve been amazing.”



Josh Risdon was preparing to make his A-League debut for Western Sydney Wanderers this weekend when he got a call that changed everything. Now the defender is in Malaysia, working with Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou to try and save Australia’s World Cup dream in the qualifying series against Syria.

The Bunbury product is no stranger to the Australian set-up, having played three games for the Socceroos since his debut in 2015. But his biggest moment on the international stage still awaits him and a chance to be part of an historic 23-man team is on the cards, starting tonight at Hang Jebat Stadium in Malaysia.

Risdon admits he was “shocked” to receive the call-up to the Socceroos’ squad. “I haven’t played many competitive games in a while,” he said. “We have two very important games coming up to qualify so it’s all about focusing on those. Training is very sharp and everyone is putting their hand up to play.”

The 25-year old said he had to impress at the camps and take advantage of any game time he received so he could become a staple of the team. “Playing well for my club and being in form at club level will hold you in good stead for getting selected to national camps,” he said.

“Hopefully I will be able to get a chance to contribute with some game time. This is the first time I have been in a camp with the new formation that they (the Socceroos) have been playing, so it will be good to play that role as a wing-back … I like to get forward a lot and that formation you have license to do that.”



Perth Glory defender Scott Neville has unfinished business back with his home club. And it starts in Sunday’s A-League opener against the club where he spent the past three seasons, Western Sydney Wanderers. Neville has twice tasted the pain of Grand Final defeat and now the right-back is looking to win the elusive A-League title.

Earlier this year Neville got a call from Glory coach Kenny Lowe, who worked with him at the National Training Centre, and the journey home began. His three-year deal sees Neville replace Socceroos defender Josh Risdon, who has moved in the opposite direction to join Western Sydney.

“It’s been a while between drinks but it’s good to be back. There’s a bit of unfinished business here so it was a pretty easy decision to make,” Neville said. “Being away I think I’ve grown a fair bit, learned a lot about myself and as a footballer. I think I’m more mature player. Western Sydney was where I found my niche, it was really good for me.”

“I was offered a new deal at Western Sydney but there were a couple of clauses ... and in January we decided to pursue other options. They signed Risso (Risdon) early and from there I got a call from Kenny. It was hard to turn down, especially when the option is to come home to parents and family.

“I want to win the A-League and Glory have assembled a pretty formidable squad. There’s a lot of goals in the front three. We have to work on not conceding so many goals. That was the downfall last season and as right-back hopefully I can contribute to making the defence a lot tighter.”

Neville, 28, played for Sorrento and progressed through Glory’s youth system before turning professional with his hometown club. Since debuting in 2008, he has made 135 senior appearances for Glory, Newcastle Jets and Western Sydney. During that period he also trialled for English clubs Portsmouth and Sheffield Wednesday.



New coaches, new players, new logo and a new strip, but will it be a new Wellington Phoenix on the park this season? If you ask defender Scott Galloway the answer is yes. One of six news players added to the squad, Galloway said confidence is high ahead of his team's season opener against Adelaide United on Sunday.

"Everyone is confident. You've got to be confident," Galloway said. "Obviously it's tougher being in Wellington. You don't get to play as many pre-season games against A-League opposition like you would be back in Aussie. The games we've had we've learnt a lot from them, we've got out what we needed from them."

Adelaide should pose an interesting challenge first up for Wellington. Like the Phoenix, last season was a disappointment for them, finished ninth and with coach Guillermo Amor replaced by Marco Kurz. "They've recruited well and will be a quality opposition interesting game," said Galloway.

"Round One is always a bit shaky for everyone, no matter who you are and who you're playing. We're the home team, so we've got to use that to our advantage. For us, if we can get a good result that's the main thing. This is the time to get results, but in saying that it's still a long season to go."

Galloway, 22, arrived at Wellington following stints with A-League powerhouse Melbourne Victory and cellar-dwellers Central Coast Mariners. He said the move had done wonders for his confidence and working under head coach Darije Kalezic and his assistant, Rado Vidosic, was already proving beneficial for his development.

"They pick up the little things, things you wouldn't even think about during training and then you have more chats with them and they give you personal stuff to work on," the defender said. "Since coming here, my confidence has been through the roof and it's only going to continue to get better under them."

Prior to signing with Wellington, Galloway trialled with top-flight Dutch club Willem II and said he still hoped to play in Europe one day. "A big reason for me coming here was to play under Darije, to play under a foreign coach with experience overseas.

"He knows I have aspirations to go over there (Europe) and he knows what it takes to be the quality of player to get there. He knows what he has to push and what I have to work on and I'm just constantly learning from him all the time, as well as Rado."



Ryan Edwards was disappointed to miss out on Australia’s squad for the vital World Cup qualifiers with Syria, but he determined to give his all for Partick Thistle in order to realise his dream of making it to Russia. The midfielder has been on the fringes of the Socceroos’ selection for some time thanks to some fine displays in the Scottish Premiership.

And Edwards is now praying not only that Australia progress through two play-off rounds to make it to the greatest stage of them all, but that he can push his way to the forefront of Ange Postecoglou’s thoughts before next summer. “It’s a difficult one because since March I’ve maybe been overlooked, but I’m still on the radar,” Edwards said.

“It’s a bit frustrating and disappointing, because it’s my aim to get there and I’d love to be involved, but at the moment the coach is not looking my way. I’ll just keep trying to play well for Thistle and do my part for the team. Hopefully Australia can do well in the two games coming up and qualify for the World Cup so that I can look forward to trying to get into the squad for Russia.”

“The selection mantra is based on fitness and form whatever level you are at. I think my fitness and form speak for themselves over the past two seasons, but it’s the same for a number of players. It’s there in the back of my mind and it’s within touching distance to get in, but I just have to keep up the appearances and the form and hopefully it will come.”

For now, Edwards must watch from afar, but the time difference is making it difficult for him to even keep tabs on his country’s progress. “The way it’s worked out so far, I’ve been training when the games have been on,” he said. “But I always watch the highlights and speak to a few of the boys there. I’ll definitely be watching the Syria games if I get the chance.”



Sky Blue FC forward Samantha Kerr has continued her sparkling year by claiming the National Women's Soccer League Golden Boot. Kerr's goal in the final round clash with Boston Breakers took her season tall to 17 goals, from 22 appearances, to set a new NWSL season record.



Melbourne Victory recruit Rhys Williams says he has no regrets over his ill-fated stint at Perth Glory. Williams joined his Glory on a two-year deal ahead of the 2016/17 A-League season, only to suffer a rocky start to his time with his hometown club.

That included the defender spending time out of the squad, while Williams would also be caught up in mid-season transfer speculation — with the defender linked to a move to Sydney FC — before playing out the season at Glory.

Ultimately, Williams signed for Victory in May this year, bringing to an end a short, but well-publicised time in Perth. “I’ll never take it back. I needed to find my love for the game again after so many injuries in England and I found it,” Williams told

“And I enjoyed last season - although everything that happened was put in the media a lot. But ultimately that’s what happens in life and you’ve just got to get on with it. I’d never take anything back and sometimes you’ve just got to say it doesn’t work and we all move on.”

Williams spent more than a decade at Middlesbrough, where he rose through the ranks of its academy to ultimately become club captain in 2012. But the defender’s career was then disrupted by a series of injuries and - after a brief stint on loan at Charlton Athletic - Williams returned to Australia.

Now 29, Williams said he’d taken plenty of learnings from his time on the sidelines. “It’s tough - I think you learn a lot about yourself,” he said. “But ultimately I wouldn’t change that because I’ve learned a lot about myself.”

“I know what my body can handle and also my family’s got their health. I can’t mope around with an injury when there are people a lot worse off in the world. So that’s the way I want to look at it and if you look at it that way, it wasn’t a problem whatsoever.”

Williams has enjoyed a relatively clean bill of health this pre-season, having quickly established himself as a key member of the starting eleven with Melbourne. Acknowledging his rough start to his first season last year, Williams said he was looking to return to his best form.

“It was tough last year - it took me a while to get going. By the end I still feel like I hadn’t found my best football yet,” he said. “Hopefully this season - I’m feeling great pre-season, I’m feeling fit - is a big season for not only me but for this team.”

Having spent the majority of his career overseas, Williams didn’t experience the A-League until his stint with Glory last season. Heading into his second year in the competition, he said he believed he had underestimated the quality of the league.

“Do you know what, with all respect to the league, it’s a hell of a lot better than people think,” he said. “It doesn’t get the credit that it deserves. I think it doesn’t get that credit because of the amount of teams and stuff like that, but the level, the standard here’s great.”

“You’ve got a few young boys coming through but the players coming back (are good too) - you look at Brett Holman coming back. He’s played all over the world and had such a successful career. (Besart) Berisha here, Carl Valeri coming back - it just shows that it’s a big league.”

Williams earned a Socceroos call-up during his time with Glory but last played for his country back in 2013. The 29-year old said he would now focus on his club form ahead of looking towards Soceroos selection, believing things would all fall “into place” if he played at a consistently high level.

“I don’t like to hang my hopes on it to be honest,” Williams said. “I believe if I’m doing well enough here and playing well and playing week-in, week-out, and I’m fit and I’m ready, then everything else falls into place.”

“I’ll never hang my hopes on that because ultimately Melbourne Victory’s my team and they’re the ones I need to perform for and then I’ll see what happens after that. But like I said, ultimately we want to win here and then we’ll see what happens.”



Four years ago, Adam Taggart took the A-League by storm as a 20-year-old, winning the golden boot with Newcastle Jets and booking a place at the World Cup. Now back with his hometown club, the Perth Glory striker wants to do it all again.

"I dream of it every night," Taggart told "It was the best time of my life being part of the Socceroos set-up. There's no doubt about it in my mind that that's where I want to be, and it's the main thing that motivates me every day to improve."

Taggart's 16-goal haul for Newcastle in 2013/14 was three ahead of the next best. Ange Postecoglou saw enough to take him to Brazil, where he started Australia's last group game against Spain. He then signed with Fulham but found opportunities hard to come by.

Taggart, who scored 12 goals last season for Glory despite suffering injury, is looking forward to the coming summer. "This year I've been fully fit and I've been able to progress. I know how to get back to the Socceroos; it's scoring goals and improving," he said.

"Before the Newcastle year when I went to the World Cup, I wouldn't have thought I was anywhere near that, but I was wrong. You never know. I don't want to say I will (go to Russia 2018), but anything can happen. That's my biggest target in football."



Sydney FC have signed Matildas attacker Lisa De Vanna for their upcoming W-League campaign. In a major coup for the Sky Blues, the national team's all-time leading goalscorer will spearhead the harbour-siders attack in 2017/18.

32-year old De Vanna, known for her combative style, is one of the most decorated Australian female footballers boasting three W-League Championships, one Premiership, AFC Asian Cup, Julie Dolan Medal, plus a FIFA Women’s World Cup All Star Team inclusion and FFA Female Footballer of the Year award.

“I’m really excited to be representing Sydney FC this season,” De Vanna said. “Under (coach) Ante Juric I believe the Sky Blues are capable of special things, I want to be a part of a Championship winning team, and I believe this is the right place to be for that.”

“The support I have outside of football and the opportunities off the field are important reasons for making the move and I’m thankful for the people I have around me. I’ve played with a number of the girls at national team level so I know I’ll have no problems fitting into the side, I’m excited to get started and I can’t wait for the season ahead.”

De Vanna starred in the Matildas’ recent two-game series win over Brazil, scoring a stunning 20-yard goal against the South Americans in a 2-1 victory in Penrith. More recently, she put the ball in the back of the net to help South Melbourne fend off Geelong Galaxy in an epic National Premier League Women’s Grand Final that went down to a penalty shootout.



Two late goals from Lexi Moreno and Caitlin Doeglas earned Perth Glory a 2-0 victory over the WA State Women’s Team in the Bankwest Women’s Challenge Cup at a packed Hartfield Park on Tuesday evening. After a goalless first-half and a tight tussle in the early stages of the second period, the match was brought to life by Moreno’s stunning strike on 76 minute, and Doeglas doubled the advantage just 60 seconds later. WA Coach Ben Anderton said the scoreline didn’t reflect how tight the game was. “The Glory started the game well, but I thought after that we played a good brand of football and took the game to them,” he said.

“I thought we came to life after half time, hit the woodwork, and hurt them down the flanks. We made changes late in the game to give all the girls a run, and we lost our shape a little. “But I was really pleased to see a good crowd and a number of state league coaches coming down to watch the WA team play, and on tonight’s performance it shows the depth of talent we have in the state league.” Glory Coach Bobby Despotovski said it was a good work out for his side ahead of the opening to the W-League season. “It was a good work out for us tonight, and no injuries is important,” he said. “We managed to get 90 minutes into some players, and some got sixty minutes, so overall very happy with the performance.”

The grandstand was packed at kick off, and it was Glory who opened the brighter. Mariana Tabain sent Doeglas in on goal, but Morgan Aquino stood tall to deny her, and moments later Shawn Billam’s snap shot flashed wide of the target. The WA side settled and skipper Elisa D’Ovidio saw her shot fly over the top, before Ellie LA Monte’s powerful header was well saved by Melissa Maizels. It was a tight first half, with the lively Demi Vance, Katarina Jukic, D’Ovidio and Jamie-Lee Gale shining for the WA side, while Shannon May, Tabain, Kim Carroll and Nicola Bolger impressing for Glory.

WA went close to the opener five minutes into the second half. Vance, who was playing her final game in WA before heading back to Ireland, saw her shot on the run crash off the woodwork. WA keeper Aquino then produced a stunning save to deny Billam’s long-range shot on the hour, as Glory started to dominate, and it wasn’t a surprise when they took the lead 14 minutes from time. Roisin O’Connelly picked out Moreno, who drove forward and hit an unstoppable long-range shot that gave Maya Diederichsen no chance.

They doubled their lead sixty seconds later, Doeglas finding space on the left of the penalty area and she hit an unstoppable shot past Diederichsen. The WA custodian produced two late saves from Abbey Meakins and May, to keep the scoreline respectable, but at the end of the night Telethon were the winners with all proceeds from entry fees being donated.

WA State Women Squad: GK Morgan AQUINO, RGK Maya DIEDERICHSEN, 2 Katarina JUKIC, 3 Larissa WALSH, 4 Stephanie SIMMONDS, 5 Cheyenne Wise JARVIS, 6 Jamie-Lee GALE, 7 Ellie LA MONTE, 8 Demi VANCE, 9 Tia STONHILL, 10 Sadie LAWRENCE, 11 Isabella FOLETTA, 12 Elisa D’OVIDIO, 13 Rebecca BENNETT, 14 Kathryn SCHUBERT, 15 Emily DUNN, 16 Nicole CAMPBELL, 17 Liana COOK, 18 Jessi VALENTI

Perth Glory Squad: GK Melissa MAIZELS, RGK Gabby DAL BUSCO, 2 Sarah CARROLL, 3 Kim CARROLL, 4 Natasha RIGBY, 5 Patricia CHARALAMBOUS, 6 Danielle BROGAN, 8 Shawn BILLAM, 9 Roisin O’CONNELLY, 11 Nicola BOLGER, 12 Shannon MAY, 13 Jaymee GIBBONS, 14 Caitlin DOEGLAS, 15 Abbey MEAKINS, 17 Mariana TABAIN, 19 Lexi MORENO - Referee: Kate Jacewicz



After a silver medal-winning run with Malaysia's Under-22s in the recent South East Asia Games, Pahang captain Matthew Davies is excited to return to the Malaysia senior team. The Australian-born defender was recently called up by Malaysia head coach Nelo Vingada for the first time, for the 10 October Asian Cup qualifier with Hong Kong.

"I'm excited to return to the national team, I've been missing the last few call-ups due to (duty with) Under-22s and an injury," said Davies, 22, who featured regularly for Malaysia under former boss Datuk Ong Kim Swee. "I want to prove myself to Nelo as I'm yet to play under him, I look to forward to doing that."

"We had a good run with Malaysia Under-22s, so we'll be looking to bringing that form and consistency into the senior team. Although it's a big step up from the underage to the full international level, hopefully we can contribute something to an already very good squad."



Daryl Nicol has signed for another season at ECU Joondalup, after a number of other NPL clubs tried to entice the 27-year-old away from the campus. But the speedy winger held talks with the club last week and had no doubt where he wanted to play next season. “I was delighted to sign for ECU next season and after talking with the club, we all have that feeling of underachieving last season and we all share the same ambition of winning trophies at the club,” he explained. “Once I sat down with Dale and the club at the end of the season and realised their desire to challenge at the top of the league matched my mine it wasn't a difficult decision. All I care about is challenging for trophies and I'm certain I can do that with the Jacks.”

It was a huge season for Nicol, and representing WA in three games and heading overseas for trials capped off a great season, while the end of season trip to Bali was good too. “Personally it was a season I won't forget, mainly due to the trip to India which was a great opportunity for me,” he explained. “Finishing top goalscorer and getting to captain the State team were two big positives I can take from another wise disappointing season. We started the campaign very slowly and that seemed to set the tone for the whole season with the main feeling being a huge sense of underachievement. As for Bali you won't get anything from me, my lips are sealed, it was an absolutely cracking trip with a great bunch of lads.”

Jacks head coach Dale McCulloch said its great news to re-sign the speedy winger. “We are delighted to have secured Daryl’s services next season, it shows the club are working hard to bring success to the campus,” he explained. “Daryl was outstanding last season, and he could have gone to 13 other clubs in the NPL, and many have tried, believe me, but he has shown great loyalty to us, and that’s the kind of person he is. He was our top goalscorer last season, and went on to play three games for the WA State team, and impressed in all three games.”

ECU Joondalup President Steve Wheatley said Nicol is the first signing of the season, but they are working hard to bring in more players. “Fantastic news that Daryl has re-joined us, he is a good lad and fitted in well last season,” he said. “Dale (McCulloch) had to deal with a great deal of injuries to important players last season, but Daryl was stood up and was outstanding and he was a contestant performer. He is the first signing, and we are working extremely hard to bring in some more players to strengthen the squad for 2018, as we look to improve on last season.”

There were some positives to come out of the season for Nicol and he said some of the younger players stepped up really well when required. “I think bringing youngsters through the academy is something we are renowned for and last season was just another example of that,” he said. “Due to a horrendous injury list we maybe just didn't have enough older heads to help them through and ended up being a little vulnerable in some games but looking ahead to next season I think the coaching staff will look to strengthen in certain areas and if we do that and get a bit more luck with injuries I don't see any reason why we can't challenge on all fronts.”



A penalty from striker Lee Bates after 14 minutes, has given Kwinana United a 1-0 win in the Amateur Cup Final against North Perth United at E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday afternoon. North Perth threw everything at Kwinana in the second half, but some determined defending saw Kris Donnell’s side home and he said it was a great win for the club. “The lads were outstanding for 90 minutes, we know it would be battle, and it was, but really proud of the players and really happy with everyone involved at our club,” he said. “I thought we were the better team in the first half, but credit to North Perth they really threw everything at us after the break, and we knew they would, but our back four for were brilliant. It’s been a great season for our club, top six in the league and now a cup final win, I’m lost for words at the moment but I’m a proud man tonight.”

Kwinana, who were roared on by their large group of supporters, made the perfect start and were ahead on 14 minutes. Peter James was brought down in the penalty area by Byron Andrews, and referee Shane Skinner had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Bates stepped up a sent Jamie Serra the wrong way to give Kwinana the lead from the resulting penalty. Both sides had chances in an entertaining game. First North Perth’s Ago Mujic’s snap shot from the edge of the box flashed over the top, before Kwinana’s Alan Benson saw his shot cleared off the line at the other end.

North Perth Coach Jason Winter made a double change at the break, with the lively Mehdi Rabei and Ken Naan coming into the game. But it was Kwinana with the first real chance of the second half, a great run and shot by Robert Hamm whistled inches over the top. They were in again on the hour, Craig Richards raced down the left, and his cross picked out Bates, who fired over the top when well placed. North Perth hit back and Rabei headed wide at the back post, as they started to take a strangle hold of the game. Kwinana were defending gallantly, throwing themselves at every shot, as North Perth pressed for the equaliser.

It was wave after wave of North Perth attacks, but they couldn’t find a way past, and Kwinana were hitting on the counter attack and almost added a second five minutes from time. It was two against one as Bates raced clear, he picked out Hamm on the edge of the box, but Serra was out quick to narrow the angle and produced a great save to deny him. It was backs to the wall for the men in red, and North Perth had one last chance to send it to extra time, Paul Urbanski found space and raced into the box, but his shot flew over the top. But at the whistle it was Kwinana celebrating a hard fought win, and skipper Craig Dineley was presented the Man of the Match medal.

Kwinana United: GK Joseph PAGE, 4 Peter JAMES, 6 Jordan O’BRIEN (20 Luke RENNIE 90+3’), 8 Alex JONES, 9 Lee BATES (7 Luke COLLINS 87’), 14 Crag DINELEY, 21 Alan BENSON, 24 Anthony HARRIS, 26 Robert HAMM, 27 Daniel DYSON, 40 Gary LUNT (19 Craig RICHARDS 55’) - Subs not used: 11 Luke HIGGINS, 33 Cristian SANCHEZ

North Perth United: GK Jamie SERRA, 2 Darryl GREGORY, 3 Chris WYLIE, 4 Sam NICOL, 5 James STEEDMAN, 6 Paul URBANSKI, 7 Byron ANDREWS (12 Ken NAAN 46’), 8 Ago MUJIC (11 Mehdi RABEI 46’), 9 Sean LAHERT, 10 Eamonn KELLY, 14 Patrick MONTGOMERY - Subs not used: 15 Keith MULLINS, 16 Daniel CONWAY, 17 Richard DENDLE - Referee: Shane Skinner



North Perth United have won the 2017 Amateur Reserves Cup Final after a 3-1 win against Wembley Downs at E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Gary Nolan put them ahead midway through the second half, and Andy O’Neill doubled their lead. Barry O’Callaghan pulled one back from the spot for Wembley, but with them chasing the game Nolan added his second in the final minute to give United the trophy.

Coach Luke O’Neill said it was a tense last ten minutes, but thought they deserved the win, and said they had keeper Michael Dudek to thank, who made some important saves. “We knew Wembley would fight back, and the conditions out there were hot, but I know my players and they give it their all to the end,” he said. “We conceded the penalty, and they came into the game, but we got that breathing space with the third late, but on the day I thought we deserved it. But at 2-1 we had our keeper to thank for a couple of great saves, he was great all day for us and I’m delighted we had him.”

It was a cagy first half, but it was North Perth who coming closest to scoring on 20 minutes. A great run down the left by Michael English, ended with a cross to Adam Pygrum, whose shot crashed off the crossbar. North Perth were on top, but Wembley hit back on the half hour. Darren McSweeney’s raced down the left, cut inside his marker but his cross-shot was well claimed by Dudek. But on 66 minutes North Perth scored the opener. Raido Reinsalu low cross was turned home by Nolan from five meters. North Perth were in again four minutes later, Pygrum sending Reinsalu in on goal, but his shot was well saved by Tom Jordan-Pragnell.

It looked like North Perth had won it, when Wembley failed to deal with a cross and Andy O’Neill finished low into the corner of the net. But Wembley had other ideas and two minutes later they were awarded a penalty and O’Callaghan made no mistake from the spot. Wembley pressed for the equaliser, and Matt Devereux’s effort was turned around the post by Dudek, and moments later the North Perth custodian produced a stunning save to deny O’Callaghan. But with Wembley pushing men forward they were caught out on a quick counter attack in the final minute, Reinsalu again the provider crossing to Nolan to win the cup for North Perth.

North Perth United: GK Michael DUDEK, 2 Michael DOHERTY (13 Connor ENGELBRECHT 50’), 3 Stephen HEWITT, 4 Arnes VOJNIKOVIC (16 David BROWNLESS 78’), 5 Michael ENGLISH, 7 Daniel CONWAY, 9 Gary NOLAN, 11 Andy O’NEILL, 12 Raido REINSALU, 14 Chris ANDERSON (10 Darragh CULLEN 54’), 15 Adam PYGRUM - Subs not Used: 6 Luke O’NEILL, 22 Dave CROOKES

Wembley Downs: GK Tom JORDAN-PRAGNELL, 5 Darren MCSWEENEY, 8 Barry O’CALLAGHAN, 22 Martyn KELLY, 26 Scott URQUHART, 27 Will FISHLEIGH, 35 Ally MCDERMID (14 Aiden GRAY 68’), 40 Conor FAGAN, 95 Matt DEVEREUX, 96 Nico RIVEROS, 97 Felipe SIMEOS (15 Christian MERRY 79’) - Subs note used: RGK Jayden HARDING, 28 Dylan MOORE, 21 Jeff DA SILVA - Referee: Wayne Nurse



Morley Windmills have one foot in the All Flags State League Division One, after a 3-1 win against Gosnells City at Walter Padbury Reserve, in the Promotion and Relegation Play-off Final on Saturday afternoon. It was all-square at half time with Oluwasijibomi Adeniyi on target for Morley, with Wade Farmer levelling just before the break. But the visitors took control in the second half, and goals from Ben Wantee and Igor Novakovic has put John Castrilli’s side in control.

“A great performance today, and three away goals puts us in the box seat, but the jobs only half done,” Castrilli said. “It’s finals football and everyone has to step up to the mark, we had a few harsh words at half time and credit to the boys they were good in the second half. We came here looking to get a result and to score three was a bonus, but it’s still half time we have to get the job done at our place on Thursday evening.”

It was the home side who were on top early, Darren Francis headed over the top, and Jordan Parfitt shot on the run flashed wide, before Josh Cook’s curling shot was pushed around the post by Yousri Gharsallah. Morley hit back and Novakovic threaded the ball through to Aneniyi, but Adriano Dalo stood tall to deny the striker. But on 32 minutes it was the visitors who took the lead. A slip at the back by Jett Shaw let in Aneniyi, who rounded Dalo and rolled the ball home, much to the delight of the travelling supporters. Gosnells hit back and levelled on the stroke of half time. A ball over the top found Farmer, whose sweetly timed volley flew into the corner of the net.

The home side pressed after half time and Gharsallah had to be alert to deny Parfitt early, but just after the hour it was Morley who regained the lead. Good work on the right by Yves Mwila ended with a cross into the penalty area and Wantee finished clinically past Dalo. They added a third soon after to put them in total control. Wantee’s cross was laid back by Aneniyi, into the path of Novakovic, who made no mistake from five meters. It was almost 4-1 when Wantee was sent clear, but his shot on the run crashed off the woodwork.

Gosnells went in search of another goal late, but Farmer fired over the top from close-range, before Parfitt was denied by a superb one-handed save from Gharsallah. Alan Dunlop’s team has it all to do when the two teams meet again on Thursday evening at Wotton Reserve with a 7pm kick off. “I thought that we dominated the first half, and had three or four good chances, but we gave away a silly goal,” Dunlop said. “The second half they controlled the game and forced us back, but we switched off for twenty minutes and were punished. “It’s a massive mountain to climb, but we have to go their positive and have nothing to lose, and I hope we can take a few of our chances, which we didn’t today.”

Gosnells City: GK Adriano DALO, 2 Jett SHAW, 6 Salvador CHAVEZ, 7 Wade FARMER, 9 Darren FRANCIS, 10 Jordan PARFITT, 11 Josh COOK (15 Rama KABWE 70’), 14 Jerome WHITE (4 James SHARP 61’), 16 Tony CHANDLER (17 Callum Potton 37’), 18 Tom GIBBINS, 22 Dean APLEGREN - Subs not used: RGK Jack ADAMS, 5 Alan DUNLOP

Morley-Windmills: GK Yousri GHARSALLAH, 2 Ricky BERELOWITZ (17 Paul GRABIC 81’), 3 Oluwasijibomi ANENIYI, 4 Ryan TREACEY, 5 Scott WRIGHTSON (8 Alex ADAM 92’), 6 Deng MAWIEN 7 Yves MWILA, 9 Ben WANTEE, 10 Igor NOVAKOVIC, 12 Faustinho MACHOCHI, 16 Jan UREGELA - Subs not used: RGK Timothy SMITH, 13 Christian MARAUDO, 14 Brandon RECTOR - Referee: Josh Nixon



The 2017 Forrestfield United Awards night was a huge success, with over 300 people attending at the Crown Casino ballroom last Saturday evening. With guests from Football West, the media and our very supportive sponsors, all had a great time and everyone who attend said it was a great success, and a great end to a successful season for the club. The winner of the major award on the night – The FUSC – Players Player of the Year - was won by Scott Barker, who also won the runners-up in the Fairest and Best.

The talented defender was a stand-out this season and he said winning the award capped off a great season for him. “Everyone deserves this award, because it’s been a team effort this season, and everyone has done their bit to get us to where we are, but I’m delighted to win it,” he said. “Rod has worked really hard on our game and we’ve been taught to play football the Forrestfield style and it’s worked, with promotion to the NPL, and the way we play we know we can match it with anyone.”

Winger Rhys Loxley took out the Fairest and Best player and also won the Club Captain award, and he said it had been a great season. “We were there or thereabouts all season, and it came down to us and the Phoenix to gain promotion, and we were fortunate to get second spot,” he explained. “That put us in the play-off against Mandurah and games like these are a lottery, and it came down to who wanted it more over the two legs and we came out on top, to cap a great season for us.”

Forrestfield President Andy Osborne said the season had been one of great pride to him and his committee and he’s looking ahead to the NPL. “We’ve got a lot to celebrate this year, both on and off the field, so it’s nice to get together as a family tonight,” he said. “The amount of passion and dedication in this room tonight is fantastic, and this club is built on solid foundations and family spirit and we’ve built on that this season, and it will hold us in good stead for the NPL next season.”

Head Coach Rod Banjac said he was proud of his players and their elevation to the NPL, gives the clubs juniors a chance at the top level of football. “We faced some challenge times this season, but the boys delivered and I couldn’t more proud of them,” he said. “Our promotion now means our junior don’t have to leave to play in the NPL, it’s a really game changer, and that is something we’ve been working really hard to achieve.” The evening also celebrated other senior teams’ successes. The Women’s team and Masters Central team also finished runners-up in their division.



It’s the Amateur Cup Finals this weekend with four huge games at the E&D Litis Stadium in Mount Hawthorn on Sunday. The big one see’s North Perth United taking on Kwinana United in the Amateur Cup Final (4.45pm). In the earlier games Joondalup City takes on North Perth United in the Metro Cup Final (10.00am), Spearwood Dalmatinac and Joondalup United meet in the Masters Cup Final, 12.15pm) and Wembley Downs and North Perth United go head-to-head in the Reserves Cup Final (2.30pm)

North Perth United last won the Amateur Cup final in 2014, when they beat Gwelup Croatia 4-2, and they started their run this season with a big win against Division Two side Kalamunda United, and continued with another big win against Division One side Maccabi in round two. In round three they hosted fellow Premier League side Hamersley Rovers and ran out 2-0 winners, before a titanic quarter final 4-3 win in extra time against Premier League side Ellenbrook United. In the Semi-Final they took on fellow Premier League side Southern Spirit and goals from BJ Andrews and Ago Mujic gave them a 2-0 win.

North Perth Coach Jason Winters said it was a hard fought win against a good Spirit side and he’s expecting the final to be the same, as both games in the league have been tight. “It was very tough game in the semifinal against a good Southern Spirit side, who play some good football,” he said. “We’re expecting another tough game on Sunday, they (Kwinana) have some top players and Kris will have them pumped for the game. In the first league game against down their place we played really well and got the win, but in the second game Kwinana were the better side but Sean Laheart scored a screamer to get the equaliser that day and we got a lucky draw.”

Former ECU Joondalup keeper Jamie Serra has been in good form this season for North Perth, while top scorer Mehdi Rabei and fellow striker Ago Mujic are busy up top. Winters has a good all-round squad, and will look to skipper Oscar Kelly to lead them from the front as they look to add another cup to their trophy cabinet.

Kwinana United won promotion to the Premier League last season and this will be their first appearance in the Final since 1992, and they started their run with a win at Division Two side Gosnells City in round one, before edging out Division Three side Curtin University in round two. In round three they beat Division three side Stirling Lions Panthers 5-2, before a 3-1 win against Division three side Peel United in the quarter final. That set up a Semi-Final against Leeming Strikers and a brace from Gary Lunt gave them a 2-1 win.

Kwinana coach Kris Donnell said the win against Leeming was outstanding, and it gives them confidence going into the final. “The Semi-Final win was a great display from our lads,” he said. “It proved that when we have our full strength out, teams struggle to cope with how physical we are and I thought Leeming couldn't cope with us especially the second half. We know North Perth are a great side, and we know they have a very talented number of players. But we have to be prepared and be ready for a battle, because they are always dangerous going forward. In both games this season it’s been tough, and at home we struggled to stop their play especially the middle of the park and gave them too much respect, but away from home we never gave them a minute and marked their strikers out of the game, so that was a great boost coming into this game.”

Kwinana skipper Craig Dineley said they are looking forward to a tough game. “Everybody knows North Perth are a good side, but all the lads are buzzing for it and we will be looking to cause an upset,” he said. “We’ve played them twice this season, the first game we were caught with an early goal in the second half and chasing the game they caught us again. But the game at their ground we was able to give a better account of ourselves and show teams that we can compete with the top 3 teams on our day.”

Dineley said the Coach has turned their fortunes around this season, and he hopes a win on Sunday can wrap up a good season for the club. “Kris has done a great job this season and I’m pretty sure if you asked the boys at the beginning of the season for this finish we would have been happy, but now the lads are looking to finish it off on a high on Sunday.” Kwinana top goal scorer Jamie Nugent will be vital, while keeper Joe page will need to be on his toes, behind a tight defence with skipper Dineley and Danny Dyson at the heart, while the partnership in midfield of Glen Smith and Alan Benson will go a long way in winning the game for Donnell’s side.



A-League chief Greg O’Rourke has poured cold water on the idea of a second team in Western Australia, saying it will not happen for at least four years. Speaking at the 2017/18 A-League season launch yesterday, O’Rourke said the first of two new teams would likely be based in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane.

“The east coast would be the preference not only for us but also for the broadcasters in at least the first round of expansion,” O’Rourke said. “We are still committed to expand and we have a long-term horizon that will probably look like 16 teams. We’ll probably go up in twos from 12 to 14 to 16.”

“We would be looking at the 2019/20 season for the first two teams, to give them an opportunity to build their clubs. After that you start thinking about teams from anywhere in Australia that makes sense at the time. What we don’t want to do is expand then find that we would have preferred a different model.

“The first expansion will come along once we’ve fixed the new operating model, which effectively allows people to buy into the entity, the A-League, as well as get a licence. Nothing is locked away but it’s a little bit too far to be thinking ahead any further than the first two teams. We would like to think that there wouldn’t be any more than two years between the expansion.”



Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has turned to a player that he has never called up in his four-year tenure as his potential X-factor for October's World Cup play-offs. Nikita Rukavytsya's international career looked all but over before the Israeli-based striker was thrown a lifeline for the two-legged Asian playoffs against Syria.

The lightning quick left-footer, whose last Socceroos call-up was against France in October 2013, now looms as a key player for the October 5th and 10th ties. Plucked from obscurity, Rukavytsya and Tim Cahill will most likely be Postecoglou’s impact options in the event that the Socceroos are chasing the game and desperate for a goal.

Rukavytsya, 30, has established himself as one of the top strikers in Israel's top flight with Maccabi Haifa. "He's a different type of forward we can bring in and he adds something a bit different to what we've got," said Postecoglou, who views the former Perth Glory and Western Sydney striker as an extra attacking option for Australia.

"He's quick, can score goals, technically he's very good and he's got experience. He looks settled, the thing with Nikita is there is no doubt he had talent early in his career but he moved around a bit. He's always been around the fringes and always been one I've had in the back of my mind to bring in and have a look at."

Tomi Juric has nailed down the lead striker’s position but thereafter Postecoglou has failed to find a permanent back up beyond Cahill. Rukavytsya, who has scored one goal in 13 internationals, could go from zero to hero and become a Socceroos fairytale story.

The Australia squad to play Syria is Mustafa Amini (Aarhus), Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Tim Cahill (Melbourne City), Milos Degenek (Yokohama Marinos), Craig Goodwin (Sparta Rotterdam), Jackson Irvine (Burton Albion), Tomi Juric (Luzern), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Bluewings), Robbie Kruse (Bochum), Mitchell Langerak (Stuttgart), Mathew Leckie (Hertha BSC), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers), Tom Rogic (Celtic), Nikita Rukavytsya (Maccabi Haifa), Mathew Ryan (Brighton and Hove Albion), Trent Sainsbury (Jiangsu Suning), Brad Smith (Bournemouth), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory), Daniel Vukovic (Genk) and Bailey Wright (Bristol City).



Gosnells City moved into the All Flags State League Promotion and Relegation Play-Off Final after a 3-1 win against Swan United in the Semi-Final at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Tuesday evening. Darren Francis opened the scoring early for Gosnells, but they were then reduced to ten men when Josh Wade was sent off. Jordan Parfitt added a second on the hour, before Steve Shore pulled one back for Swan, but Parfitt’s second sealed a 3-1 win on the night, 6-1 on aggregate. The win moved Gosnells into the Final against Morley Windmills, who beat Wanneroo in the other Semi-Final. The first leg will be held at Walter Padbury Reserve on Saturday, while the second leg will be held at Wotton Reserve on Thursday.

Gosnells striker Parfitt was lively and caused Swan problems all night and he said they are looking forward to the Final, and go into it with confidence. “We’ve had a hard season with injuries, but wins like tonight make it all worthwhile, and we go into next week’s final on a high,” he explained. “We know Morley will be another tough game and they want it just as much as we do, but we’ll take a great deal of confidence from this result, and give it our all in both legs.”

The two-goal hero was also praised by Coach Alan Dunlop, and he said his pace and the experience at the back of skipper Dean Aplegren saw them home. “I thought the sending off was a pretty harsh decision if I’m honest, but the boys dug in for 70 minutes with ten men,” he said. “We kept our shape really well and young Jordan (Parfitt) up top worked his socks off and he did a great job and scored two goals to cap a good performance off.

“Our skipper put in another great shift for us, he’s been injured but has been first class in recent weeks, while Darren (Francis) and Tom (Gibbons) were great in the middle of the park, but it was a good team performance tonight and we now move on to Morley. “It’s all about recovery for us now, but we are determined to stay in the division. It’s going to be a tough test, but this is what play-off is meant to bring, a bit of excitement, and let’s just hope we’re on the right end of it.”

Swan needed a good start, after losing the first leg 0-3, but it was Gosnells who hit the front early. Aplegren’s free kick picked out Francis at the back post, and the former Armadale midfielder headed past Alec Radonich. Gosnells were dominating and Jerome White’s shot was cleared off the line by Shore, and moments later Francis’ flick was cleared of the line by Joey Rameo.

Things went from bad to worse for Swan with John Monterosso limping off injured after only 17 minutes, and he was replaced Nenulim Charming.

But on 26 minutes Gosnells were reduced to ten men, when referee Julian Serra sent Wade off after he brought down Charming, and he was deemed to be the last man. Swan lifted and had two great chances in quick succession. Luke Colli burst clear four minutes later, but keeper Adriano Dalo stood tall to deny him. Francis and Tom Gibbins were working overtime in midfield for Gosnells, but Swan were on the front foot, and Luke Colli was in again before half time, but Dalo was again equal to the task, making a smart save to deny him.

But the game was put out of the reach of Swan on the hour, when Gosnells added a second. A long ball over the top sent Parfitt racing clear and the speedy striker finished with aplomb. Swan weren’t going down without a fight and they hit back and reduced the margin two minutes later, a great finish on the run by Shore. But Gosnells restored their two goal buffer on 65 minutes. Wade Farmer played in Parfitt, and with the Swan defence looking for the offside flag, that never came, his shot took a slight deflection past Radonich. Swan pressed late, but they couldn’t find a way past a tight defence well-marshalled by Aplegren, Gosnells almost made it 4-1 late, when Francis’ powerful header crashed off the woodwork.

Swan United Coach Matt Debarro said he thought the better team won over the two games, but he was unhappy with the two goals after half time, which he thought were offside. “It wasn’t ideal to concede so early, but after the sending off we had three great chances which we failed to take, if we had put them away it might have been a different game. ” he said. “We thought the two goals after half time were offside, but hey that’s football, but over the two legs they were the better side.”

Swan United: GK Alec RADONICH, 2 Tom BLACK, 3 Steve SHORE, 5 Chris MARSHALL, 8 David WHILLIANS (13 Jordan ROSSETTO 46’), 9 Corey WELSH (6 Brayden GRAY 68’), 10 James SHAMIM, 11 John MONTEROSSO, (14 Nenulim CHARMING 17’), 12 Luke COLLI, 15 Joe ROMEO, 16 Aaron COLLI - Subs not used: 7 David PAONE, 17 Dom ANDO

Gosnells City: GK Adriano DALO, 2 Jett SHAW, 3 Tom GIBBINS, 5 Jerome WHITE (6 Salvador CHAVEZ 34’), 7 Wade FARMER (4 James SHARP 65’), 8 Tony CHANDLER, 9 Darren FRANCIS (15 Issy Tan 72’), 10 Jordan PARFITT, 11 Josh COOK, 13 Josh WADE, 22 Dean APLEGREN - Subs not used: RGK Jack ADAMS, 14 Alan DUNLOP - Red Cards: Wade 26’ - Referee: Julian Serra



Morley Windmills will play Gosnells City in the All Flags State League Promotion and Relegation Play-off Final after defeating Wanneroo City 4-0 on Tuesday night in the second leg of their Semi-Final play-off. Leading 1-0 from the first leg striker Ben Wantee was the hero bagging a hat-trick while Boas Mtwale added the other in a dominant performance from John Castrilli’s side. “We dominated the match. We didn’t put a foot wrong tonight,” the coach told the football west website. “I can’t fault a single one of the boys. Next week we’ll focus on playing the way we did tonight and hopefully go again.”

Skipper Scott Wrightson said they are looking forward to the game on Saturday after a good performance. “We knew going into last night that it would be a tough game, they have played reasonably well at home but we also knew that if we got the early goal then it would be very hard for them to get back into the game,” he explained. “I felt that we were in full control from the first whistle to the last. When Ben is playing as he did last night then he is unplayable, on top of that i don’t think there was single person out there that didn’t give 100% and I couldn’t be more proud of the boys. We showed what we are capable of, and now we look to Saturday and Gosnells who themselves have come off a big win against Swan, but if we stay in the same frame of mind then I have every confidence in the boys getting the job done.”

Morley made the perfect start and were ahead on five minutes. Wrightson played Igor Novakovic in down the left, and he squared the ball to Wantee who beat the defender to the ball and fired home. Wanneroo pressed but struggled to break down a tight Morley defence and it was the visitors who doubled their lead on the half hour. Ryan Treacy’s long-range free kick wasn’t held by Wanneroo keeper Joey Smith, and Mtwale followed up to score.

The visitors made the game save five minutes after half time with a third. Wantee left the Wanneroo defenders in his wake down the right, and raced into the area and curled home from a tight angle. Wanneroo were shell-shocked but they continued to fight but they were being caught on the counter attack by the speedy Morley strikers and they conceded a fourth on 73 minutes. Wantee again raced down the right this time, cut in the box and finished with aplomb to complete his hat trick and send the Wotton Park club into the Play-Off Final.

Castrilli was very delighted with Wantee’s game, and he is hoping he can continue his fine form at Gosnells on Saturday. “Benny has been a little bit hot and cold for us this season,” he explained. “But when Benny is on song there is no one better. This was probably his best game all year, and we’ll need him to step up again next week.” Despite the loss Wanneroo City coach Tin Kantor said his team has still had a good year. “I was disappointed, we tried something different but we were beaten by the better side,” he explained. “No one expected us to finish anywhere near the top four so we’ve still had a great season.”

Wanneroo City: GK Joey SMITH, 5 Stuart SIDDALL, 6 Josh GOMEZ (11 Nathan SCULLY 61) 8 Kye DOUGLAS, 15 Liam MOONEY, 16 Adam O’NIELL, 25 Matt FRANKEN, 27 Nathan SMITH (23 Joel GILLESPIE 61) 34 Nathan GROSTATE (22 Josh CHIVELL 61), 35 Flynn NOLAN 36 Godfrey ASIMWE - Subs not used: RGK Josiah GODFREY, 14 Matt AUSTIN

Morley Windmills: GK Yousri GHARSALLAH, 3 Oluwasijibomi ANENIYI (13 Christian MARAUDO 87), 4 Ryan TREACEY, 5 Scott WRIGHTSON (2 Ricky BERELOWITZ 84) 6 Deng MAWIEN, 7 Yves MWILA, 8 Boas MTWALE, 9 Ben WANTEE (17 Paul GRABIC 90), 10 Igor NOUAKOVIC, 12 Faustino MACHOCHI, 16 Jan UREGELA – Subs not used: RGK Timothy SMITH, 14 Brandon RECTOR - Referee: Paul Cole



Fringe Socceroo Mark Birighitti stole the show with an incredible double stop in NAC Breda 2-0 win over Feyenoord in the Dutch Eredivisie. The former Newcastle Jets goalkeeper, signed from English outfit Swansea City in August, saved Michiel Kramer’s spot kick then superbly turning away the follow-up shot to keep his newly promoted side in the contest. Fellow West Australian Brad Jones was between the posts for Feyenoord.



Matildas striker Sam Kerr may be in unstoppable form on the pitch, but the Australian star has been a shock omission from the shortlist for the FIFA’s Best Women's Player award of 2017. 24-year old Kerr was one of ten players in contention for the award.

But when FIFA cut the list to three finalists on Friday night, Kerr's name was not to be found. The trio left in the hunt for the prestigious award were Carli Lloyd (United States), Lieke Martens (the Netherlands) and Deyna Castellanos (Venezuela).

The decision to leave out Kerr has prompted outrage on social media from her peers around the world, amongst them retired American greats Julie Foudy and Abby Wambach. The winner of the Best Women's Player award for 2017 will be made at a ceremony in London on 23 October.



Glory coach Kenny Lowe was left more than satisfied with his side's performance in today's 3-2 friendly defeat at the hands of reigning A-League champions, Sydney FC. A rare goal from Marc Warren gave the visitors an early lead in the game that was played behind closed doors at Leichardt Oval, before Dutch defender Jordy Buijs levelled things up.

Three minutes later, Brazilian striker Bobo made it 2-1 to the hosts and although Adam Taggart drew Glory level with his fourth goal of the pre-season campaign early in the second half, Bobo duly bagged what proved to be the winner 13 minutes from time. The game marked Xavi Torres' debut for Glory and the Spaniard's display was one of many positives Lowe took from what was an entertaining and hard-fought clash.

"We played really well," Lowe said. "We got about 60 minutes into (Diego) Castro and Xavi and 45 minutes into (Jacob) Poscoliero, which was good. It was an excellent, high-level game and a great test. Sydney looked good, but we matched them all over the park and the game was played in a really good spirit and at a really good tempo. There were a lot of very promising signs and we created numerous opportunities which was very pleasing."

Warren may still be waiting to bag his first A-League goal, but he showed the predatory instincts of a seasoned strker when opening the scoring against his former club. Chasing down an under-hit back-pass, he beat goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne to the ball before calmly finding the bottom corner. And fellow-defender Scott Neville then also took the opportunity to showcase his attacking prowess, providing a headed assist for Taggart who was left with a simple tap-in to make it 2-2.

Bobo was played in superbly by substitute Anthony Kalik to seal the win for the hosts, but Lowe remains confident that his charges are on track to hit the ground running when they return to face Western Sydney Wanderers on 8 October. "We're travelling well," he said. "And we didn't pick up any fresh injuries today either, which was good."

"We did lose Joseph Mills, but that was because he was taken ill before the game. We’ve now got a two-week lead-in to the season, so we’ll try and organise another external game if we can and also have an in-house game to make sure we get two more run-outs before we start the league campaign. And if we can’t organise that external game, we’ll just have two in-house."



Silverware has narrowly eluded Matthew Davies so far, but Pahang's captain says he will be better off in the long run, despite some bitter disappointment. The 22-year old has played in two losing finals this year - May's FA Cup loss to Kedah with Pahang, and a 1-0 defeat to Thailand with Malaysia in the Southeast Asian Games in August.

"That's my story this year, but I'll learn from these experiences," Davies told The Star. "Having these big matches under my belt is a good thing and will hold me in good stead. It's disappointing to enjoy a good run to the final, get all hyped up and then end up not winning titles."

After coming up second-best in the FA Cup and SEA Games, Davies admits that he'd take a runner's up finish in the Malaysia Super League. With Johor Darul Ta'zim having already wrapped the MSL title, Pahang are in third place, one point behind Kedah, and three points above Felda United, Selangor and Perak.

Pahang host relegation-threatened Sarawak when the MSL resumes on Wednesday night. Davies scored one goal and set-up another as Pahang defeated Perak 3-1 in the first leg of the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Cup pn Saturday.

"We had a good win over Perak, but a strong performance is much more important. Everyone is combining well and we are looking dangerous," he said. "We expect another strong performance against Sarawak in the league. It might give us a chance to rotate the players, but we are still motivated to finish on a high."



It was the final round of fixtures in the Sunday Amateur Premier Division and Wembley Downs were presented their league winner’s trophy, this despite suffering only their second defeat of the season, losing to Subiaco 2-1 at Rosalie Park. It started well for the Champions and they were ahead on the quarter hour, Stephen Geoghegan finding the target from a free kick. But Subiaco levelled just half time, Matt Jones’ shot was only half cleared, and Tim Pugh rifled in from 20 meters to equalize. The home side won it 20 minutes from time, a quick passing movement sent Paddy Begley clear, and he finished clinically. Wembley coach Colm Costello said Subiaco deserved the win. “We didn’t play well today, and we were missing few players,” he said. “But credit to Subiaco, they thoroughly deserved it on the day.”

Subiaco Coach Les Cavill said it was good to send their keeper off into retirement with a win. “After losing the earlier game to Wembley in somewhat controversial circumstances, we saw this game as a must win and it was obvious that Wembley approached the game in the same manner,” he said. “To be honest our defence restricted Wembley to very few chances and if we were more clinical in front of goal in the second half the winning margin could have been higher. More importantly we all wanted to send our excellent goalkeeper of six years, Thom Baker into retirement with a win to mark the occasion. Wembley deserved the championship because they were the most consistent team in a competitive premier league. Our group will now look forward with great enthusiasm to the 2018 season.”

Kingsley finished runners-up on the table after they beat BB United 2-0 at Chichester Park. BB United had only eight players at kick off and defend very deep, and Kingsley peppered their goal. Lee Thomas’ shot was deflected past the keeper to open the scoring, before Jayden Drummond was brought down in the box, and Cathal Quinn scored from the penalty, but unfortunately at half time BB United forfeited.

Kwinana United warmed up for next week’s Amateur Cup Final with a 2-0 win against Hamersley Rovers at Carine Open Space. Both goals were scored by Lee Bates, with two great finishes, and Kwinana Coach Kris Connell said it was good performance. “We rested a lot of players for the cup final next week,” he explained. “It was great the boys to step up from reserves, and they all put in a flawless performance, so it’s good to end the season with the win, and we now look forward to the Cup Final next week.”

North Perth United’s preparations for the Cup Final didn’t go to plan after they were beaten 1-0 by Belmont Villa at Gerry Archer Sports Complex. It was early in the second half that Belmont took the lead. A quick break by Kevin Mulgrew, his pinpoint cross to the back post found unmarked winger Patrick Barry to finish with a diving header. Both sides pressed but that was the end of the scoring, unfortunately an ambulance had to be called as North Perth player Niall Murphy dislocated his elbow, which will see him miss next week’s Cup Final - we all wish him a speedy recovery.

“We were expecting a tough game against North Perth and all credit to our coach Phil Weall who set us up to frustrate NP and that's what we did,” Belmont skipper James McDaid said. “All players worked their socks off to show a little pride after a disappointing season for us. The Villa lads defended wave after wave of NP attack, and countered on the break. Overall it was a disappointing season for the Villa considering the talent and we believe we massively underachieved. It's been hard to field out our best 11, but the club is planning for next season early and we hope to see some new players at the club come Jan / Feb and really put in a good push for the league.”

In other games Leeming Strikers travelled to Watsons Reserve and came home with a 2-0 win against Southern Spirit. The visitors were ahead five minutes before half time, some nice play down the wing before a cross was met at the back post by Ben Greaves to finish from close-range. Then in stoppage time they doubled their advantage, Lucas Pickering was played through and slid the ball under the goalkeeper to make it 2-0. Ellenbrook United jumped to eight on the table after a 2-1 win against Perth Royals at Ellenbrook Sports Hub.

WA Sunday league Face Book administrator Chris Brady has done a great job with the page this season and he gave his summary of the season – It’s been one of the most competitive premier league seasons in recent years finally came to an end yesterday as Wembley Downs SC was crowned Amateur Premier League champions for the first time. North Perth United had made the early running in 2017, however an inconsistent few weeks from NPU in June / July allowed Wembley to jump ahead and the title was effectively theirs to lose after they defeated Kingsley in Round 12 at Butlers Reserve. Kingsley kept the pressure on them right until the end with a string of wins, however Wembley kept their nerve during the run home to lift a well-deserved title.

Strong seasons from Leeming, Subiaco, Belmont and Kwinana who all took important points throughout the season and will look to push even higher up the table next season. Southern Spirit probably would have expected to finish higher, while Ellenbrook’s young side struggled for the most part in their debut season, however their lads should be much stronger for the experience in 2018. After a turbulent pre-season, Hamersley Rovers finished 2017 strongly to avoid the relegation drop and allow everyone to enjoy their spanking new facilities next season. Perth Royals and BB United both finish in the drop zone and will look to rebuild next year. Good luck to both clubs.

As for the Reserves, it was a three-way race for the most part between Kingsley, North Perth and Southern Spirit. Spirit faded towards the end of the season, and the season was just about decided in the penultimate round when Kingsley beat North Perth 4-2 in an epic match last week at Woodville Reserve. Some lop sided score lines in the reserves competition this year, so hopefully with strong sides coming up from Division 1 the overall standard will lift in 2018.

As for next season, UWA and Jaguars are on their way up and will be looking to make a big impact like Subiaco and Kwinana before them. In a few weeks’ time, we will know whether Wembley Downs has taken the option of going to state league, and if so we wish them well and welcome Shamrock Rovers back to the premier league. Well done to all the league winners and promoted sides from all the Sunday Leagues this season and see you again in 2018 (except probably Wembley who should be off winning the state league). Well done Chris!!!!!!

Wembley Downs players celebrate winning the Amateur Premier Division title.



Forrestfield United will be playing PS4 NPLWA football next season after overcoming Mandurah City 6-3 on aggregate to seal a spot in the top flight of WA football next season. Forrestfield led 3-0 from the first leg, but in a classic second leg at the Securitas Protect Stadium, Mandurah were back in the tie early with skipper Andy Brown heading home, but Sani Sinclair levelled on the day with a crucial away goal. But Mandurah added two more before half time, with Jeff Bright converting from the penalty spot, before Ryan Francis made it 4-3 on aggregate, and it was game on. But after half time Forrestfield settled, and Sinclair made it 3-2 from the penalty spot and defender Joe O’Brien was sent off, before Ben Rogers levelled on the day and put the visitors in control.

At the final whistle Coaches, players and supporters celebrated on the pitch, as the Hartfield Park club seal a spot in the top flight of WA football for the first time since 1986. “I knew we were going to be up for a challenge today, simply of our unexperienced exposer to this situation, and knowing Doug and his team would have analyzed everything we do, and credit to them, they came out with all guns firing and scored the early goal,” Forrestfield Coach Rod Banjac said. “That flustered us and after the second and third we were all at sea, so at halftime we settled them down and started focusing on our individual responsibilities and we played the way we are capable off. I’ve got a great squad, the players get on really well and I couldn’t be more proud of them today.”

It was Mandurah who were out of the blocks early, and they made the perfect start, ahead after only two minutes, Bright’s corner was headed home powerfully by Brown at the back post. It wasn’t the start Forrestfield were looking for, and things got worse three minutes later when Rhys Loxley succumb to a groin injury and was replaced by Jordan Hart. But they put that disappointment behind them and two minutes later they levelled. A sweeping move ended with Hart racing down the right and his low cross was turned home by Sinclair, for a vital away goal, much to the delight of the travelling supporters. Mandurah needed quick goals and they made it 2-1 on 19 minutes, Bright was brought down in the box by Matt Harold, and referee Matthew Southern pointed straight to the spot. Bright picked himself up and scored from the resulting penalty.

The home fans were on their feet again five minutes later Francis lost his marker on the edge of the box, his low shot was pushed onto the post by Luke Martino, but Francis was quickest to react to fire home the rebound. Forrestfield were hanging on as Mandurah went in for the kill, but the young heads stood firm and they went close themselves late. First skipper Liam Merigan played in Hart, but his shot was well saved by Kieran Shail, and in stoppage time Merigan’s shot on the run was saved by Shail, but at half time it was still game on.

Whatever coach Banjac said at half time worked, as Forrestfield looked lively and Sinclair’s low cross was fired inches wide by Hart early, before Sinclair’s header drifted inches wide of the target. Mandurah were struggling to get a foot hold, and it wasn’t a surprise when Forrestfield scored on the hour. Hart raced into the area and fell under the challenge of Joe O’Brien, and the referee pointed to the spot and sent the young defender off. Sinclair kept his nerves and fired home to put the game out of reach of Mandurah.

Forrestfield levelled on the day four minutes later, Rogers wasn’t closed down and his long-range shot flew into the corner of the net giving Shail no chance. The Forrestfield travelling supporters were in party mood, with the game sewn up, but Mandurah went close to a fourth on the day on 80 minutes, but Martino produced a great save to deny Francis. At the final whistle it was Forrestfield celebrating and they were presented with the play-off trophy and I’m sure celebrations would go long into the night.

Mandurah coach Doug Hesketh said they started well but the sending off killed them. “The plan was to get at them early and it was a perfect start, but the sending off of young Joe killed us, and it was a bit harsh in my opinion,” he said. “But hey we tried something in the first leg and didn’t work, and although I wasn’t there I was totally involved with how we set up, but good luck to Forrestfield, I’ve got no complaints. Last season we finished second in Division One and today we’ve swapped places with second in Division One. We had a good Night Series in the NPL and we’ve taken some good experience from our time in it. I won’t be here next season, but I’ll be around and hopefully we get things together and get back in the NPL.”

Mandurah City 3 (Brown 2’, Bright 19’ pen, Francis 24’) V Forrestfield United 3 (Sinclair 7’, 60’ pen, Rogers 64’) - Forrestfield win 6-3 on agg

Mandurah City: GK Kieran SHAIL, 2 Oliver MCGEE, 3 Jeff BRIGHT, 4 Matt STARES, 5 Aiden GLARK, 6 Lance LOUVIE, 7 Joshua WARREN (12 Joe O’BRIEN 46’), 8 Andy BROWN (13 Slade RULE 75’), 9 Sean TROUP, 10 Daniel DAVIES (16 Kevin CASTLE 75’), 11 Ryan FRANCIS - Subs not used: 14 Mark MCLAUGHLIN - Red Cards: O’Brien 59’

Forrestfield United: GK Luke MARTINO, 4 Mark BARNETT, 5 Jamie DUNCAN, 6 Matt HAROLD, 8 Mitch CROCKER (3 Joshua KOTIO 83’), 11 Liam MERIGAN (C), 12 Sani SINCLAIR, 13 Scott BARKER, 14 Ben ROGERS (7 Trevor LAURE 77’), 15 Trent BLEWETT, 23 Rhys LOXLEY (10 Jordan HART 5’) - Subs not used: RGK Ben PARRY, 12 Leslie MARI - Referee: Matthew Southern

Forrestfield are on their way back to the top flight after 31 years.



Gosnells City have taken a huge step towards All Flags State League Division One survival after beating Swan United 3-0 in the first leg of the play-off at Walter Padbury Reserve on Saturday afternoon. A first half goal from Elliot Ireland, and two goals late in the second half from Wade Farmer and Jordan Parfitt have but Gosnells in control and the Swans have it all to do in the second leg at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Tuesday evening.

“I said at the start, the clean sheet was the important thing and we did that,” Gosnells City coach Alan Dunlop said. “It was a difficult game Swan where very physical but I thought our lads stood up to them we also defended very well, and it was great to get a couple of goals late on to give us a good lead going into the second leg, which will be another tough match.”

It was a typical start to a play-off game with both sides playing tight football but it was the home side who opened the scoring on 20 minutes. Tom Gibbins found space down the flank, and cut inside the penalty area and was brought down by and referee Shane Skinner pointed straight to the spot. Ireland stepped up and fired down the middle of the goal to convert the resulting penalty. Both sides pressed for the rest of the half but clear cut chances were few and far between and at the break the home side led 1-0.

It was a tight start to the second half, with the tackles flying in but chances were hard to come by with both sets of defenders on top. Swan went close on 75 minutes, a cross picked out Steve Shore, his shot flashed inches over the top. Moments later Nenulim Charming was picked out in the box, but he couldn’t find the target. Those misses came back to haunt the Black and Whites, and two minutes from full time Gosnells added a second. A mistake at the back by Swan defender Steve Shore, let in Farmer, who finished clinically low under the on-coming Alec Radonich.

It was a huge goal for Alan Dunlop’s side, but the home fans were cheering again sixty seconds later, when Gosnells added a third. Great work by Farmer out wide, ended with a low cross found Ireland, who squared the ball to Parfitt who scored from close range, ensuring City go into the second leg in a good position. Swan United Coach Matt Debarro said they have it all to do in the second leg. “It was disappointing to concede 3 goals off 3 errors but that's football,” he said. “We now have a mountain to climb but we are more than capable of overcoming the task.”

Gosnells City 3 (Ireland pen 20min, Farmer 88, Parfitt 89) v Swan United 0

Gosnells City: GK Adriano DALO, 2 Jett SHAW, 4 Josh WADE, 7 Wade FARMER, 8 Elliot IRELAND (15 Rama KABWE 90’), 9 Darren FRANCIS, 10 Jordan PARFITT, 11 Josh COOK (3 Issy Tan 74’), 12 Jerome WHITE (16 Cherno BAH 74’), 18 Tom GIBBINS, 22 Dean APLEGREN – Subs not used: RGK Alan DUNLOP

Swan United: GK Alec RADONICH, 3 Tom BLACK, 4 Steve SHORE, 5 Chris MARSHALL (17 Jordan ROSSETTO 70’), 6 David WHILLIANS, 7 David PAONE (15 Dom ANDO 77’), 8 Brayden GRAY, 9 Corey WELSH (12 Nenulim CHARMING 77), 10 James SHAMIM, 13 Aaron COLLI, 16 Joe ROMEO – Subs not used: 11 John MONTEROSSO - Referee: Shane Skinner



Morley Windmills have the slight edge over Wanneroo City going into the second leg of the All Flags State League Division One play-off, after a narrow 1-0 win at Wotton Reserve in the first leg. Ben Wantee scored the only goal of the game just before half time, but it sets up an enthralling second leg at Wanneroo Reserve on Tuesday evening. “I think the boys played very well today,” Morley Coach John Castrilli told the Football West website. “We probably had 80 percent of the possession so it’s unfortunate for us that we didn’t turn that into more goals and bury the result earlier on. We always seem to have to create more chances than our opponents, but we know as long as we create those chances, the result will come. We will go into Tuesday night with confidence knowing that they’ll have to score at least two win.”

After dominating for most of the first half, it looked like Morley would go into the break even, but late on they went close to the opener. Wantee found a pocket of space on the edge of the penalty area on 40 minutes, and cut inside, his shot looked destined for the top corner, but the crossbar came to the rescue of Wanneroo custodian Joey Smith. But three minutes later the striker did give Morley the lead. Igor was brought down in the penalty area by Adam O’Niell and referee John Taran pointed to the spot and booked the Wanneroo player. Wantee stepped up to score from the resulting penalty to send the home side in with a 1-0 lead.

Morley had the perfect chance to double their lead on the hour. Wantee was the supplier this time, playing in Yves Mwila who was brought down by Smith, and the referee again pointed to the spot. Wantee stepped up again, but Smith redeemed himself saving well to deny the striker and keep his side in the game. Wanneroo lifted and went close themselves five minutes from time. O’Niell’s ball over the top sent second half substitute Flynn Nolan clear, but Morley keeper Yousri Gharsallah stood tall to deny him.

But at 1-0 Wanneroo are still in the game and Coach Tim Kantor said they had their chances to score but didn’t take them. “I think at the end of the day they were the better side,” he told the Football West website. “Especially in the first-half we were lucky just to hang on, however we created some chances in the second-half, so we certainly could have got something out of this game. We have nothing to lose come Tuesday, so we’re going to go out, try and score some goals and it should be an entertaining game.”

Morley Windmills 1 (Wantee 43min) v Wanneroo City 0

Morley Windmills: GK Yousri GHARSALLAH 2 Ricky BERELOWITZ (6 Mawien DENG 83'), 3 Aneniyi OLUWASIJIBOMI, 4 Ryan TREACEY, 5 Scott WRIGHTSON (C), 7 Yves MWILA (17 Paul GRABIC 72'), 8 Boas MTWALE, 9 Ben WANTEE, 10 Igor NOVAKOVIC, 12 Faustin MACHOCHI, 16 Jan UREGELA – Subs not used: RGK Timothy SMITH, 13 Christian MIROUDO, 14 Brandon RECTOR

Wanneroo City: GK Joey SMITH 5 Stuart SIDDALL (C), 8 Kye DOUGLAS, 12 Chris WILLIAMS (11 Nathan SCULLY 76'), 14 Matt AUSTIN (35 Flynn NOLAN 61'), 15 Liam MOONEY, 16 Adam O’NIELL, 23 Joel GILLESDIE (22 Josh CHIVELL 71'), 25 Matt FRANKEN, 34 Nathan GROSTATE, 36 Godfrey ASIMWE - Subs not used: RGK Josiah GODFREY, 6 Josh GOMEZ - Referee: John Taran



Mandurah City return home on Saturday in the second leg of the PS4 NPLWA playoff against Forrestfield United at Securitas Protect Stadium – 2.30pm. Wednesday’s result in the first leg was a disappointing result for Mandurah City, and a brace from Rhys Loxley and another from skipper Liam Merigan put Rod Banjac’s side in complete control of the tie. Mandurah are definitely not out of it, and any team coached by Doug Hesketh, Steve Robinson and Mick Lyons will be tough, but they need goals, and early ones at that. In Wednesday game the Dolphins were without experienced players Cyril Sharrock, Andy Brown, Craig Tone, Matt Stares and Oscar Thompson, although Thompson made plenty of noise at Hartfield Park on Wednesday.

Jordan Rhodes was one of the better Mandurah players in the first leg, but he said it was a night to forget. “It was a tough night if you are a Mandurah supporter,” he said. “It was a bit of an odd feel about the game being a Wednesday night fixture and after having some time off. But to be perfectly honest you have to give credit to Forrestfield, they were the better team on Wednesday in front of their home crowd and deserved to win.”

Rhodes said the game is at half time and with their home support behind them they will be going all out for goals. “Yes we obviously need goals. It will be interesting to see how Rod sets his team out on Saturday, as they play to a specific philosophy in terms of an expansive brand of football, and I am sure he won’t want to abandon those principles,” he said. “The club have invested heavily in the new facility this season so I am sure Forrestfield will have more than a few butterflies kicking about come Saturday kick off.”

Forrestfield produced some superb attacking football and centre of most of it was midfielder Mitch Crocker. The former Stirling Lions and Bayswater City player was instrumental on the night and he said it was a just reward for their performance. “The first leg couldn’t have gone any better from our perspective,” he said. “We believed our brand of football would cause them issues and it did, but it was still a physical battle they are a good side.”

Crocker said Head coach Rod Banjac sat them down in the changing rooms after the game and told them the game wasn’t over and we need to put in the same sort of performance on Saturday. “It’s only half time, and we know the next leg is going to be tough and I can only assume they'll throw the kitchen sink at us but we are prepared and focused,” he said. “Our support staff and fans came into the room to sing the club song after the game, but we told them we are not celebrating anything yet, we still have 90 minutes of tough football to go to get the win.”



There are four clubs chasing a spot in the All Flags State League Division One this week, as the play-offs take centre stage in WA football. They kick off on Saturday afternoon with the first legs, Gosnells City entertaining Swan United at Walter Padbury Reserve, while Morley Windmills host Wanneroo City at Wotton Reserve. The return legs will be played on Tuesday, with Swan United hosting Gosnell at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium, while Wanneroo entertain Morley at Wanneroo Reserve.

It was tough season for Gosnells City, but in his second spell as head coach Alan Dunlop said they have some of their youngsters an opportunity, which will bode well for the future. “We’ve had a horror run with injuries, and to key players too, but on a positive we have brought through some great young players and we are starting to build a good squad. We have shown that we can compete with the top teams on our day,” he said. “So whatever happens in the playoffs we are confident we can develop this group into a good team. We have a great club with ambition and we are determined to be successful.”

Gosnells were beaten in the final league game at South West Phoenix last week, but despite the result Dunlop said it was good preparation for the playoff game against Swan. “Last week was probably the story of our season, we played very well again, but never got anything from the game, but it was certainly a good work out for the lads, and a good trip to Bunbury as well,” he said. “We are really looking forward to the game, but we are aware these type of play offs are always tricky, but we are ready for the challenge. They (Swan) have had a great season and will be right up for the game especially with momentum on their side. But we see this as a winnable game and we will be doing everything to get something from it on Saturday, especially in front of a big crowd which is expected at Walter Padbury this weekend.”

Swan finished fourth on the Division Two table, with a late surge that saw them beat Champions Gwelup Croatia and Kingsway Olympic in the final two games to seal a spot, and Coach Matt Debarro said it shows how good they can be. “The last two weeks have been massive victories and are proof that when we are at our best we can beat anybody,” he said. “In the pre-season we beat Sorrento and Ashfield and went the distance with Perth as well in a narrow 3-2 loss, and these games definitely prepared us for what we faced the last few weeks and for what we now need to overcome.”

Swan were part of the Premier league in 2010, and won the State League Cup in 2003 and Debarro said they will be doing all they can bring success back to the Swan Valley club. “It has been a very tough season, where we have been up and down with form, but thankfully we have come good at the right time,” he said. “The players and I know we have the opportunity to go one step closer, and to get the club back to where it once was, and we’ll be doing all we can to do it.”

Debarro said Gosnells will be desperate to stay in Division One, but he is looking to spring a surprise. “We know Saturday will be tough, as they will not want to be relegated, so thankfully the pressure is all on them, as we have everything to gain whilst they have everything to lose,” he explained. “We look forward to the challenge and will enjoy participating in a playoff series. Whatever happens I am extremely proud of the boys for their efforts.”

Morley Windmills were in the title race for most of the season, but didn’t win in their last three games, but Coach John Castrilli said it’s not a concern and they have done better than expected. “It has been a great season for the club, and the players have exceeded all expectations and all at our club are proud of their achievements,” he said. “There is no concern on our behalf about our results in the last few weeks, as we have been rotating players as soon as we knew we were in the play offs. “Last week against Kelmscott we played three players that were 18-years- old or younger, and I thought they did a great job against a side that was battling to stay in contention.”

Castrilli said like his side, Wanneroo have been playing some good football, and he believes it should be a great game. “Obviously this week’s game is as important as it gets, we are all focused at the task at hand and will be working hard to try to get the needed result on Saturday,” he explained. “With two of the best teams in our league playing finals football, we are hoping for a large crowd to show the great standard that our league has.”

Wanneroo have been the big improvers this season, and new Coach Tim Kantor has taken them from second bottom last season to third this. He said he has given players the opportunity and they haven’t let him down. “It's been a very rewarding season so far, and since taking over the Head Coach role we have assembled an entirely new squad with only 1 or 2 lads from last season remaining,” he said. “We set about building a young squad with a sprinkling of experience. So far it's worked well and the boys have really adopted and embraced our style and formation well. “The average age of our squad is 22 with our youngest being just 16, and I have put my faith in these youngsters and they have really taken the bull by the horns and delivered.”

Kantor said they have got the better of Morley in the season, and he will be looking for a repeat in the play-offs. “We have played Morley twice in the league and have taken four out of six points, but this is high pressure finals football and it will be interesting to see how our young squad handle the occasion,” he said. “Morley have been in the top two all season, they have an extremely experienced squad and Saturday is going to be a huge challenge for our young squad. “But there is one thing that I've learned this year, with youth comes no fear and our boys are ready for the challenge and will hopefully make a good account of themselves, and I’m sure they won't leave anything in the tank come Saturday.”

State League Division One Playoff details:

First Leg – Saturday September 23 (3.00pm)
Gosnells City v Swan United – Walter Padbury Reserve
Morley Windmills v Wanneroo City – Wotton Reserve

Second Leg – Tuesday September 26 (7.00pm)
Swan United v Gosnells City – Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium
Wanneroo City v Morley Windmills – Kingsway Reserve, Wanneroo SC



It’s been a fantastic season for Wembley Downs, and last week’s win against Kwinana United sealed the 2017 league title. Wembley Coach Colm Costello said the squad have been outstanding and have been a pleasure to work with. “At the start of the season a few lads were thinking of packing the game in, but we all got together early January and with massive support from our committee to approach the season in a professional manner,” he explained.

“We went straight into an intense pre-season and eventually won the night series which was a great start, and gauged how far we could go with the squad we had. We went on and beat PS4 NPLWA side Stirling Lions in the cup on a real emotional day for everyone involved here after the tragic passing of Neil Fitzsimons our player for two years. We continued to improve and our league form was immaculate, with only one defeat to a strong North Perth team. That loss made us stronger and even hungrier as a group, and lads went on an incredible run and won 15 games and drew one. We still couldn’t get clear of North Perth and Kingsley, and it was a three horse race for most of season so huge credit to them. Overall as a coach I said all season players set the standards and it's my job only to maintain them, so full credit to everyone in the squad, I couldn't have asked for anymore from them.”

Costello is first to say it’s been a team effort on and off the park at Butlers Reserve, and he said they have all been on the same page. “Huge effort has been put in place, both on and off the pitch, from Athanasios Tsirigotis, Natalie Harding, Andrew Whalley and the committee, who have backed me all the way,” he said. “We’ve been lucky to get some great hard working players over the years who are bought into were the club wanted to go and the vision they had to be the top amateur team. Players like Anthony Jones and skipper Jay McDonald, to name a couple have both been incredible all year, and although we lost players during the season, and new lads came in, but the team kept performing. Also In January Martin Sully Sullivan came on board as assistant coach, and Reserves coach, and he has done a great job and they are in Amateur Reserves Cup Final next week.”

The job at Wembley was Costello’s first coaching job in WA, and the Irishman played all his football in the Leinster Senior league back in Ireland with Trinity Donaghmede and was originally going to Wembley to play Reserves, but his mate and ex-captain Ian Cleary had other ideas and got him roped into coaching. It's been an incredible four seasons, winning Division One in first season, the Amateur Cup in the second season and both the Night Series and Premier League this year. “I’ve been very fortunate to work with some great talented hard working lads like Cleary, Stephen Geoghegan, Gavin Walsh to name just a few,” Costello explained. “As a coach I learn every week from players and how to adapt to different things, so I’ve still a lot to learn. It’s been a fantastic few years at a great club.”

The club have a decision to make now, it they are to enter the Stale League next season, but Costello is well aware it’s about the whole club not the senior side, and whatever happens he will be ready for next season. “To be honest I don't think our squad would have any problem stepping up to state league ranks and holding their own,” he said. “But its s decision the committee has to access as a club not just our team. Every club wants to progress but I’m sure whatever the decision is, it will completely in the interest of the club as a whole.”

Wembley end their season on Sunday with a trip to Rosalie Park to take on fourth placed Subiaco, and Costello said it’s business as normal and they will be looking to end the season on a high. “Sunday is a game we had our eye on since fixtures came out, and we’re looking forward to another tough game,” he said. “But we now go and play our normal game, and will be going for nothing less than three points, against another side who had a fantastic season. The beers always taste nicer after a win so hopefully we finish the job off, and come home with the win.”

In final games of the league on Sunday, Kingsley entertain BB United at Chichester Park, while North Perth United travel to Gerry Archer Sports Complex to take on Belmont Villa. Southern Spirit host Leeming Strikers at Watsons Reserve, Hamersley Rovers meet Kwinana United at Carine Open Space and finally Ellenbrook United take on Perth Royals at Ellenbrook Sports Hub.



Glory coach Kenny Lowe was left more than satisfied with his side's performance in today's 3-2 friendly defeat at the hands of reigning A-League champions, Sydney FC. A rare goal from Marc Warren gave the visitors an early lead in the game that was played behind closed doors at Leichardt Oval, before Dutch defender Jordy Buijs levelled things up.

Three minutes later, Brazilian striker Bobo made it 2-1 to the hosts and although Adam Taggart drew Glory level with his fourth goal of the pre-season campaign early in the second half, Bobo duly bagged what proved to be the winner 13 minutes from time. The game marked Xavi Torres' debut for Glory and the Spaniard's display was one of many positives Lowe took from what was an entertaining and hard-fought clash.

"We played really well," Lowe said. "We got about 60 minutes into (Diego) Castro and Xavi and 45 minutes into (Jacob) Poscoliero, which was good. It was an excellent, high-level game and a great test. Sydney looked good, but we matched them all over the park and the game was played in a really good spirit and at a really good tempo. There were a lot of very promising signs and we created numerous opportunities which was very pleasing."

Warren may still be waiting to bag his first A-League goal, but he showed the predatory instincts of a seasoned strker when opening the scoring against his former club. Chasing down an under-hit back-pass, he beat goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne to the ball before calmly finding the bottom corner. And fellow-defender Scott Neville then also took the opportunity to showcase his attacking prowess, providing a headed assist for Taggart who was left with a simple tap-in to make it 2-2.

Bobo was played in superbly by substitute Anthony Kalik to seal the win for the hosts, but Lowe remains confident that his charges are on track to hit the ground running when they return to face Western Sydney Wanderers on 8 October. "We're travelling well," he said. "And we didn't pick up any fresh injuries today either, which was good."

"We did lose Joseph Mills, but that was because he was taken ill before the game. We’ve now got a two-week lead-in to the season, so we’ll try and organise another external game if we can and also have an in-house game to make sure we get two more run-outs before we start the league campaign. And if we can’t organise that external game, we’ll just have two in-house."



Silverware has narrowly eluded Matthew Davies so far, but Pahang's captain says he will be better off in the long run, despite some bitter disappointment. The 22-year old has played in two losing finals this year - May's FA Cup loss to Kedah with Pahang, and a 1-0 defeat to Thailand with Malaysia in the Southeast Asian Games in August.

"That's my story this year, but I'll learn from these experiences," Davies told The Star. "Having these big matches under my belt is a good thing and will hold me in good stead. It's disappointing to enjoy a good run to the final, get all hyped up and then end up not winning titles."

After coming up second-best in the FA Cup and SEA Games, Davies admits that he'd take a runner's up finish in the Malaysia Super League. With Johor Darul Ta'zim having already wrapped the MSL title, Pahang are in third place, one point behind Kedah, and three points above Felda United, Selangor and Perak.

Pahang host relegation-threatened Sarawak when the MSL resumes on Wednesday night. Davies scored one goal and set-up another as Pahang defeated Perak 3-1 in the first leg of the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Cup pn Saturday.

"We had a good win over Perak, but a strong performance is much more important. Everyone is combining well and we are looking dangerous," he said. "We expect another strong performance against Sarawak in the league. It might give us a chance to rotate the players, but we are still motivated to finish on a high."



Forrestfield United are 90 minutes away from NPL football next season, after a dominant 3-0 win against Mandurah City in the NPL Play-off first leg game, at a packed Hartfield Park on Wednesday evening. The All Flags State League Division One side dominated from the first whistle and skipper Liam Merigan gave them the lead early, before Rhys Loxley doubled their advantage before half time. Mandurah pressed in the second half but couldn’t find a way past a tight Forrestfield back four, and Loxley put the icing on the cake by adding the third.

“It was a polished performance tonight, and the boys were focused and rose to the occasion,” Forrestfield Coach Rod Banjac told the NPL website. “We’ve had some tough times and some tough games in recent weeks, but the boys were well prepared and they executed the game plan to perfection, we will need more of the same on Saturday, and the players know that. But it’s only half time, someone said we were going to sing the club song after, but the players and I said we have another massive game at Mandurah on Saturday. We will be better for this experience, I will do everything in my powers to make sure we bring it home now. We have a three goal advantage, and we have to ride it through for the next 90 minutes to earn our spot in the NPL.”

It was a great atmosphere at kick off, but it was the home side who made the better start. Ben Rogers’ early shot was saved low by Kieran Shail, and on ten minutes the home side pressure was rewarded with the opening goal. Jamie Duncan played the ball into Merigan, who found a pocket of space on the edge of the penalty area, his shot was saved by Shail, but the midfielder was quickest to react and fired home the rebound. Forrestfield were looking dangerous every time they went forward and Mitch Croker saw his low shot crash off the base of the post moments later.

It wasn’t a surprise when Forrestfield added a second on 23 minutes. Loxley wasn’t closed down, and his shot from 18meters went under the body of Shail and into the net, much to the delight of the home faithful. Mandurah hit back and created their first chance of the night five minutes later, Ryan Francis sending Jordan Rhodes in on goal, but Luke Martino stood tall to deny him. It was the best period of the match for the visitors and Rhodes’ snap shot on the half hour flashed over the top, but Forrestfield still looked dangerous and Merigan’s long-range shot was saved low by Shail.

Forrestfield continued to dominate after the break and Loxley fired over the top early, and the winger was sent clear again moments later by Trevor Laure, but he failed to find the target. But on 73 minutes Forrestfield scored a vital third goal. A cross into the penalty area wasn’t dealt with by Mandurah, and Loxley pounced to fire home from close-range. Loxley limped off moments later with a groin injury and Mandurah pressed for an important away goal, but Martino was alert to punch Rhodes’ cross shot away, and Jeff Bright’s follow up shot whistled over the top.

Mandurah Coach Steve Robinson was devastated after the game and said they need to roll up their sleeves for the second leg. “It was a terrible result for us tonight and I’m absolutely devastated,” he said. “I thought we set up well, but I don’t know if it was the occasion, nerves, or a mixture of both, but it didn’t pay off, and I totally take the responsibility for that. We didn’t create many chances tonight, and it’s just not good enough, and I had harsh words with the lads at half time and after the game, and I’m sure there will be a reaction on Saturday.”

Forrestfield United: GK Luke MARTINO, 4 Mark BARNETT, 5 Jamie DUNCAN (12 Leslie MARI 63’), 6 Matt HAROLD, 8 Mitch CROCKER, 10 Jordan HART (7 Trevor LAURE 69’), 11 Liam MERIGAN (C), 13 Scott BARKER, 14 Ben ROGERS, 15 Trent BLEWETT, 23 Rhys LOXLEY (3 Sedad YAGLI 77’) - Subs not used: Ben PARRY, 2 Joshua KOTIO

Mandurah City: GK Kieran SHAIL, 2 Oliver MCGEE, 3 Jeff BRIGHT (C), 4 Thomas STRAKER, 5 Mitchell FIRTH, 6 Lance LOUVIE, 7 Jack EADES, 8 Joe O’BRIEN (9 Sean TROUP 46’), 10 Jordan RHODES, 11 Ryan FRANCIS (16 Daniel DAVIES 77’), 12 Joshua WARREN (15 Slade RULE 59’) - Subs not used: 14 Kevin CASTLE, 17 Daniel MARSHALL - Referee: Steven Gregory



Scunthorpe United defender Cameron Burgess wants to follow in the footsteps of his close friend Jackson Irvine and rise up the English football ladder. Irvine secured a move to Hull City in the transfer window after dazzling at Burton Albion in just his first season in England.

And Burgess, who recently left Fulham to join Scunthorpe, wants to blaze the same trail. He played alongside Irvine at Ross County in 2015 and the 24-year old has since gone to star in the Championship and on the international stage. “I met him at my first Australia Under-23s camp," Burgess told

"That’s when I first met him and then I ended up at Ross County in that January. We lived really close to each other. He’s a good mate of mine. He’s the one guy in the world you would say deserves it. He works so hard. He deserves every bit of success. I’m so happy to see him get the rewards.”

“I can see him playing in the Premier League one day, that’s for sure, and he’d take it in his stride. That’s the type of guy he is. He’s some player ‘Jacko’. I’m really happy for him and hopefully I can get there as well.”

Burgess inked a three-year deal with the Iron in June after coming through the ranks at Fulham’s academy. The centre back departed the south-west London club in the pursuit of first-team football. Scunthorpe went close to promotion last season, finishing third in League One and then losing to Millwall in the playoffs.

The Iron have had a good start to the new season, losing just once of their first eight games. They sit in sixth place on the table with four wins, three draws and one defeat. Burgess has made three league appearances so far and one each in the EFL Cup and EFL Trophy.

21-year old Burgess revealed promotion this season is the target. “The attraction firstly was the ambition of the club, it matches my ambition,” he said. “When I met the manager that’s all he talked about, to get to the next level and how we’re going to get there.”

“It’s pretty much the same team this season so hopefully they can do it again. First and foremost I want to play games. That’s how I’m going to learn and get better. Second is promotion with the team, that’s my top two goals this season. Hopefully I can achieve them.”



The Matildas came from behnd to over-power Brazil 3-2 in front of a record crowd of 16,829 in Newcastle this evening. Two goals from star striker Sam Kerr and another by Caitlin Foord secured the win, Australia’s third in a row over the Samba stars.

"I am having a great time and I am verity lucky to be on such a great national team," Kerr said following the game. "I am lucky that I am the striker putting in the goals that they put on a platter. In the first half we didn’t use the space well enough but really opened it up in the second half and used it."

Brazil made a dream start with Fabiana netting in the opening minute but Kerr but Australia back in the game with a classy header in the 38th minute. A Caitlin Foord tap-in out the Matilda's ahead in the second half before Kerr extended that lead. Marta pulled a goal back from the penalty spot in the 85th minute.



Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has brought striker Nikita Rukavytsya back into the national fold for next month’s make-or-break World Cup qualifiers with Syria. The Ukraine-born 30-year-old has scored four goals in seven games for top-flight Israeli club Maccabi Haifa and could get the chance to add to his 13 Socceroos appearances, the last of which came in 2014.

Rukavytsya, who played juniors for Inglewood United and Perth SC, is one of four West Australians in the squad alongside defenders Trent Sainsbury, Josh Risdon and goalkeeper Mark Birighitti. The Socceroos face Syria in Malaysia on 5 October, then again in Sydney on 10 October and must win the two-legged clash to keep alive their hopes of playing at Russia 2018.

Australia’s squad to play Syria is Mustafa Amini (Aarhus), Aziz Behich (Bursaspor), Mark Birighitti (NAC Breda), Tim Cahill (Melbourne City), Milos Degenek (Yokohama Marinos), Alex Gersbach (Rosenborg), Craig Goodwin (Sparta Rotterdam), Jackson Irvine (Burton Albion), Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa), James Jeggo (Sturm Graz), Tomi Juric (Luzern), Matthew Jurman (Suwon Bluewings), Robbie Kruse (Bochum), Mitchell Langerak (Stuttgart), Mathew Leckie (Hertha BSC), Massimo Luongo (Queens Park Rangers), Awer Mabil (Pacos De Ferreira), Jamie Maclaren (Darmstadt), Ryan McGowan (Guizhou Zhicheng), Mark Milligan (Melbourne Victory), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town), Josh Risdon (Western Sydney Wanderers), Tom Rogic (Celtic), Nikita Rukavytsya (Maccabi Haifa), Mathew Ryan (Brighton and Hove Albion), Trent Sainsbury (Jiangsu Suning), Brad Smith (Bournemouth), James Troisi (Melbourne Victory), Daniel Vukovic (Genk) and Bailey Wright (Bristol City).



Matildas striker Lisa De Vanna is determined to end her career as Australia's all-time leading international goal scorer and has set her sights on surpassing Tim Cahill's record for the Socceroos. The 32-year old brought her tally to 43 goals in emphatic fashion on Saturday afternoon, unleashing a stunning volley to help Australia to a 2-1 win over Brazil.

That goal put her two ahead of Kate Gill as the Matildas' all-time leading scorer and within five of Cahill's record of 48 as Australia's overall leader. When asked after the win over Brazil, De Vanna made no secret of her desire to eclipse Cahill's goal haul to become the undisputed top marksman in the country.

"I'm chasing that, that's my next thing," De Vanna told "But if it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't. I feel like that's probably why I'm having a pretty consistent game because I'm just having fun. I think about it (the record), but it's not my main goal. I just want to have fun."

The veteran forward struck a spectacular left-foot volley at the end of the first half in front of a sell-out crowd of more than 15,000 at Penrith's Pepper Stadium. She described the occasion as "a fairytale" for women's football and hopes to further state the credentials of the female footballers by outscoring her male counterparts on the international stage.

Time is on De Vanna's side according to Matildas coach Alen Stajcic who believes she has a number of years left at international football before contemplating retirement, and the striker is not taking any game for granted at her age. She's battled injuries throughout her career and knows how delicate careers are for senior players.

"I'm 32, I don't know when it's my last game. I've played at major tournaments where I've been sick and stressed. It's time for me to actually enjoy the twilight of my career," said De vanna, who has represented her country on 125 occasions since debuting in February 2004 against New Zealand.

De Vanna was coy whether she'd be able to continue her scoring feat on Tuesday night in Newcastle in the second match against Brazil. "Physically I don't think I can play 90 minutes. Whether (Stajcic) starts me, I don't know. But I know in my body to back it up next Tuesday would be very tough to play 90 minutes," she said.



Perth Glory have finalised their squad for the coming A-League season with the recruitment of teenage midfielder Daniel Stynes. The 19-year old attacking midfielder is a product of Glory’s youth academy and is now in his fifth year with the club having come through their age group sides.

Stynes, a former ECU Joondalup junior, has featured heavily in Glory’s pre-season games and captained the club’s National Premier League side this season. “I’m really excited to sign my first pro contract and my family were delighted when they heard the news,” Stynes said. “Having come to Australia from England as a 7-year old, I grew up watching Glory, so to now sign professionally with what is effectively my hometown club, is a dream come true.”

“My family are really proud. Now I want to make sure that I really push the other lads at training, improve every aspect of my game and make sure that as and when opportunities do come up, I’m ready to take them ... I know that the hard work really starts now and I’m determined to learn as much as I can from the other lads here and be the best player I can be.”



Star forward Sam Kerr says the Matildas want to be “the powerhouse” of women’s football. The Matildas are currently ranked sixth in the world but are edging closer and closer to top spot after an incredible 2017 in which they have beaten the United States (ranked 1 in the world), the Netherlands (7), Japan (8) and Brazil (9). That comes after defeating Canada (5) and drawing with Germany (2) at last year’s Olympic Games.

Speaking after Australia’s 2-1 win over Brazil on Saturday, Kerr said the Matildas had bigger things in their sights. “That’s what we want - we want to win consistently against top five, top six nations and Brazil’s a great team no matter where they’re ranked,” Kerr said. “They’re one of the best in the world. So we’ve got a lot of respect for them but now we’re wanting to be the powerhouse of women’s football.”

Kerr said the Matildas had taken confidence from recent victories at the Tournament of Nations and now had the confidence to focus on their game, rather than having to be reactionary. “We feel confident every time we go into a game of football but I think moreso now after the last couple of results we’ve had,” 24-year old Kerr said.

“I think that gives us confidence - it’s a little bit more pressure but we love going in knowing that Marta’s worrying about Caitlin Foord and Steph Catley rather than us just worrying about her. And even our team talks from the World Cup where we played them, it’s completely different - it’s about us and what we can do, so that’s really cool for the girls.”

The Matildas were helped to victory by a sell-out home crowd in Penrith with 15,089 fans cramming into Pepper Stadium. “It was great for the girls, I think everyone - Steph (Catley) got a big cheer and there was heaps of the girls out there that did great things that the crowd went crazy for,” Kerr said.

“But it’s just great for women’s football honestly - the girls were saying that some of them were holding back tears in that national anthem. To have the whole crowd behind you, it’s such a different game. Last time when we played them in front of a big crowd it was 60,000 Brazilians and it’s intimidating so I think it helped and I think it got us over the line in the end.”

Lisa De Vanna’s stunning volley from outside the penalty area had Australia in front at half-time. Kerr doubled their lead with a delightful flicked header from Alanna Kennedy’s delivery midway through the second period. And although Brazil pulled a goal back the damage had already been done.

“I was happy with that one,” Kerr said of her goal. “I actually said ‘Lans’ so she put up (the ball), so it wasn’t a fluke and she deserves the assist. We’d been talking about (that) second balls are the most dangerous balls and the ball came up and it was just kind of that loopy header and I’m just glad to help the team and get the win.”

Kerr, De Vanna and Caitlin Foord have formed a ruthless trio in recent months - one coach Alen Stajcic described as the ‘most threatening’ in the world. But due to Kerr’s injuries and Foord’s secondments in defence, the combination was rarely seen before the Rio Olympics but has since become the mainstay of Australia’s attack.

“It’s been not very long but it’s been coming for a while and Caitlin’s had to play defence for a bit and I was injured for a bit, so it kind of hasn’t worked out,” Kerr said. “But I love playing with those two - if someone’s worrying about me, Caitlin and Lisa can run riot and if someone’s worrying about Lisa, then me and Caitlin can run riot.”



Football West has welcomed the recommendations in an independent assessment and report into the current state and future of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues WA. The 61-page NPLWA Review Report, which contains 46 recommendations, will assist in shaping the structure of the top-tier competitions over the next five years, providing improved player development opportunities and a vibrant senior competition.

Changes to the structure of the senior and junior NPLWA competitions, increased transparency around player fees and the salary cap, and the establishment of a Junior NPLWA Standing Committee were among the key recommendations. The NPL Review Report was prepared after extensive consultation with stakeholders across the sport and included input from national governing body Football Federation Australia.

Football West Chair Liam Twigger said the NPL Review Report provided a comprehensive health check of the PS4 NPLWA competitions and recommendations for improvement that resulted from significant participant input. “The PS4 NPLWA competition is still very much a fledgling competition but after three completed seasons it was appropriate to conduct a review to assess how it was progressing and where improvements could be made,” Twigger said.

“The Review Report sets out a number of recommendations that will be phased in over coming seasons starting in 2018 with the aim of ensuring that the development of players continues to be a critical factor in shaping the competition. Throughout the review process there was strong emphasis from players, coaches, parents and club officials that the NPL should focus on player development and raising elite standards.”

“This is clear in the report with a number of recommendations that are designed to benefit players in both the Junior and Senior NPL competitions. Football is the most played team sport in the world, across Australia and here in WA and it is important that our state continues to produce players capable of playing on the world stage. Players such as Matildas striker Sam Kerr and Socceroos defender Trent Sainsbury are examples of WA’s talent pool and of the great possibilities for our game.”

The review was commissioned by Football West to determine future modelling that would guide significant improvements. During the comprehensive process, members of the National Premier Leagues WA, State League, Amateur and Women’s Standing Committees were involved in a Project Reference Group that met regularly with consultants.

A separate sub-committee of Football West Board and Management was updated regularly on the progress of the review, while FFA competition and technical departments provided guidance and input. Other areas of the football community were consulted via eight workshops and an online survey, while discussions were also held with local government officials, the Department of Sport and Recreation and other State Sports Associations.



Defender Rhys Williams isn't expecting a Socceroos SOS next month - but insists he will be ready should Ange Postecoglou opt to take a gamble. In fact, the 29-year old stopper claims he's in better shape now than during his most recent brush with the national team, a call up for March's World Cup qualifiers against Iraq and United Arab Emirates.

It's all on the line for Australia in next month's Russia 2018 two-legged play-off with Syria. And if Postecoglou is looking for a 'left field' selection - quite literally - Williams might be it. Operating as a left-sided centre-back at club level, the ball-playing ex-Middlesbrough captain could provide a beacon of calm and serenity in a three-at-the-back Socceroos system under relentless scrutiny in recent months.

While Williams would rather focus on being in peak condition for his club as the A-League season approaches, the desire to resurface again for Australia after several seasons of injury heartbreak still lingers. "I feel like if selected, I am a lot stronger and fitter than in March (when he was a Perth Glory player)," declared Williams.

"It is the off-season and it's hard to say. Ange has his thoughts on picking players out of season, but you never know. Really, though, I need to be fighting fit for Victory before anything else happens. Of course you always want to be in the national team. It's a strong group and you can never take for granted playing for the Socceroos."

Williams was shocked and elated by March's call-up, viewing it as an act of recognition from Postecoglou that he had not been forgotten after his toils to recover from career-threatening setbacks. "I was very surprised, and I would be the first to say that I wasn't really ready," he conceded. "I think the boss also knew I wasn't ready, but wanted to get me back in the fold and show me that I still had a future with the Socceroos."

With his expansive passing range and ability to transition effortlessly into more advanced positions due to his versatility, one-time midfielder Williams can dare to dream. "If the chance did come I feel I could take it with hands on this occasion," he added. "Although we haven't played much competitive football, I feel like I'm in a really good position both mentally and physically."

Williams has slotted in seamlessly under coach Kevin Muscat's ministrations at Victory, buying straight into the club's rich culture. "I love it. It's a club that is well driven ... everyone has to win, there's no two ways about it," he said. "It's a great place to be. I have missed only one training session and have played every minute that's been asked of me.

"I think I've featured in eight or nine of our pre-season game so far. I feel like I'm getting used to the way they want to play here and I'm adapting very well. I've played the second most minutes of anybody here in pre-season, and don't think I've missed a beat yet."



Matilda's attacker Samantaha Kerr has been recognised as Australia's best female footballer at the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) Players' Awards. Voted by the PFA's female membership, Kerr's scintillating form for club and country saw her win the PFA Women's Footballer of the Year award.

"I have been fortunate to enjoy so many great experiences with the Matildas and with my clubs over the past 12 months and this just tops it off," said Kerr, who has also been shortlisted for the 2017 FIFA Women’s Player of the Year. "The respect of your peers means so much and I’m very thankful to my teammates and everyone that voted for me."

"There could have been five, six, seven or even eight girls that could’ve won that award. Obviously to be mentioned in the same sentence as Carli Llyod, Jodi Taylor in the FIFA Player of the Year award is a massive honour as well and something I’m still pinching myself about."

Aaron Mooy was named PFA Men’s Footballer of the Year while former Matilda Cheryl Salisbury claimed the Alex Tobin OAM Medal. Alex Gersbach took out the PFA Harry Kewell Medal as best Under-23 footballer, and Alex Chidiac collected the PFA Young Women’s Footballer of the Year.



Heidelberg United have moved into the Semi-Final of the Play Station 4 NPL Final Series, after beating NPLWA Champions Bayswater City 3-1 at the Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Victorian Champions were ahead midway through the first half with Ken Athiu scoring from the penalty spot, but Bayswater hit back in first half stoppage time with a penalty of their own, Gustavo Giron-Marulanda on target. There were no more goals in normal time, but Athiu’s second in the first period of extra time to put them in the box seat, and ‘Man of the Match’ Sean Ellis made sure of the win.

Heidelberg Coach George Katsakis said they deserved the win, but praised Bayswater for a tight game. “We have a great group of players and the ‘Never say die’ attitude was in full show today, and when the going gets tough we just roll up our sleeves and get the job done,” he said. “We showed great character after half time, especially after conceding a goal late in the first half, and we been at that all season, but credit to the boys. They (Bayswater) are a decent outfit, and with the addition of a couple of players they could hold their own in the NPL in Victoria, so credit to them but a lot of credit must go to my boys. It’s been a massive week for us, and we’ve had three tough games in seven days, and as you can see they were still going at the end of extra time.”

Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne said he was proud of his players, but silly mistakes had cost them on the day. “I’m proud of the effort they put in today, but I told the boys before the game when you play better players you can’t make the sort of error that we made during the season,” he said. “Unfortunately today we made those errors, and made poor decisions, and it cost us. They are a good team and have performed well to win the NPLVIC, but I don’t think there is much difference between the teams, but on the day they made the right decisions in the right areas, and the quality showed in the final result.”

It was the visitors on top early and Reuben Way tested Devon Spence, before Athiu’s long-range shot whistled over the top. Spence was in the action again on 21 minutes, this time pushing Ellis’ free kick around the post at full stretch, and moments later saved low from Athiu’s snap shot. Bayswater started to get in the game as it wore on and their first chance fell to Jason Mirco, his shot from the angle was pushed away by Christopher Theodoridis-Petropoulos. Then it was the turn of Marulanda to test the Heidelberg keeper, this time Theodoridis-Petropoulos got down well to save the Colombian striker’s low drive.

But on 35 minutes it was the visitors who made the break through. Todd Howarth brought down former Sorrento midfielder Lewis Hall and referee David Bruce pointed straight to the spot. Athiu took the resulting penalty and beat Spence to his right. Bayswater almost hit back five minutes later, Howarth’s curling free kick crashed off the crossbar and away to safety. But in first half stoppage time they found the equaliser. Mirco was brought down in the penalty area by Way, and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Marulanda converted, despite the keeper getting a hand to it, and it sent the sides into half time on level terms.

Heidelberg went close to regaining their lead early in the second half, Ellis’ snap shot flew over the top, and moments later the same players shot from the angle was saved low by Spence at his near post. Paul McCarthy tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area but it was straight at the keeper, before Marulanda shot on the run drifted wide. The travelling supporters thought they had the lead on 80 minutes, but Ellis’ shot crashed off the crossbar, before second half substitute Michael Trigger shot whistled wide of the target, but it off to extra time.

Heidelberg made a great start to the first period and were ahead seven minutes in. Trigger picked out Adrian Zahra on the left of the box, and the former Glory midfielder crossed to Athiu who made no mistake from five meters. They added a third five minutes later, Ellis capping off a fantastic performance, curling past Spence and into the bottom corner of the net to seal the win. It was almost 4-1 but Athiu shot rattling the crossbar, but at the end of the game it was Heidelberg moving into the Semi-Finals and a game against NSW NPL Champions AIPA Leichhardt next week.

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 8 Paul MCCARTHY (12 David STOKOE 85’), 9 Gustavo GIRON-MARULANDA, 10 Jason MIRCO (19 Luka NINKOVIC 89’), 11 Devon GIBSON, 13 Trent KAY (C), 17 Borbor SAM (21 David HEAGNEY 55’), 18 Brent GRIFFITHS, 20 Sam MITCHINSON, 23 Andrija JUKIC - Subs not used: RGK Dejan ALEKSIC, 3 Tristian COLLI

Heidelberg United: GK Christopher THEODORIDIS-PETROPOULOS, 2 Josh WILKINS, 4 Jordan WILKES, 6 Lewis HALL (5 Michael TRIGGER 76’), 7 Reuben WAY, 9 Adrian ZAHRA (3 Leslie DOUMBALIS 105’), 10 Jack PETRIE, 11 Kostas KANAKARIS (14 Harry NOON 71’), 12 Ken ATHIU, 13 Luke BYLES (C), 19 Sean ELLIS - Subs not used: RGK Christian PAVIIDIS, 22 Alexander SCHIAVO - Referee: David Bruce



Wembley Downs are the 2017 Sunday Amateur Premier League Champions after a 3-1 win against Kwinana United at Butlers Reserve. “Today we started really slow, it wasn’t one of our best performances, but fair play to Kwinana, and they made us work hard for it. You always get a tough game against them,” Wembley Coach Colm Costello said. “Hard work can get you the reward. Every player worked hard in the squad so I’m just delighted for them more than anything. It’s a good feeling.”

The home side were on top early and Dean Wall headed against the woodwork on five minutes, and it looked like it was going to be one of them days, as Wembley missed numerous chances, but on 34 minutes they found the opener. Gavin Walsh raced into the box and finished well past Joe Page. It was more of the same after the break and Walsh fired inches over the top, but on the hour they doubled their lead. Banin Hashem was bought down in the box, and substitute Mark King stepped and scored from the resulting penalty. With news filtering through of the Kingsley game, there was a party mood brewing amongst the Wembley supporters, and they added a third on 75 minutes. King was given far too much room and his long-range volley flew past Page to wrap up the points and the title. Kwinana pulled one back moments later, Lee Bates scoring, but it was too little too late and at the final whistle the Wembley players and Coach celebrated on the pitch.

“We wanted to go out and enjoy the game, but we couldn't get going in the 1st half, but Gav Walsh's neat finish set us up well and then I think our quality showed in the 2nd half,” Wembley skipper Jay McDonald said. “It’s a fantastic achievement for the squad and everyone at the club. Still hasn't quite sunk in yet, but it will definitely be a great memory to look back on as you don't get these opportunities very often. I think we deserved it and we were not outplayed once in the league this season. Kwinana never backed down and were up for it, good luck to them in the cup final.”

Kingsley chances of the title disappeared after they were well-beaten 5-1 by North Perth United at Woodville Reserve. The home side opened the scoring early when skipper Oscar Kelly headed home at the back post. The home supporters were on their feet again when Kelly headed home another bullet to give North Perth a 2-0 lead at half time. Former Kingsley player, Kelly, completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot early in the second half, before Jayden Drummond pulled one back for Kingsley. But North Perth continued to press and they added a fourth from BJ Andrews, who cut on to his left foot and gave Paul Rainford no chance. The icing was but on the cake late when Sean Lahert’s delicate chip made it 5-1. “I reckon it is a good way to nearly end the season on high. We have a huge cup final and we need to keep going in the same form and need to approach final In the right mindset and this win has done exactly that<’ striker Mehdi Rabei said. “Kingsley are a great side, and we showed our quality once again and the best team won, and Sean’s last goal the chip would’ve made Lionel Messi's mother proud. Good luck to them for next year and good luck to us in the final.”

In other games Leeming Strikers beat Belmont Villa 5-2 at John Connell Reserve. Leeming took the lead on ten minutes when Yohann Crampon scored. They added a second soon after, Lucas Pickering was played in and forced a good save from the Belmont keeper, but the rebound was then put onto the crossbar, before Pickering’s third effort, a volley from six meters, hit the back of the net. Pickering made in 3-0 after 35 minutes after rounding the keeper he slotted home from a right angle. Matt Blackmore made it 4-0 in the last minute of the half with a diving header at the back post. Belmont came out strong in second half and pulled two goals back, but Declan O'Leary rounded off proceedings curled into the bottom corner to make it 5-2. Hamersley Rovers beat Ellenbrook United 3-1 at Carine Open Space, Subiaco beat BB United at the Cage, while Perth Royals and Southern Spirit drew 1-1 at JA Lee Reserve.



Western Knights have celebrated winning the All Flags State League Division One title with a stunning 5-0 win against Rockingham City at Nash Field. They made a great start and were ahead on 10 minutes. A poor back pass put keeper Phil Herschell under pressure and his attempt clearance was charged down by Josh Cortes, the keeper did well to save Cortes’ shot, but Jelenovic was on hand to fire home the rebound. Rockingham went close to the equaliser nine minutes later, the lively Hilario Nunes was sent down the left by Ryan Kennedy, his cross found Brian Gwataringa, whose shot flashed wide of the target. But sixty seconds later the Knights added a second, when Cortes was brought down by Josh Metzinger and referee Simon Hicks pointed straight to the spot, and Lloyd stepped up and buried the resulting penalty. It was 3-0 three minutes later, Pellow losing his marker in the six-yard box to head home powerfully from Lloyd’s corner. It was one-way traffic as the Knights pressed, and Herschell produced a great double save to deny Jelenovic, but they was nothing the Rockingham custodian could do when the Knights added a fourth on 42 minutes. Again Pellow found space at the back post to head home David Murphy’s corner, to send the home side in with a commanding 4-0 lead.

It was more of the same after half time and it wasn’t a surprise when the Knights added a fifth, Jelenovic skipped clear, his first effort was saved low by Herschell, but the striker made no mistake from the rebound. The Knights were presented their winning medals and received the All Flags State League Division One trophy from Football West’s Head of Members Services Alex Novatsis. “I said to the boys before the game they had to go out and deliver a good performance in our last game and they have done that today, and continued our unbeaten home record.” Knights Coach Trim Morgan said. “Our defence has been outstanding all season, only conceding 16 goals in the league, and it was good on the final day to also finish with a clean sheet. But it’s not happened overnight, the boys have trained hard since November, and we’ve had big numbers at training throughout the season, so as a coach it’s been great and it’s been a fantastic season for the club.”

Forrestfield United have qualified for the NPL Play-off against Mandurah City after a 3-0 win against Canning City, in the final game of the season at Hartfield Park. Needing a win to make sure of a spot Rod Banjac’s side were on the front foot early and hit the front on seven minutes. A good run down the right wing from Jordan Hart, ended with a pin point cross into the box which was met by Rhys Loxley at the far post, and he volleyed home, much to the delighted of the Forrie Army. It was 2-0 on the half hour, Sani Sinclair burst into the box, and was brought down by Luke Stonebridge, and referee Stephen Knight pointed straight to the spot. Sinclair picked himself up to score from the resulting penalty. Forrestfield dominated after the break and created a number of chances, but they secured the points, and their play-off spot, fifteen minutes from time. Loxley sent Ben Rogers in on goal and the striker made no mistake from 10 meters.

“The game was a frustrating one where we created countless opportunities, but it was our finishing that let us down on the day,” Loxley said. “However, the aim was to get the three points to finish in the playoff position and we achieved that. The game against Mandurah is one that I’m really looking forward to as I'm sure the rest of the squad are also eager to test themselves against NPL opposition. We are under no illusions coming into the game and know that we will have to be at our best if we are to come out on top. Mandurah are a well drilled side that finished the season off really strongly so we will need a really big effort from the boys over the course of the 180 minutes. In saying that, we know that this represents a fantastic opportunity to play at WA's highest level and we as a club will be doing all that we can to make that happen.”

South West Phoenix were hoping Forrestfield would slip up to make the play off’s, but that didn’t transpire, but the Bunbury based side did finish the season with a 1-0 win against Gosnells City at WML Stadium. The only goal of the game came midway through the second half, with Patrick Quinn on target, scoring from a free kick. UWA Nedlands finished the season in fifth spot after a 3-1 win against Joondalup City at the UWA Sports Park. It was Joondalup who opened the scoring on 27 minutes, UWA didn’t clear their line from a corner, and Jamie Gardiner reacted quickest to fire home the loose ball. But in a blink of an eye UWA levelled the ledger through Alex Kretowicz. Mordecai Junior's cross from the left found the striker at the back post and the number 10 was able to nod home. The home side then hit the front on the half hour, an attempted pass back was intercepted by Kretowicz who rounded the keeper and buried into an empty net to give the hosts the lead. Kretowicz scored again but his celebrations were caught short, with the offside flag up. But on the hour he did complete his hat-trick, racing clear one-on-one and finishing clinically and in doing so wrapped up the points for UWA.

In other games Fremantle City ended the season in sixth place after come out on top against Ashfield in a seven goal thriller at Ashfield Reserve. The visitors dominated the first half and were ahead on 23 minutes, Rory Kiely was brought down in the box, and Alec Robinson scored from the spot. It was 2-0 on the half hour, Ben West heading home. They added a third two minutes from half Lawrence Lewis lobbed the keeper after Tom Allen had sent him clear, so it was 3-0 at half time. The home side pulled one back six minutes into the second half, Jamie Stewart headed home. But Fremantle added a fourth four minutes later, Antony Lomma ball picked out Robinson, who finished with aplomb from the edge of the penalty area. Ashfield reduced the errors on the hour, with Stewart heading home again after losing his marker in the box. It was 4-3 eight minutes later, Dan Colbert converting from the penalty spot. Ashfield pressed late for the equaliser but Joondalup held out for well-deserved three points. “It was a mixed day for us on reflection, played some of our best football first half but soft goals which typified our season left a bitter taste in the mouth,” Robinson said. “But the positives also are that we managed to finish the season eight unbeaten and in 6th after flirting with relegation earlier in the season. Gives us good momentum building into next season after what will no doubt be a busy summer for the managers trying to get the team they want together.” – Dianella White Eagles had the bye this week.



Swan United will play in the end of season play-off in the All Flags State League Division Two, after a hard fought 2-1 win against Kingsway Olympic at Francis Street on Saturday afternoon. It was winner takes all in the Swan Valley, and it was the home side who hit the front mid-way through the first half, Kingsway failed to deal with a corner and Aaron Colli’s half volley from the edge of the box flew into the net. But Kingsway levelled ten minutes later, a stunning long-range shot from Nathan Thorpe gave Alex Radonich no chance. Both sides had chances in a tight second half, but two minutes from time a free kick was driven deep into the box and headed across the box to Colli to head the winner.

“It was an awesome edge of your seat game, Kingsway were brilliant and unlucky too hitting the bar twice but we kept our nerve and kept fighting and did what we needed to do,” Swan Coach Matt Debarro said. “I'm happy for the boys it has been a massive three weeks for us. Shamrock had to win to stay alive and we beat them. Gwelup had a home record to protect and we got up there, and then Kingsway was a cup final with high stakes and we again prevailed. No one can say we don't deserve to be in the four after all of that. Now we have to focus on Gosnells and prepare for the semis where we will again need to be our best if we are to be successful.”

With Swan winning Kelmscott Roos missed out on play-off spot, but they ended the season on a high beating second placed Morley Windmills 2-1 at Frye Park. The home side were behind at half time with Boas Mtwale scoring. But the home side hit back and levelled when Simon Williams raced down the right, got to the bye line and whipped in a perfect cross to Asa Sippits who volleyed home. Kelmscott won it when Sippits raced clear, and finished past the keeper at his near post. “- We won a very hard fought match and showed great character to come from behind to nick the win,” Tait Comley said. “We did what we had to do but unfortunately the other result didn't go our way. It was nice to finish with a good win and we will be pushing for more success next season.”

Quinns finished their season unbeaten in their last three games and in their final game beat relegated Shamrock Rovers at Gumblossom Park. It was a tight opened, but on 35 minutes the home side hit the front, Gareth Hamilton's half volley finish in the top corner. They doubled their lead on the hour, Craig Tooley finishing well. Then late on Tooley sent John McNeil through with a defence splitting pass, and he slotted home. In the other games Melville City beat Wanneroo City 2-0 at Wanneroo Reserve on Thursday evening, while Balga and Curtin University drew 1-1 at Edinburgh Oval. Mark Donnelly was on target for the home side while Matthew Kerridge scored for Balga – Champions Gwelup Croatia had the bye this week.



It is always hard for any footballers to reach the final game of any competition, only to fall at the final hurdle and finish as runner-up. To go through the same experience not just once, but twice in the same year must then be heartbreaking. Unfortunately, that is wat Pahang defender Matthew Davies has gone through in 2017.

Davies finished runner-up in the FA Cup after Pahang lost 3-2 to Kedah in the final back in May, while just last month he collected a silver medal with the Malaysia Under-22 team whuch ended their South-East Asia Games campaign to a 1-0loss to Thailand. Coincidentally, both matches were held at the Shah Alam Stadium in Kuala Kumpar.

However, Davies says he has taken both disappointments in his stride and vows to learn from each. "It's very bittersweet as it's a big achievement to reach the final matches in the first place," Davies said. "But to have gone through reaching two finals, getting hyped up, having a lot of fans behind you and a lot of build up to the games, and then falling short is quite disappointing and takes a lot out of you mentally."

"I guess the consolation for me is that I'm still young, I'm just 22 and to have these big games under my belt is a great experience for me going forward. I'm patient and I'm sure the titles will come in the future. I'm looking forward to playing in more big games. It's what being a footballer is all about."

Malaysia's South-East Asian Games run have reportedly brought its players to the attention of Thai League scouts, with clubs in the competition set to offer an ASEAN foreign player slot beginning next season. Davies agrees that playing abroad may benefit Malaysian players, but maintains that he remains committed to seeing out his contract with the Elephants.

"Malaysian players have a lot to learn and there's a lot to be gained from venturing abroad," said Davies, who contracted through to the end of next year. "It could only stand to benefit players if they look abroad. It's an option (playing overseas). I'm very happy here because I've been treated very well."

"It's something that in the future, when I look back at my own career, and to be satisfied with that, I'd like to have a few different stints abroad whether it's back in Australia or Malaysia. If I managed to have a few stints abroad, I'd consider that a part of a successful career. I do want that, but not for a little bit."



Australian goalkeeper Lydia Williams says a record W-League pay deal has been a long time coming as the Matildas prepare to face Brazil in front of a sell-out crowd tomorrow in Sydney. More than 17,000 fans are expected to pour through the gates which could surpass the Wallabies crowd at Canberra Stadium when they host Argentina a few hours later.

It would mark the first time across Australia's four football codes that an international women's crowd eclipsed a men's fixture played the same day. Williams admits she never thought she'd see that day in her career, but said the Matildas turnout is a sign of the times as women's sport in Australia goes from strength to strength.

"With the boost in all women's sporting codes and how well we've done on the world stage I think it's been a long time coming," Williams said. "A lot of our results over the last couple of years have drawn interest from the Australian public and part of that comes from the AFLW getting involved and new pay conditions for cricket and netball."

Williams was part of the Matildas team which boycotted a tour of America in 2015 and said the financial support for the women's game didn't happen overnight. "At the time of the strike it could have been taken two ways but the most important thing was we all stuck together and we're pretty happy now with our conditions."

"We still have a little while to go but this is the beginning of it and we have to take responsibility ourselves and get the results we need to help drive that support ... We want to get up to the USA team are in terms of support where they have sell-out crowds all the time, but we made good progress striking a new pay deal in the W-League."



It’s been a great season for Bayswater City, winning the Night Series early in 2017, and taking out the PS4 NPLWA league title and the McInerney Ford Top Four Cup. This weekend they will be looking to advance in the PS4 NPL National Final Series when they host NPLVIC league winners Heidelberg United at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Sunday (12.00pm)

Last week’s win against Perth capped of a fantastic season for Chris Coyne’s side and he said they celebrated after the game, but were back in for recovery on Sunday. “I felt the boys showed a really great resilient streak on Saturday, that hunger and desire to keep clean sheets and as always the quality we possess at the other end gave us the 3-0 win,” he said. “I thought Perth really got at us on Saturday and they deserve a lot of credit for their performance but a lot of the efforts were from distance and our back four and keeper were really up to everything that was thrown at them.”

The club have brought on some talented youngster this season, and Coyne said they have all performed well and haven’t let him or the club down. “Absolutely, it has taken 3-4 years to start producing / developing kids that are good enough to push our first 11 and they are really starting to come good,” he explained. “We are going to work them in the off season to develop them technically, physically and mentally so that they are pushing hard for selection. They have all really excelled this year and am looking forward to them pushing into the team next year as David Stokoe did last year.”

Coyne is well aware the talent Heidelberg have at their disposal, but like City they have had a busy couple of weeks, and were in FFA Cup action on Wednesday night, but he said they have done their homework on them and he is looking forward to the challenge. “They are going to be very tough opponents and we are really looking forward to the challenge,” he said. “As teams go they have tremendous history and are a proud club with many former WA players having represented them in the past. That being said we fear no one, and with the tough week ahead we really need to challenge them to get to the next round.”

The only disappointment for Coyne is they can’t play the game at their home ground, something the coach isn’t happy about. “Yes we are not happy with the decision as Finance 365 Stadium is one of the best sporting facilities in the local game. The pitch is in immaculate condition and the fans would have come in their droves to see the old NSL team against Bayswater,” he explained. “The kick off time is very poor and the fact that it clashes with local juniors final is not good, but we will get on with it even if it takes the gloss off the game slightly being at Inglewood.”

There will be a couple of familiar faces in the Heidelberg line up on Sunday, with former Sorrento defender Lewis Hall and Perth SC defender Josh Wilkins plying their trade in Melbourne, and Wilkins said it’s been a massive season for the club. “We're very happy with how the season went, and our goal was to take home silverware with an ultimate goal of finishing top of the league,” he explained. “We achieved that but unfortunately fell short on the final hurdle in the Top Four Finals. It's painful looking back at it but we're still proud of what we've accomplished.”

Heidelberg stunned Perth Glory in the FFA Cup, and Wilkins said it was a great day for the club. “We knew going into the game that we had a chance. We had some fresh bodies and had just started hitting some fantastic form in the league. It also helped us that they were relatively underdone due to just starting their pre-season and we took advantage of it,” he said. “We set the tempo and just built off the momentum, nobody at the game was really overly surprised at the result, and we deserved it.”

It’s been a hectic schedule for George Katsakis’ side with them playing three games in six days, and now they travel to Perth to take on Bayswater. But Wilkins said they will be ready for it. “Yes unfortunately our schedule isn't very comfortable and we're playing three grand finals within 6 days but we've got arguably the best squad in Victoria so there are boys who can step in and do more than just hold their own,” he said. “George has got us prepared and knows a few sources over in WA. I am obviously also very invested in the WA NPL with friends over there and I’m always keeping up with their progress. We will have done our homework and be ready for the game no doubt. Bayswater have always been a strong team and it'll be good to play against a team that has also been my rivals since my Perth SC days.’



Last week’s Western Knights won the All Flags State League Division One title, but due to them not reaching the criteria to enter the NPL, two sides have the opportunity to gain promotion and it all goes down to the final game of the season. Forrestfield United are in pole position, and a win against Canning City at Hartfield Park will see them take on Mandurah City in a two-leg play off next week. Forrestfield lost any chance of the title after they were held to a 3-3 draw at Fremantle City last week, and Rod Banjac said it was disappointing result, but praised his opponents. “Yes it was disappointing result but not a big surprise,” he said. “Although we are a good footballing side with ability to punish anyone, we are far from having the ability to control the game at key moments due to our inexperience. Credit to Fremantle City as they took their chances and battled to the very end with passion and commitment to be admired.”

Banjac said the turnaround at the club has been fantastic, both on and off the park, and going into the final game a spot in play-off is in their own hands. “We have had a great year on the park where we exceeded all expectations with a young side which is getting better by the day,” he explained. “Although NPL is in our sites it is not that important for us at the moment as we focus on continuous improvement. We invest heavily into development of our own players and if we are not mature enough for promotion this year, it will be next or the year after. This year we have six junior/youth teams in the grand finals, and all this with 100% focus on development. The quality of our players coming through the ranks is nothing short of mouthwatering, but we must be patient.”

“A few years back we set ourselves some challenging/objectives and we are pleased that we almost achieved all of them as we are now a reflection of what happens when a community is united and pushes in the same direction. It is very important to understand that we never set our sights to become the best football club in the state, but rather to enrich our broader football community and contribute to the profile of our game while influencing the quality on the park, and there is no doubt that we are achieving that. I have always said that it takes an army of people to ensure the health of a major sporting organisation, and what an army we have become. The Eastern Corridor is united, buzzing and hungry for quality football.”

Forrestfield know they must reach Canning to finish second behind the Knights, and Banjac said it will be another tight affair, but he said all clubs they play lift on the day. “In last three games we conceded nine goals and there is a logical explanation behind that. Our style of football is very attractive, on most occasions extremely effective, and we are the best supported club in the state with enviable facilities, and for all those reasons we have become "the side to beat", although it's justified as on our day we can beat anyone, but there is a massive BUT,” he explained.

“For the last six weeks they have all been massive games with so much riding on them, and although we have the ability, it is clearly evident that we don't have the experience as some of the costly mistakes we make are childish at times. We are not quite ready to perform in high pressure environments but that is changing as our boys are fast learners and getting more intelligent by the minute. We are already better for the experience and look forward to challenges ahead with confidence, starting on Saturday against Canning.”

If Forrestfield slip up, South West Phoenix have the opportunity to take on Mandurah, with a win against Gosnells City at WML Stadium in Bunbury. They improved their chances with a big win against Canning last week, a game Coach Mauro Marchione was happy with, but said they lost their chance at Nash Field the week before. “The game against WK was the one. Our tactics worked well up to five minutes to go and then they scored two goals on our mistakes. We had two clear chances to score the second goal and win the game but we missed and WK don't forgive you. I think a few NPL sides know this well,” he explained.

“Truth is that most of the boys have never played games of this importance before so I can only be proud of my team to have faced WK on their turf and be ahead with five to go. That was a game that we play with personality and tactically well except for the last 10 minutes. But we will learn from that game and be stronger next year and certainly more experienced. In saying that, allow me to say that Trim did an exceptional job this year. They proved to be the best team in our Division and also won the cup against the top teams. At the end of the day, a coach is good only when he wins and he won well the two main competitions. The rest doesn't count.”

The Italian coach has been happy the way his side have performed this season and he said they will see what happens on Saturday, but he’s not expecting Forrestfield to lose. “No hopes for us for the play offs. After WK, Forrestfield has proven to be the other best team in this league. They play a very entertaining football and Ratko is one of the best coaches I have met since I started fifteen years ago,” Marchione said. “With not great quality material in his hands Ratko and his coaching staff have been able to build an organised squad where everyone plays simple and where all help each other. A solid team that if it will improve the defensive phase will be one of the top teams in NPL in the future. In any case, I hope for Ratko, his boys and the all Forrestfield club to win the play offs and go up: they all deserve it.

“We will play against Gosnells to win, like always, and apart of WK we never lost in the last 12 fixtures and we want to continue with the last game. Then we will prepare next year.” In other games this weekend, the Knights will be presented their trophy when they host Rockingham City at Nash Field, while UWA Nedlands will be pushing for a top five finish when they host Joondalup City at the UWA Sport Park, while in the final game Ashfield entertains Fremantle City at Ashfield Reserve – Dianella White Eagle have the bye this week, but if Forrestfield fail to beat Canning they will take the runners up spot with even playing.



If you thought Division One was the only league going down to the wire, think again. In the All Flags State League Division Two it’s winner takes all in the Footballwa – ‘Match of the Week’ when Swan United host Kingsway Olympic at Francis Street, with the winner progressing into the end of season play-off’s. Three teams are chasing the last spot in the play off, with Kelmscott also still in the mix, who will be hoping for a draw in the Swan Valley, but if there is a winner at Francis Street, they will make it.

Kingsway have been one of the form teams in the league and are coming off a vital win last week against Kelmscott, and Coach Graham Normanton said it was a tough encounter. “We had a hard fought win last week..... Yes.... But fully deserved in my opinion,” he said. “They shaded the first half, but we then came out in the second half and more than made up for a lackluster first half. It was probably our best 45 minutes of the season. Once again it showed the improvements that we've made. Anybody who watched that game can't have gone away disappointed as it show cased a good quality game which had everything.”

It’s been a huge turn around for the club, who won the State Premier League in 1978 and 1980, but since relegation in 1999, it’s been a downwards spiral, but Normanton must be praised for the turnaround, but he said they haven’t done anything yet. “Thank you for the congratulations but honestly we've done nothing to be congratulated for.......... Yet,” he explained. “We started off back in early December with no players at all. It's been a difficult challenge but one in which we've all relished. It's been a tough road but we've seen an improvement every week. We've managed to drag ourselves into contention by grinding out results in the second half of the season. I'm delighted with the progress of the team and the development of many of the players. We only really deserved to lose on one occasion against Morley but other than that I think we have been up there with the best of them.”

Normanton, who coached Perth SC and Inglewood United in the NPL, said Saturday’s game against Swan is huge but one they are looking forward too. The game this week is just another final for us, as we've been playing finals for the last nine weeks, so, nothing different from our perspective,” he said. “It'll be a very difficult game against a tough team....... They are rightly favourites and we are under no illusions about how difficult the task will be. However, we have managed to get here and we are not going to die wondering. There's one thing for sure if we happen to get in to the finals we will be hard to stop.”

Swan produced a huge shock last week to keep their play-off hopes alive, beating Champions Gwelup Croatia 3-2 and in doing so inflict their first loss at home this season. Swan Coach Matt Debarro said it was their best performance of the season, and a timely one. “It was a huge win, probably the best game of state league football I've seen in years, both sides through everything they had into every moment,” he said. “They had an unbeaten home record to protect, and we had a top four spot to take, thankfully the boys brought home the chocolates and have put themselves in a good position.”

Like Kingsway, Swan have been on a downward spiral since relegation from the Premier League in 2010, but Debarro said they are aiming to bring back the glory years to the club. “The goal has always been to try and get Swan back to former glories, and we are well aware we are a long way from that still, but our focus remains on the present and that is to play our best this Saturday and win,” he explained. “If we are successful then we look to do our best to get promoted, but until it's certain we look to the next game and trying to emulate our performance from last week.”

Debarro knows they need three points to make sure of a top four finish and he said they will be doing all they can to get it on Saturday. “We will be going in to win, that's what we can control and that's why we play, to win. We are certain Kelmscott will win against a Morley team guaranteed second place as they will want to reach playoffs just as much as we do,” he said. “We will need to be at our best if we are to beat Normo and his inform Kingsway side though, they are no pushovers and on their day are capable of playing the best brand of football in this league. But whatever the outcome is, it is potentially the last game of the season and we'd like to finish off with a good performance and a win in front of our supporters.”

Kelmscott will be hoping for a draw at Francis Street, and three points when they host Morley Windmills at Frye Park. They had the opportunity to put a playoff spot in their own hands last week, but came home from Kingsway empty handed and Tait Comley said despite playing well went down 2-1. “Yes last weekend was so disappointing for us, as we knew what we had to do and unfortunately it didn't go our way on the day,” he explained. “I thought we played really well in the first half but dropped off in the second which didn't help us. There are still a lot of positives to take out of what was a really exciting game.”

It’s been a tough season for the club, with a coaching change half way through the season but Comley said it was a good transition under new coach Aaron Beatty. “It's been a tough season for us but we've just stuck together as a unit and worked hard to grind out results. There's a lot more to come from us I feel and I'm excited for next season,” he said. “Aaron is really good to have as a coach, he gets us fired up and is bringing in a lot of new ideas to the club. He's getting us to play a certain way and I think next season we'll start to see a huge difference.”

Comley said all they can do is get a win on Saturday, and whatever happens in the other game is out of their hands. “Unfortunately for us, it is out of our hands but we still need to win and that's what we intend to do against a good side,” he said. “Morley are a really good side with quality players, and they have finished runners-up in the league, so we know how tough it will be. But I’m really excited for the challenge and so are the lads.”

The round starts on Thursday evening when Wanneroo City host Melville City at Wanneroo Reserve, with a 7.30pm kick off. Wanneroo are in the play-offs but Melville will be wanting to end the season with three points. In other games this weekend Curtin University entertain Balga at Edinburgh Oval, while Quinns host Shamrock Rovers at Gumblossom Park – The Champions Gwelup Croatia have the bye this weekend.



It’s a huge weekend for Sunday Amateur Premier League leaders Wembley Downs, a win in their final home game of the season against Kwinana United at Butlers Reserve will seal the title, and the clash is the Footballwa – ‘Match of the Week’. Wembley came home from Ellenbrook with a big win last week and skipper Jay McDonald said it was a good performance against a side who led them 2-0 at home earlier in the season. “Yes last week was great win away from home, and one we deserved on the day,” he said. “Last time we struggled to break them down and were impatient, which led to them causing us trouble on the break so it was nice to have a solid performance for the whole 90 minutes.”

McDonald said a lot of the credit goes down to the coaching staff and he said Colm Costello has done a great job. “All credit to Cos so far, it's pretty much a new squad for both the first team and reserves, bar a handful of us,” he said. “He and Martin Sullivan have done well to get the group to gel, with players coming in and out all year. Pre-season was difficult as we weren't getting the performances we wanted. But you can see it started coming together as we went on to win the night series. It made us more eager for success with both teams still in the mix for trophies at the business end of the season.”

The big defender is expecting a tough game against Kwinana on Sunday, and he said they have been impressive since promotion last season. “It’s a huge game for us no doubt and against a tough opponent,” McDonald explained. “Kwinana have pushed the teams at the top end of the table all year, and I’m sure their attitude will be the same on Sunday. We have to be up for it if we want the rewards. I think we'll have a good crowd down to watch what will be an exciting game.”

Kwinana are sitting sixth on the table, and will play North Perth United in the Amateur Cup Final on October 1, and Coach Kris Donnell said it’s been a great season for the club. “If someone had said to me at the start of the season we would be top six, and be playing in the cup final then I would have took that,” he explained. “So yes it’s been a great year, with just being promoted, but we know but that there are two games left so still points to play for.”

Kwinana thrashed BB United last week to boost their goal difference, but Donnell knows what they are up for taking on the league leaders, but he said they will give it a go. “It was a good result especially with a few players missing with injuries, but to be honest BB never really threatened us at all,” he said. “But after taking on the bottom team we take on the leaders on Sunday. They (Wembley) have had a fantastic season and Colm always gets the best out of his players, we will be going there with a game plan, and to try and spoil the early party for them.”

Kingsley will be hoping Wembley slip up, and they will hoping for three points when they take on third placed North Perth United at Woodville Reserve. It’s been a great season for Kingsley, and Coach Steven Dimitrovich said they continued to put the pressure on Wembley with a well-deserved win against Leeming last week. “I thought it was a very good performance last week against Leeming, and we were very comfortable for the whole 90 minutes with no real threat from the opposition,” he said. “The season has been a real cracker with so many teams able to take points off each other and to be in the hunt with two games to go goes to show that the amateur premier league is really competitive, with some great talent and coaches in the league.”

Dimitrovich said Sunday’s game will be a cracker, with both sides playing good football. “I’m really looking forward to our game against North Perth this week, and if our first encounter is anything to go by I'd urge anybody with nothing to do on Sunday afternoon to get down to Woodville Reserve to watch a great game of football,” he said. Hopefully we can get the three points and keep the pressure on Wembley who are in pole position for the title and I believe it's there's to lose.”

In other games this week BB United host Subiaco at the Bosnian Recreation Centre, Hamersley Rovers entertain Ellenbrook United at Carine Open Space, Southern Spirit make the trip to JA Lee Reserve to take on Perth Royals, while Leeming Strikers host Belmont Villa at John Connell Reserve. The Strikers will finish in the top five with only two games to go, but Coach David Palin said last week’s loss against Kingsley was disappointing, but they were missing a few players. “We had six players out that started the last game against them, so we knew it would be an uphill battle but credit to the players they gave it a good go, and I think 3-0 was a little harsh, but the result was the right one,” he said. “But credit must go to Dima and his players, they didn’t drop their levels from the first minute to the last minute.”

Palin said they will be looking to end the season with two wins, starting against Belmont, and a top five finish, which will be a good return in their first season in the league. “Obviously a lot of change in the off season with the team merging to Leeming, a semifinal appearance which probably hurt our league performances a little but overall I think we can say it’s been another good season and we look forward to next season with our new lights and that will give us a better foundation to work from in 2018,” he explained. “I think Belmont’s results is a reflection of maybe not a lot to play for, and we've felt the same strains since losing the semifinal. Player interest dwindles and it can be hard to get players up for it, in saying that over the past three seasons we've always had competitive games and I expect nothing different on Sunday.”



Matilda’s star Lisa De Vanna is happy to take the extra money from the new W-League pay deal but says playing in-front of 17,000 people against Brazil this Saturday night in Penrith means more. This week a new two-year agreement brokered by Football Federation Australia and Professional Footballers Australia is expected to see the average contract for W-League players rise from $6,909 to $15,500.

While De Vanna has lauded the W-League pay deal, the striker is even more ecstatic about playing in-front of a sold-out crowd against Brazil. “Besides the money side of things and the agreement with the W League, it’s the sell-out crowd that hits home and makes me a bit more emotional,” De Vanna told “It makes me a bit more humble and appreciative because I had a different pathway.”

“It’s exciting for the girls now because they don’t have to do what I had to do. They’ve got an opportunity to concentrate just on football. But for me I had to work at a petrol station and deal with unpleasant people. But that built character and I don’t have any regrets because I’m sort of the pioneer of women’s football when it comes to that. The fact that fans and people want to come and see the Matildas shows how far and how long it has taken.”

Last month the Matildas made history when they beat the United States for the first time and after defeating Japan and Brazil took out the Tournament of Nations Trophy. And De Vanna believes that playing the two-game series against Brazil soon after that result is perfect timing for both fans and players. “I always had a feeling that after each successful tournament we had that we needed a game straight after because we were so hot,” she said.

“It just shows how much interest we have for the women’s game. It’s exciting for the future as well. The more successful we are, the more interest Australia has for women’s football ... What we did against the US was all about belief. Because they are a team that mentally is probably one of the best in the world and for us to keep challenging them to the last minute just shows how much character and growth we’ve had since 2015.”

De Vanna – a veteran of 124 caps for the Matildas - feels that Australia’s intention to bid for the 2023 Women’s World Cup has given the squad even more of a boost. “There’s no bigger tournament than a World Cup,” said De vanna, who represented her nation at the 2007, 2011 and 2015 World Cups along with the 2004 and 2016 Olympic Games.

“To have it at home and sing your national anthem with 30,000 Australian fans behind you, it doesn’t get any better than that and you’re also doing something that you love. It’s just so exciting. It’s something that gives you this extra confidence, because you just want to go out there and try your heart out because you know you have the support of the nation behind you.”



Ryan Edwards is desperate to help Partick Thistle to their first win of the season when they face Rangers at Firhill on Friday night. Some 10,500 miles away the midfielder will be cheered on by his dad and former Rangers player Alistair, whose only game for the Scottish giants was against the Jags.

Edwards senior spent 18 months at Ibrox as a teenager, rubbing shoulders with England World Cup stars Terry Butcher, Chris Woods and Ray Wilkins plus Gers heroes like Ally McCoist, Ian Durrant, Richard Gough and Davie Cooper. He went on to play successfully in Australia and Malaysia as well as the Socceroos.

Edwards senior is now working for one of the football world’s richest men, Crown Prince Tunku Ismail at Malaysian club Johor as technical director. “I went to Ibrox straight after the World Youth Cup in Chile in 1987 when I was asked to come for a trial and I was there for about 18 months.”

“Having grown up in Australia to Scottish parents I knew about Rangers and Scottish football, but I had no idea how big it was. I came at a very exciting time because Graeme Souness and Walter Smith had just won the Championship and I was training with the first team.”

“It was surreal actually, because I was rubbing shoulders with players I had only seen on TV like Graham Roberts, Richard Gough, Ray Wilkins, Chris Woods and Terry Butcher. That was fantastic but the problem for me and the other young players like John Spencer and Gary McSwegan – who I became very friendly with and still am – was we couldn’t get in the team in front of all of these senior professionals.”

“But I wouldn’t have swapped it for the world. Working in that environment was unbelievable. I used to love listening to Ally McCoist, he was the funniest guy I have ever met and always had a smile on his face. But when he trained and played he was so determined ... all these strikers arrived at Rangers but he saw them all off. He was a huge inspiration to me.

“It’s amazing that my only first team appearance with Rangers was against Partick Thistle at Firhill and Ryan is playing there now. It was a Glasgow Cup semi-final in April 1988 and we won 2-1 and we had guys like Davie Cooper and Jimmy Nicholl in the team so it was a strong side. It would have been great to get more opportunities but it set me up for a great career as I went on to play for the national team.”

“It gave me an excellent grounding to be a professional and I will be forever grateful. In fact, playing for the reserves was like playing for another club’s first team. I remember we played Celtic at Parkhead and there were nearly 25,000 there. You can go to counties all over the world and clubs don’t get that kind of crowd so it hit me just how massive the rivalry was. I scored in that game and John Spencer got a hat-trick.”

Fatefully, four years ago Edwards crossed paths with one of his former squad mates – but not in the best circumstances. Ian Ferguson was fired by A-League side Perth Glory and Edwards was brought in to replace him. “It’s strange what can happen in football. I remember Ian Ferguson coming to Rangers from St Mirren for nearly £1million when I was there.”

“Then 25 years later, I replaced him as head coach of Perth Glory. I was national assistant technical director at the time and it was an interim position but we got to the Finals so I was given a contract and worked the next season too. Dave Mitchell was also coach at Glory so they have a number of Ibrox connections.”

Edwards is back in Australia for a few days and will get up in the middle of the night to catch the action from Firhill. “Every time I speak to Ryan he sounds so happy. He’s found a club that is a good fit and he’s getting regular football. I’ll try to catch the match online. I believe it’s 25 years since Partick last beat Rangers, but you never know.”



It should have been a straight forward trip home for Lydia Williams, Steph Catley and Alanna Kennedy. The Matildas trio had planned to fly from Orlando to Dallas at the conclusion of their National Women’s Soccer League game between Orlando Pride and Seattle Reign, before catching a direct flight to Sydney for the upcoming friendlies with Brazil.

With Williams playing for Seattle and Catley and Kennedy lining up for Orlando, it simply made sense for them to all fly home together. But then Hurrican Irma intervened and the trio’s plans were thrown into disarray. But not as badly as the Brazil’s Orlando stars, including Marta, who still haven’t touched down in Australia.

The Matildas face Brazil this Saturday, 16 September, in Penrith before a re-match in Newcastle on Tuesday, 19 September. “The first thing is they brought the game forward so we had two less days to organise everything,” Williams told

“And when it got time to organise flights out the next day, we had one set booked but it was a tight connection time. So when we went to re-book for a different flight, everything was pretty much sold out except if we went to four other cities to get to Dallas before flying to Sydney.”

But if there’s one thing professional footballers can do, it’s make plans on the fly. “We look at our alternatives and we find that the best way is to just hire a car and drive as far as we can, stay the night and get some rest and then go the next day,” Williams added.

“So we got a car after the game and we drove two, two-and-a-half hours to Jacksonville and stayed there the night. Then the next morning at around 9am, we left and our aim was to get to the airport before 4 o’clock and we ended up getting to Atlanta at 4.15pm.”

“Our flight wasn’t until about 5.50pm so we got there in plenty of time. But we didn’t realise it was going to take us seven hours - which is normally like a three or four hour drive from Jacksonville - with all the traffic and people fleeing from the hurricane. And then we flew from there to Dallas and then Dallas to Sydney.”

Orlando to Jacksonville to Atlanta to Dallas to Sydney isn’t the most common route you’ll see between the United States and Australia. But ultimately it was the one that saw Williams, Catley and Kennedy home safely, with the trio arriving back in Sydney on the weekend.

Bizarrely for Williams, it was the second time in three weeks the Matildas goalkeeper had her plans interrupted by a hurricane. Less than a month earlier, Williams was plying her trade for Houston Dash in the NWSL when Hurricane Harvey struck.

Without a pressing need to evacuate, the Matildas goalkeeper planned to stick out the time - literally riding out the storm in Houston. But this time, her footballing future would intervene. “It’s been busy the last three weeks,” Williams said.

“Obviously I went through Hurricane Harvey. We didn’t evacuate, we stayed in. So we were in our house for about four or five days with no roaming in the outside world. And then day four, both me and my housemate both got traded.”

Previously Houston’s undisputed first choice goalkeeper, Williams had been benched in favour of up-and-coming American Jane Campbell. To maintain her position as Australia’s number one, the 29-year old needed to be playing at club level on a consistent basis, which was where the Seattle Reign came in.

“Obviously it was looking to the future. I want to be at a club that I’m going to be playing at so for me it was (logical),” Williams said. “Seattle play the kind of football that I like and it’s very similar to how we play with the national team. My priority was to go there but if not I would have been looking over to Europe.”

Now safely back in Australia, Williams’ attention has turned to Saturday’s blockbuster against with Brazil. With more than 17,000 fans set to pack Pepper Stadium - making it the biggest home crowd the Matildas have ever played in front of - the goalkeeper said she was looking forward to what shapes as a tantalising clash.

“I don’t think I’ve ever played in front of a packed crowd in Australia, so that’s really exciting,” Williams said. “It’s kind of different, obviously (normally) there’s probably 20,000 watching us on TV playing internationally rather than filling the stadium. So to play on home soil with that kind of crowd, it’s exciting.”

And after a massive month of driving, flying and dodging hurricanes, there’s no doubt she’ll be happy to be staying put in one area, albeit temporarily. “It’s always really nice to hear some Aussie accents and be familiar with where I’m at,” Williams said. “So it’s a nice feeling to be home for a little while.”



West Australian Jack Iredale was awarded a spot in the Scottish Professional Football League team of the week following a stellar debut for Queen's Park on the weekend. The 21-year old centre back is on loan to League One side Queen's Park from Scottish Championship outfit Greenock Morton.

Iredale, who played the last three seasons for Perth Glory Youth, impressed so much on debut in Queen's Park 1-0 win over East Fife that he was given a spot in the SPFL team of the week, which picks players from the top four tiers of Scottish football.

Iredale joins the likes of Celtic's Scott Sinclair and Aberdeen's Joe Lewis in the team of the week - a massive honour for the former ECU Joondalup junior. The win was Queen's Parks' first after five games and moves the club off the bottom of the league table.



Wembley Downs are one win away from the Sunday Amateur Premier League title after a comfortable 6-0 win against Ellenbrook Rovers at the Ellenbrook Sports Hub. A hat trick from young striker Dean Wall and others to skipper Jay McDonald, Stephen Geoghegan and Felipe Simeos gave Wembley the points and moved them closer to the title. “I thought we dominated all day, and we were well aware of their quality, as they led us 0-2 in the first meeting this season,” Colm Costello said. “It was probably our best performance of the season, the lads were quality today, we stepped up, there were no nerves and we did the job. We have a huge game next week at home against Kwinana and we have it in our own hands, a win will seal the title. We were missing a few players on Sunday but they should be back this week, so it should be a cracker.” Wembley dominated early but couldn’t find the break through, the closest came from a thunderbolt from Juri Galba, which crashed off the crossbar. But that all changed on the half hour, when Wall headed home. Ten minutes later they doubled their lead, McDonald rising highest to head home Geoghegan’s corner. Wall added his second before the break, before Geoghegan made it 4-0 with a stunning free kick. Wembley went on with it after the break and substitute Simeos made it 5-0 before Wall completed his hat-trick four minutes from time. The striker racing clear from Banin Hashem through ball, rounding the keeper and rolling the ball home.

Kingsley kept the pressure on Wembley with 3-0 win against Leeming Strikers at Chichester Park. The home side hit the front on 20 minutes, a long throw by Lee Thomas found Stuart Montgomery, who finished into the roof of the net to give them the lead at the break. It should have been 2-0 early in the second half, when David Morris was brought down by the keeper, but Morris missed the resulting penalty. But they eventually added a second when another long throw by Thomas was only cleared to the edge of the box and Jayden Drummond volley home. The points were secured late when Drummond intercepted a poor pass and he raced down the flanks and cut the ball back to David Ashworth to finish into the bottom corner. Leeming ended with 10 men after David Palin was given a straight card for violent conduct. “We knew it wasn't going to be an easy game as we were 2-0 down within 20 minutes at their place,” Drummond said. “We started quite strong and looked to be in control, it's always good to get an early goal which we did and absolutely dominated the rest of the match, frustrating Leeming for most of the day, the 5-6 yellow cards from them proved that.”

In other games four goals from Jamie Nugent and another from Lee Bates gave Kwinana United a 5-1 win against BB United at Kelly Park to move them up to sixth, while Hamersley Rovers beat Perth Royals 2-1 at Carine Open Space, and in the final game Southern Spirit came home from Gerry Archer Sports Complex with a 4-0 win against Belmont Villa. North Perth United maintained third place with a 2-0 win against Subiaco at Rosalie Park. The visitors opened the scoring early in the game, from a through ball for Mehdi Rabei to run onto and slot into the bottom corner. The second goal again came from a long-range ping over their defence for Rabei to collect and score from a tight angle. “Subiaco are a good side and keeping them scoreless was tough but our midfield did well to manage the counter attacks and track back,” United’s Sam Nicol said. “Our captain had to come off at half time due to a knock he picked up in the first half and we went a man down in the second half from a second yellow card so we had to dig deep to keep our momentum going. Our defence did very well to disrupt their play and our keeper made some great saves. It’s a great result for the boys especially since they beat us at our pitch last time so we wanted to come out with the win.”



Bayswater City have added to their PS4 NPLWA title after a 3-0 win against Perth SC in the McInerney Ford Top Four Cup Final at Finance 365 Stadium on Saturday afternoon. It was a tight first half, with Perth having the better of it, but after the break Jason Mirco scored early, before second half substitute David Heagney added the second before Gustavo Giron-Marulanda wrapped up the game four minutes from time.

Despite the win Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne said he couldn’t wait to get his players in the sheds at the break, after an indifferent first half. “I couldn’t wait to get the boys in the dressing room at half time, and you would have thought it was us who played during the week, but credit to Ramon and his team, the way he got his boys up after a tough 90 minutes on Wednesday was fantastic,” he said. “But after the break we found our feet and with the service like we get week in and week out from Todd (Howarth) and the goals we scored were outstanding, so I was really pleased with the boys today.”

Coyne said the performance of the old guard, Trent Kay, Todd Howarth and Devon Spence was outstanding. “I was really pleased for Devon today, he doesn’t get the credit he deserves, and some games he doesn’t have much to do, but he was great for us today,” he said. “Likewise the two old farts in the center, Todd and Trent, along with Sam (Mitchinson) and young David Stokoe, who but in a good shift today, they all blocked shots and put their bodies on the line for the team today.”

Spence produced three great saves to keep Perth at bay, but the modest keeper said he was just doing his job. “That’s what I’m there for, but the boys put in a fantastic shift today, we were behind the eight ball at half time but we re-grouped and got the win,” he said. “I thought we deserved it, but all credit to Perth, they took it to us in the first half, but it looked like their game on Wednesday took it out of them late.”

The stands and terraces were packed at kick off and it was tight opening, and Marulanda low shot was saved by Francis Soale early, before Lewis Milne sent Gustavo Catarcione in on goal but Spence stood tall to save. Perth hit the woodwork on the half hour, Frank Furfaro cross shot beat Spence, but the crossbar came to the rescue of the Bayswater custodian.

Perth ended the half the better and Spence was called into action again late. Rocco Pizzata and Milne combined to set up Andreas Theodosiades, who shot was pushed around the post by the alert Spence. From the resulting corner Mirco cleared the ball off the line, and moments later Adrian Madaschi headed just over the top, but at the break it was all to play for.

But with Coyne’s half time address still ringing in their ears, Bayswater made the perfect start and hit the front five minutes in. Howarth’s free kick picked out Mirco, who lost his marker at the back post to score. Perth hit back and substitute Niccolo Sabatini had the perfect opportunity to level sixty seconds after coming on the pitch. Catarcione broke the line and picked out Sabatini, who brought the ball down well, but his shot was superbly saved by Spence.

That save became more important, as five minutes later Bayswater doubled their advantage. Perth had a free kick in the middle of the park, but a misunderstanding saw the ball played straight to Mirco, who played in Marulanda, who found Heagney, the striker finishing clinically past Soale. Still Perth pressed and Kay had to be alert to clear Theodosiades’ shot off the line, and moments later Sam Mitchinson cleared Catarcione’s header off the line.

Spence was at it again five minutes from time, Sabatini’s cross picked out Milne at the back post, but his headed was superbly tipped on to the crossbar by the Perth custodian. But with Perth pushing men forward, Bayswater sealed the game on 86 minutes. It was Howarth’s corner again that undid Perth, with Marulanda flicking home the third at the front post. Spence was determined not to be beaten and late on Catarcione’s powerful header was well saved by Bayswater keeper. At the whistle it was Bayswater celebrating and Todd Howarth was the winner of the ‘Gary Marocchi Medal’ as the best player on the day.

Perth assistant Coach Marc Wingell said it had been a good season for the club, but after dominating the first half they gave Bayswater a helping hand after half time. “If you don’t take your chances in football you won’t win many game, but at half time we were pleased the way the lads were going, but if we had taken our chances the game could have been over,” he said.

“After half time we conceded early, but they have been dangerous with their set-pieces all season, but we didn’t pick up any runners for the first goal, and a lack of communication led to their second, and that probably killed the game for us. We didn’t lay down and Devon produced some great saves in the second half as we pressed to get back in to the game, but it wasn’t to be. “We’ve come up empty this season, but the progression of the players has been good and we’ve had the best defence in the league, but we have to keep improving.”

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 8 Paul MCCARTHY, 9 Gustavo GIRON-MARULANDA, 10 Jason MIRCO (16 Shaydon PASSALACQUA, 12 David STOKOE, 13 Trent KAY (c), 17 Borbor SAM (19 Luka NINKOVIC 82’), 18 Brent GRIFFITHS (21 David HEAGNEY 57’) (84), 20 Sam MITCHINSON, 23 Andrija JUKIC (81) - Subs not used: RGK Dejan ALEKSIC

Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE (c), 3 Andreas THEODOSIADES, 4 Adrian MADASCHI, 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE, 10 Nicholas AMBROGIO (7 Aleks JOVIC 68’), 12 Jordan DE LEO, 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 15 Harley ORR, 16 Kieran COLWELL, 17 Frank FURFARO (5 Niccolo SABATINI 60’) 18 Lewis MILNE - Subs not used: RGK Malek KUC, 2 Alex SILLA, 21 Paul ZIMARINO - Referee: Adam Fielding - Assistant Referees: Josh Mannella, Daniel Cole - Fourth official: David Bruce

Bayswater City hold up the NPL-WA Top Four Cup



Perth SC have come from two goals down at half time to beat Cockburn City 4-3 on penalties to win the under 20’s McInerney Ford Top Four Cup at Finance 365 Stadium, after the game ended 2-2 after 90 minutes. The Cockerels were well on their way to revenging their Semi-Final defeat, with Losene Dulleh and James Oldfield giving them the lead at half time, but and early goal from Ali Nazari put Perth Back in it, and Luke Garas levelled on the hour, and both sides had late chances but it was off to penalties, were Perth held their nerve to run out winners to seal the league and top four double.

Perth Coach Garrett McDuling said it was a great game, and he was proud of his players the way they fought back in the second half. “We did it the hard way, but we had the belief at half time and we did the first time we played them at their place, and we knew they played in midweek and would have tired legs, and I was convinced we would come over the top of them and it turned out that way,” McDuling said. “Credit to Cockburn, they pushed us all the way, they have been good all season, but to our lads a great effort and one I’m really proud of.”

It was great cup tie early with both sides creating good chances, but it was Cockburn who opened the scoring on 25 minutes. Ryan Pratt found space down the left, eased past his marker and crossed invitingly from the bye-line to Dulleh, to finish from close-range. Perth looked to hit back but couldn’t find a way past Ryan Barker, the best chance falling to Matthew Cherrie’s curling shot from the edge of the box, which flashed inches wide of the post.

But on the half hour Cockburn showed them how to do it and doubled their advantage, Oldfield losing his marker to head home from a corner. It was almost 3-0 on the stroke of half time when Pratt raced clear of the Perth defence, but Perth keeper Malek Kuc stood tall to deny him, but at the break Perth had it all to do.

Whatever Coach McDuling said at the break worked, as four minutes into the second half Perth pulled one back. Nazari was sent clear with a well-weighted pass down the left, and he cut inside the box and finished with aplomb past Barker. Perth were on top and it wasn’t a surprise when they levelled on the hour. Garas racing clear, and chipping cleverly over the top of the oncoming Barker.

Cockburn ended normal time the better and Kuc denied them on two occasions, the best a great one-handed save to deny Pratt in stoppage time. So it was off to penalties, and Kuc saved Adam Anfuso’s second penalty, before Barker saved Michael De Bellis penalty to level things up. But when Ryan Sardi, penalty hit the crossbar, it put Perth in pole position and it was left to Nazari to seal the tie sending Barker the wrong way to win it.

Nazari said he was nervous stepping up to take the winning penalty. “I had fear, I had everything going through my mind but I knew what I was doing,” he said. “I chose a spot and I went for it. “It feels great to win after coming back from 2-0. It was such a great second half for us, and I’m just so proud of the boys.” Cockburn coach Joe Pereira said it was a disappointing second half from his side. “We knew they were going to come out firing, we had a game plan to combat it but we didn’t follow it through,” he said. “But when it goes to penalties there is a little bit of luck involved. The boys are a little bit upset, but that is the way it goes.”

Perth SC: GK Malek KUC, 4 Andreas FAZARI (10 Cameron PIQUE 90+3’), 5 Ali NAZARI, 6 Michael ZIMARINO (16 Thomas JEBBS 29’), 7 Luke GARAS, 8 Marco SANTA LUCIA (c), 9 Adam CARLINO, 12 Callum MELLOWSHIP, 14 Anthony TOPINI (17 Khaynan MACCARTHY 78), 15 Matthew CHERRIE, 19 Brodie WALKER - Subs not used: RGK Sebastian BELL

Cockburn City: GK Ryan BARKER, 2 Ryan SARDI, 3 Chris THACKRAY (c), 4 Hudson BLISS, 5 James OLDFIELD, 7 Adam ANFUSO, 8 Losene DULLEH, 9 Ryan PRATT, 10 Sam GARCES (6 David DOS SANTOS 60), 11 Andrew EMSAVANA, 12 Kenel MOUYTHIS (15 Michael DE BELLIS 71) - Subs not used: RGK Jordan COMBE, 14 Thomas BOURNE - Referee: Julian Serra - Assistant Referees: Simon Hicks, Alex Best - Fourth official: Brendan Skinner

Perth celebrate with the NPL-WA Under 20's Top Four Cup



Bayswater City have won the 2017 McInerney Ford Under 18’s Top Four Cup Final after a narrow 1-0 win against Inglewood United at Finance 365 Stadium on Saturday morning. Keiran Coyne’s first half header proved to be the difference, as City made emends for their loss in the Semi-Final last week to win the Final. Coyne, son of Bayswater Senior Coach Chris said it was a great team performance.

“It was nice to get a reward for all of our hard work throughout season. All the boys knew what we had to do and I thought we executed very well on the day,” Coyne said. “Everyone stood up and played their individual role and we all worked hard for our mates until the final whistle blew and we were champions. We were all grateful for all the work Gaz and Dan have done for us from the start of the season, and it was nice to reward them with the result.”

Bayswater Coach Gary Williams was delighted with how his side bounced back. “We kept it fairly consistent, after conceding five against (Inglewood) last week,” he said. “They finished on top of us by a point in the league. In terms of games we played, we both won one, we drew one and then we got them today, but Inglewood are a very good side, well coached and deserved to win the league.”

The home side were out of the blocks early and on ten minutes Adrian Manno played the ball over the top for Ezekiel McPherson, but Inglewood keeper Mitchell Haywood was out quickly to save. Inglewood hit back and City keeper Owen Fisher came off his line to deny Renee Kisea a shot at goal moments later. Coyne went close to giving City the lead on 28 minutes, meeting Gabi Riquelme’s corner, but he missed the target. But he made emends four minutes later heading City ahead, after a carbon copy corner from Riquelme, Coyne headed past Haywood. It was almost two late in the half, Connor McKee found space on the edge of the box, but his volley flashed over the top, but City deservedly went into the break with the lead.

Bayswater went close to a second early after the break, Ajak Riak’s header superbly saved by the alert Haywood. Inglewood were struggling in the final third, while Bayswater were creating the better chances and Riak went close to adding a second, his shot on the run flashing inches past the post. Inglewood ended the game the better and it looked like Bayswater’s profligacy would come back to haunt them, with Inglewood skipper Ben Docherty heading just wide from a Jack Lavis’ corner, before Fisher produced a great save to deny Ben Pellizzari, but at the final whistle it was Bayswater celebrating.

Inglewood coach Richard Abrams said the better team won on the day. “I just think they were better than us today, we didn’t win any of the second balls which we asked the boys to do, but all credit to Bayswater, they were the better side,” he said. “From third bottom last year to league winners is a massive turn around, so full credit to the players and the staff for that.”

Inglewood United: GK Mitchell HAYWOOD, 2 Adam FIELDS (17 Connor McCANN 45’), 3 Brandon CLARKE, 4 Ben DOCHERTY, 6 Nelson TOSHONGO, 7 Ben PELLIZZARI, 9 Curtis JORGENSEN (12 Alley MANYOL 61’), 10 Kieran PATTERSON, 11 Jack LAVIS, 14 Harley CURRAN, 16 Renee KIESA (8 Tyler GARNER 59’) - Subs not used: 5 Matthew SUTCLIFFE

Bayswater City: GK Owen FISHER, 2 Bojan NINKOVIC, 3 Jake MELIA, 6 Adrian Manno, 7 Gab RIQUELME (14 John LAHAI 71’), 8 Tom WARBURTON, 11 Ajak RIAK, 12 Logan RINDEL, 16 Keiran COYNE, 17 Connor MCKEE, 21 Ezekiel MCPHERSON – Subs not used: 13 Dean KEZURER, 15 Tristan BARBAS, 19 Kawad REZAI, 25 Jak MOLONY - Referee: Mitchell Barrington

Bayswater City Under 18's come from second place to win Grand Final



Western Knights are the 2017 All Flags State League Division One Champions after a 3-1 win against Gosnells City at Nash Field. A second half brace from Jack Rycroft and another from skipper Paul Lloyd won it for the Knights, this despite Wade Farmer pulling one back for the visitors, and with other results elsewhere going their way, Trim Morgan’s side celebrated on the pitch after the final whistle. “I’m ecstatic we’ve won the league, a sensational season from the lads,” Morgan said. “We panicked a bit early in the game but settled down in the second half and saw it out. I’d like to thank all the players who’ve worked their socks off this season to win the league, all the committee members and our President who have put in so much work behind the scenes. We wouldn’t be in this spot without them.” Skipper Paul Lloyd said it’s a great reward for all their hard work. “Our target at the beginning of the season was the league, we've been in since pre-season in November working hard for it,” he said. “The whole squad has played its part and to win the league and cup is a massive season for the lads and the whole club.”

The last time the Knights took on Gosnells they were held to a scoreless draw and it looked like Déjà vu with both sides missing good chances in an open first half, but five minutes into the second half the Knights took the lead. Rycroft losing his marker and heading David Murphy’s corner past Adriano D’Alo. It was 2-0 on 54 minutes, D’Alo’s clearance went straight to Rycroft, whose long-range lob dropped into the net. Gosnells weren’t going down without a fight and on 70 minutes they pulled one back. A quick counter attack ended with Farmer, who controlled the ball on the edge of the penalty area and finished clinically past Sam Stone. But nine minutes from time the points were made safe, when the Knights added a third. Adriano Jelenovic was brought down in the box by Salvador Chavez, and the defender was sent off, and Lloyd made no mistake from the resulting penalty.

Forrestfield United handed the Knights the title after they were held to a thrilling 3-3 draw against Fremantle City at Hilton Reserve. Forrestfield dominated early and it wasn’t a surprise when they took the lead, Mitch Crocker switched the ball Will Tshubangu who played in Sani Sinclair down the right, and the winger rolled the ball across the box to Liam Merigan, who made no mistake. But Fremantle hit back and Anthony Lomma won possession on the edge of the box and squared the ball to Ben Reynolds who fired home. It was 1-1 at the break, but straight from the kick off after half time Forrestfield regained the lead. They won it in the middle of the park and Scott Barker found Merigan, who played a perfect through ball to Sinclair, and he was never going to miss. But ten minutes later Fremantle levelled, Luke Findlater crossed and Alec Robinson got their before Luke Martino to head home. Then on the hour Fremantle hit the front, Reynold’s cross was flicked on by Ben West, Robinson and Lawrence Lewis combined to find Sean Browne, who headed home.

But the home side were then reduced to nine men after Findlater and Tom Spezialli were both sent off, and Forrestfield levelled with fifteen minutes remaining. Mark Barnett hit a diagonal ball into Sinclair’s feet and he laid it off first time to Crocker, who sent Tshubangu down the line, he squared it to the near post for Jordan Hart. Forrestfield pressed for the winner but Fremantle reshuffled at the back and held on. “It was one of those days again where we are great going forward and a bit suspect at the back, and silly mistakes cost us another few points and that’s the difference it makes in the grand scheme of things,” Crocker said. “Our forward play was great, but when you score three and then gift them three, then you're always going to be up against it. But credit to Fremantle though, the only chances they had were the ones we gifted them and they punished us for it. Our focus now is on Canning and we'll have to put a shift in because whoever we face this year has lifted a gear to try and knock us off but we have a good record at home and the home fans deserve a good performance for the support they've given us all year.”

Dianella White Eagles finished their season with a hard fought 2-1 win against Ashfield at Dianella Reserve. The home side dominated the first half and had Ashfield on the back foot, and the home side had many chances but they failed to convert. That all changed when Jason Stepanovski squared the ball to Angel Andres outside the box who finished clinically into the bottom right hand corner of the net. It was 2-1 five minutes later Stepanovski again was the provider when he robbed his opponent on the half way line and slid a great ball through Francis Wanruji who controlled the pass well before sliding the ball under the advancing keeper. Ashfield were told a few hard truths at the break by the coaching staff and they came out, and gave as good as they got, in the second half.

Both sides had chances, but it was Ashfield who pulled one back ten minutes from time, after a poor clearance and a defensive error allowed Harry Clisby in and his volley from the edge of the box flew into the top corner of the net, a stunning goal. Ashfield pressed for the equaliser and Dianella searched for their third but after a great save from Joel Driscoll late in the game it ended 2-1. “It was definitely a game of two halves today, we probably should have buried them in the first half. Two nil is always a precarious score line and when they got their goal I knew it would be a nervous final ten minutes till the end of the game,” Dianella Coach Robbie Dunn said. “Fair play to Ashfield as they pushed us all the way till the final whistle but thankfully we hung in for the win. It wasn’t pretty in the second half from us as Ashfield came back at us but I am very happy that the lads got a win to end their season.”

In other games South West Phoenix are still in the mix for the runner-up spot after a solid 4-0 win against bottom of the table Canning City at WML Stadium. The home side opened the scoring when Carlo Chiellini converted a penalty, after Jayden Prosser was fouled by the keeper. Michael Farmer added the second before half time, finishing well from Prosser’s cross. After the break Farmer headed the third from a Prosser corner, before a long-range strike from Corey Barclay made it 4-0. In the final game Rockingham City and UWA Nedlands fought out a 2-2 draw at the Lark Hill Sportsplex. The home side opened the scoring five minutes before half time, Fernandez Oriol was adjudged to have been brought down by Josh Marocchi and Ryan Kennedy converted from the spot. UWA were level early in the second half with a penalty of their own, after Mordecai Junior was brought down and Conor Devlin made no mistake from the spot. Then with 20 minutes remaining UWA hit the front, some great lead up play from Devlin allowed Junior to cross the ball to Alex Kretowicz who made no mistake from six meters. But Rockingham earned a point after a quickly taken free kick caught UWA napping and Christian Hogge fired past Ranjeet Singh. – Joondalup City had the bye this week.



Gwelup Croatia were presented the 2017 All Flags State League Division Two trophy, but Swan United spoilt the day beating the home side 3-2, their first defeat at home all season. It was a tightly fought first half, with Swan pressing for the points to help their play-off hopes, but at the break it was scoreless. The home side made the perfect start to the second half and two minutes in they hit the front. James Sammut's in-swinging corner picked out youngster Lucas Munoz, who headed home off the underside of the bar. But the Black and Whites levelled when James Shamim fired home, but Gwelup regained the lead on 74 minutes, Sammut emphatically converting from the penalty spot after Noah Shamaki was brought down in the box. But with Swans season on the line they restored parity moments later, substitute Chris Marshall heading home a corner.

Then six minutes from time Swans won it, a corner to the back post was headed back across goal by Steve Shore and Marshall poked it home. Gwelup pressed late looking for the equaliser but Mat Debarro’s side hung on for three valuable points. “It was the most intense game of football I've seen or been involved in,” Debarro said. “Every player from both teams threw everything into every challenge, and its clear why they are champions they are exceptional and It took our very best performance and everything we had to go toe to toe for 90 minutes with them. We are thrilled with the result. I would like to congratulate Paul (Dundo) and Gwelup on their success this year and thank them for the amazing hospitality after the game and allowing us to share their special day. I wish them all the very best next season.”

Wanneroo City made sure of their play-off spot after a 1-1 draw against Morley Windmills at Wotton Reserve. The visitors were unlucky early when Young Nolan Flynn was sent clear after a great through ball from Godfrey Asimwe, but the Morley keeper made a great save to deny him. But Wanneroo’s good start was rewarded with the lead, when a quick break ended with Nolan racing clear of the offside trap again, and he finished clinically. Moments later Jack Hailstones cut in from the right beating the left back only to shoot just wide. But the home side had the perfect opportunity to level just before halftime, when Igor Novakovic was brought down in the box, but Dion Berman’s penalty crashed off the crossbar and away to safety for the Roos.

Morley levelled after the break, Yves Mwilla picked out Ryan Treacey who laid the ball off to Berman, who made emends for his penalty miss by scoring to level things up. Both sides had chances to win it the closest came in stoppage time when Novakovic’s free kick crashed off the post. “We knew they would come out firing in the second half and we knew we only needed a point to secure play offs,” Wanneroo Coach Tim Kantor said. “We now meet Melville in our final game before our two leg play off against Windmills and we go into the play offs quietly confident having taken four out of six points against Morley this season. A fantastic achievement by our young squad to reach the play offs and we look forward to the challenge.”

Melville City’s good end to the season continued with a 2-1 win against Balga at John Connell Reserve. In an even first half, it was the visitors who went into the break with the lead. A cross into the box found Curtis Wreglesworth, who beat the keeper to the ball and headed into an empty net. Gavin Brown’s side came out strong after half time and levelled through Mark Lucas, and they won all three points with Christian Long scoring the winner. “I’m delighted to get our first come from behind win of the season,” Brown said. “It was a good day all-round for the club with all three teams winning on the day.”

In other games Kingsway Olympic kept their play-off hopes alive with a 2-1 win against Kelmscott Roos at Kingsway Reserve. Quinns FC have come home from Edinburgh Oval with a 3-1 win against Curtin University, the win lifting Quinns above them on the table. It was a dominating first half performance from the visitors, Alex Sallery gave them the lead with a low driven finish, before Craig Tooley doubled it, volleying home from the edge of the box. Curtin out strong after the break and Daniel Lucey pulled one back, only for Liam McGurk to ease the pressure with a delightful finish with 10 minutes left on the clock to make it 3-1. – Shamrock Rovers had the bye this week.



The 2017 PS4 NPLWA McInerney Ford Top Four Cup Grand Final takes centre stage this weekend, with 2017 league winners Bayswater City hosting the 2016 league winners Perth SC at Finance 365 Stadium (2.30pm) Chris Coyne’s side made it to Saturday’s showpiece with 4-1 win against Inglewood United in the Major Semi-Final last weekend, while Perth beat Sorrento in the Minor Semi-Final, before beating Inglewood 3-0 in the Preliminary Final on Wednesday evening.

Bayswater defender Sam Mitchinson said the win against Inglewood was hard fought, and it was a typical Cup Semi-Final. “I thought the first half was very scrappy but we knew they would be fired up for it, after we pipped them for the title,” he said. “But in the second half I thought the boys were awesome, and we created some great chances and it could have been 7 or 8 to be fair, but happy to get the win.”

The Black and Blues have been at the forefront of WA football in recent seasons, but after a slow start, when many people wrote them off, but Mitchinson said they were confident they could finish the season well, and they did. “To be honest we went under the radar and it was great to do it on the last day,” he said. “We want to go all the way now and win the finals and then have a good crack at the nationals. The team spirit at the moment is tremendous and we are just enjoying our football at the moment.”

Mitchinson was in the crowd on Wednesday to watch the Preliminary Final and said they are nicely rested and Perth will have to back up. “We were all watching the game and hoping it went to extra time, but Perth were too strong, and they will prove a tough opponent,” he explained. “It will be a great contest, Italian derbies are always an exciting game, and we look forward to the battle and will be hoping to maintain our unbeaten streak. We have been working hard this week and all the boys are super excited.”

Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne said his side have worked really hard and deserve their spot in the final, despite many writing them off early. “People can say what they want from the outside but as a group we remained quietly confident that we would get there in the end. It was never going to be easy but we knew with the amount of home games we had in the last 13 we would be in with a chance and it proved that way,” he said. “The fact we have been successful with this group in the past meant that they didn’t panic and just kept believing in the structures we have in place and have instilled in the group over a few years now.”

Perth defensive midfielder Harley Orr was outstanding in their 3-0 win against Inglewood, and he said apart for the first 15 minutes they dominated. “It was a massive win by the boys, but yes we did start off quite slow and we gave away a penalty,” he explained. “But we have full confidence in Francis and it was a fantastic save and I think that save really clicked us into gear and from there we completely dominated the whole game. The boys knew what was at stake and we all put in a good shift and hopefully can bring it home on Saturday.”

The Dorrien Gardens club have won the Premier League title on 21 occasions and Orr said they will do doing all they can to add to that on Saturday. “Perth SC have been a dominant force in the past and we are still carrying on that winning legacy now,” he said. “We were extremely unlucky to not win the league again this year, but that's behind us now, we’ve beaten Sorrento and Inglewood comprehensively to reach Saturday’s game and we will be doing all we can to retain the top four trophy on Saturday.”

Orr said the ‘Italian Derby’ is always a big occasion, and with so much at stake on Saturday, this one will have a little extra spice. “Saturday will be a fantastic game, and being at Bayswater’s ground I'm sure it will be a hostile atmosphere for us but I'm sure us young boys will step up to the occasion,” he said. “Sometimes in football a week off can be a burden, but I'm sure Bayswater will be up for it and so will we coming off a few wins on the trot.”

Perth SC Coach Ramon Falzon said his players have been magnificent this season and deserve some reward. “Winning the double last year gave us confidence, and we’ve continued this season and have worked extremely hard,” he said. “The second part of the season we’ve really played well, and have been scoring goals, and I would like to see the lads be rewarded for all their hard work, with a trophy.” In other games on Saturday at Finance 365 Stadium, Inglewood United take on Bayswater City at 10.00am, while Perth SC take on Cockburn City at 12.15pm.



Cool-headed Kieran Paterson insists he’s not feeling any nerves ahead of the biggest game of the season. Inglewood United’s talent-laden Under-18 side already have the league title in their possession and tomorrow will be shooting for the double when they face Bayswater City in the Top Four Cup Grand Final.

“We’ve got a big game ahead of us this weekend and we won’t let nerves get to us,” said Paterson, Under-18s vice-captain. “We are the league winners and we’ll play on Saturday just as we have done all season, by working hard for each other and taking control of the pace of the game early.”

The Grand Finalists have already met three times this year with the ledger evenly balanced. Bayswater collected a 3-0 win at their place on the opening day of the home and away series with the return fixture a tense 4-4 draw. Inglewood booked themselves into the season finale last weekend with a 5-3 triumph over their neighbours.

Paterson, scorer of the semi-finals opening goal, attributed the win to a team effort and feels a similar performance will be required if Inglewood are to complete the double. “We all worked for each other, there wasn’t one player that didn’t do their bit for the team in the semi-final,” Paterson commented.

“There was a lot of effort put in throughout the week at training and we went into the game confident in our abilities, and you could see the positive effect that had on our performance. We’ve had another good week at training with everyone fighting to convince the coaches that they deserve a starting spot on Saturday.”

“It’s going to be a difficult game - Bayswater are a very good side - but we know what they’re about so we’re not going into it blind. We’ve had a week’s break and good preparation for the game. If we go out there, play to our strengths and work hard for each other then the result will take care of itself.”



The top of the All Flags State League Division One is tightening up, with four teams still in the mix to take out the title and this week’s Footballwa – ‘Match of the Week’ involves one of them, as Forrestfield United travel to Hilton Reserve to take on the improving Fremantle City. Fremantle jumped up to sixth with last week’s win at Canning, with Ben West continuing his good touch in front of goal, bagging one in the 2-1 victory, but he said it wasn’t the best of performances. “To be fair we didn't play to the best of our ability at Canning last week, but still came away with the win which was good, at this stage results are important as we try to build momentum,” he said. “The team stuck together well and held out for the win after some late pressure from Canning, and the win took us over a couple of teams on the table.”

West said it’s been a difficult season for the port side, with players out with long term injuries and a change of coach but he said the lads have stayed positive and they are starting to get some reward. “This season has been one of ups and downs, but we have done well since the change of management, and Marc (Anthony) has brought in his own ideas,” he explained. “Fremantle is a club that is moving forward every year, and we are back on track in that regard with a positive finish to the season. The First Division has been a mixed bag with a few injuries and late goals going our way we could be in a very different position and I think we proved that when we played Dianella away where we should have come away with all three points.”

The striker knows Saturday’s opponents are in the mix for the title, but he said they are ready for a big game, and wants to end the season well. “Forrie this week will be tough and the boys are more than ready to rise to occasion again,” he said. “Our aim now is to finish as high as we can we have nothing to play for but we certainly don't mind spoiling the party at the top, so that's what we plan to do. We have a strong squad this week with no injuries and on our home ground it should be great game for the neutrals.” Fremantle are at full strength going into this game.

Forrestfield defender Mark Barnett said the win last week, in a seven goal thriller against Dianella, was a great pick me up after their loss at Joondalup. “We knew it was really a massive game, especially after the loss the week before, but there was another big crowd and some awesome football was played from both sides,” he explained. “I think the best team won on the night and it was a fair result, although it's not often a hat trick is scored by the opposition and still lose the game, so credit to our lads for pulling it back with some quality team goals.”

The Hartfield Park club have big ambitions and Barnett knows with only two games to go they need to keep their form going, and they have the possibility to be playing NPL football next season. “We know where we are at, and we require two wins to secure the chance of promotion or to take on Mandurah in the play off, that’s if the Knights slip up and we finish top, so we’ll be doing all we can to get our side of the equation right,” he said. “We have worked extremely hard this season and we want top spot and at the moment Knights are in the driver’s seat, but all we can do is focus on this week, get the result then finish the season off at home against Canning.”

Barnett, who has been outstanding at the back for the Eastern corridor club, said Fremantle have improved under their new coach, and he said they won’t be easy, and they need to stay focus. “They (Fremantle) are definitely no pushovers, and this will be another tough game and we will be firing all cylinders to make sure we get the points this week,” he said. “Once again, nothing else changes we are doing nothing different other than playing our game that we know best.” Forrestfield are at full strength for the trip.

Western Knights hold all the cards in the title race and this week they host Gosnells City at Nash Field, who are fighting for points at the other end of the table. Gosnells are coming off the bye, and Alan Dunlop’s side sit second bottom, and face a play-off game, but they have a talented squad and will make it difficult for Trim Morgan’s side. The Knights looked down and out last week against the Phoenix, but two late goals gave them a 2-1 win, and striker Adriano Jelenovic said it showed the character they have in their side. “It was a great come back last week against Phoenix, it just showed how good trust we have between each other, and we fought so hard until the end and we were rewarded for it,” he said. “I think we were better side on the pitch last week, but we needed goals which came late but just on the time to win the game.”

Jelenovic, who has been on fire in front of goal this season, said they know two wins and the title is theirs, so they need to keep doing what has been working all season. “We all know the title is in our hands now, it's simple we win two games we are champions but there is still 180 minutes remaining to play against Rockingham and Gosnells,” he explained. “They surly will not just give us points so we have to keep up our tempo and try to win two remaining games, it been a great season and the title would be a great finish for us.”.

The last time they played Gosnells they were held to a scoreless draw and Jelenovic said they need to learn from that game. “Last time we played them they just sat on top of the 18 yard box and played long balls without leaving any space behind their defence,” he explained. “So this time we have to be smarter and try to stretch them to get that space behind. We are much experienced then last time we played them, and I think it will be really important to get chances early and early goal will make big difference to the game. Because then they have to open up and leave that spaces behind their back four, where we can punished them easier. But we go into the game full of confidence especially as we are unbeaten at home this season.” The Knight will be with Jamie Burns, Brian Patterson, and Graham Tough, while Ramadhani Kabwe will miss for Gosnells.

In other games second placed Dianella White Eagles will be looking to bounce back from last week’s loss at Forrestfield when they host Ashfield at Dianella Reserve. Robbie Dunn’s side are still in the mix for the title, but know the 4-3 defeat last week has handed the Knights the advantage. Ashfield have lost back-to-back games and slipped to seventh and they will be looking to end that poor form on Saturday. South West Phoenix will look to keep the pressure on the top three when they host bottom of the table Canning City at WML Stadium. Canning have improved in their performances recently, but still haven’t turned them into wins. They were edged out 2-1 by Fremantle last week, while the Phoenix conceded to late goals to loss at the Knights, the loss almost certainly ending their title hopes.

UWA Nedlands sit in fifth spot on the table, only three points away from fourth placed South West Phoenix, and this week they travel to Lark Hill to take on Rockingham City. Rockingham have slipped off the pace in recent weeks and sit third bottom, but injuries have hit Rob Crerar’s side, but they won in round 19 against Ashfield, and are coming off the bye, so they will be looking to end the season on a high. UWA beat Gosnells last week to consolidate fifth spot and Coach Michael Janssen said it was a comfortable win. “The game against Gosnells looked hard fought but we were in control over 90 minutes and they just had chances from set pieces,” he said.

“We did not allow Gosnells a real chance from their game. We brought them back into business by giving away two cheap goals. Unfortunately we were not clinical enough and missed a couple of good chances to get a much more comfortable result. But the win was important for us to maintain 5th and we go for the last six points now.” Janssen said the trip to Lark Hill is always a difficult and he’s expecting the same on Saturday. “Traveling to Rockingham is never easy regardless their recent form. We want to level our away account for the season and we want to make up for the loss at the Mac that fell to their feet in June,” he explained. “The boys have been working hard during the week and the target for the weekend is three points.” In team news Tim Robertson is suspended for UWA, while Rockingham are at full strength. – Joondalup City have the bye this week.



The title is decided in the All Flags State League Division Two, but the play-off spot are still up for grabs and this week Footballwa – ‘Match of the Week’ takes us to Wotton Reserve where second placed Morley Windmills host third placed Wanneroo City. Morley were beaten for only the fourth time last time out at Kingsway Olympic and striker Dion Berman said it was disappointing, but they have already made the play-off’s but need to maintain their form. “Unfortunately the result wasn't ideal. I know it doesn't mean much for us in terms of making the play offs but we would obviously like to win all our games and build confidence every week,” he explained. “I think we were flat, and that is not acceptable of the standard that the Coaches have set this year, but credit to Kingsway though who were hungry and deserved the win.”

Morley have been the only side to beat Champions Gwelup and Berman said it’s been a great step up for him, after joining the club from Maccabi in Sunday amateurs division one. “It has been an unbelievable season so far, and the win against Gwelup made everyone stand up and look at us, but the season starts now as we push for promotion in the play-offs,” he said. “For me personally coming from amateur league, it's been a pleasure to play with such a good team and even more importantly - a great bunch of lads, and we’re looking to end the season with two good wins.”

The visit of third placed Wanneroo is another tough task, but Berman said they are looking forward to the challenge and will be looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat. “For us, it's just another big game in the lead up to play offs. We will be coming up against a tough, well drilled Wanneroo side who got the better of us last time round - fortuitously it was to be,” he explained. “So it would be very nice to get our revenge two weeks before play offs and send a big message to the league that we're the real deal, were really looking forward to this one.” In team news for Morley Ben Wantee is suspended.

Wanneroo City are coming off a hard fought 2-1 win against Balga and Kye Douglas said it was a good win against a good Balga side. “I thought the game last week was very tough against a very physical Balga side, who should be higher in the league then what they are,” he said. “We were desperate for the three points to make our spot in the top 4 as safe as possible. We’ve had 16-year-old Flynn Nolan stepping up lately and scored the opener with a great finish, he has a very bright future in the game.”

Douglas said Morley is another huge challenge but they will be looking for a repeat of the last time they played them. “It’s a massive game against Morley this weekend, especially away from home,” he said. “The last time we played them we came out with the 1-0 win, but with the attacking prowess Morley have, we know it will be a struggle to keep them scoreless. We know three points will be massive for the club because we want to finish as high as we can and it could be a good thing mentally going into the playoffs remaining unbeaten against them.”

It’s a play off rehearsal at Kingsway Reserve, with Kingsway Olympic hosing Kelmscott Roos. Kingsway have made a surge up the table in recent weeks, and are coming off a big win against Morley last week, and a win on Saturday could take them into the play-off spot. Standing in their way is Kelmscott, who are two points ahead of them, and a player who is has been outstanding former is keeper Kristian Usedo. The Roos keeper was in sparkling form last week, but he couldn’t stop Gwelup taking the points, but it was a big improvement from their first meeting.

“They are champions for a reason obviously they have a lot of squad depth from 18 reserves to first team unfortunately we did have players out due to injuries so late in the season, but I think we improved from the first game 10-1 defeat which unfortunately I didn't play due to family commitments but observed from the bench,” he explained. “But I thought we tried to implement our new style of football under coach Aaron Beatie, although it was evident we gave them too much respect on the ball allowing them to dictate the game however after a good spraying from coach at half time we regained our composer and played a better second half.”

Usedo played for Armadale as a junior, before moving to the Cocobolo soccer club where he found his love for goalkeeping, before moving as an 18-year-old at Lynwood colts amateur’s and played there for two seasons, where he won goalkeeper of the year, before a switch to Southern Spirit, before heading to Frye Park. The keeper said Saturday is an important game and one he and the other players are looking forward too. “I'm expecting a fiery encounter same as the previous game, but hopefully with less injuries,” he said. “I believe both teams have a lot on the line to cement the fourth place on the chance to play the playoffs, so it’s all to play for.”

In other games this week Curtin University entertain Quinns at Edinburgh Reserve, while Melville City host Balga at John Connell Reserve. The Champions Gwelup Croatia end their home campaign with a game against Swan United at Wishart Street. The Swans are in the mix for a play-off spot, and are coming off a win against Shamrock Rovers last week, the loss sent Rovers to relegation, and the win rekindled Matt Debarro’s sides’ chances of promotion through the play-offs. Gwelup beat Kelmscott last week and keeper Tom Dixon said it was a good win. “We were happy with our performance on Saturday, but credit to Kristian the Kelmscott keeper, he kept them in the game and the score line flattering,” he said. “The skipper had mentioned in the review last week that it was nice to relax and play with freedom. We are a team that has creative and talented players so to be able to just go and play with no pressure on us, means we can just enjoy playing good football.”

Dixon said the rise of the club has been outstanding, and he said it’s not just been the first team that has had success this season. “It's a great achievement for the club, everyone has worked hard since November last year to get us to this point,” he said. “Having said that it's not just us, our reserves won their league, and I’ve coached the under 18’s this season and we will finish in the top four, while the women's team has won their third title in a row. As a club it's been a fantastic year and one that I'm very proud to have been involved in.”

Dixon said Saturday’s opponents will be desperate for the points as they still in the mix for the play-offs, but he said they will be doing all they can to end the home campaign with a win. “Swan will be difficult, but we have won all nine games at home, and we intend to finish off unbeaten,” he said. “There's going to be things on after the game and a lot of friends and family coming to celebrate our trophy presentation. So we will be up for it, losing would take the shine of what will be an afternoon we want to enjoy. We also have a lot of personal challenges we want to accomplish. I'd like to keep my 10th clean sheet which is a personal best in one season and I know the boys up top have a goal scoring competition between them.” – Shamrock Rovers have the bye this week.



Wembley Downs are three games away from taking out the Sunday Amateur Premier League, and this week they travel to the Ellenbrook Sports Hub to take on Ellenbrook United. Ellenbrook are coming off a 2-0 win at BB United last week, while Wembley beat Hamersley Rovers. Speedy winger Stephen Geoghegan said they made it hard for them. “They (Hamersley) made it difficult for us, they worked very hard off the ball and were quiet difficult to break down,” he said. “But our defense was rock solid and that gave us the base on which to build and we took our chances when they came along, and I thought Juraj Galba was outstanding for us.”

Geoghegan said it’s been tight at the top all season, and he said the title will go down to the wire. “It’s been a three horse race all season with North Perth winning their first eight but they seemed to have lost their way a bit in the second half of the season, and that’s allowed ourselves and Kingsley to pull away,” he said. “There is three points in it with three games to play, there is still a lot of work to be done, but we'll take it one game at a time as we have done all season.”

Ellenbrook led Wembley by two goals early in the reserve fixture, and Geoghegan said they can’t take them lightly. “Ellenbrook will be another big challenge on Sunday, they probably gave us our toughest game all season, we were 2-0 down with about 15 to play and we managed to win 3-2,” he explained. “The artificial surface will pose a different test for us, but we're looking forward to it. We will be expecting a tough game and we will be going in full of confidence looking for another big performance.”

In other games Kwinana United entertain BB United at Kelly Park, Hamersley Rovers host Perth Royals at Carine Open Space, Kingsley meet Leeming Strikers at Chichester Park, while Southern Spirit travel to Gerry Archer Sports Complex to take on Belmont Villa. In the final game Subiaco will be looking to close the gap on North Perth United when the pair meet at Rosalie Park. North Perth were held to a draw by Kwinana United last week, a performance coach Jason Winter was pleased with. “We didn't deserve a point, we played poor,” he said. Subiaco thrashed Leeming last week a result Coach Les Cavill was happy with. “It was a good win against a decent side, we improved markedly after half time but still did not take more of the many chances we created,” he said. “Whilst Thom Baker our keeper made two great saves to preserve the clean sheet, which was pleasing.”

Cavill said North Perth are a good side and is expecting them to be up for this one, but he is looking for a similar result to their win away from home in the reverse fixture. “They (North Perth) are a good footballing side and our defence will need to produce a similar effort to the first game for us to win this game,” he said “We go into the game full of confidence after the big win last week, but will be without Patrick Mall, who suffered another serious knee injury last week.”



Perth Soccer Club have moved into the McInerney Ford Top Four Cup Grand Final after a 3-0 win against Inglewood United at Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Inglewood had their chances early, and Brian Farrell saw his first half penalty saved, but goals from former Inglewood midfielder Aleks Jovic and a stunning strike from Frank Furfaro, put Ramon Falzon’s side on their way. Before a second half goal from substitute Paul Zimarino made the game safe, and they now take on Bayswater City in the Grand Final at Finance 365 Stadium on Saturday.

Jovic said his partnership with Gustavo Catarcione worked well and he said it’s always nice to score in such an important game. “We all really worked hard tonight, and we knew they would be up for it after losing Saturday, but we took our chances well and deserved the win,” he said. “Gustavo was outstanding tonight, and we worked well together, and he set me up for the opener, and it’s good for me to get on score sheet, and help us in to the Grand Final. We finished the season well and we are determined to regain our crown, we know it will be a tough game against Bayswater, but we’re ready for the challenge.”

It was the home side who opened the brighter with Chok Dau a constant threat down the right, and on 12 minutes he picked out Brain Farrell, whose shot was deflected wide. Inglewood’s early pressure should have been rewarded when Ashley Rosindale was brought down by Nicholas Ambrogio and referee Steven Gregory pointed straight to the spot. Farrell stepped up to take the resulting penalty, put Perth keeper Francis Soale guessed the right way and saved low to his right. Following their let off Perth hit back and Lewis Milne fired wide, but it was Inglewood who were creating the better chances and Dau was in again on 22 minutes.

He eased past Kieran Colwell on the right, got to the bye-line and cut the ball back to Farrell, who blazed over from 10 meters. Perth began to take control, with midfielder Jovic and striker Catarcione in the thick of the action, and on 28 minutes the pair combined for the opener. Catarcione made space down the right and danced past three Inglewood defenders before crossing to Jovic who fired home. Perth dominance was rewarded with a second goal four minutes from half time. Jovic was the architect this time racing down the left and picking out Furfaro, who brought the ball back on to his left foot and rifled home.

Inglewood went close in the first minute of the second half, great approach work ended with a back heel from Rosindale sending Jason Barrera clear, but Soale stood tall to save. Perth almost added a third moments later, Catarcione racing clear, but Dunn was out to narrow the angle, and the Brazilian strikers shot was well saved by the Inglewood custodian. Inglewood weren’t going down without a fight and Dau shot flashed inches wide, before the speedy winger raced into the penalty area, but Perth skipper Adrian Madaschi got back with a superb last ditch tackle. But the result was made safe when Perth added a third on 76 minutes. Milne found space down the right and whipped in a cross, which Zimarino finished with aplomb. Perth went close to a fourth late, but Colwell’s free kick crashed off the woodwork, but they had done enough, and now only Bayswater stand in the way of the Dorrien Gardens club from regaining their Top Four crown.

Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 4 Scott BLACKMORE, 5 Adam TONG (20 Scott NEWLAND 63’), 8 Jason BARRERA (12 Jason PROGRI 67’), 10 Ash ROSINDALE, 15 Brian FARRELL, 16 Matthew NTOUMENOPOULOS, 17 Hamza HINA (13 Shubham MOKALA 81’), 18 Jason COLLI, 19 Chok DAU - Subs not used: RGK Riley STEPHENSON, 14 Griffin BESCI

Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE (c), 2 Alex SILLA, 4 Adrian MADASCHI, 7 Aleks JOVIC (3 Andreas THEODOSIADES 70’), 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE (12 Jordan DE LEO 87’), 10 Nicholas AMBROGIO, 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 15 Harley ORR, 16 Kieran COLWELL, 17 Frank FURFARO 21 Paul ZIMARINO 74’), 18 Lewis MILNE - Subs not used: RGK Malek KUC, 20 Elliot TATTERSAL - Referee: Steven Gregory



Perth Glory's Spanish contingent has swelled to three with the recruitment of defensive midfielder Xavi Torres on a one-year contract. Diego Castro has been sparkling in the clubs' famous purple shirt for the past two seasons, while Andreu arrived in July having starred for Western Sydney Wanderers during his previous A-League stint.

Torres, a former teammate of Castro at Getafe, flew into Perth with his partner over the weekend and expressed is excitement at beginning a new chapter in his career. "I'm really excited to be here," 30-year old Torres said. "I have heard good things about the club and the league from Diego and Kenny (Lowe) and now I want to win things with Perth Glory."

Torres began his professional career in 2006 with Alicante CF and enjoyed two seasons at Barcelona, where he made two first team appearances while featuring regularly for the reserve team coached by Pep Guardiola. A move to Malaga was followed by a lengthy loan to Levante, whom he played for on more than 60 occasions.

Spells with Getafe, Real Betis and Sporting Gijon saw Torres take his experience in Spain's top flight to over 180 games. He spent last season with Sporting, making 19 appearances as the Asturian club narrowly failed to retain their place in La Liga.



It may not have resulted in success, but Trent Sainsbury's efforts to get himself fit to play Japan should be viewed as no less heroic. Before Thursday the central defender had not played a game in more than two months having suffered a serious groin injury at June's Confederations Cup.

The injury has resulted in a frustrating sideline stint at Jiangsu Suning, but Socceroos medical staff did everything they could to get the crucial stopper to the line at Saitama Stadium. Now, despite playing 90 minutes in the 2-0 loss to Japan, Sainsbury remains no certainty to play Thailand on Tuesday night.

Put to Sainsbury that he appeared to be pain-free following the Japan game, the 25-year old interjected to say he was "a little bit (sore) here and there". "We'll take it one day at a time," Sainsbury said. "We'll assess how things are, but I'm feeling good."

Probed as to just how serious his groin injury was and may still be, Sainsbury conceded the last two months have been "a bit of a grind". "I didn't pull up too well after the Confeds Cup," he said. "I was in bad shape, but I got myself fit for these games."

"I think from the outside looking in it (playing Japan) might have looked all right, but I wasn't feeling the sharpest out there physically. I didn't feel really strong in the one-v-one duels and, while I don't think it cost the team, it definitely could have helped the team if I was better in those situations."



Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Birighitti has exited Premier League club Swansea City for Dutch outfit NAC Breda on a free transfer. The 26-year old joined Swansea on a two-year deal in July last year but failed to break into the first team.

Birighitti had trialled with Dutch club Willem II in April, while he was also linked with Championship club Barnsley as well as A-League champions Sydney FC. Eredivisie club NAC Breda swooped for Birighitti on deadline day, signing him on a two-year contract with the option of a third season.

Despite Sydney's reported interest, Birighitti revealed Sky Blues coach Graham Arnold, an ex-NAC Breda player, had helped him decide to head to the Netherlands. "I'm very happy that I can join NAC," Birighitti told the club website.

"Graham Arnold is a good friend of mine and has told me extensively about NAC. He came with the most amazing stories about the club and the supporters. This is an opportunity I want to take with both hands." Birighitti could debut as soon as next weekend when NAC play AZ Alkmaar in the Eredivisie.



Australia goalkeeper Lydia Williams has completed a move to National Women's Soccer League club Seattle Reign. Seattle secured Williams, who has played for Australia 60 times, from rivals Houston Dash in exchange for a second-round draft pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft.

Seattle coach Laura Harvey said she was delighted to have secured the services of the experienced Williams. "I'm excited for the opportunity to bring in another goalkeeper," Harvey said. "Lydia has international experience and suits the way we like to play. I feel she can have an impact within the group both short term and long term."



Kingsley kept in touch with league leaders Wembley Downs after a come-from-behind 5-2 win against Southern Spirit at Watson’s Reserve. The home side surprised the second placed Kingsley after only seven minutes, Felim Rugel intercepted a pass, eased past his marker and finished clinically past the Kingsley keeper. The home side doubled their lead on 18 minutes, Rugal racing clear again and finishing well. The Spirit were well on top and went close again moments later, but the visitors were back in the game four minutes before half time, Jayden Drummond saw the Spirit keeper off his line and his shot from the half way line dipped just under the bar. That goal lifted Kingsley and they were level sixty seconds later, an inch perfect cross from Stuart Montgomery found David Morris to head home. Kingsley dominated after the break and Drummond lobbed the keeper again from long-range to give them the lead on the hour mark, and Montgomery added a fourth five minutes later, finishing coolly under the on-coming keeper. Lewis Flatt put a cherry on top with the fifth three minutes from time. He picked up a loose ball at the top of the penalty box, eased past his marker and finish into the bottom left corner of the net. “To be fair they (Spirit) should have been further ahead before we scored, but we hung on,” Kingsley Coach Steven Dimitrovich said. “I’m just pleased with the resilience my boys show week to week, when their backs are against the wall.”

Wembley Downs maintained their three point lead at the top after a 2-0 win against Hamersley Rovers at Butlers Reserve. Hamersley held firm in the first half and Wembley were struggling to break them down, but that all changed on the stroke of half time. Skipper Jay McDonald’s free kick found Juri Galba, who brought the ball down well and buried the ball into the net, much to the relief of the coach and supporters. It was a second half of not many chances but it was Wembley who secured their second and the three points three minutes from time. A cross from the left was only cleared as far as Galba on the edge of the penalty area, who took the ball down on his chest and hit the half volley into the net. “Really happy to bounce back after last week’s draw at Perth Royals,” Wembley Coach Colm Costello said. “Hamersley were very well organised and got men behind the ball which made them difficult to break down. But it was a hard fought win and was topped off by another storming performance from Juri, who has been immense all season for us. So overall a very gutsy performance against solid side.”

Subiaco closed the gap on third placed North Perth United after a big 5-0 win on the road against Leeming Strikers. Patrick Mall gave them the lead before Ryan Fish doubled it. A brace from Sean Johnson put Les Cavill’s in complete control before Paddy Begley added the fifth. “It was a good win for us, and I thought we played some decent football and had plenty of chances to kill the game early,” Subiaco’s Ryan Fish said. “While we were a little wasteful in front of goal we eventually managed to take a few of our chances and the win helps to solidify us in fourth spot. With North Perth’s draw against Kwinana there’s fresh optimism we can press higher up the table in the last few games, if we get the results.”

North Perth United lost ground on the top two after being held to a 2-2 draw by Kwinana United at Woodville Reserve. Lee Bates gave the visitors the lead, before Mehdi Rabei equalised. Bates regained the lead for Kwinana from the penalty spot, but Sean Laheart scored a screamer moments later firing home from long-range to share the spoils. “The boys worked there socks off for 90 minutes maybe felt we should have got all three points, as we never allowed them to play all game,” Kwinana Coach Kris Donnell said. “I thought midfielder Alan Benson ran the game for us and broke up all there movement going forward he had a terrific game along with Lee Bates and Craig Richards. Maybe felt we should have won the game but we never capitalised late on.” In other games Perth Royals drew 2-2 with Belmont Villa at JA Lee Reserve, while Ellenbrook United beat bottom of the table BB United 2-0 at the Bosnian Recreation Centre.



Perth SC moved into the McInerney Ford Top Four Cup Preliminary Final after a 4-1 win against Sorrento in the Minor Semi-Final at Dorrien Gardens on Saturday evening. Scottish midfielder Lewis Milne gave the home side the lead midway through the first half, before the lively Frank Furfaro doubled their lead on the stroke of half time. Sorrento gave themselves a lifeline in first half stoppage time when Scottish striker George Hunter pulled one back, but second half goals from Nicholas Ambrogio and another from Furfaro, gave Ramon Falzon’s side the win.

“We knew Sorrento would come out hard and they certainly did, and it wasn’t going to be an easy game, but he were a little nervy early, but after Lewis scored the opener we calmed down, and found our feet,” Furfaro explained. “We go into Wednesday game with good momentum, and looking to continue our run, and the last time we played them we were edged out, after I thought we dominated them, so it would be nice to turn that around this time and get a result.”

Both sides were missing important players, but it was Sorrento who opened the brighter and Tim Hill fired wide from Scott Witschge’s cross after only two minutes, before Scot Bulloch’s shot on the run was saved low by Francis Soale. Perth hit back and Sorrento keeper James Morgan had to be alert to push Milne’s free kick around the post, before Furfaro low shot flashed wide of the target. It was end-to-end football and Bulloch headed straight at Soale for Sorrento, before Perth’s Gustavo Catarcione was sent clear by a poor back pass, but James Morgan stood tall to deny the Brazilian striker.

But on 38 minutes Perth made the breakthrough. Milne’s long-range free kick crept under James Morgan at his post, much to the relief of the home supporters. The home side doubled their lead six minutes later. Furfaro played a neat one-two on the edge of the penalty area with Catarcione and raced into the area and finished clinically. It looked like Perth were going into the sheds with a two goal lead, but in stoppage time a mix up at the back let in Hunter, and the former St Johnstone and Airdrieonians striker lobbed the on-coming Soale to make it 2-1 at the break.

Sorrento were on the front foot early in the second half, and Soale saved well to deny Alex Morgan, before the Perth custodian produced a stunning reflex save to thwart Witschge’s close-range header on 53 minutes. That save become more important, as three minutes later Perth regained their two goal advantage. Adrian Madaschi’s free kick was well saved by James Morgan, but Ambrogio was quickest to react firing home the rebound from close-range.

Then ten minutes later the game was made safe when Perth added a fourth, Furfaro firing home after being picked out by Catarcione. To Sorrento’s credit they ended the game well but they couldn’t find a way past Soale, who produced a stunning triple save to deny Danny Jones twice, and Scott Johnson late. Perth went close to in stoppage time, with Elliot Tattersal sending Aleks Jovic into the box, but his shot crashed off the bottom of the post and away to safety.

Perth SC: GK Francis SOALE (c), 2 Alex SILLA, 3 Andreas THEODOSIADES (7 Aleks JOVIC 68’), 4 Adrian MADASCHI, 9 Gustavo CATARCIONE (21 Paul ZIMARINO 79’), 10 Nicholas AMBROGIO, 13 Rocco PIZZATA, 15 Harley ORR, 16 Kieran COLWELL, 17 Frank FURFARO (20 Elliot TATTERSAL 74’), 18 Lewis MILNE - Subs not used: RGK Malek KUC, 11 Matthew MILENKOVIC

Sorrento: GK James MORGAN, 3 George HUNTER, 4 Shaun KILKELLY (5 Scott JOHNSON 77’), 6 Daryl PLATTEN (c), 7 Alex MORGAN, 8 Ryan PEARSON, 10 Scott BULLOCH (2 Jacob SHORE 72’), 11 Tim HILL, 12 Joshua TUCKER (21 Danny JONES 72’), 13 Steve MCDONALD, 14 Scott WITSCHGE - Subs not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 18 Jordan BROWN - Referee: Matthew Southern



Bayswater City have progressed to the McInerney Ford Top Four Cup Grand Final after a fiery 4-1 win over Inglewood United at Finance 365 Stadium on Saturday. Trent Kay and Alex Salmon scored for their respective sides in the first half, before Todd Howarth, Gustavo Marulanda and Jason Mirco gave City a well-deserved win, but the sparks flew in injury time at the end of the game when a melee broke out between the two sides, resulting in the sending off Salmon for violent conduct. Then after consulting with his assistants, referee David Bruce also showed red cards to Kenny Keogh and Devon Gibson, who will miss the final.

“We can do as much as we want, we can work as hard as we want, but the players are the ones who go out there to earn the three points. If it’s not player driven it doesn't work, it falls down,” Bayswater City Coach Chris Coyne said. “If someone doesn't go to the line in training when we’re doing running then one of them will dig them out, and they are setting standards for each other that are super high. Winning the league for me was the most pressurised one because you get the NPL finals series, so now we can just go and enjoy it like we did today.”

It was a tight affair early with both sides creating half chances, but it was the home side who opened the scoring on 16 minutes. Todd Howarth’s free kick picked out Kay, and the skipper made no mistake heading past Alex Dunn. The Bayswater faithful hadn’t had time to get back in their seats before Inglewood levelled. Former Bayswater striker and the league top goalscorer Salmon finished well after some good build up play by the visitors. Inglewood were in control and young defender Alex Ishida-Livings had his shot well saved by Devon Spence, before Salmon’s dipping half volley beat the Bayswater custodian, but the crossbar came to the rescue of Spence.

Inglewood continued to create the better chances after the break and Salmon and Ashley Rosindale were thwarted by Spence, but against the run of play Bayswater regained the lead on 51 minutes. Scott Blackmore was adjudged to have handled on the edge of the box, and Howarth curled the resulting free kick into the top corner of the net giving Dunn no chance.

Bayswater took control of the game, and added a third ten minutes later, when Marulanda beat his marker and finished clinically past Dunn.

Inglewood pressed men forward looking to get back in the game and they conceded a fourth six minutes from time. David Heagney, who had been on the pitch only three minutes, delivered a pin point cross into the penalty area, and Mirco held off his marker to head home at the near post. The action wasn’t over then and the tension boiled over late with a nasty melee involving both sets of players in stoppage time, and Salmon, Keogh and Gibson were all sent off and a sour end to an otherwise cracking cup tie

Bayswater City: GK Devon SPENCE, 6 Todd HOWARTH, 8 Paul MCCARTHY, 9 Gustavo GIRON MARULANDA (21 David HEAGNEY 81), 10 Jason MIRCO, 11 Devon GIBSON, 13 Trent KAY (c), 17 Borbor SAM, 18 Brent GRIFFITHS (12 David STOKOE 84), 20 Sam MITCHINSON, 23 Andrija JUKIC (19 Luka NINKOVIC 81) - Subs not used: RGK Dejan ALEKSIC, 2. Declan HARGREAVES – Red Cards: Gibson 93

Inglewood United: GK Alex DUNN, 2 Alex ISHIDA-LIVINGS, 4 Scott BLACKMORE, 5 Adam TONG, 7 Kenny KEOGH (c), 8 Jason BARRERA, 9 Alex SALMON, 10 Ashley ROSINDALE (14 Feisal ZAW 60’), 15 Brian WOODALL, 16 Matthew NTOUMENOPOULOS, 17 Hamza HINA (19 Chok DAU 73’) Subs not used: RGK Riley STEPHENSON, 18 Jason COLLI, 20 Scott NEWLAND - Red Cards: Salmon 93, Keogh 93 - Referee: David Bruce



Western Knights maintained their lead at the top of the All Flags State League Division One after a come-from-behind 2-1 win against South West Phoenix at Nash Field. With only two rounds to go in the season the Knights led by two points, from Dianella White Eagles and Forrestfield United, so its Trim Morgan sides title to lose. It was a tight game with chances at both ends early but it was Mauro Marchione’s side who hit the front on 20 minutes. Jarrad Mort made space down the flank and whipped in a great cross to Michael Farmer who headed home. It looked like the visitors were going to leave with all three points, but with five minutes remaining the Knights levelled. Paul Lloyd picked the ball up in the middle of the park, and raced past his marker, his powerful shot was parried by the Phoenix keeper and Josh Cortes tapped home the rebound. Then in the third minute of stoppage time the Knights won it. Adriano Jelenovic found a pocket of space in the penalty area, and his shot on the turn flew into the corner of the net to set off wild celebrations amongst the home faithful. “The boys showed massive character to go one down but keep playing and be patient,” Lloyd said. “They (Phoenix) were strong and resolute but we just had to keep playing and be patient, we showed great energy in the last 20 minutes to really dig deep and get the two goals we needed for a big win.”

Forrestfield United kept their title hopes alive after a 4-3 win against Dianella White Eagles at Hartfield Park on Saturday evening. “We knew going into the game that we had to get a result, and we also knew that we would have to play well to ensure that,” Forrestfield winger Rhys Loxley said. “They (Dianella) have a very good squad and players who are capable of making things happen. However we produced one of our best performances of the season at just the right time. We now need to build on that for the remaining two games and hope that knights slip up.” The visitors made the perfect start and were ahead on the quarter hour mark, Angel Andres’ stunning free kick from the edge of the penalty area gave Luke Martino no chance. The home side hit back on 23 minutes, Sani Sinclair picked out Mitch Crocker, who played in Ben Rogers, who finished clinically past Joel Driscoll much to the delight of the 600 crowd. Forrestfield were ahead five minutes later. Some great build up play involving Matt Harold, Rogers and Crocker ended with Loxley, who pulled the ball back for the bye line to Liam Merigan who made no mistake. But Dianella were level in the final minute of the half, referee Adam Fielding spotted a handball in the penalty area and Andres scored from the resulting spot kick.

Forrestfield regained the lead seven minutes into the second half, Merigan sent Harold overlapping on the right, who crossed to Loxley who headed home. Things got worse for Dianella on the hour when Ibrahim Hamad received a second yellow card and was sent off. Dianella keeper Driscoll produced some great saves to keep them in the game, but it looked like the points were safe seven from time when Forrestfield added a fourth. Crocker picked out Merigan with a cross field pass, who slipped Loxley in one-one-one with Driscoll, and he finished well via the post. But Dianella weren’t out of it and they pulled one back two minutes later, Andres completing his hat trick. They pushed late looking for the equaliser but they couldn’t find it and at the final whistle it was the Forrie Army celebrating the three points. “This is the best game I’ve seen from the boys all year, everyone was up for it and the whole club came together,” Forrestfield Coach Rod Banjac said. “I could not be more proud of the boys, the performance tonight was everything we have been working towards for the last four years.”

UWA Nedlands maintained fifth place after a 4-2 win against Gosnells City at the UWA Sports Park. The home side were ahead on 10 minutes, Tim Robertson won a tough tackle and the ball fell to Alex Kretowicz, who played in Mordecai Junior, who finished clinically. It was 2-0 two minutes later, Lloyd Prout’s corner picked out Josh Marocchi at the back post who headed home. Gosnells were back in the game when they were awarded a penalty on 20 minutes for a foul by Marocchi, and Josh Wade scored from the spot. They were awarded another penalty on 35 minutes, Marocchi again the culprit, but Ranjeet Singh produced a great save from Wade’s effort. But just before half time UWA regained their two-goal advantage. Junior’s cross picked out the unmarked Robertson at the back post to head home. Gosnells pegged UWA back again six minutes into the second half, Wade’s shot took a deflection off Marocchi (It wasn’t his day!!!) and looped up over Singh. But eight minutes from time UWA wrapped up the points. Luke Randazzo finishing neatly to seal the points. "Strong performance from the team and certainly could have been a few more goals had we taken all of our chances,” Randazzo said. “But credit to Gosnells for not giving up, but really pleased with our performance over the 90 minutes and hopefully we can continue to build on this over the next two weeks."

In other games Fremantle City travelled to Burrendah Reserve and came home with three points after a 2-1 win against Canning City. It was a tight first half the best chance falling to Liam Farris, who headed home Alec Robinson’s cross, but the flag was up for offside. The visitors opened the scoring on 70 minutes, Ben West poking the ball home from a corner. It was 2-0 five minutes later, good approach work from Ben Reynolds, ended with Robinson, who curled the ball home from the edge of the penalty area. Canning had the chance to pull one back moments later from the penalty spot when Joe Kelly was brought by West, but Kelly blazed over the top from the spot kick. Canning did manage a consolation goal late, when Kelly outmuscled the last defender and finish well past Tom Allen. In the final game Joondalup City beat Ashfield 2-0 at the Ashfield Arena. The visitors opened the scoring on ten minutes, with a sweetly struck free kick from Erick Hernandez Lopez from 25 meters. Joondalup sealed the game when Devon Rindel cut in from the right and struck a powerful left foot drive into the bottom left hand corner. It was a great day for Joondalup with their reserves wining 5-3 to secure their fourth consecutive league title. - Rockingham City had the bye this week.



With only two rounds to go in the All Flags State Division Two, the relegation spot has been sewn up after Shamrock Rovers were beaten 2-1 against top four hopefuls Swan United at Francis Street. It was a perfect start for the visitors with Dean Carlye opening the scoring, but Swan were level on the half hour. Corey Walsh was picked out in the box, who held off the last defender before firing home. It looked like the points would be shared but seven minutes from time the Black and Whites won it. James Shamim made space down the flank and whipped in a deep cross, for Welsh to head home at the back post, to move Swan to two points to the play-off spot. “It was a tough game as they through everything they had at us,” Swan Coach Matt Debarro said. “We missed two clear chances to go ahead early second half, but credit to them they took us to the wire. Sad to see them at the bottom as I thought they played some decent football best of luck to them I hope they return to state league soon.”

Wanneroo City maintained third place with a hard fought 2-1 win against Balga at Princess Road Reserve. It was a tight first half with both sides having chances. Both sides had their fair share of the ball, but the best chances fell to the home side but they didn’t convert them. It was more of the same after half time and it was Wanneroo who opened the scoring on 65 minutes. A great run from 16-year-old Flynn Nolan ended with a low shot into the corner of the net giving Aleks Vrteski no chance. It was Flynn’s third start of the season and the teenager had impressed in the 18’s, and Coach Tim Kantor has given him the chance and he’s come on leaps and bounds in recent weeks. Wanneroo added a second five minutes later, Kye Douglas heading home from a corner. Balga pulled on back moments later, Matt Assou received the ball on the wing, and his powerful shot from 25 meters gave the keeper no chance. Balga pressed late but Wanneroo held on to take the points. “Very pleasing result and we are now one point away from playoff qualification with Morley and Melville to come,” Kantor said. “We relaxed after we’d scored our second and allowed them (Balga) back into the game, but we had done enough to take the points.”

Gwelup Croatia, who celebrated winning the title last weekend, ended their away games for the season with a 4-0 win against Kelmscott Roos at Frye Park. In a nice gesture prior to the game the Kelmscott players and coaching staff formed a guard of honour to applaud Gwelup on to the pitch for their title success. It didn’t take long for Gwelup to open the scoring, and on five Isaac Koomson cleverly headed home Noah Shamaki's cross from the right. It was 2-0 on 23 minutes, Teeboy Kamara follows up the rebound after Shamaki's shot was parried by the Kelmscott keeper. In the shadows of half time Gwelup added a third, Kurt Kouakou smartly finished at the third attempt to send the Champions in at the break three to the good. Gwelup added a fourth just after half time, Shamaki finding the target. Gwelup could have won by more if it wasn't for Kelmscott's keeper Kristian usedo who had a superb game. “It was smiles all around with our 18’s winning and reserves winning the league after their win,” Gwelup skipper Sebastian Munoz said. “Kelmscott gave us a guard of honour which was great, and everyone went into the game happy but determined to win, we played with freedom and creativity, enjoying every moment.”

In other games Kingsway Olympic moved within two points of the play-off spot after a 2-0 win against second placed Morley Windmills at Kingsway Reserve. The home side were ahead on 20 minutes when Chris Rizidis raced clear and finished clinically into the bottom left hand corner. The points were wrapped up on the half hour when Nathan Thorpe’s corner was headed home by Federico. In the final game Melville City scored two late goals to draw 2-2 against Quinns FC at Gumblossom Park. The home side were ahead on the half hour, Craig Tooley squaring the ball to Gareth Hamilton, who made no mistake from the edge of the penalty area. Melville were convinced they had a penalty on the hour, but the referee waved away their protests for handball. To make matter worse Quinns doubled their lead on five minutes later, Jonny McKeown played out from back to Hamilton who sent Tooley one-on-one with Daniel Agudelo, and he finished clinically. But sixty seconds later Melville pulled one back, with Dean Thurston scoring from the penalty spot. Melville lifted and Christian Long and Simon el Chami went close, while Tooley and Hamilton went close for Quinns. But three minutes from time Melville found the equaliser, 19-year-old Ross Bett, who came off the bench to score a superb long-range striker, which would be a contender for goal of the season. “It was a tough and physical game with both sides having chances to win,” Hamilton said. “So it was disappointing for us not to come away with 3 points after being 2-0 up, but full credit to Melville they come back into the game and 2-2 was a fair result on the day.” – Curtin University had the bye this weekend.



It’s week one of the McInerney Ford Top Four Finals, with Bayswater City hosting Inglewood United at Finance 365 Stadium in the Major Semi-Final at 2.30pm, while Perth SC entertain Sorrento in the Minor Semi-Final at Dorrien Gardens at 6.00pm. Inglewood lost the title in the final round of the season, but they did beat Bayswater at the same venue in the league in round 14, a 4-1 win. Bayswater had keeper Devon Spence sent off after only two minutes and it went downhill from there. Alex Salmon scored from the resulting penalty, before Ashley Rosindale added a second four minutes later. David Stokoe pulled one back for the home side with twenty minutes remaining, but with Bayswater pushing men forward Salmon added a his second and new signing Feisel Zaw added the fourth late.

Inglewood striker Alex Salmon was the league’s top goalscorer, bagging 28 goals, and although he was happy to win the Golden Boot a win on Saturday would be better. “Obviously I'm happy to win the golden boot it was definitely something I wanted to win,” he said. “But to lose the league title was tough to take on Saturday, but credit to Bayswater they had been on a run similar to ours and it wasn't to be.” Salmon said draws earlier in the season hurt them and it shouldn’t have gone down to the last game. “We were getting to many draws at the beginning of the season, just leaking too many goals it took us a while to get going but once we started stringing the wins together we really started to play good football and the results showed that,” he said. “The lads will be wanting to put last week behind them for sure and that starts Saturday. I think us and Bayswater have the best squads in the league so it will be a good game.”

Salmon said the mix of youth and experience at the club has been good, and when players were unavailable the kids like Chok Dau, Alex Isida-Livings, Matt Ntoumenopoulos and Hamza Hina, have all stepped up, and he is expecting them to do the same on Saturday. “All the young lads this year have been brilliant, coming in when required,” he said. “Chok stepped up when Kenny Keogh was away, Alex has been solid all year, Matt has been probably the best centre midfielder this year in the league with Chile in there as well. Hamza is something different he has a lot of quality and he's shown that every time he's played. I'm still only just turned 23 myself so I'm learning the game just as much as the other lads, but the squad on a whole just wants to improve and I think when you have a team wanting to learn and willing to put the work in you will get results.”

Bayswater Coach Chris Coyne said to win the league was the biggest achievement in his coaching career at the club. “It was very nerve racking but that was the best title win since I have been at the club. The players have been excellent and worked their socks off so they deserve a lot of the praise for what they achieved,” he said. “We are a consistent team and I put that down to the time that we have had as a group. I have been lucky enough to keep almost the players together so they are aware of what is expected of them and also trust each other as they have been successful together as well.”

Coyne knows Inglewood will be desperate to bounce back from letting the title slip, but is well aware they have some talented players, but he has some of his own, Sam Mitchinson and Todd Howarth has been outstanding and leaders like Trent Kay, Devon Spence and Gustavo Marulanda have come to the forefront this season. “They (Inglewood) are an excellent team and have been excellent for Andy since he took over the reins. We will have a great tussle with them and I think it will come down to the tactical side of the game,” he said. “But we have a talented group of our own, and all the boys have been excellent and I don’t like singling players out but the boys mentioned have been very good. The whole group has put on a show and really showed not only good quality but a desire and pride in their performances.”

On Saturday evening it’s off to Dorrien Gardens with Perth SC hosting Sorrento in the Minor Semi-Final. Perth won the last encounter between the two sides, a 5-0 win in round 20. Brazilian striker Gustavo Catarcione was the hero bagging a hat-trick, while an own goal by Sorrento defender Steve McDonald and another from Frank Furfaro gave Ramon Falzon the points. Catarcione was on fire again in the final league game bagging a brace against ECU Joondalup, and the 6-1 win has them going into the Finals on a high. “Against ECU it was just one of those days, that we were really focused and hunger to finish the last game of the season in a good way and it worked,” he said. “We could have scored a few more and it could have been double figures, but to score six against a strong Joondalup side gives us confidence going into Saturday’s game.”

Catarcione said the club have unearthed some good young players this season, and they are produced the goods, but the league season is finished, and now the top four sides battle it out. “The top four is a new game, it’s the best four teams in the league and all will be battling to reach the Grand Final, so all games will be hard,” he said. “Sorrento is never easy to play against, and they have had a successful season, and I think the team who will win is whoever wants it more on Saturday. “We have a young squad but they know what they have to do and deliver to be playing at Perth, and I'm very happy with the youngsters that play aside me every week they very determined to do what Ramon's says, and I’m sure they will doing all they can to get the right result on Saturday.”

It’s been a good 2017 for Sorrento, a spot in the Westfield FFA Cup round of 16, and Coach Jamie Harnwell said they want to keep that success going on Saturday at Perth. “It has been a big season for the club, and all told I think we are into the 38th competitive match for the season, which is a huge amount for part time players,” he said. “I am happy for the most part about how we have gone, but for all the success we haven't won anything, and we are aiming to change that in the Top Four Cup.” Harnwell knows Perth will be a tough challenge, but he is looking forward to the challenge, but the club have been hit hard with injuries late in the season, including striker Sean Canham who will be out for a while after he tore his Achilles in the FFA Cup, and was sent off for simulation, a very poor decision for the referee.

“Perth are in good form and have shown all season they have the ability to score plenty of goals. They gave us a touch up last time out and we need to learn our lessons from that day to give us a chance of winning,” he said. “It's a little bit of the walking wounded at the moment, but they are situations that this club thrives on. I think across the board we have had some great performers, young or old, and we will be looking from the older players like Platt’s, Macca etc., all the way down to the youngsters to stand up and be counted. We will be obviously missing Sean, but will also be without Reece Vittiglia and Brodie Martin for the game.”



It’s a massive weekend in the All Flags State League Division One, with top four sides meeting each other, and results this round will go a long way to deciding the title. In the Footballwa ‘Match of the Week’ we head to Hartfield Park on Saturday evening when third placed Forrestfield United entertains top of the table Dianella White Eagles. (7.00pm)

The last time these team met at the venue in the league Forrestfield maintained their fourth spot with a come-from-behind 4-2 win. Dianella were ahead at the break with Jason Stepanovski cutting in from the flank and firing low past Luke Martino. The visitors doubled their lead on the hour, Mwansa Musonda capitalising on a mistake at the back to finish past Martino. It looked like three valuable points for the visitors but ten minutes from time the home side pulled one back, Mark Barnett heading home from close-range. Three minutes later Forrestfield levelled, Sani Sinclair heading home from a corner. Forrestfield were we on top now and sixty seconds later they hit the front. Liam Merigan played in Sinclair who outpaced his marker and finished low past Yousri Gharsallah. The points were made safe on 86 minutes, making it four goals in six minutes, with Merigan’s shot on the turn flew into the top corner to complete a remarkable comeback.

Only three points separate the sides on the table, but Forrestfield slipped up last week when they were beat at Joondalup City, and defender Mark Barnett said it was disappointing, but he said you have to give credit to their opponents. “It definitely was a disappointing game given the time of the season, and where we are at, but we will learn from that and we have moved on in the best possible way,” he explained. “The game was lost in the first half, we were always chasing it from then on and I feel we still played some good football and created enough chances to win the game, it just wasn't our day – but credit to Joondalup City.”

Barnett said Saturday is a do-or-die game, and he said they have a good record at Hartfield Park and will be looking to continue that on Saturday. “This is the biggest game of the season and it's came at the best possible time I feel, and at home just gives us that extra edge to play even better football,” he said. “We will have to be at our very best as always to take maximum points from Dianella. They have class players so we need to be aware and do our own individual jobs to win those battles, and I’d say it was the ‘Game of the year’ no other way to describe it.” In team news for Forrestfield Leslie Murray returns from suspension and will be pushing for a spot in the side.

Dianella also slipped up last week, dropping two points after a thrilling 3-3 draw against Fremantle City. Skipper Bojan Radinovic said it was good game and also gave credit to Marc Anthony’s side. “Yes we were really disappointed to come out with only one point last week, but full credit to Fremantle who made the match challenging for us,” he said. “However I am really proud of my team, who showed character and managed to come back after being down 2- 0 and I think that some other factors cost us three points and a victory.”

Radinovic said Saturday evenings game is massive for both sides, the defender said it could be a defining moment of the season. “Yes it will be a massive game, both for us and Forrestfield, in my opinion Forrestfield is the best team in the league and this will be a tough test for us but we already beat them twice this year, therefore we showed that we can compete well with them,” he explained. “Unfortunately I won’t be able to help my team mates due to a suspension (red card) from last week, however I believe in my team mates and I think that we can come out with a good result on Saturday night.”

The other big game takes us to Nash Field on Saturday afternoon when second placed Western Knights host fourth placed South West Phoenix. The Phoenix also dropped points last week after being held to a 2-2 draw against UWA-Nedlands, put they have the best away record in the league and will fancy their chances of taking the points. But the Knights are yet to be beaten on home soil and are coming off a massive win last week at Canning, with winger Paul Lloyd bagging four, and he said it was important for them to hit back. “We knew if we just got back to winning ways there will still be twists and turns in this league,” he said. “Canning have been struggling a little bit so we knew if we started bright we could score some goals and get some momentum.”

It’s big a huge season for the Knights winning the state league cup but Lloyd said winning the title was what they wanted at the start of the season and that hasn’t changed. “It’s a massive game in the final run in, Phoenix will be coming for the win and we will be up for the challenge,” the English winger said. “We were probably a bit fortunate down there to nick the win, so we won't be taking them for granted and will be looking to keep ourselves in the race.” In team news Graham Tough will miss the game due to injury, but they do get Tommy Southgate back from injury.

In other games on Saturday Joondalup City makes the trip to Ashfield Reserve to take on Ashfield. The home side were edged out by Rockingham City last week, while Joondalup surprised Forrestfield, and that win closed the gap between the two sides to just three points, so this one will be a tight one. Fremantle City head to Burrendah Reserve to take on Canning City, the host desperate for three points to keep them in touch with the rest of the league, while a big win for Fremantle could push them in to the top five. In the final game Gosnells City are coming off the bye, and they make the trip to the UWA Sports Complex to take on UWA-Nedlands. UWA picked up a good point at the Phoenix last week to maintain their fifth spot, while Gosnells need to start picking up points sooner rather than later if they are to get clear of the relegation play-off spots. – Rockingham City have the bye this weekend.



Gwelup Croatia took out the All Flags State League Division Two title last week – congratulations to Paul Dundo and his players. This week’s Footballwa – ‘Match of the Week’ takes us to Kingsway Reserve where second placed Morley Windmills take on the improving Kingsway Olympic. The home side will be looking for a result like the last time the two teams played at the venue when they bagged five to run out 5-3 winners. The visitors were ahead early, with Kyle King finishing past Joe Smith and they led at the break. But Kingsway levelled early in the second half when Brett Cutting got on the end of El Hassen’s cross. Mark Donnelly gave the home side the lead before Mark McAllister made it 3-1. Morley pulled one back from the spot, before El Hassen made it 4-2. Morley scored late to make it interesting, but an injury time goal from Craig Hollingsworth gave Kingsway the win.

Morley maintained their second spot on the table last weekend after thrashing Balga, and Igor Novakovic said it was important win after their loss at Gwelup. “Well we knew they (Balga) had a lot of players missing and we wanted to get a good win and to get a good momentum going into the last three big games and into the playoffs,” he explained. “The last time we played them it was a tight game, and it could have gone either way, so this time we wanted to go out and really prove a point and we didn't take the game lightly at all.”

Novakovic said Saturday’s opponents have improved in recent week, and he expecting another tough game. “We have massive respect for them (Kingsway) and their coach, and last time we played them we won big at home however we know it will not be easy away at Kingsway this week,” he said. “We are looking forward to it we are excited and we love a challenge and to play against team like Kingsway, we have trained very hard and we are looking forward to Saturday to continue our good form coming into the play offs.” In team news Ben Wantee and Oluwasijibomi Adeniyi are both suspended for the trip.

Kingsway were beaten at the Champions last week, the 0-2 defeat was only their first defeat in their last season games, which had taken them to just outside the play-off’s, and keeper Todd Hoyle said it was a tight game. “Last week was a tough one to take, we thought with our good form we could have defiantly taken something from the game,” he said. “But at the end of the day credit to Gwelup they took their chances and got the points to win the title.”

The keeper said Morley have had a good season and have some talented players, but with home ground advantage he said they will be looking for all three points to close the gap on the top four. “Yes of course we fancy our chances, and we will be going in very confident, especially at home,” he said. “It's coming down to the business end of the season and there is a huge amount of belief within the group that we can be successful this year, and three points on Saturday will help that. We will miss Chris Grief with a rib injury, he has been brilliant for us, but I'm sure whoever comes in will do the job for us.”

Quinns FC will be looking to bounce back after their defeat at Wanneroo, when they take on Melville City at Gumblossom Park. Melville are coming off the bye, but prior to that they had won two on the bounce, and sit only three points ahead of Saturday’s opponents. Quinns’ midfielder Jack Benson-Cooper returned to the club after a spell interstate and he said they were unlucky not to come home with something. “It’s great to be back in WA, I've been living In Sydney for the past eight months,” he explained. “I've only been back 3 weeks, I went down to Quinn's for training to lose my belly that I grew over in Sydney, and I was picked in the side for the Wanneroo game. I thought we were unlucky to come away without anything, but missed chances all over the park cost us. I should have put the ball in the net early on, we should have been 2-0 at the break.” Cooper said the players have worked hard in recent weeks and results have been improving, but so have Melville and he’s expecting Saturday to be another tough game. “We have been training hard all week, it is important that we finish strong for the season and rack as many points as we can, and I’m confident we will get the win at home this week,” he said. “We hope Johnny McKeown will be fine for the game after getting a heavy knock to his knee at training on Tuesday hopefully he will be fine for the weekend but it is looking doubtful.” Melville will be without the suspended Mark Lucas.

In other games the Champions Gwelup Croatia makes the trip to Frye Park to take on Kelmscott Roos, who won for the first time in five games last week with a win at Shamrock. Balga will be looking to turn things around when they host Wanneroo City at Princess Road Reserve. The home side have slipped to second bottom and are searching for their first win in five games, while Wanneroo will be hoping for three points to keep their play-off chances alive. In the final game Swan United host Bottom of the table Shamrock Rovers at Francis Street. The Swans were beaten twice last week, at Kelmscott and Curtin, and they need the win to keep in touch with the top four, while Shamrock need the result to close the six point gap at the bottom of the table. – Curtin University have the bye this weekend.



The top of the table in the Sunday Amateur Premier League tightened up last week with the gap between leaders Wembley Downs and Kingsley cut to three points, with only four games remaining. This week’s Footballwa – ‘Match of the Week’ involves one of the leaders with Kingsley’s trip to Watson’s Reserve to take on Southern Spirit. Kingsley were made to work hard for their win last week against Belmont Villa, a last minute goal gave them the points and midfielder Jayden Drummond said it was vital, especially with Wembley slipping up. “We knew the score from the Wembley game, but it wasn't an ideal game for us,” he said. “We scored early and thought we were going to get the job done early, but we let them back in it with a defensive error. We grabbed one back not long after, but then again we made another error and bit of a mix up and put the ball in our own net.

“But it’s always good to see the boys dig deep and keep the season alive by yet another last minute winner.” Drummond said it will be another tough game against the Spirit, and he said football’s a funny game. “It’s always tricky down there at Spirit, so it won't be an easy game as few are this season,” he said. “But hopefully we can keep the pressure on as best we can on Wembley, fair play to the Royals only the 2nd team that has taken points off Wembley this year, they are a class outfit, footballs a funny game so anything can happen.”

The Spirit were beaten at Subiaco last week, and skipper Matt Bennion said missed chances cost them. “Last week’s game against Subiaco the result was a bit disappointing for us,” he said. “I thought we played the ball around quite well for the majority of the game and created numerous chances but just couldn't bury them. To Subiaco’s credit they took their chances and won the game.” Bennion said Sunday’s opponents are a good side and he’s expecting them to up for this one with the gap to the leaders tightening last week. “This week will be very tough against a very good Kingsley team, especially after Wembley dropped points last week,” he said. “They will be looking to keep the pressure on at the top of the table, but I’m sure it will be an entertaining game, as we need the three points too.”

Wembley let the lead slip to draw against Perth Royals last week and they will be looking to bounce back when they host Hamersley Rovers at Butlers Reserve. Hamersley are coming off a big win against BB United last week, but Wembley Coach Colm Costello said the draw against the Royals was a bad night for them. “I was really disappointed with last Friday’s result, we had too many of our attacking players who didn’t finish our chances,” he explained. “But in fairness to the Royals, they worked hard and made it difficult for us and got the point. We created the chances but just weren't clinical and did everything but put the ball in the net, it happens at times so we have to move on from it.” Costello said they need to bounce back on Sunday. “It makes Sundays game with Hamersley even bigger now, they are on a very good run with one defeat out of five and they’ll be well up for this one,” he said.

“We had a good chat about what went wrong last Friday and I was delighted with our response in training this week. We are still three points clear so we need to remain positive and keep eye on the ball. The boys are looking forward to putting things right for the run in, we learn and move on to Sunday now.” In team news for Wembley they welcome back keeper Niall McCarthy from illness, and midfielder Jason Trpevski is also back from suspension. In other games this weekend Perth Royals host Belmont Villa at Ja Lee Reserve, Subiaco makes the trip to John Connell Reserve to take on Leeming Strikers, third placed North Perth United entertain Kwinana United at Woodville Reserve, while BB United, who are still searching for their first point, host Ellenbrook United at the Bosnian Recreation Centre.

Back to the Archived News Index

This page was last updated on the 24th August, 2017