Welcome to footballwa.net! Here you will find all the latest football news from Western Australia, current tables for the state's top four Leagues, archived tables and results dating back to 1950, the Western Australian Club Directory which includes honour lists and divisional movements for each club and much, much more.

Google Custom Search

23.2.2024

STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES – QUARTER FINAL PREVIEW

The State League Night Series has reached the quarter final stage, with the six group winners, plus the two best runners-up, doing battle over the weekend. Firstly, on Friday evening the early game at Wanneroo Reserve sees Joondalup City take on Sorrento. (6.30pm) The temperature in Perth is again in the high 30’s, but hopefully it will be cooler by kick off. Sorrento topped Group A, winning all three of their games, and keeper Dave Keenan said they will look to continue their good start to the tournament. “To be honest we set our expectations to top the group as the minimum, and the club have put together a new squad and are still a work in progress, we’re coming together nicely but we can still be better in my opinion,” he explained.

“I’m looking forward to Fridays encounter, I know their coach Guy (McDonald) from my time at Kingsway, and he’s a coach that’ll be looking to play football. But if we play our game and do the right things in and out of possession the result will take care of itself.” Joondalup City were runners-up in Group D, but went through undefeated, and striker Liam Peacock said they are relishing the tie against an inform Sorrento. “We are happy to go undefeated in the group we are obviously disappointed on letting our lead slip against Wanneroo, which would have seen us go through on top, but overall happy to go through,” he said. “Really looking forward to testing ourselves against a good team in Sorrento and show how good we are this season and get a result.”

In the late game at the venue on Friday evening, Group B winners Joondalup United meet Group C runners-up Gosnells City. Joondalup won all their games in the group, and go into the game in good form, and striker Joel Sollitt said they will look to continue their good form in front of goal against a good Gosnells side. “It’s been a really good start to the season, and to go undefeated while scoring 13 goals in three games is a credit to the whole team,” he said. “It was a good finish for Gosnells in a difficult group, so we are expecting a tough game for sure, against a really physical team.”

Gosnells lost only one game in the group stage, and skipper Scott Pereira said it’s been pleasing the side is gelling well, and are looking forward to taking on Joondalup. “Yes, it was a good group stage for us and a good opportunity for the new lads to gel into the team and show what they can do. Having finished second I thought we were unlucky not to top the group, but we move on to the quarters anyway,” the midfielder explained. “The boys are looking forward to Friday night’s game against Joondalup, and having played against them last year we have an idea of what we will be up against, but it’s a good opportunity for us to progress into the next round.”

On Sunday the other quarter-finals takes us to Paintseal Arean in Ashfield, and in the early game last season’s winners Mandurah City take on UWA Nedlands. (5.00pm) The Dolphins topped Group E, and new defender Steve Hesketh said it’s good to reach the knock out stage, but he is well aware it’s still pre-season. “It’s always good to be winning games, but it’s very early doors and as a squad we’re focusing on getting ready for the season,” the former Perth Glory Youth defender explained.

“It’s a great group of lads and the team and coaches are putting it in to keep improving what we do. The games have been physical with a lot of good and a bit to work on (as you’d expect), and this early in the year everyone is pretty much even. On Sunday’s clash, as I said, this early in the year there is not much between everyone, but it’s always good to be involved in finals football and the club will be ready for it this Sunday.” UWA Nedlands topped Group F, going through undefeated, and Richard Abrams side have been impressive but Football West have a tribunal hearing tonight regarding their game against Curtin University on February 10, which UWA won 2-1. If it is upheld Curtin will take the points, and will replace UWA in the tie.

In the late game at the venue Cockburn City come up against Dianella White Eagles. (7.30pm) The Cockerels topped Group C, and will go into the tie in a confident mood, and defender Chris Thackrey said the new squad is gelling well. “It was good to progress to the quarter-finals top of the group unbeaten, giving us confidence going into the game against Dianella White Eagles. It is a fairly new group of players at Cockburn City, and we have been making progress week by week, one step at a time; all the players and coaching staff have been working really hard on the training field, which has shown in the group's games,” the defender explained.

“However, we were disappointed with our second half against Balga and know we have room to improve in our consistency. Dianella had a strong campaign last season and topped their group in the night series with a strong squad of players, so we know this will be a really strong challenge for us and one we are looking forward to.” Dianella White Eagles were unbeaten to top Group D, and player coach Angel Andres said they are improving each week. “The group stage was good for us to see players in different positions and for us to play different formations, so that has been a huge positive for us,” he explained. “We are now in the knockout stage, and are ready for the challenge. Cockburn have lost a number of players from last season, but they still have a lot of quality, so we will need to be at our best on Sunday.”

23.2.2024

NPL-WA MENS NIGHT SERIES - WEEK FIVE PREVIEW

We head into the final round of the NPLWA Men’s Night series group stage, and in Group A the semi-finalist has already been decided, with Perth RedStar and Olympic Kingsway sealing the top two spot, and the pair meet in the last round on Sunday in the early game at Macedonia Park. (5.00pm) RedStar claimed their spot after a win against Armadale last week, while Olympic sealed their place after a 5-1 win against Balcatta Etna at Kingsway Reserve on Wednesday evening.

The hosts made the breakthrough on 21 minutes, Sasa Njegic picked out Joe Knowles on the edge of the box, and the former Perth Glory striker finished low across Connor Campbell. Knowles doubled the lead in the shadows of half time, converting from the spot after he was brought down in the box. Olympic added third 15 minutes from time, nice lead up play from between Knowles and Luke Hewing saw the ball played to Njegic on the edge of the box, and he slipped the ball into Knowles and the striker completed his hat trick.

Balcatta reduced the margin four minutes later, Shogo Osawa was brought down in the penalty area by Knowles, and Osawa picked himself up to score from the spot. But Olympic added two late goals, first their high press paid dividends, Njegic winning possession feeding Ollie Annis on the edge of the box and he finished clinically. Then two minutes from time it was 5-1, a quick break Calum O’Connell find Billy Baker, who laid the ball back to Lebib Labib, and he played in James Fanelli who made no mistake.

“I’m pleased with the performance and that our fitness levels are improving each week, and we’ve been working on a lot of different things in preseason, but I think we’re now getting the balance right,” Olympic Head Coach David Tough explained. “Balcatta were missing several of their senior players, but I thought the young lads that came in gave a great account of themselves. It’s been an emotional week for every involved with the two clubs after Declan Hudson’s injury, and we all wish him a speedy recovery.” The other games in group this week are at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Sunday evening. In the early game Armadale host Western Knights (6.30pm), while in the late game at the venue Inglewood United take on Balcatta Etna. (7.30pm)

Meanwhile, Group B is still wide open, with five of the six teams still in a chance to play finals football. The games start on Friday evening, when Perth Glory take on Floreat Athena in the early game at Frank Drago Reserve. (6.30pm) Floreat are the only team that can’t make the semi-finals, but will be looking to end the competition with a win. Glory on the other hand need a win and hope the other results go their way. Glory assistant coach Stephen Walmsley said the youngsters have been fantastic during the group stage, and will be doing all they can to get the result.

“It’s nice going into the last game with qualification still on the line and hopefully if we do our job, we can get a bit of luck in terms of other results to go through. The level of performance in each of our four games so far has been good and the plan is to continue that against Floreat, regardless of what happens,” he said. “We know they’ll be full of energy and they’re a team that like to be aggressive and compete, so the job for us is to match them in that sense and control the match. It’s been pleasing that we’ve been consistent in our approach and shown a bit of resilience as a group dealing with different situations. We’re looking forward to another good test against on Friday and hoping to put in a strong performance regardless of where we end up.”

In the late game at the venue Bayswater City host Fremantle City. (8.30pm) Bayswater only need a draw to move through, but Head Coach Gary Williams said they will be looking for all three, this after missing the opportunity to wrap a semi-final spot up last week. “The game last week was just what we needed, a very competitive game with both teams wanting to win,” he said. “Stirling were strong and I believe a draw was a fair reflection of the match, but it was disappointing conceding a late goal but they deserved something out of the game. This week will also be a hard match, as Fremantle have improved significantly since their first match. We won’t play any other way than to secure the three points. It is a big game as if either team lose it may knock them out of the competition with Stirling and Perth still able to qualify. Our players have done well so far, but we do have a number of players out at the moment and the young lads that have come in have been exceptional.”

New Fremantle striker Robert Petkov was on target last week in the win against his former club Floreat, and he said it sets up a winners take all clash against Bayswater on Friday. “Last week was an important win from the boys, everyone knows it’s always a hard task playing against Floreat and even though I thought we controlled the game we still had to fight until the end and make sure we got the three points,” he explained. “I think it’s fair to say Bayswater are looking very strong so, we’ll have to make sure we are up for the challenge. It’s still in our hands and knowing if we get the win would mean we go top, so it gives us everything to play for.”

The final game in the group is on Sunday, when Striling Macedonia hosts Perth SC in the late game at Macedonia Park. (7.00pm) Both teams will know what result they need after the Friday games, but a win for either side is vital to see them progress to the knockout stage. Perth SC assistant coach Stuart Banks this game will be like a knockout game, and they are ready for the challenge. “Essentially this game is a quarter final with both teams knowing that they must win. I’m expecting an entertaining game as even a draw will knock both of us out,” he said.

“From our perspective we’ve been really happy with the number of chances we’ve created in the previous games and the goals that we’ve scored, but we’ve conceded way too many so we have to be tighter in defence. I’m sure Stirling are disappointed with their night series campaign so far too, given their usual high expectations, so for both teams it’s an opportunity to push on now, set up a semifinal game and be that bit closer to being ready for the start of the season.”

Stirling fought back to earn a point against Bayswater last week, to keep them in the semi-final mix, but assistant coach John Lavery said their form in the group stage has been mixed, and they need to be at their best against a good Azzurri outfit. “We’ve been up and down in the night series with our levels of performance, but we are hoping to build on a decent run out against Bayswater last week,” he explained. “Perth will be a tough test as they are a very good young team, but like I said, hopefully we can build on last week’s performance and get the desired result.”

23.2.2024

WOMENS AND HYUNDAI WOMENS LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES – PREVIEW

The NPLWA Womens and Hyundai Womens League Night Series begin this weekend, with games on Friday, and Saturday. First in the NPLWA the opening game is on Friday evening in Group A, and newly promoted UWA Nedlands take on hosts Balcatta Etna in the late game at Grindleford Reserve. (8.30pm) UWA Head Coach Lawrence Lewis said they have prepared well in preseason, and his side are looking forward to the challenge. “Yes, preseason has been going well, great buy-in from the squad on training a lot during the week and putting in extra sessions to get prepared for this NPL season coming up. We know we have to be ready to get stuck in and work super hard in games, so that work has been put into the last couple of months and will continue,” Lewis explained.

“We know that we are in a strong group and Balcatta has been a strong side for a while now. With player movements and Pete (Rakic) going over, no doubt they will have been working hard to get set early. For us, we relish the chance to play big teams in a pre-season competition like this as it will put us in good stead physically, technically and mentally on where we need to be for the season to go well for us.”

In the early game at the venue on Friday, Perth RedStar take on the Hyundai NTC squad. (6.30pm) Last season champions will look to continue their dominance from last season, and Head Coach Carlos Vega Mena said he has been delighted the way the new players have gelled, and he is expecting a tough game against the talented NTC side.

“We have been working hard in the preseason with a couple of new faces in the group and I’m happy with the results so far. The squad has a solid mixture of youth and experience and I’m looking forward to seeing them in action on Friday,” he said. “The NTC are always an unpredictable team, and they always pose a challenge with their youth and energy. They are well coached and I’ve now doubt it should be an entertaining game of football.”

On Saturday the games take us to Dorrien Gardens for Group B games, and in the early game Fremantle City take on Murdoch University Melville (5.00pm), while in the late game hosts Perth SC will look to defend their title when they meet Subiaco AFC. (7.00pm) Perth go into the season with former coach Danielle Holtham in charge, and once again they will be among the favourites to win the competition.

Subiaco Head Coach Greg Farrell said his side are progressing well, and Saturday will be a great test for them. “Our pre-season has been very good so far. We’ve recruited well during the off-season in a few areas that needed it, but mostly we’ve continued to work with the players we already had and are seeing good progress from all of them,” he said.

“Last year in night series we played Perth SC, then Fremantle, then MUM FC, so there’s a bit of Deja vu, though the opposition teams will potentially be quite different. Perth will be good, Danielle Holtham is a very experienced coach and with the resources Perth has, their team should be very strong. We are more interested in our performances than results, but hopefully the latter will come as a result of the former.”

In the Hyundai Women’s League Night Series there are four groups, with each group winner advancing to the semi-finals. In Group B on Friday evening, Mandurah City host Hyundai NTC in the early game at Poolmart Stadium, Peelwood Parade (6.30pm), while in the late game at the venue Gosnells City meet Fremantle City (8.30pm)

On Saturday in Group A, Hamersley Rovers take on North Beach in the early game at UWA Sports Park (5.00pm), while in the late game UWA Nedlands host Perth RedStar. (7.00pm) In Group C the games will be played at Baldivis Reserve on Sunday, with Subiaco AFC meeting Murdoch University Melville (7.00pm), while Perth AFC have the bye. Finally, in Group D Ellenbrook United and Sorrento go head-to-head in the early game at Dorrien Gardens, while in the late game at the venue Perth Sc host East Perth. (7.00pm)

22.2.2024

SCOTTISH DUO HEAD TO MANDURAH

Mandurah City are performing well on the park, after qualifying for the State League Night Series as group winners last weekend, and they are also performing well off the pitch after picking up Scottish duo Scott Davidson and Jamie Adams for the season ahead. The pair arrived in WA in the middle of the hottest part of the season, but striker Davidson said it’s a great opportunity to play overseas, and he can’t wait to get started. "The chance to come to Australia is incredibly thrilling, and to play football here is even better,” the 29-year-old said. “I'm eager to meet everyone and hopefully, we can achieve promotion this season after coming so close last year." The club hope his international clearance arrives in time so he can make his debut in the Night Series Quarter-finals.

Davidson brings a wealth of experience from playing for various clubs like Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Clachnacuddin, Fort William, Rothes, Brora Rangers, and most recently with Highland League club Nairn County where he bagged nine goals. Known for his goal-scoring abilities, Scott is a seasoned striker with a strong football background. He made history as one of the youngest players to feature in the Scottish Cup when he was at Clachnacuddin, the striker played against when he was 15 years, one month and three days old, against Wick Academy in the first round in 2009. He also comes from a footballing family, with his dad Roddy having an impressive record of over 740 games for Inverness.

“I’ve known Scotty for some time, and he was at Inverness Caley Thistle for a period when I was there,” Mandurah Head Coach John Baird explained. “Unfortunately, he got injured, but made his way back in football and got his career going in the Highland League in Scotland scoring lots of goals, and we hope he can bring that trait to the Dolphins this season. I believe if Scotty lived central belt in Scotland, he would’ve played at a higher level, that’s the biggest compliment I can give Scotty, I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Adams has already hit the pitch, making his debut for the club in the Night Series. The midfield/striker took time out of the game recently, this after spells at a number of Scottish clubs, most recently Petershill FC. He’s been doing some travelling, but has got the itch back to play football and he said it’s great to be at family friendly club like Mandurah. "I've been away from the game for a few months, but now I'm ready and eager to put my boots back on and help Mandurah get promotion,” Adams said. “The club and players have been incredibly welcoming, and I hope to contribute to the team's success this season."

Baird said the signing of Jamie and Scott is huge for the club, and after being recommended to him, Adams has settled in really well. “Jamie was recommended to me through a friend, and after going my research he became a very good option for us to get into the club which we’re delighted to do so,” Baird explained. “Both players are good fits for our club, and the team, and I’m really looking forward to working with them. Jamie is also from the same area east end Glasgow as myself, which is good, and I’m sure both players will do well for the club.”

22.2.2024

GLORY HOST LEAGUE LEADERS IN WEEK 18

Perth Glory is a team in form, unbeaten in their last five games, with back-to-back home wins, and with a new owner in place, there is huge optimism around the club and their loyal supporters. But that will be tested on Saturday evening when they welcome Isuzu Ute A-League leaders Wellington Phoenix to HBF Park in the Round 18, Distance Derby. (6.45pm) Their last defeat in the competition was against Saturday’s opponents in the Unite Round, when the Phoenix prevailed in a seven-goal thriller, and Head Coach Alen Stajcic is expecting a similar game like that one.

“Every game is unique, you never know what you’re going to get and you certainly don’t know what you’re going to get when we play at HBF Park, but I’d love a nice little 1-0, our way,” Stajcic joked. “We’re probably the two most in-form teams [in the A-League] at the moment. In terms of the last five matches, we’ve picked up the most number of points between us, and that shows that it’s going to be a really tight contest, whether that’s tight low-scoring or tight high-scoring. It’s going to be a tough occasion for both teams. They are playing to try and seal top spot in the league and we’re fighting for our lives to start banging on the door of the Finals six, that’s really the main driver.”

Stajcic said his side are playing with confidence, and he has been pleased with certain aspects of their play, but knows there is still plenty of room for improvement. “We’ve hit a good vein of form and results are starting to follow, which is good, and we all know that we’ve done well, but there’s still a long way to go,” he explained. “The boys have shown that they can focus on the task at hand and the task at hand hasn’t changed.

“We have to win as many matches as we can and we’re still towards the bottom of the ladder, so we have to do everything we can to start nudging that Finals race. It’s great to have new owners and new visions and that stability across the club, but ultimately, what we do on the training field and for matches doesn’t change. So, it’s very important that we refocus on playing the league leaders.”

The last time we hosted the Phoenix in Perth was in round nine last season, with the sides fighting out a 1-1 draw in front of a sell out crowd at Macedonia Park. David Williams gave the hosts the lead early, but Polish striker Oscar Zawada levelled before the break, with both sides sharing the spoils. The Phoenix arrives in Perth flying high, five points clear at the top of the table, and are unbeaten in 2024, so Stajcic knows the challenge they face on Saturday, but he’s looking forward to the challenge.

“We know what a consistent team they are, they’re a hard-working team, and Chief [Head Coach Giancarlo Italiano] has done an amazing job to weld that team into the force they are,” Stajcic said. “They have some exceptional players and are probably the most cohesive group in the competition at the moment. Full credit goes to them and the whole club for putting together the season they have so far.”

The coach said they have a number of players that can hurt you, but one of them, Kosta Barbarouses, is missing from the squad due to injury, but Stajcic knows it’s not a one-man band. “Kosta [Barbarouses] has probably had his best season for the last three or four and we know what an exceptional player he’s been in the A-League for such a long time,” he said. “Behind him they have some excellent players as well and ultimately that’s why they’re at the top of the pack.

“More importantly, they’ve been a complete unit. Defensively they’ve been solid, the goalkeeper has had a real breakout season, their midfield is tough, hard-working and resilient. They’re very collective in the way they approach the game and that’s why they’ve been such a tough nut to crack for everyone.” In team news Glory will still be without the injured Johnny Koutroumbis, Mark Beevers and Mustafa Amini, and Stajcic will go into the game with the same squad as last week, with the addition of youngster Kaelan Majekodunmi, who celebrated his birthday in midweek.

Perth Glory squad: GK Oli SAIL, GK Cameron COOK, 3 Jacob MUIR, 7 Stefan COLAKOVSKI, 9 David WILLIAMS, 14 Riley WARLAND, 15 Aleksandar SUSNJAR, 16 Josh RAWLINS, 17 Jarrod CARLUCCIO, 19 Trent OSTLER, 20 Giordano COLLI, 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Daniel BENNIE, 27 Jayden GORMAN, 28 Kaelan MAJEKODUNMI, 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 31 Joel ANASMO, 34 Andriano LEBIB, 77 Bruce KAMAU - *One to be omitted* - Ins: MAJEKODUNMI - Unavailable: 2 Johnny KOUTROUMBIS (injured), 5 Mark BEEVERS (injured), 8 Mustafa AMINI (injured), 11 Adam ZIMARINO (injured), 21 Antonis MARTIS (injured)

Wellington Phoenix squad: GK Alex PAULSEN, GK Jack DUNCAN, 3 Finn SURMAN, 4 Scott WOOTTON, 5 Fin CONCHIE, 6 Tim PAYNE, 8 Ben OLD, 9 Oskar ZAWADA, 10 David BALL, 11 Bozhidar KRAEV, 12 Mo AL-TAAY, 14 Alex RUFER, 17 Youstin SALAS, 18 Lukas KELLY-HEALD, 23 Luke SUPYK, 24 Oskar VAN HATTUM, 26 Isaac HUGHES, 43 Matt SHERIDAN, 51 Gabriel SLOANE-RODRIGUES - *One to be omitted* - Ins: PAYNE (returning from injury), KRAEV (returning from injury) - Unavailable: 7 Kosta BARBAROUSES (injured), 15 Nicholas PENNINGTON (injured), 19 Sam SUTTON (injured) - Referee: Daniel Elder

22.2.2024

AUSTRALIA CUP KICKS OFF THIS WEEKEND

The WA rounds of the Australia Cup kicks off this weekend with games across the state. It will be the first competitive game in charge of Morley Windmills for John O’Reilly and Dan Evans, when they travel to Dalmatinac Park to meet Spearwood Dalmatinac on Sunday. O’Reilly said it’s been a busy preseason and they are progressing well. “Our preseason has been very encouraging, we have recruited well and have steadily been progressing forward,” the former Armadale coach said. “We have had four very productive friendlies and now we look forward to the first round of the cup. Dalies are a historical team in Perth and a team I've never played against, so I’m thoroughly looking forward to it.”

It will also be the first game in charge for new North Perth United Head Coach Chris Holland, who takes over from Alex Carter in 2024, when they host Woodvale at Woodville Reserve on Sunday. He has liked what he has seen in preseason, but knows Sunday will be a tough game, like all cup games are. “Preseason has gone well, and it’s pleasing to see more numbers every week which is great, and we are looking like a real strong squad across both teams,” he explained. “Cup games are always funny, and anything can happen. I have no doubt they will be right up for this game, but my goal is to ensure my boys go out with the mindset to put the game to bed in the first half, especially playing at home in front of our fans, it’s going to be a cracker.”

The game between Dunsborough Town and Busselton City has been forfeited by Busselton, while AFC Gortankaku and Joondanna Blues have been given a bye. The Full Round Two fixtures are as follows – Saturday Hamersley Rovers v Wembley Downs – Camberwell Park (4pm), Bunbury Dynamos v FMR Football Margaret River, Hay Park Pavilion (6pm) - Sunday (3pm unless stated) Manjimup Rovers v Australind, Collier Reserve (11am), North Perth United v Woodvale, Woodville Reserve (1pm), South West Phoenix v Baldivis, Hay Park (1pm),

Armadale Christian FC v Alkimos, Alfred Skeet Reserve (2.30pm), Perth AFC v Jaguar, Len Packham Park, North Beach v Maccabi, Maccabean Memorial Oval, Northern City v Ellenbrook United, Dryandra/Pendula Reserve, Black Stars WA v Southern Spirit, Rickman Delwaney Reserve, Stirling Panthers v Kelmscott Roos, Yuluma Park, Chipolopolo v Cracovia, Camberwell Park, Spearwood Dalmatinac v Morley Windmills, Dalmatinac Park, Ballajura AFC v Kwinana United, Kingfisher Park, Queens Park v Port Kennedy, Coker Park (5pm)

20.2.2024

OXTOBY READY FOR PLAY-OFF AFTER 'BAPTISM OF FIRE'

Tanya Oxtoby says her time as Northern Ireland manager has been a "baptism of fire" but she is excited to see how her team progresses in 2024. The former Perth Glory player, who took charge of Northern Ireland in August, is preparing the womens national team for a Nations League play-off first leg clash with Montenegro.

A win will help Northern Ireland retain their place in League B, while a loss will keep alive Montenegro's hopes of earning promotion. "Yeah, it's been a baptism of fire for sure," said Oxtoby when asked how she has progressed as an international manager over the last six months. "I know the players better now."

"I know their strengths and some of their motivations and background stories. That's really important if you want to try and get the best out of players. So from that point of view, you know, that time has been really well invested and I trust this group. I can see that we're heading in the right direction and I'm excited to see how they go in 2024."

While Northern Ireland will be favourites to retain their League B status, Montenegro will be no pushovers and showed promising form in Group C3 despite being ranked 91st in the world. Montenegro's only two defeats in the Nations League came at the hands of group winners Azerbaijan, while Northern Ireland had an up-and-down campaign in the tier above.

The Republic of Ireland defeated Montenegro 3-0 and 2-0 in Euro 2022 qualifying and the Montenegrins will be looking for a scalp against Oxtoby's side. "They're going to be a really physical side. They've got some really creative players that can hurt you in transition," the 41-year old said.

"We need to make sure that we are controlling the game with and without the ball. That's really, really important. Footage has been hard to come by, so that's probably one of their strengths but we're prepared and we're ready. It's going to be a pressure game but we're ready for it and we want to embrace it".

Oxtoby added her players "know what the task is" as they bid to retain their League B status, which will play a pivotal role in Euro 2025 qualification. "We want to make sure that we're continuing to grow and implement our principles. Longer-term, we know what the goal is.

"These two games are like knockout football, so that is a privilege and it will hold us in good stead moving forward. I want to win both games. There's always an element of the stuff you can't control when you're away from home so we need to be aware of that.

"We know what the different scenarios are but my job now is just to make sure we win these two games and hopefully go with strategy A. We will end up finishing where we deserve to finish. So if we don't perform in these two games then we'd be pretty disappointed. Hopefully, the result and our status will take care of itself as well."

19.2.2024

IREDALE REVEALS GORY INJURY

Jack Iredale may have to play against former club Cambridge United with a protective headband after suffering an unusual injury against Charlton Athletic. The Bolton Wanderers defender was caught by a stray elbow from Chuks Aneke which tore his ear so significantly it required the attention of a plastic surgeon and several stitches.

Iredale played on with the injury on Saturday and returned to the training ground quickly to put his name in the frame for Tuesday’s game at the Abbey Stadium. “I’ve no idea how it happens but there was an incident midway through the second half when he went off, I think the boy Aneke caught him with quite a nasty elbow and literally his ear split in two parts,” said Bolton manager Ian Evatt.

“It was severe enough for him to need to see a surgeon. Great credit to Jack, he has brave it, strapped it up, and carried on for the remainder of the game. And that was part of the ear that was unprotected by his Australian mullet. Potentially he’ll need some type of Terry Butcher style strapping to look after it but he’s a brave lad and he wants to continue.”

19.2.2024

PELLIGRA OUTLINES HIS VISION FOR GLORY

New Perth Glory owner Ross Pelligra has unveiled his vision for the A-League club - a sustainable entity with an identity gravitating around community. After assuming control of the club on Friday, the property developer has revealed his plans and how Socceroos great Vince Grella convinced him to invest in the club.

“When you hear the word Perth Glory, it’s the glory of Perth; it represents WA and this club has to represent the people of WA,” Pelligra told ‘the West Australian’ newspaper. “Most important is that everyone that comes to the club respects the brand and the badge; anyone who doesn’t won’t survive in our club.”

After a whirlwind few days, Pelligra arrived in Perth on Saturday and attended his first home match as owner on Saturday night. He would not have made it to Perth had it not been for Grella, who is chief executive of Catania, the Italian Serie C club Pelligra owns.

“The main reason why we initially looked at Perth was because of Vince Grella. He had a big passion for Perth, he knew I was pushing to get a licence in Australia,” Pelligra said. “Vince was a massive advocate of Perth. When I was over in Italy, one night he said to me, ‘Ross, if we’re gonna set up a club in Australia, we need to do it in Perth.’ Vince is really the reason why we’re here.”

Grella is a shareholder in Pelligra’s consortium and will play an active role in running Glory. “We’re going to have a local CEO, but he’ll be at board level, making decisions, implementing a lot of the football philosophy we have in Europe here,” Pelligra said. “Especially in the grassroots, getting back into making sure that as the years go on, we want to have Perth Glory kids, not just imported kids from other states and countries.”

Perth-born ex-English Premier League veteran Stan Lazaridis is poised to play a part in the structure of the club moving forward, while Socceroos legend Mark Bresciano remains a firm friend of Pelligra’s, but it not yet involved in the club. Local business identities Jason Bontempo and Michael Di Fulvio will also be involved.

“This is something I learnt at a young age: you can’t be the expert at everything yourself,” he said. “It’s important to bring in the people that are more talented than you, that can run and help and advise you to give you the right expertise and knowledge to move forward.”

Prior to purchasing the club, Pelligra travelled to Perth to meet with state and local government representatives, and preliminary discussions involved a parcel of land next to the Stirling administration building. Glory have endured a fairly nomadic existence, with no specifically designed training facility or permanent administration base to call home and Pelligra said changing that was paramount.

“A home for the club is important, knowing that the club has a place where it does its training, the players go there, the facilities are built to excellent standard,” he said. “We’re dealing with athletes, champions of Australia, one day that could be going out and playing in the FIFA World Cup. They need to feel like champions when they arrive at the training facilities.”

“That’s probably something that is going to be the first task that we’re going to be working on, to make sure we embed the right training facility for the male and female team. I need long-term; I need to make sure the team has a facility not for the next one or two years, but for the next 10, 20, 30, 50, 100 years.”

Pelligra’s idea is not just for a cutting-edge facility - in-house rehab and injury prevention is a particular area of interest for him - but one which houses plenty of pitches, a home not just for the top-end of the club, but one that welcomes in the community too. Parallel to dwindling crowds at Perth Oval, Glory’s grassroots connection has also waned over the past decade.

Pelligra plans to meet with fan groups and local clubs over the coming months to establish how the relationship between the top, middle and lower levels of the game in Perth can be strengthened. “Perth Glory belongs to Perth, it belongs to not to just the first team and myself as the owner and Vincenzo; it also belongs to every community that’s got football, they should feel like they’re part of it.”

“If we don’t connect with them, where do these kids go? We’re going to keep on investing until we get it right. It doesn’t mean because I’ve got deep pockets, we just spend whatever and hope for the best. This club will be built over the years to come around what people in Perth believe.”

18.2.2024

STAJCIC HAILS CROWD, ATMOSPHERE DURING 3-2 WIN OVER BRISBANE

Perth Glory coach Alen Stajcic has paid tribute to the electric atmosphere which urged on his team to victory as their new owner watched on from the sidelines. There was a sense of anticipation and excitement at Perth Oval last night, as incoming chairman Ross Pelligra saw his new team pull of a 3-2 comeback victory over Brisbane Roar.

In what was Brisbane coach Ruben Zadkovich’s first game back in Perth following his off-season departure, two Adam Taggart goals frustrated the ex-Glory manager, before a player Zadkovich froze out last season - Stefan Colakovski - popped up with a late winner.

It was the latest in an increasingly long line of chaotic comebacks from Glory this season and Stajcic said there was a palpable air of excitement around the ground on Saturday night. “It was a really important one for the fans. Just seeing and hearing the noise, it was probably the loudest I’ve felt at a Perth Glory home game,” he said.

“There was just that extra level of connection and spirit in the ground and I’m glad that the boys could produce that kind of result for the fans and give them that sense of belonging again. There’s a real sense of hope among the whole sort of environment now, on the field and off the field, so hopefully it drives us forward even more.”

Stajcic also commended the effort of Colakovski, who rose from the sick bed to earn a spot on the bench and deliver the killer blow against Zadkovich’s Roar. Colakovski only played 63 minutes under Zadkovich last season; his winner on Saturday was his sixth goal of the season.

“He was ill for a week, so he’s come out of bed and struggled to get onto the pitch today to be honest,” Stajcic explained. “Recovering from that illness, he was sick for about 10 days, he had to show that little bit of extra character just to even get on the pitch to be able to produce that for us.”

Meanwhile, Taggart scored his 11th and 12th goals of the season to move within one goal of the lead of the Golden Boot award. “We can talk about the goals and he’s always been a goal scorer, always been able to have that kind of influence on a game, but just talking to other players in the group, he’s elevated himself as a leader in the group,” Stajcic said.

“On and off the pitch, during matches, at training sessions and I think that brings a whole new level of growth to a team. To have an experienced player like that who’s giving so much to the other players in the group is going to be a major facet in us being driven forward.”

Zadkovich was left frustrated by his return to Perth after his side fell away following a disappointing second-half, but praised Taggart’s performance. “That’s why I signed him to the club and brought back a Perth boy and wanted to build a club around him,” he said. “For me, the difference was Adam Taggart; clear as day, he was the best player on the pitch.”

18.2.2024

STATE GOVERNMENT DETAILS FINANCIAL SUPPORT FLOATED FOR GLORY

The State Government has revealed they floated a three-pronged investment package to entice new Perth Glory owner Ross Pelligra to take control of the embattled A-League club. Treasurer Rita Saffioti said they had made the financial commitment after meetings with the league last year spelled out the Glory’s dire predicament.

The government’s sweetener to any potential bidder for the Glory licence centered around community support programs, prospective training facilities and negotiations around the club’s stadium deal. After seven months without an owner, Pelligra officially took control of the Glory on Friday - and the new owner has made his first decision, pledging free entry for the first 3000 kids under the age of 16 at next Saturday’s home game with Wellington Phoenix.

Pelligra was formally unveiled by Saffioti, Australian Professional League chairman Stephen Conroy, Sport Minister David Templeman and Glory chief executive Anthony Radich on Sunday morning. While Pelligra has promised to invest heavily in the Glory, Saffioti revealed the government had put forward a three-part support package as part of the league’s discussions with prospective buyers.

It came after the State met with league officials, who outlined the precarious nature the Glory were in and there were no guarantees for the club’s future. “There’s community support, so there’s just over $1.8 million for grassroots football, and that includes supporting the women’s game in reaching into schools and also regional tours,” Saffioti said.

“That was starting to be embarked upon by Perth Glory, reaching into areas who have a strong support for the game like the Goldfields and Albany. There’s a commitment to support with the training facilities - currently around the State (Sam Kerr) Football Centre, but I know the new Glory might have different aspirations. So we’ll work with them, but there’s something that’s very much a work in progress.”

Saffioti also said post-COVID, there had been re-negotiations with Glory and Western Force in regards to pricing structures around hire of the Venues West-operated Perth Oval for home games. “We’re working through that and whatever is offered here will be offered to the Force too in relation to the concessions, but what you’ll see is a far better arrangement for the clubs accessing this ground,” she said.

“There was a new deal that was offered during COVID through Venues West and we’re looking at sustaining that, but there’s a number of different aspects we’re looking at. There’s been a lot of government investment into this ground, and we want to make sure we utilise it as much as possible, so we’re working with the current users in particular about how we can make it far more sustainable.”

Pelligra, who flew into Perth on Saturday in time to see the Glory beat Brisbane Roar 3-2, said he was particularly inspired by the teenagers in the stands leading the jubilant scenes in the aftermath of the match. “Next week’s game, the first 3000 under-16s purchasing tickets will be for free,” said the new Glory owner.

“Please bring your mum and dad along as well. It’s important the family comes along; it’s a family event. This is our first step showing our commitment to the younger kids, to the grassroots. We want to see them come from all over WA, not just from the city fringes.”

18.2.2024

KNIGHTS TOO STRONG FOR INGLEWOOD

Western Knights have secured their first win in the NPLWA Men’s Night Series, after a 4-1 win against Inglewood United in the Group A clash at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Tuesday evening. First half goals from Jack Bardsley and Shay Donovan set them on their way, before a second half brace from Owen Goodliffe sealed the tie. Shubham Mokala scored a late consolation goal for United, but the result leaves them bottom of the ladder. Goodliffe said it was a solid performance, especially with them missing a number of first team players. “We have had no less than seven players out for each night series game so far, but now we are slowly getting players back each week so hopefully we are near enough full strength come round one,” the striker explained.

“It was a really positive performance, the energy from the boys was extremely high and the discipline to allow some tactical adjustments to be tested was a testament to the boys. Taki’s sides are always full of energy and work rate so we needed to be switched on for 90 minutes to get this over the line, to concede so late is really disappointing as a clean sheet would’ve been the cherry on top of an excellent performance.”

The Knights were ahead on the half hour, good lead up play through the middle of the park ended with Jesse Lazzaro, who found Bardsley on the edge of the box, and his shot on the turn, flew into the net. They doubled their lead moments later, Alex Da Rocha dinked the ball to Goodliffe, who squared the ball to an unmarked Donovan to score. They increased their lead early in the second half, Kristian Santich and Lazzaro combined to send Goodliffe in on goal, and he chipped the oncoming Nic Speca to score.

It was 4-0 soon after, Kristian Santich was again involved, taking on three Inglewood players, and his persistence paid off, and he found Goodliffe on the edge of the penalty area, and the striker made no mistake finishing low past Speca. Inglewood found a consolation goal late, Mokala curling home a free kick from distance, but the damage had already been done.

Knights Head Coach Adam Kostrencic was pleased with sides performance, and they will look to end the competition with another good performance against Armadale on Sunday. “We have shown glimpses through our previous matches of the type of football we want to play. It was our most consistent performance so far and it was good to be rewarded with a win,” Kostrencic explained. “We’ll be looking to continue to build towards round one with another good test against Armadale on their home turf this weekend.”

Western Knights: GK Travis Cook, 5 Adam Harris, 10 Alex Da Rocha, 11 Owen Goodliffe, 14 Jack Bardsley, 15 Luke Passeretto, 17 Shay Donovan, 21 Jesse Lazzaro, 24 Kristian Santich, 24 Daniel Santich, 25 Jay Sheridan - Subs: RGK Sam Reilly, 3 Lucas Triglavcanin, 6 Denzal Tshuma, 8 Xavier Medica, 13 Gian Zupanov, 18 Joni Zlendic, 20 Bailey Collingwood

Inglewood United: GK Nic Speca, 2 William Formston, 4 Ciaran Salinger, 6 Matthew Ntoumenopoulos, 8 Dhuors Chol, 9 Harry Evans, 10 Shubham Mokala, 14 Yamamoto Kotato, 17 Jeremy Tshongo, 18 Jordan Brown, 21 Thomas Abraham - Subs: RGK James Lindsay, 3 Aiden Formston, 7 Chad Nilsson, 11 Benson Neegetse, 15 Taylor O’Sullivan, 16 Elliot Ireland

18.2.2024

FORRESTFIELD ON THE BOARD IN MIDWEEK NIGHT SERIES GAME

Forrestfield United have ended their State League Night Series Group B games, with their first win of the preseason competition after coming from behind to beat Ashfield 3-1 at Crazy Domains Stadium, Hartfield Park on Tuesday evening. Ashfield were still in the mix for a quarter-final spot, but their chances took a hit just before half time when Conor McCann was shown two quick yellow cards and sent off.

“Really pleased to get the win, give credit to Ashfield, they made it difficult for us even when they had ten men,” Forrestfield coach Daryl Platten said. “Again, it was a really positive performance from the lads, apart from maybe 15 minutes in the second half I thought we dominated the game and played some really good stuff. The boys have been working ever so hard, so delighted for them.”

But the ten men hit the front seven minutes into the second half, with Ravi Singh scoring. But that’s as good as it got for James Sammut’s team, and just after the hour mark the hosts levelled. Connor Boland was clipped in the penalty area and the referee pointed straight to the spot, and Mitch Crocker converted the resulting penalty.

Forrestfield hit the front 12 minutes from time, substitute Sherwin Tucker, who made a really positive impact off the bench, was sent one-on-one with the keeper finished clinically. The points were sealed four minutes from time, Emerson Di Mattina’s free kick picked out David McGuinnes in the box, and he chested the ball into the net.

The other game scheduled for the night between Curtin University and Quinns didn’t go ahead. We are unsure of the reason and we wait clarification from Football West on the outcome, with the quarter-final draw scheduled for this afternoon.

18.2.2024

REDSTAR BEAT ARMADALE TO SEAL SEMI-FINAL SPOT

Perth RedStar have continued their unbeaten run in the NPLWA Men’s Night Series Group A, after a 3-1 win against hosts Armadale, in hot and humid conditions at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Sunday evening to book their spot in the semi-finals. The game had already been delayed with temperatures in the 40’s in Perth on the day, but the temperature was still in the high 30’s at kick off, making it difficult for both teams.

Andrew Palmer gave the visitors the lead early, but Peter Jacobsz levelled soon after. Armadale winger Amir Ajan was sent off three minutes before the break, and Daryl Nicol’s deflected effort gave RedStar the lead at half time. Both sides had chances after the break, but it was the RedStar who sealed the points in the final minute with Joel Chianese finding the target.

RedStar Head Coach Callum Salmon said it was the worst conditions his side has ever played in, but was pleased come away with the win. “It was a very competitive game, in probably the worst weather we’ve ever played in, so full credit to both teams for playing some great attacking football,” he said. “Playing the game late on a Sunday night is never ideal with players working next day, but we’re pleased to have got the win, to see us into the semi-finals.”

Armadale coach Alun Vernals echoed the words of his counterpart with the hot conditions, but he was pleased how his young side performed, but thought the sending off hurt them. “Yes, very tough conditions for players and supporters alike, but we got a lot of positives from the game, and I thought our youngsters matched them for long periods,” he said. “We showed great character to hit back after they started brightly and we were probably lucky not to concede a second.

“But once we equalised, I thought we had the better of the game and put them under pressure, but a brain-fade from Amir saw us go down to ten and that changed the game. We had chances to pull level, but it wasn’t to be, we now move on to next week’s game against the Knights, with players getting more valuable competitive game time into their legs ahead of the new season.”

It was the visitors who hit the front on six minutes, Nicol’s low cross into the box was turned home by Palmer. But Armadale, who needed a win to keep their semi-finals hopes alive, hit back and levelled two minutes later, Ajan’s ball sent Jacobsz in on goal, the striker beat the last defender before finishing clinically past Liam Reddy. The hosts were buoyed by the equaliser and pressed for a second, and had a number of chances, but they couldn’t find a way past a tight RedStar defence.

The game took another twist three minutes before half time, with an incident involving Ajan and Ryan Finnie, which saw the Armadale winger given a straight red card by referee Matthew Southern for kicking out at the defender. It didn’t take long for RedStar to capitalize on their man advantage, Nicol racing clear, rounding the keeper and his shot was turned into his own net by the unfortunate Lucas Cook, sending them into the break with the lead.

Armadale were still in the game and created a number of chances, but RedStar keeper Liam Reddy was determined not to be beaten again. RedStar were also dangerous going forward with Nicol, Chianese and Gomo Dukuly a constant threat. But with Armadale committing players forward looking for the equaliser, RedStar sealed the points in the final minute.

Nicol picked up the ball on the half way line, and raced towards goal, before slipping the ball through to Chianese, and the former Perth Glory winger made no mistake, with a brilliant finish past Joel Driscoll. “We’re very pleased with the win against a much-improved Armadale side,” Nicol said post-match. “We felt in control of the game although not being anywhere near our best in the first half and the sending off really gave us a much easier night than it could’ve been.”

Perth RedStar: GK Liam Reddy, 2 Nick Walsh, 3 Blair Govan, 4 Declan Hughes, 8 Andrew Palmer, 9 Daryl Nicol, 10 Gomo Dukuly, 11 Dennis Galan, 14 Lewis Tucker, 17 Joel Chianese, 19 Ryan Finnie – Subs: RGK Sonny Inzalaco, 5 Keane Embleton-Hill, 6 Matthew George, 12 Sonny O’Shea, 13 Nyle Weale, 16 Takudzwa Chisunga, 18 Daniel Katz

Armadale: GK Joel Driscoll, 2 Lachlan Collins, 3 Luke Collins, 6 Purvishna Appadoo, 7 Amir Ajan, 15 Lucas Cook, 16 Matthew Worton, 17 Peter Jacobsz, 18 Joshua Bartler, 19 Charlie Fleming, 22 Egide Ngendakumana – Subs: RGK Preston Gilling, 4 Nathan Costello, 8 Stanley Brown, 9 Benjamin Harrison, 11 Pacifique Dufitimukiza, 20 Jayden Leader

18.2.2024

JOONDALUP SEAL TOP SPOT IN GROUP B

The extremely hot weather caused havoc in Sunday’s State League Night Series games, with only one game being completed. That game was in Group B, where Joondalup United topped the group after a 4-2 win against Kingsley Westside at Crazy Domain Stadium. Midfielder Jay Lang said it was good to keep their winning run going, but silly errors cost them. “Happy with the win against a hard-working Kingsley side,” he said. “Although we were disappointed to lose a couple of soft goals from our perspective.”

Nick Jennings side made a perfect start, and were ahead on four minutes, with Joel Sollitt thunderbolt finding the top corner. It was 2-0 moments later, Jamie Gardiner outpacing his marker and finishing at the second attempt. It looked game over on 20 minutes, when Sollitt added a third from close-range, but Kingsley reduced the margin seven minutes later. Josh Waldock getting on the end of a Joel Gillespie cross to head home at the near post.

It was game on early in the second half when Kingsley added a second, Waldock losing his marker to get on the end of a Jack Reilly flick, before finishing clinically. But their comeback was halted on 57 minutes when Aston Montgomery was sent off after receiving a second yellow card. Joondalup had to wait until the final minute to secure the win, Tyler Holden’s fine solo effort making it 4-2. “In what was a competitive game it was good to beat a fellow Division One side,” Jennings said. “Also pleasing to move convincingly into the knockout stages of the tournament.”

Kingsley Head Coach Steven Dimitrovich said their slow start cost them, but he was pleased with his side’s performance after that. “Apart from the first 20 minutes, where Joondalup got the jump on us, I felt we played a good brand of football. We had good control of the game at times especially when we went down to ten men and were unlucky not to get an equaliser when their keeper made a very good save.

“Lots of positives to take out of the night series and now we build towards our cup game against Gosnells. Also, I want to add that considering how bad the conditions were on Sunday night, hats off to both sets of players for sticking at it for the 90 minutes. No game should’ve been played in those conditions and player welfare should always come first.”

The other games in Group F on the night were called off. First Curtin University and Quinns game at Wanneroo Reserve was called off early in the day, due to the high temperatures, the game has been rescheduled on Tuesday Evening. Meanwhile the game between Gwelup Croatia and UWA Nedlands was abandoned on the hour mark, when the lights went out. If the result stands UWA will go into the Quarter Finals, with Gwelup missing out.

So, the eight teams for the quarter-finals are as follows: Group A winners Sorrento, Group B winners Joondalup United, Group C winners Cockburn City, Group D winners Dianella White Eagles, Group E winners Mandurah City, Group F winners UWA Nedlands – Two highest runners up are Gosnells City and either Joondalup City or Ashfield, depending on the result on Tuesday evening.

18.2.2024

MARINERS TOO GOOD FOR GLORY

Perth Glory’s form slump has continued in the Liberty A-League, going down 1-3 to Central Coast Mariners at Macedonia Park on Sunday evening. Millie Farrow bagged her seventh goal of the season to give the hosts the lead, but it went downhill after that. Kyah Simon levelled for the hosts just before half time. Then late goals from Bianca Galic and substitute Annalise Rasmussen secured the points for the Mariners.

The visitors were well worth the three points, Glory struggling again in the final third, having only two shots on target for the game, with the Mariners having 11. The win means the Mariners leapfrogged over Glory on the ladder, leaving Alex Epakis’ side in sixth, which is the final spot for finals football, so they need to turn their form around very quickly or finals football will be gone, especially with teams below them ready to pounce.

The Mariners opened brightly and Morgan Aquino got down well to deny Rola Badawiya’s header on seven minutes, and ten minutes later Annabel Morgan’s cross shot hit the bar and away to safety. Glory suffered a blow on 20 minutes, with Grace Johnston forced off with a knee injury, she was replaced Sadie Lawrence. But five minutes later, and against the run of play, with their first shot on target, Glory found the opener.

Sofia Sakalis dinked a ball into the box, which was misjudged by the Mariners defender, and Farrow pounced finishing well into the corner of the net, much to the delight of the Glory faithful. But the Mariners weren’t finished and Simon thought she had levelled three minutes from the break, but her shot from the edge of the box crashed off the woodwork. But in stoppage time the Mariners deservedly levelled, a free kick from the left from Galic picked out Simon, who lost her marker to head past Aquino.

The hot conditions were taking their toll, and clear-cut chances were few and far between after the break, but it was visitors creating the better ones. Aquino stood tall to thwart Chinese striker Wurigumula on 72 minutes, and moments later a stunning one-handed save from the Glory custodian denied Paige Hayward. But there was little she could do when the Mariners hit the front three minutes later, Galic’s shot from the edge of the box flew into the corner of the net.

Mariners wrapped up the points seven minutes from time, Glory gave the ball away in the middle of the park, Wurigumula and Alexia Karrys-Stahl combined to send fellow substitute Rasmussen in on goal, and her low shot beat Aquino, despite the keeper getting a hand to it. Glory must re-group and prepare for the visit of Wellington Phoenix next Friday at Macedonia Park, which is another vital game.

Perth Glory: GK Morgan AQUINO, 3 Jessika COWART (19 Izzy FOLETTA 77'), 4 Natasha RIGBY, 7 Liz ANTON, 8 Hana LOWRY, 9 Millie FARROW (17 Abbey GREEN 77'), 10 Susan PHONSONGKHAM, 12 Sofia SAKALIS (27 Georgia CASSIDY 60'), 20 Quinley QUEZADA, 23 Isobel DALTON, 25 Grace JOHNSTON (18 Sadie LAWRENCE 20') - Subs not used: RGK Sally JAMES

Central Coast Mariners: GK Sarah LANGMAN, 2 Faye BRYSON, 3 Ash IRWIN, 5 Annabel MARTIN, 8 Bianca GALIC, 10 Rola BADAWIYA (13 Alexia KARRYS-STAHL 81'), 12 Jazmin WARDLOW, 17 Kyah SIMON (9 WURIGUMULA 46'), 19 Tiarna KARAMBASIS, 22 Peta TRIMIS (11 Annalise RASMUSSEN 69'), 33 Tess QUILLIGAN (4 Paige HAYWARD 56') - Subs not used: RGK Casey DUMONT - Attendance: 901 - Referee: Bec MACKIE

17.2.2024

QUEZADA SAYS VICTORY IS A MUST

Forward Quinley Quezada says winning is Perth Glory’s only option as they look to keep alive their flickering A-League Women’s finals hopes. After a superb start to the season, Glory have not won since beating the Central Coast Mariners on New Year’s Eve, but will be hoping for a repeat performance when they host Central Coast on Sunday night.

Glory found themselves on top of the ladder in December but are now clinging on to a spot in the top six by just a point - and with finals just six rounds away, Quezada said it was put up or shut up time. “This week, we have the mentality winning is the only option that we have,” she said.

“With each game, we’re trying to put the best team performance that we can out there, but as of right now, where we are in the standings and where we want to be, a win is the only option. We’re really focused on being unified, being really team oriented and just going after it.”

Quezada said the tightness of the league - seven points separate the top six and five points separate fifth from 10th - proved its quality. It makes it interesting definitely every week, but that’s just a testament to how good this league is and how good every team is,” said the Philippines international. “A team at the bottom can beat a team at the top, so you just never know.”

After Central Coast pushed Glory all the way in their previous encounter, Quezada said they were wary of the threat this weekend’s opponent poses. “They’re a really good team, especially being that they’re new. I feel like they’re really putting a challenge on every team that they face, we just have to be ready for it,” she said.

17.2.2024

COLAKOVSKI HAS THE FINAL WORD IN GLORY WIN

Perth Glory striker Stefen Colakovski almost left the club last season after not getting game time under former coach Ruben Zadkovich, but he had the final word on Saturday evening, scoring the winner in a thrilling 3-2 win against Zadkovich’s Brisbane Roar at HBF Park. With new owner Ross Pelligra watching his side for the first time, it was skipper Adam Taggart who gave the hosts the lead midway through the first half, but the Roar hit back with goals from Nikola Mileusnic and Thomas Waddingham to lead at the break. But Alen Stajcic’s side showed real character and determination to hit back, and Taggart added his second to draw them level, before Colakovski fired home the winner in front of packed Shed to seal the points and move Glory to within six points of the top six.

A delighted Alen Stajcic said it was a gutsy performance from his chargers. “It was a real important win for the fans tonight, hearing the noise it was probably the loudest I’ve heard at a home game, and it was an extra spirit and connection in the ground tonight, and I’m glad the boys could produce that kind of result for them,” he said post-match. “The players once again showed that heart and spirit and resilience, and we’ve elevated as a group and that’s clear to see how they fight back from situations. We’ve built a good foundation of values, and if we can improve our consistency, we can make finals football.”

Stajcic made two changes to the side that drew against Adelaide United last week, with Jacob Muir coming in for the suspended Johnny Koutroumbis, while super-sub, David Williams started in place of Jarrod Carluccio, who dropped to the bench. It was the host who opened the brighter, but the first real chance fell to Daniel Bennie on 20 minutes, whose goalbound shot was deflected wide.

Then three minutes later the hosts hit the front. Riley Warland’s free kick from the right was headed back across goal by Aleks Susnjar, and Taggart lost his marker to head home. But the Roar hit back and Mileusnic headed inches over the top, and they were level on the half hour. Former Glory winger Antonee Burke-Gilroy cross from the left, was brought down well by Mileusnic, and his shot on the turn flew past Oliver Sail.

The visitors stunned the crowd six minutes later, when they hit the front. Former Glory striker Henry Hore burst into the penalty area, and got a lucky break, the ball finding Waddingham, the youngsters first effort was well saved by Sail, but he fired home the rebound via the post. Roar keeper Macklin Freke was keeping his side in the game, making a stunning one-handed save to deny Taggart.

On 38 minutes the crowd stood as one with a minute of applause to mark the annual DT38 matchday, in memory of former Socceroos striker Dylan Tombides. (https://dt38.org/) Susnjar tried his luck from distance just before half time, but it flashed wide of the target, and at the break the Roar were ahead, and Glory need a big second half. Freke continued to thwart the Glory after the break, the Brisbane custodian saving well from Warland’s powerful shot.

It looked being one of them nights for the hosts, and Stajcic made a triple change on the hour, bringing on youngsters Joel Anasmo, Trent Ostler and Colakovski, with Williams, Muir and Bruce Kamau making way, and moments later Freke was at it again clawing away Bennie’ effort in a goalmouth scramble. The hosts were pressing and on 74 minutes their pressure was rewarded with the equaliser. Anasmo was the supplier, the youngster raced at the Roar defence, his shot took a deflection, which fell kindly for Taggart, and the skipper found the bottom corner of the net, for his 12th goal of the campaign.

The Shed were now in full voice, and four minutes later they were celebrating again as Glory hit the front. Glory’s high press worked a treat and James Nikolovski’s pass out of defence was picked off by Bennie, he got a foot in and the ball found its way to Colakovski who swept the ball home, and celebrated in front of the sold out Shed. They went close to a fourth moments later, Sail’s kick was flicked on by Taggart, and Colakovski raced into goal, but Freke got down well to save. Late goals have comeback to haunt Glory this season and the crowd were on the edge of their seats, but they held firm to take the points. The win moves them up one place on the ladder, and to within six points of a finals spot, while the loss leaves the Roar in eighth position.

Perth Glory: GK Oli SAIL, 3 Jacob MUIR (19 Trent OSTLER 60'), 9 David WILLIAMS (31 Joel ANASMO 60'), 14 Riley WARLAND, 15 Aleks SUSNJAR, 16 Josh RAWLINS (17 Jarrod CARLUCCIO 64'), 20 Giordano COLLI, 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Daniel BENNIE, 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 77 Bruce KAMAU (7 Stefan COLAKOVSKI 60') - Subs not used: RGK Cameron COOK, 27 Jayden GORMAN, 34 Andriano LEBIB

Brisbane Roar: GK Macklin FREKE, 5 Tom ALDRED, 6 Joe CALETTI (17 Carlo ARMIENTO 82'), 10 Nikola MILEUSNIC (7 Florin BERENGUER 70'), 13 Henry HORE (3 Corey BROWN 56'), 16 Thomas WADDINGHAM (20 Marco ROJAS 56'), 19 Jack HINGERT, 21 Antonee BURKE-GILROY (32 James NIKOLOVSKI 69'), 23 Keegan JELACIC, 26 Jay O’Shea, 27 Kai TREWIN - Substitutes not used: RGK Matt ACTON, 12 Taras GOMULKA - Attendance: 6,597 - Referee: Adam KERSEY

17.2.2024

NPL-WA – NIGHT SERIES – WEEK FOUR – FRIDAY REVIEW

The NPLWA Night Series is getting down to the business end in the group stages, and on Friday evening in Group B, Fremantle City have kept their semi-finals hopes alive after a 2-1 win against Floreat Athena in the early game at Frank Drago Reserve. “First of all, it was a really satisfying win, we barely had 11 players to pick from as our squad has been hit with injuries/players going away etc,” Fremantle Head Coach Matty Sparrow explained. “So, the lads who were fit and available stepped up and put in a great shift. Conceding a late consolation goal was disappointing, as I thought we defended superbly second half to warrant a clean sheet.

“But overall, it was a pleasing to get another three points, which puts us in a strong position now going into our final group game.” Fremantle hit the front late in first half, good work down the right by Oli La Galia, and he picked out Robert Petkov, who made no mistake past Jason Saldaris. Floreat pressed in the second half, but Fremantle held firm, with former Floreat duo Jesse Fuller and Riley Woodcock solid at the back. But it was Fremantle who added a second in the final minute. Great work by Charles Chechlacz, who raced down the middle of the park, and he found La Galia, who cut inside his marker and finished clinically. Floreat weren’t finished and in stoppage time Ben Steele pulled one back, but it was too little too late.

In late game at the venue Bayswater City and Stirling Macedonia have fought out a 2-2 draw, to keep their semi-final hopes alive. The result keeps Bayswater at the top of the table, and coach Stewart Moses said it was a pleasing performance, especially with a number of players missing. “I thought the young kids did well, against a full strengthen Stirling side,” he said. “For us to have so many players missing, it’s pleasing to see how good the squad is gelling for the upcoming season, and Sammy Dweh’s strike was outstanding. But it was fair result over the 90 minutes, and we go into next week full of confidence to hopefully get a spot in the semifinals.”

It was Ian Ferguson’s side who hit the front in the shadows of half time, Gyles Davies finding the target. With the hosts missing the likes of Gordon Smith, Cameron Teece and Jon Stynes, to name a few, it looked like a tough task after the break, but they drew level on the hour, with Chris Jackson scoring, and nine minutes from time they hit the front with a stunning strike from Dweh. But Stirling hit back to earn a point on 87 minutes, with midfielder Calvin Whitney scoring.

The other games on Friday were played at Dorrien Gardens, and in the early game Balcatta Etna and Olympic Kingsway met in a Group A game, but the game was abandoned five minutes from half time after Balcatta’s Declan Hudson suffered a broken leg. From everyone at Footballwa, we wish Declan a speedy recovery. In the late game at the venue, a ten-man Perth Glory have kept their slim hopes of a semifinal spot alive in Group B, after a 4-3 win against Perth SC. “A top performance from the group against a well-structured Perth SC side,” Glory Head Coach John Walmsley said. “I thought we controlled the match well, and responded superbly when we went down to 10 men after the red card.

“To not only control the match but go on and win the game highlights the spirit and mentality within the group. Well done to Jim Collins, Daniel Jankuloski, Jhett Warner, Malise Mpunga and Ruben Argent, who all made their first team debuts.” Glory hit the front early with Gert Prinsloo scoring, but the hosts were level soon after, with Gordon Perkins scoring from a corner. Glory regained the lead when Jaylan Pearman scored, but goals either side of half-time from Joshua Cala and Perkins, saw Perth hit the front. Glory restored parity on the hour, with Royle Rahamim on target, but moments later they were reduced to ten men with Laat Mathiang sent off. But it was the ten men who found the winner twenty minutes from time, with Rahamim added his second.

17.2.2024

STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES – WEEK THREE – FRIDAY REVIEW

Sorrento, Mandurah City, Dianella White Eagles and Cockburn City have all moved into the knockout stage of the State League Night Series, after winning their respective groups on Friday evening. First in Group A, Sorrento secured their place after a 2-0 win against East Perth in the early game at Percy Doyle Reserve. “It was another pleasing performance, and I thought the boys controlled a lot of the game and played some very good football at times,” Sorrento Head coach steven McGarry explained.

“At the top end of the pitch we had an 18-year-old, two 19-year-olds and a 21-year-old, who have all came through the pathway at the club so it’s great to see these young lads earn their opportunity and excel. It was important that we started the game well as we knew East Perth were a well organised team and would be up for the challenge after their two previous performances, so scoring early ideally took the sting out of the game.”

The Gulls hit the front after only two minutes, Ryan McLaughlin’s through ball sent Keegan Chambers clear, and he used his strength to hold off the recovering defender to finish well. They sealed the points before the break, some neat build up play down the left, ended with Zach Dabbs, his cross into the penalty area was only cleared as far as Jake Nicholson, who took a good first touch before firing home via the post from long-range.

In the late game in the group, Murdoch University Melville have secured their first win of the competition after a 5-4 win against Swan United. Patrick Shortall gave Swan the lead early, but MUMFC levelled with an own goal. Swan took control with goals from Jake Fritchley and Brennan Borzecki, giving them a 3-1 lead at the break, but Marc Anthony’s side hit back with goals from Adrian Ciampini, Edward Wynne-Willson and Iljas Ahmadov had them in front.

Jamie Duncan restored parity for the black and whites, but a goal late from Jack Steele secured the win in a nine-goal thriller. “Not our best performance, down 3-1 at half time where we made a few silly mistakes,” MUMFC Head Coach Marc Anthony explained. “We saw a better attitude and desire in the second half where we settled and played a little better. There is still lots still to work on, but we now get prepared for the start of the season.”

Cockburn City topped Group C, after a 1-1 draw against Balga in the late game at Dalmatinac Park. The hosts were ahead just before half time, with Jake Robinson scoring, but Balga’s Mark Bauersachs levelled. Balga had the chance to win it late in the game, but Nathan Scully missed from the spot, the point was enough to take Steven McDonald’s side into the next round. In the early game at the venue Gosnells City were too strong for Carramar Shamrock Rovers, running out 3-0 winners, and they are still in the mix to go through as one of the two highest runners-up.

A first half brace from Wade Farmer, and a second half goal from Adam Barker secured the win, and Gosnells Head Coach Peter Allan was pleased with his side’s performance. “We came up against an organised Shamrock team who made life hard for us sitting back,” he said. “But the lads were patient and unlike last week we took our chances when we got in behind. Again, I’m happy with the win and another clean sheet, and we will have to wait and see if we move through, but the aim is still to build for that first league game.”

Dianella White Eagles won Group D, after a brace from Andy Keogh, saw them run out 2-0 winners against Subiaco AFC in the early game at Wanneroo Reserve. They ended the game with ten men, after Kian McGuigan was shown a second yellow card. “Happy to progress in the competition, and more important is that we get more competitive games in as we prepare for the season ahead,” Dianella player coach Angel Andres said. “Really pleased for Andy (Keogh), scoring two goals, and having a solid performance, the only downside was the sending off, but we must now prepare for the quarter finals.”

In the late game at the venue Wanneroo City and Joondalup City have fought out a 2-2 draw. The visitors were ahead mid-way through the first half, compliments of an own goal, and they doubled their advantage before the break with Luke Wilson on target. But Joondalup hit back after the break, Asa Sippits scoring on the hour, and three minutes from time Greg Greenwood pounced to give both sides a share of the spoils.

Finally in Group E, Mandurah City secured their place in the knockout stage, after a hard fought 3-2 win against Canning City in the late game at Poolmart Stadium. “They were the better side in the first 15 minutes, but we became stronger, created lots of chances and must’ve had about eight corners, but couldn’t find the breakthrough,” Mandurah player coach John Baird said. “But I thought we took control after the break and scored some good goals, but a late goal to Canning made it edgy for the last few minutes, but we did enough to move through to the next phase.”

After a tight first half, it was Canning who opened the scoring early in the second half, Thomas Kinnane pouncing on a defensive mistake on the edge of the box to score. But Mandurah hit back soon after, Baird and Leigh Griffiths combined to send Shaun Mukwevho in on goal, and he was brought down in the box, and Griffiths made no mistake from the resulting penalty. They were ahead on the hour, with Robbie Galvin finding the top corner of the net from long-range. It looked game over nine minutes from time when Mukwevho raced clear, one-on-one with the keeper and he finished with aplomb. But Canning reduced the margin three minutes from time with Mason Langham scoring from a set-piece, but they couldn’t find the equaliser, the Dolphins moving into the quarter-finals.

In the early game at the venue Rockingham City secured their first points of the competition, after a 3-0 win against Kalamunda City. “Delighted to get the win,” new Rockingham Head Coach Rob Crerar said. “It was more pleasing, after we were reduced to ten men just before half time.” Rockingham hit the front in the shadows of half time, Dylan Rogers was brought down in the box, and Ryan Kennedy converted the resulting penalty. But they were then reduced to ten men moments later, with Declan Collins sent off. The ten-men doubled their lead just after the hour mark, Cory McNelis scoring from long-range. Kalamunda’s cause wasn’t helped when Gaston Bazet was sent off, and Shane Boyle soon added a third for Rockingham. Kalamunda ended the game with nine-men, after Isak Isak was sent off eight minutes from time.

16.2.2024

IT'S OFFICIAL PERTH GLORY HAS A NEW OWNER

It's official, Perth Glory has a new owner with Melbourne-based property mogul Ross Pelligra taking over the A-League club. It’s fantastic news for the Glory faithful, and everyone involved at the club, and they can hopefully look forward to successful times ahead.

Glory announced today the Pelligra Group as the club’s new owners. They are a private, family-owned and operated property developer and construction business, Pelligra Group has expanded its breadth of developments with particular focus in the sports and entertainment sectors, acquiring interests in a number of sporting clubs around the world and enhancing that relationship through the development of sporting infrastructure.

In Europe, the Group holds a 100% interest in Italian Serie C football club, Catania FC, including ownership of Catania Rugby, Catania Women’s Football, Catania Junior Football and the Varese Basketball Team. They also have Australian sporting interests, including the ownership of Adelaide Lightning Women’s basketball team, Adelaide Giants Baseball team and the Canberra Braves and Adelaide Adrenaline Ice Hockey teams.

Pelligra Group Chairman, Ross Pelligra, is relishing the prospect of re-establishing Glory as a benchmark club of Australian football, and sent a message to the clubs’ members and supporters. “Sport is a great passion of mine and over the years I have invested in other sporting clubs in Australia and in Italy,” he said. “I have seen how integral a sporting club can be to a community. It can have a powerful, unifying impact and that is what we are here to achieve in Perth.

“There are three key pillars we need to focus on in the first phase of our tenure; to reconnect; to drive success and to create long term sustainability. I remember watching Perth Glory when I was a child on TV back in Melbourne and thinking that football had arrived in this country when I saw a packed Perth Oval every home game and a team that played an exciting and attacking brand of football that had everyone in Perth captivated. That is the energy we know exists here and that is the energy we must rediscover.

“We have learned from our previous experiences with other sporting franchises, but every team is different, every city is different and it is important we listen and learn. I want to return the club back to the Glory days. We want it to be the envy of every other A-League club, just like it was when it was first founded. I know that we have a strong football community here in Perth and it’s time to reunite.”

Glory CEO Anthony Radich looking forward to what the future holds for the club. “Today’s announcement brings to an end what has been an extremely challenging period for Perth Glory and opens a new and exciting chapter in our history,” he said. “The Pelligra Group brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and resources that we are confident will successfully rebuild the club’s reputation, image and credibility, revitalise its commercial relationships and most importantly, reconnect it with the WA community.

“With these key building blocks in place, Perth Glory’s enormous potential can be unlocked and the sustained success which our loyal Members and fans crave and deserve can be delivered. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our administration and coaching staff and players, along with our members and fans, for their patience and understanding during this period of transition for the club. We look forward to working closely with our new owners to help drive Perth Glory into what will undoubtedly be a bright new era for the club.”

Those words were echoed by A-Leagues Commissioner, Nick Garcia. “Perth Glory is one of Australia’s oldest and most decorated professional football clubs and we are pleased to welcome Ross Pelligra to the A-Leagues as the club enters a new era,” he said. “Ross is a successful business and football person, both locally and abroad and this experience and his passion for the world game is a great asset for Perth Glory and the A-Leagues. There is an incredible opportunity that exists for football in Western Australia.

“We believe that with this new ownership, the future of Perth Glory is in extremely safe hands and we look forward to seeing them deliver success both on and off the pitch. We are grateful to the Western Australian Government for its strong support during this transition period and into the future. I also want to acknowledge and thank the fans for their passion for the Glory and club management, staff, players and coaches for their dedication and commitment to the club during this time.”

16.2.2024

A WIN IS THE ONLY OPTION FOR GLORY SAYS STRIKER

Perth Glory meet Central Coast Mariners in Week 17 of the Liberty A-League on Sunday at Macedonia Park, and Philippine striker Quinley Quezada says a win is the only option, after a six-game run without a victory. (kick off 7.30pm) The Glory have dropped out of the top four after recent results, and they need to turn that around, sooner rather than later, if they are to play finals football this season.

The Mariners arrive in Perth only one point behind Glory in seventh place, but three points in this one will push Alex Epakis’ side back into contention, and Quezada know the importance of the game. “This week we have the mentality that winning is the only option we have,” she said. “In each game we’re trying to put out the best team performance that we can, but as of right now where we are in the standings and where we want to be, a win is the only option. “Right now, we’re focused on being unified, really team-orientated and going after it.”

The Mariners returned to the Womens A-League this season, after they pulled out of the 2010–11 W-League season. The last visit west was in season 2009-10, when they left with the three points after a 2-1 win in round six at Clipsal Stadium, Inglewood. Goals from Lydia Jackson and Michelle Heyman secured the win, with Marianna Tabain scoring for the hosts. They hosted Glory on News Year Eve this season, when a Mille Farrow brace gave Glory the points in a 2-1 win.

Quezada, who has played over 50 games for the Philippines, said Sunday will be another tough game, like they have all been this season, but is looking forward to playing in front their loyal supporters. “It makes it interesting, definitely, every week and that is just a testament to how good this league is and how good every team is,” she said. “A team at the bottom can beat a team at the top, so you just never know. I think they [Central Coast Mariners] are a really good team and especially being new, I think they’re putting a challenge on every team that they face and we just have to be ready for it.”

“I’ve been learning a lot from Alex [Epakis] and the girls and it’s been really good for me development-wise, I’m excited to be here. I feel like I’m getting back to where I want to be. The first part of the season was kind of rocky for me, but I’m getting back in form and just in time for Finals. “It’s honestly amazing (their home support) and it can change a game. Just being in that environment; they’re all chanting Perth and I bet our opposition is scared every single time. It’s a really great environment for us and we feed off the energy that’s there.” In team news Morgan Aquino has recovered from an arm injury, which saw her replaced in last week’s draw against Canberra United, but they do lose Grace Jale, who is on international duty with New Zealand.

Perth Glory squad: GK Morgan AQUINO, GK Sally JAMES, 3 Jessika COWART, 4 Natasha RIGBY, 7 Liz ANTON, 8 Hana LOWRY, 9 Millie FARROW, 10 Susan PHONSONGKHAM, 12 Sofia SAKALIS, 13 Sarah CAIN, 14 Tia STONEHILL, 17 Abbey GREEN, 18 Sadie LAWRENCE, 19 Izzy FOLETTA, 20 Quinley QUEZADA, 22 Claudia MIHOCIC, 23 Isobel DALTON, 25 Grace JOHNSTON, 27 Georgia CASSIDY, 31 Clara HOARAU - *Four to be omitted* - Ins: CAIN, STONEHILL, LAWRENCE, MIHOCIC - Unavailable: 11 Grace JALE (international duty), 16 Isabella WALLHEAD (injured)

Central Coast Mariners squad: GK Sarah LANGMAN, GK Casey DUMONT, 2 Faye BRYSON, 3 Ash IRWIN, 4 Paige HAYWARD, 5 Annabel MARTIN, 8 Bianca GALIC, 9 WURIGUMULA, 10 Rola BADAWIYA, 11 Annalise RASMUSSEN, 12 Jazmin WARDLOW, 13 Alexia KARRYS-STAHL, 14 Sophie NENADOVIC, 16 Briana WOODALL, 17 Kyah SIMON, 19 Tiarna KARAMBASIS, 22 Peta TRIMIS, 24 Shay EVANS, 27 Maya LOBO, 33 Tess QUILLIGAN - Ins: NEDADOVIC - Unavailable: 6 Isabel GOMEZ (suspended), 18 Taren KING (injured)

16.2.2024

NPL-WA – NIGHT SERIES – WEEK FOUR PREVIEW

The NPLWA Night Series has reached week four, and places in the Semi-Final are still up for grabs in both groups. In Group A, Perth RedStar sits top of the table, with three straight wins, and a win in the early game at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Sunday, against hosts Armadale could seal a spot in the last four. (5pm) RedStar Head Coach Callum Salmon said it’s always a challenge at Alfred Skeet, but they are ready for it.

“Looking forward to the game, it will be an exciting match in front of one of the biggest and best crowds in the league at Armadale,” he said. “It’s always a tough game, an arm wrestle at a ground where not many teams earn three points, but the boys are training hard and ready to go. Will be interesting to see how the new coaching staff have built on all the great work John (O’Reilly) did over nearly a decade at the club. I’m sure Alun and Vic will have them well prepared.’

Armadale are still in the mix for the semi-finals, but need a win in this one to keep their chances alive, and Head Coach Alun Vernals is relishing playing the champions. “We were pleased with the performance last week against Inglewood, and we will look to build on that on Sunday,” Vernals said. “We are looking forward to the opportunity to take on the Champions, and it will be a good test against the recent benchmark of the competition. It’s also an opportunity for our new young players, to gauge where they are at during this preseason competition, and to be fair they haven’t let us down so far.”

The other games in the group starts on Friday evening at Dorrien Gardens when Balcatta Etna take on Olympic Kingsway. (6.30pm) Both sides can still make the last four, Olympic sit on seven points, with Balcatta on four, so both sides need a win in this one to keep them in the mix. In the final game of the group, Inglewood United take on Western Knights in the late game at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Sunday (7pm), with both looking for first points of the competition.

It’s tighter in Group B, with only four points separating the top five sides. Group leaders Bayswater City could wrap up a semi-final spot if they can beat Stirling Macedonia in the late game at Frank Drago Reserve on Friday evening. (8.30pm). Bayswater sit on top of the group on seven points, after a 3-1 win against Floreat last week, while Stirling sit third on four points, and have slipped up in recent weeks. Stirling defender Brent Quick said they need to bounce back this week, to keep their semi-finals hopes alive. “We are coming off two very disappointing results, and we know that Bayswater are on a good run, so it should be a challenge for us,” he said. “I think this needs to be a bounce back game for us, and we need to show more character and quality. We are very much looking forward to the game.”

Bayswater coach Gary Williams, who is a former coach at Macedonia Park, said both sides will be desperate for the points, so it should be a great game. “We are all really looking forward to this week’s match against Stirling, a club I had a number of very happy years, and it is great to see them back chasing for titles,” he explained. “It is another tough one for us, we have been fortunate to get to seven points so far, however I am also realistic and see the night series as a great opportunity to try things and play some of our young players which we did last week, and all performed admirably. Our incentive is to win and stay in this competition for as long as possible to ensure the best preparation for the upcoming league season.”

In the other games in the group, Perth SC sit second on five points, and are coming off two draws, and will look to get back to winning ways when they host Perth Glory in the late game on Friday evening at Dorrien Gardens. (8.30pm) Glory picked up their first point with a draw against Stirling, and they will look to build on that in this one. In the final game fourth placed Fremantle City meet fifth placed Floreat Athena in the early game at Frank Drago Reserve on Friday evening (6.30pm), with both sides looking to keep their hopes of progression alive with a win.

16.2.2024

STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES – WEEK THREE PREVIEW

The quarter-final spots in the State League Night Series are up for grabs this weekend, with top spot in each group, and the two highest runners-up spots, going down to the wire. First in Group A, Sorrento are in pole position after back-to-back wins so far, but East Perth are still in the race, and the winner of the group will be decided when they meet in the early game at Percy Doyle Reserve on Friday evening. (6.30pm) Sorrento have taken all before them so far, with experienced Neil Kilkenny and Dean Cummings leading the way for the Gulls, but East Perth, who are playing state league football for the first time, have also impressed, with a win and a draw.

East Perth coach Colm Costello said it’s a huge challenge, but one they are looking forward too. “Really looking forward to the game on Friday, and after watching Sorrento’s last two games they look excellent and will be the team to beat this year 100%,” Costello explained. “There movement, individual talent and their depth is unreal so it’s a huge challenge for us. To be fair, nobody will expect us to get much change off them, but for us it’s a chance to compete against the best and see we’re we are at. These games are the ones you have to enjoy as players and coaches and a chance to learn, so we are buzzing for it. The lads have been brilliant since the first week in January and we have mixed it up, and have got some decent results over last few weeks. So, we will enjoy the challenge, and I’m sure the lads will stand up to the test.” The late game in group Murdoch University Melville plays Swan United, with both sides looking for their first win in the competition so far. (8.30pm)

In Group B, Joondalup United are favourites to advance, after winning both of their games, and a win in the final game against Kingsley Westside at Crazy Domains Stadium, Hartfield Park on Sunday, will seal it. (8.00pm). But a win for Kingsley could see them advance, and they will be buoyed by their big win against Forrestfield last week. Kingsley Head Coach Steven Dimitrovich said they will look to build on last week’s 3-1 win, but they are gearing up for the start of the season and hitting the ground running. “We know it’s going to be a really competitive game against Joondalup they always are and with us still having a slight chance to go through we will give it a good crack and see where we land after the 90 minutes,” he explained. “It is another preseason game and another opportunity to get minutes into the squads’ legs. The game also gives us the chance to see where we are at as a squad playing against a fellow Division One club who made the NPL playoff last year so really looking forward to the game.” In the other game in the group, Ashfield could also move through if they beat Forrestfield United in the early game at the venue, and other results go their way. (6.00pm)

In Group C, Cockburn City sit on top after two wins, and will seal a spot into the next round with a result against Balga in the late game on Friday evening at Dalmatinac Park. (8.30pm), while in the early game Gosnells City could also take a place into the quarter finals, with a win Carramar Shamrock Rovers. (6.30pm) It’s very tight in Group D, with three sides still in the mix. In the late game on Friday evening at Wanneroo Reserve, Wanneroo City host leaders Joondalup City, and a win for either side could see them qualify. (8.30pm) Joondalup sit one point ahead of Wanneroo, while Dianella White Eagles could also progress, if they get a result in the early game at the venue against Subiaco. (6,30pm)

It's also tight in Group E, with three teams still in contention. Mandurah City sit one point clear at the top, but can seal a quarter final spot if they get a result against Canning City in the late game on Friday evening at Poolmart Stadium in Mandurah. (8.30pm) Canning have drawn both their games so far, and under new coach Lee Hayward have improved, and he said they go into the game in a confident mood, after battling back from two goals down last week against Kalamunda City. “It’s going to be a tough one against an experienced Mandurah team which includes a couple of former internationals in it, but the boys are excited for the challenge,” he said. “Unfortunately, we have many missing for this game, including Ishmael Greywood who picked up an injury in the game last week, he’s had a really strong showing so far with his directness and will be a big miss for the game.

“We had both Will Higginson and Damon Brun on the bench last week, Will has State league experience after playing for UWA last year and Damo scored well at reserves level for Fremantle City, so it will allow me to see how the go against a top side. We have a very young team, but they are all very hungry and the recent performances have shown that. We will set up to play our game, but we know Mandurah will likely dominate the ball for long spells, so will likely set up slightly different out of possession.” In the early game at the venue Kalamunda need a win against Rockingham City, and results elsewhere to go their way to progress. (6.30pm)

Finally, in Group F, UWA Nedlands sit top of the table after two straight wins, and a result in the final game against Gwelup Croatia in the late game at Wanneroo Reserve on Sunday evening, will see them qualify. (7.00pm) UWA coach Richard Abrams said they are improving each week and he is looking forward to taking on his former club. “We are really excited for Sunday’s game and a chance to play a team in our division which we haven’t had over the past month. Coaching against any former club is always special and I personally had four really good years at Gwelup with a lot of positive memories so this one is extra special for myself,” Abrams explained.

“However, its pre-season and the important thing is getting minutes into key players and setting standards on the pitch. We have ex Gwelup players at UWA, who like myself will be looking forward to the contest. We are grateful of the late kick off especially with the heat which our oversees players defiantly struggled with against Curtin. We have a couple back this week from Covid, injury and holidays so we will decide on our lineup after Saturday morning’s training session. I’m sure whoever is on the park for both sides will deliver and the game hopefully will be a good one.” In the early game Quinns can still go into the knockout stage, if they can a result against Curtin University, and results in the other games go their way. (6.00pm)

16.2.2024

ROAR UP NEXT FOR GLORY

Perth Glory will look to build on their four-game unbeaten run when they host Brisbane Roar at HBF Park on Saturday evening. (6.45pm) After two wins and two draws, including a win last time on home soil against Melbourne City has reignited their top six aspirations. There will be some familiar faces in on the Roar bench this week, with former Glory coaches Ruben Zadkovich and Chris Coyne in charge of the Brisbane outfit, after coach Ben Cahn had to step aside for health reasons.

Glory Head Coach Alen Stajcic has played down the notion that any of his charges will be out to prove a point. “We haven’t spoken about that, to be honest,” he said. “There’s too much at stake moving forward to think about what happened last year. Any memories you have, good or bad, they’re not going to drive you forward. You’ve got to think about the team, about moving forward and focus on this match. Our season is on the line as we move forward. We’ve shown that we are competitive and we’ve caught up with the pack, but we certainly haven’t overtaken anyone in the pack, so we have a lot of hard work still to do.”

After conceding a late equaliser, took the shine off another good performance from Stajcic’s side, and he hopes to build on the performance. “Last week was a little bit bittersweet, there were lots of good signs and a good second half was leading towards a good result,” Stajcic said. So, to get that killer punch again was a bit of a blow, especially considering that a win would have crept us up the ladder a little bit. There were lots of positives, but that killer blow was disappointing. We’ve shown that we can be really good in moments in the game, but we’ve also shown that we can lose focus.

“To lose points with the last kick of the game four times shows that we’re not focused enough in critical aspects of the game, so we really need to focus on this game at hand. We’ve built a little bit of momentum, confidence and belief. Our Achilles heel is still needing to protect our goal a little bit better, but there are lots of good signs in and around the group and the fact that we can dominate most of the teams in the top six for large periods of the game, which we have done over the last month, just shows that we’re heading in the right direction. The team is aligned, united and pulling in the same direction and giving everything that they can on the pitch and that’s probably been the biggest positive over the last few months.”

Last time the Roar headed over to WA, was in round six last season at Macedonia Park, with Glory taking the points after a 2-1 win. Defender Darryl Lachman gave the hosts the lead at the break, but Roar levelled on 56 minutes with Connor Chapman on target. But four minutes later the home side sealed the points, after former Glory defender Scott Neville scoring into his own net. It was a tight game then, and Stajcic is expecting another one on Saturday, who thrashed Melbourne City last week. “He’s [Zadkovich] only been in charge for two games, I think, so it’s a little bit false to judge a coach on the first week they arrive whether they win or lose,” he said.

“It takes a bit of time to have an impact, but obviously their performance last week was probably their best of the year, certainly since the early days of Ross’s [Aloisi] tenure before he left. They’ve got a lot of bodies back now and you can see the difference in their team. Henry Hore and [Nikola] Mileusnic are extremely dangerous and Jay O’Shea is one of the classiest midfielders in the league, so there is certainly enough in their team to threaten anyone and that’s why they were in the top three or four during the early part of the season.”

Glory will be without Johnny Koutroumbis this week, the defender, who has been impressive over the past month, has picked up a hip injury, while midfielder Mustafa Amini will again miss with a rib injury. They do welcome back Stefan Colakovski, who missed the trip to Adelaide last week due to suspension, while talented Kaelan Majekodunmi is also available after battling back from injury, while Andriano Lebib has also been added to the squad.

Perth Glory Squad: GK Oli SAIL, GK Cameron COOK, 3 Jacob MUIR, 4 Luke BODNAR, 7 Stefan COLAKOVSKI, 9 David WILLIAMS, 14 Riley WARLAND, 15 Aleksandar SUSNJAR, 16 Josh RAWLINS, 17 Jarrod CARLUCCIO, 19 Trent OSTLER, 20 Giordano COLLI, 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Daniel BENNIE, 27 Jayden GORMAN, 28 Kaelan MAJEKODUNMI, 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 31 Joel ANASMO, 34 Andriano LEBIB, 77 Bruce KAMAU - *Two to be omitted* - Ins: COLAKOVSKI, MAJEKODUNMI, LEBIB - Unavailable: 2 Johnny KOUTROUMBIS (injured), 5 Mark BEEVERS (injured), 8 Mustafa AMINI (injured), 11 Adam ZIMARINO (injured), 21 Antonis MARTIS (injured)

Brisbane Roar squad: GK Macklin FREKE, GK Matt ACTON, 3 Corey BROWN, 5 Tom ALDRED, 6 Joe CALETTI, 7 Florin BERENGUER, 8 Jonas MARKOVSKI, 10 Nikola MILEUSNIC, 12 Taras GOMULKA, 13 Henry HORE, 16 Thomas WADDINGHAM, 17 Carlo ARMIENTO, 19 Jack HINGERT, 20 Marco ROJAS, 21 Antonee BURKE-GILROY, 23 Keegan JELACIC, 26 Jay O’Shea, 27 Kai TREWIN, 32 James NIKOLOVSKI, 35 Louis ZABALA - Ins: ALDRED - Unavailable: 2 Scott NEVILLE, 14 Rylan BROWNLIE

16.2.2024

ARE BLUE CARDS NEEDED IN OUR GAME?

When the red and yellow cards were introduced in 1970, many disliked the idea, and when VAR was brought in, it went down like a lead ballon. But the conversation has now turned to the blue card, which they are looking to bring in to the game, for use in situations where dissent has been shown against match officials, or when a promising attack has been ended by a cynical, or professional foul.

If shown it will mean ten minutes in the sin bin, while two blues, or one yellow and one blue, equals a red. The use of red and yellow cards in football began in 1970. It was reportedly introduced by English referee Ken Aston during the FIFA World Cup in Mexico. Since then, red and yellow cards have become widely adopted by football associations worldwide as a disciplinary measure for players' misconduct on the field.

The blue card could confuse things even more, and FIFA was moved to clarify that it was “incorrect and premature” to suggest the blue card would be trialled at the elite level next season, even though reports have claimed that England’s Football Association was prepared to offer the men’s and women’s FA Cups as guinea pigs. If a trial occurs, FIFA says, it should only happen at the lower levels of the game, as it will table at next month’s IFAB annual general meeting when the idea could be passed.

Former Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has had his say on the matter, saying it’s not needed in the game. “Just bin it mate, bin the whole idea,” the Tottenham Hotspur coach said. “Just forget about it. I don’t know why they [IFAB] keep interjecting themselves into the game. There’s not that much wrong with the game. I think once they throw an idea like that out, it usually means they’ve already tested the waters.

“I don’t think there’s a need for it. I think you’re seeing a lot more dissent in the game these days because there’s more a lot more people to dissent to: in the past it was just the referee but [now] you can dissent to the fourth official, you can dissent to the VAR, you can dissent the head of referees. It used to be simple. The authority was with the referee, and he could handle it himself. I just don’t think we need to mess with the game too much, but it is what it is.”

We asked coaches from WA, for their say on the idea, and all three were in agreement. “I don’t think the idea has any base, merit or reason to be implemented,” Perth RedStar Head Coach Callum Salmon said. “From what I can see as a supporter of the professional game the main priorities would be goal line technology and more funding to support development and professionalism of referees. Blue cards in my opinion would offer no value and are not fit for purpose, and I can’t imagine any coach supporting it.”

Joondalup United Head Coach Nick Jennings had the same thoughts, and said referees need to understand the rules of the game and apply them. “Another card isn’t required We have the laws and sufficient cards to deal with all offences,” he said. “All the officials have to do is issue a yellow card for dissent, player carries on second yellow equals red off they go, as we do now you accumulate yellow cards and after four you serve a ban easy. All a blue card will do is complicate an easy process that has served us well for decades. It all comes down to the officials understanding the laws of the game and applying them to situations as they arise during the 90 minutes”

Quinns Head Coach Antony Benetti said clubs will only slow the game down and frustrate the supporters. “Personally, I think it's an unnecessary introduction to the game. I think the two main negatives is the scale on which you apply it and the threat of major inconsistencies and the threat to how clubs will attempt to negate it with negativity that will slow the game down and increase player, coach and supporter frustrations,” he explained. “I believe there is nothing wrong with the process as it stands, referees get it right and they get it wrong, and we all accept that.”

But Football Australia’s head of referees Nathan Magill has observed a positive change since “temporary dismissals” were implemented and sees the blue card as a logical progression, at least at grassroots level. Sin bins have already been trialled at that level in some countries, including Australia, to some degree of success. “The blue card could serve as an educational mechanism for players, parents, and coaches, which is a common challenge for community match officials,” he said.

“It’s the goal of Football Australia to enhance the experience of community match officials. As such, we are open to exploring options that can assist referees in managing the game effectively. To that end, we are developing a series of initiatives for this community football season to enhance the match environment for all involved.” Football is game played all over the world, and I’m sure there are many will like the idea of the card, but with the uproar seen on social media and in print media, is this decision the right one?

15.2.2024

NEW PERTH GLORY OWNER SAGA NEARING AN END

The long running saga of a new Perth Glory owner is nearing an end, if reports are to be believed this week, but we have heard these all before. But news out of the east are saying the A-League club are on the verge of having new owners, with Melbourne-based property mogul Ross Pelligra firming to complete a takeover. If it is correct, it ends an uncomfortable seven-month wait, which included a failed attempt to buy the ailing club. But the West Australian Newspaper, WA Today and Nine News Perth have all reported a source has confirmed that Pelligra’s bid to take control of the club had entered its final stages and could be announced soon.

Pelligra, who is also chairman of Catania in Italy’s Serie C, is also set to involve former Socceroos midfielders Marco Bresciano and Vince Grella, if and when his takeover is approved. But the reports also say that Glory’s current owners, Australian Professional Leagues, who have been in control of the club since July, and advisory firm KordaMentha haven’t signed off on the bid as of Thursday morning, so the wait goes on for the frustrated Glory faithful.

In a statement, an APL spokesman said they were working through the final stages with the associated parties and were hoping to announce positive news soon. Any deal to buy the Glory would need to be ratified by Football Australia to be completed. The previous attempted takeover by businessmen Robert Brij and John Nekic in October was announced before the bid reached the FA.

Should the deal go through, Bresciano and Grella would be involved at some level, although Grella is currently chief executive of Pelligra’s Italian club Catania. It could be the end of the search, but until he’s in the stands and it’s fully ratified by everyone involved, many won’t believe it. Pelligra flew to Perth in January with Bresciano - currently a member of the Football Australia board - to speak with State Government and City of Stirling officials, apparently regarding a parcel of land between Stirling Station and the council chambers.

The Cedric Street site — a former rubbish tip — is located next to Mitchell Freeway and the talks involved the potential for future Glory headquarters, which could house training fields and administration facilities, to be built there. Stirling Mayor Mark Irwin told The West he supported the idea of turning the former tip sit into a Glory HQ. “One of the things that’s always been on our radar is the potential to have sporting facilities there,” he said. “We’re very keen if an opportunity presents in the future for Perth Glory to have either administration home or playing fields, but that is as far as the discussions have gone.”

14.2.2024

CASSIDY AND MCKENNA NAMED IN YOUNG MATILDAS SQUAD

Perth Glory rising star Georgia Cassidy and Melbourne City young gun Tijan McKenna are headed to Uzbekistan after being named in Australia’s squad for the under-20 Asian Cup. The pair are the only West Australians in Young Matildas coach Leah Blaney’s 23-player squad for March’s tournament in Uzbekistan.

Cassidy was the October nomination for the A-League Women’s Young Footballer of the Year and has featured in all 16 of the Glory’s games this season, including 11 as a starter. The teenager trained with Glory last season on a scholarship agreement while playing for the National Training Centre.

McKenna, a John Curtin graduate, spent three years with Glory but found opportunities limited last season when she made just three appearances. She headed to Melbourne in the off-season - alongside her sister Leticia - and has played 12 games for the league-leaders this season.

Australia will take on Korea Republic (March 3), hosts Uzbekistan (March 6) and Chinese Taipei (March 9) after being drawn in Group A. If the team finishes in the top two of the group and qualifies for the knockout stages, it will mean they also qualify for the Under-20 World Cup in Colombia held later this year.

11.2.2024

BAFFORD SEALS VICTORY FOR REDSTAR

A goal 15 minutes from time by Perth RedStar striker Bryce Bafford, has given them a 1-0 win against Balcatta Etna at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday evening. RedStar assistant coach David Butterfield said they had to work hard for the win, but it continued their unbeaten start to the competition, and he was thrilled for two youngsters who made their senior debuts for the club.

“It was another great result for the lads, and it was another tough game against a really defensively organised Balcatta team,” Butterfield said. “We finally managed to break them down in the second half with a well worked goal to seal the win. Delighted for Nyle Weale and Keane Embleton-Hill on their first team debuts, and we are looking forward to next weeks game against Armadale.”

It was an even game, with chances at both ends, but keepers Liam Reddy and Connor Campbell remained unbeaten, that was until 75 minutes when RedStar won it. A neat move down the right, ended with a ball out wide to Daryl Nicol on the left, the Scottish striker, who topped the goalscoring table last season, was the provider this time, playing a perfectly weighted cross to Bafford, who made no mistake at the back post.

“It was a good win for us against a team that made it quite tough to score by defending quite deep, but that’s something we have to get used to and it was good practice for what will come in the season ahead,” RedStar defender Nick Walsh explained. “It took a while to eventually break the deadlock, but I think it was well deserved, and once we scored, I think we were quite comfortable and should have probably scored one or two more.”

Perth RedStar: GK Liam Reddy, 2 Nick Walsh, 4 Declan Hughes, 6 Matthew George, 8 Andrew Palmer, 9 Daryl Nicol, 11 Dennis Galan, 13 Nyle Weale, 15 Bryce Bafford, 16 Sonny O’Shea, 17 Joel Chianese – Subs: RGK Sonny Inzalaco, 3 Blair Govan, 10 Gomo Dukuly, 12 Josh Kingston, 14 Lewis Tucker, 16 Takudzwa Tarrel Chisunga, 18 Dainel Katz, 20 Keane Embleton-Hill

Balcatta Etna: GK Connor Campbell, 2 Trent Kay, 4 Luke Alessandrino, 7 Liam Hudson, 9 Hasani Sinclair, 11 Delan Hudson, 12 Ben Hinshelwood, 13 Jozef Monastra, 14 Zarne Gaitan, 16 Ben Ognenis, 22 Fanuel Dawit - Subs: 15 Kian Thompson, 17 Ben Ford, 20 Frazer Imrie, 23 Justin Alessandrino

11.2.2024

STATE LEAGUE NIGHT SERIES – SATURDAY AND SUNDAY REVIEW

The State League Night Series, week two games were completed in hot and humid conditions on Saturday and Sunday. In Group A, hosts Sorrento made it back-to-back wins after a 3-0 win against Murdoch University Melville at Percy Doyle Reserve, on Sunday afternoon. “All in all, pleased with our performance once again, but loads to improve on,” Gulls striker Hamza Hina said. “We have a new squad and loads of new players, it's all about making sure we continue to gel and build that chemistry for the season.”

It was scoreless at the break, but the Gulls found the opener on 57 minutes, youngster Keegan Chambers heading home, Neil Kilkenny’s cross. The second goal followed quickly, a low cross into the penalty area was turned into his own net by a MUMFC defender. The points were wrapped up late, Kilkenny was the supplier again, this time his ball over the top of the MUMFC backline sent Hana in on goal, he beat his marker to the ball before chipping the oncoming keeper, and headed it into the empty net.

In the late game at the venue, East Perth have kept their finals hopes alive after a 3-1 win against Swan United. “A great performance from the squad this evening, and a big improvement on last week, bar a 15-minute spell in second half, I thought we controlled the ball very well and tried to keep possession and get in behind their fullbacks, which we did well and both Miguel and Ryan scoring some great goals,” East Perth coach Colm Costello. “It was a great night of football at Sorrento with two excellent games on show, and it’s a pleasure to be playing in such a great set up. We know we have a huge test ahead on Friday, when we take on Sorrento, but we will be looking forward to it.”

East Perth started brightly but couldn’t break Swan down, but their early pressure was rewarded with the lead seven minutes before the break, A cross from Niall Murray found Miguel Oliveira on the left, and he cut inside his marker and finished with aplomb into the top corner. Swan hit back early in the second half, a mistake at the back was pounced upon by Brennan Borzecki who finished low past Tommy McCarron.

It was game on, with both sides looking to win it, but it was East Perth who regained the lead on 72 minutes. Good work on the right by Nathan Ferguson, saw him pick out Ryan McGready, who turned his marker and fired home. They wrapped up the win six minutes later, McCready again finishing brilliantly on the turn giving Swan keeper Ben Parry no chance.

In Group B, the opening game was at Crazy Domain Stadium, Hartfield Park on Saturday evening with Kingsley Westside beating hosts Forrestfield United 3-1. “A massive improvement on our game against Ashfield, and after our loss last week we got down to working on certain areas that let us down and the mistakes we made last week weren’t evident this week,” Kingsley coach Steven Dimitrovich explained. “I felt we controlled the game from start to finish and had we had more composure in front of goal the winning margin probably should’ve been bigger. We now move onto Joondalup Utd as we continue to build for the season proper in March.”

The visitors were ahead on three minutes, Luke Doyle’s corner headed home by Nic Koefler. It was 2-0 on 18 minutes, Chad Samuels beat the offside trap and finished at the second attempt. Forrestfield were back in the contest just before half time, James Bourne converting from the spot to half the deficit. But Kingsley won it 13 minutes from time, Paul Stewart’s cross beat everyone and nestled in the back of the net. The hosts were reduced to ten men late with Alex Baker sent off.

The other game in the group was on Sunday at Paint Seal Arena Ashfield, with Joondalup United making it two wins from two after a 4-2 win against hosts Ashfield. Despite the win, Joondalup Head Coach Nick Jennings said it wasn’t their best performance. “In my opinion, it was a disappointing performance, and we have things to work on,” he said. “But all credit to the boys who showed great character and found a way to win in difficult warm conditions, and a poor pitch.”

United were ahead early, Tyler Holden outpaced a flat back four and finished clinically. The hosts hit back and levelled on 17 minutes, with Robert MacDonald on target. But in the first minute of the second half, Joondalup regained the lead, with a great individual goal by Jamie Gardiner. Ashfield restored parity moments later, after Dean Kezurer found the net, but Joondalup weren’t finished and hit the front again just after the hour, James Oldroyd long-range strike gave the keeper no chance. Both sides were reduced to ten players late, with Joondalup’s Billy Quinncroft and Ashfield’s substitute keeper Riley Stephenson receiving red cards in separate incidents. But Joondalup secure the points six minutes from time with a trademark Jay Lang free kick.

In Group D at Wanneroo Reserve on Saturday evening, Dianella White Eagles and Joondalup City have fought out a 1-1 draw in the early game. “It was another solid performance from our boys against a good side in dianella,” City’s Liam Peacock said. “It put us in a good position going into the final game of the group to qualify for the knock out stage.” It was the Eagles who opened the scoring 20 minutes into the second half, with Shane Barnes on target. But Joondalup levelled ten minutes from time, a free kick picked out Emmanuel Emefiele at the back post to score.

In the late game at the venue, hosts Wanneroo City beat Subiaco 2-1, to keep their finals hope alive. “Moving toward the start of the season we’re working on instilling belief and competitiveness in the camp, the two Night Series games have provided us with that,” Wanneroo Head Coach Howard Tweats explained. “Without showing to much quality of play, the players endeavour and resilience bodes well, knowing we have quality footballers to impact games. Young Sam Nguyen produced a couple of fine saves that deserves praise whilst as a developing unit defensively the players held firm a foundation we can certainly build on.”

Wanneroo were ahead early, Montee Benjamin was released down the right, and his cross picked out Nik Dossena who headed home. But in the shadows of half time Subiaco levelled, some hesitation in defence from ball over the top saw Kaleb Morrison nip in and round the keeper to score. But the winner came in the final minute, a corner was only cleared to the edge of the box, and Greg Greenwood found the top corner. Subiaco finished the game with ten men after Henri Mulwila was sent off.

In Group E, at Pool Mart Stadium in Mandurah, hosts Mandurah City moved to the top of the table after a hard fought 2-1 win against local rivals Rockingham City in the early game at the venue. “A hard-fought local derby, and win is great for the lads in warm conditions on the night,” Mandurah Head Coach John Baird said. “But the win was soured somewhat with the injury to Alex Grayson, and it put a damper on events. We are all devasted for Alex, and the Mandurah family wish him all the best and a speedy recovery.”

Mandurah were ahead on 15 minutes, after neat build up play, Jordan Callaghan saw his shot was blocked, but the youngster was the quickest to the rebound to score. It looked like the Dolphins had secured the points after Leigh Griffiths won a penalty, and the Scottish striker made no mistake from the spot. But Rockingham hit back, and halved the margin moments later, with Shane Boyle scoring. The injury to Grayson came soon after and everyone at Footballwa wishes him a speedy recovery.

In the late game at the venue Kalamunda City and Canning City have fought out a thrilling 3-3 draw. “The draw was a disappointing result for us but there were positives to take out of the game, as well as areas to improve on,” Kalamunda striker Farruh Mavlonov said. “In the last two games, we scored seven goals which is great, but we also conceded seven goals, which is concerning.” Kalamunda made a great start, with Fernando Albornoz scoring early, and they doubled their advantage on 35 minutes, Antonio Martinez scoring from a well-worked short corner. Canning had their chances, with Tom Kinnane and Ishmael Greywood hitting the woodwork.

But they were back in the game six minutes from half time, Kinnane’s freekick was saved, but Mason Langham was quickest to the rebound to score. They were level early in the second half, Freeman Nyatsambo beating is marker and crossing to Langham who finished well. Kalamunda regained the lead on the hour mark, with Gaston Bazet firing home a free kick, but five minutes later Canning levelled again, Kinnane converting from the penalty spot. Both sides had chances to win, but had to settle for a share of the spoils. “From my perspective it’s another point against a good team,” Canning Head Coach Lee Hayward said. “There were many positives to take outs from the game, and a few negatives that we will need to work on over the coming weeks.”

Finally in Group F, UWA Nedlands maintained their perfect start to the competition, after a 2-1 win against Curtin University in the early game on Saturday evening at Crazy Domain Stadium, Hartfield Park. “After dominating the first 20 minutes, and scoring we took our foot off the gas and the game opened up,” UWA Head Coach Richard Abrams said. “Credit to Curtain they were not there to make up the numbers and had some very good chances. With seven players missing and players clearly struggling with the heat we were not at our best. We did however manage to rotate the subs to get gametime into everyone which is the main objective of February. We have plenty to reflect on from the two games to date mostly all positive, however with many new faces in the squad it will take a little time to gel together.”

UWA opened the scoring on 21 minutes, a ball into the penalty area wasn’t dealt with by Curtin, and in the goalmouth scramble, Jed Afenyo toe poked home. Curtin levelled early in the second half, a back pass from Franco Van Zyl bobbled in front of keeper Brendan Rintoul, and he sliced the ball into his own net. But that was all forgotten six minutes from time, when UWA won it. New signing Sebastian Hooshanigan beat his man and used his pace to deliver a perfect cross to Oliver Lebihan, who finished well. Curtin went close late to levelling, but Rintoul made up his mistake for the goal pulling off a stunning save to seal the points.

The other game in the group was on Sunday evening at Paint Seal Arena Ashfield, with Quinns beating Gwelup Croatia 3-2. “It was a tough game, but we were pleased with our response after going down 1-0. We felt we dominated the game thereafter and were able to connect well across the phases,” Quinns Head Coach Antony Benetti explained. “We are really still getting a feel for what is a very new group and being we still have a number of players to come in we know consistency will be key.”

Gwelup were ahead on 27 minutes, Jeremie Mba firing home, but in first half stoppage time Quinns levelled. Matt Cherrie neat through ball sent Mou Marial clear, and he rounded the keeper and walked the ball home. Quinns hit the front seven minutes into the second half, great build-up play ended with Tanaka Maumbe, who sent Marial in on goal, his shot was well saved by Josiah Godfrey, but Liam Hunt fired home the rebound from close-range. They added a third on 70 minutes, Maumbe was brought down in the box, and Jason Petrie converted the resulting penalty. Gwelup reduced the margin late, with the unfortunate Dave Sallis scoring an own goal, but they couldn’t find the equaliser.

10.2.2024

JONES FOCUSED ON BOLTON AND STAYING ON THE SOCCEROOS RADAR

Gethin Jones got a rough introduction to life as an international footballer, but he can’t wait to give it another go. Following Australia’s exit from the Asian Cup, the Bolton Wanderers vice-captain endured a 17-hour journey back to England, a training session at Lostock and a four-hour coach journey to play just nine minutes of club football against Cambridge United.

Australia crashed out of the Asian Cup at the quarter-final stage with defeat to South Korea. Jones had to cope with the rough and the smooth during the tournament, dropped for the Korea game after a groin injury in a win over Indonesia. But none of that will stop Jones doing it all again, however, he’s looking forward to earning a few more caps.

“Obviously international football is a lot, lot different to club football,” Jones told The Bolton News. “They praise and criticise everything you do, and it’s a big nation with lots of opinions. Playing international football is something I’d always wanted to do. I loved every minute of it and, hopefully, if I keep playing well for Bolton then I’ll get that call-up again.

“Playing against countries like India or Syria – ones you’d never even think you’d face growing up – and while they made it difficult, the games themselves were enjoyable. I was gutted to be knocked out by South Korea in the end but for myself playing on a big stage like the Asian Cup, so it is something I am really proud I did.”

Australia continue their qualification efforts for the 2026 World Cup finals with a two-legged game against Lebanon next month. Jones accepts that the travelling involved will not always marry well with club football but he hopes to stay in the mix for the tournament in the USA, Canada and Mexico. “I spoke to a few of the lads and they said it can be difficult at times,” he said.

“One of the games next month is in Sydney and you pretty much fly out on the Monday, train for two days and get used to the time difference, play the game, then go back. My focus is on playing well for Bolton and getting those call-ups if I can. To know the World Cup is there in two-and-a-half years is a huge and it is something that I’ll obviously work hard to try and achieve. We’ll wait and see what happens.”

10.2.2024

GLORY LEAVE IT LATE TO EARN A POINT

A goal in stoppage time from Perth Glory midfielder Isobel Dalton has earned her side a hard-fought 2-2 draw against Canberra United, in front of another big crowd at Macedonia Park. Glory Head coach Alex Epakis was delighted with his sides fighting spirit to fight back against the odds to get the equaliser, and he thought it was the best game of the season for the goalscorer.

They had to come from behind twice to earn the point, Matildas’ striker Michelle Heyman gave the visitors an early lead, before the returning Susan Phonsongkham fired Glory level. Heyman regained the lead for Canberra in the shadows of half time, and it looked like that would give the bottom of the table side the three points, but Dalton had other ideas, to level with her first goal for the club and send the Glory faithful into raptures.

“I thought it was the best performance from Isobel, with and without the ball, and she came up with the goods when required today, an on a personal level to score her first goal has given a huge boost and we will feed off that in the week,” he said. “To go down twice, and build momentum, and then have things go against us, with our keeper going off with a serious injury, I thought the resilience and character from the group was outstanding. I thought it was a fluent attacking performance, and we had plenty of the ball, which is a heathy sign for me.” Glory made two changes to the side that were beaten by Sydney FC last week, Phonsongkham replacing Grace Jale, while Grace Johnston came in for the injured Sadie Lawrence.

It was a warm night in Perth, but it didn’t affect the visitors, who hit the front on eight minutes. Some neat build up play ended with Nickoletta Flannery down the right, and her low cross was turned home by Heyman. Both sides had chances as the game ebbed and flowed, first Deven Jackson’s effort flashed wide for United, before Mille Farrow’s header was straight at Chloe Lincoln.

But on 35 minutes Glory found the equaliser. Quinley Quezada sent Sofia Sakalis down the right, her cross to the back post was well cushioned down by Farrow, and Phonsongkham finished clinically past Lincoln. Canberra were still creating the better chances, and Vesna Milivojevic’s shot crashed off the post and away to safety and in the shadows of half time they deservedly regained the lead, Flannery crossing to Heyman, and the striker finished with aplomb past Morgan Aquino.

Glory looked to respond after the break, but their cause wasn’t helped when keeper Aquino was taken off with a serious arm injury after a collision with Heyman on 56 minutes, she was replaced by Sally James. Glory went close to restoring parity on the hour, Dalton’s long-range was superbly saved by Lincoln. Canberra almost sealed the points three minutes from time, Heyman low shot across goal, flashing inches wide of the far post.

It looked like Glory’s poor form was going to continue, but in the final minute they found the equaliser. Hana Lowry found Dalton, who controlled the ball well, before finding the top corner of the net from the edge of the box, before racing off to celebrate with the glory fans in the stands. There was a late debut for 16-year-old Clara Hoarau, the former Melville Murdoch University midfielder replaced Quezada in stoppage time.

Perth Glory: GK Morgan AQUINO (RGK Sally JAMES 56'), 3 Jessika COWART, 4 Natasha RIGBY, 7 Liz ANTON, 8 Hana LOWRY, 9 Millie FARROW, 10 Susan PHONSONGKHAM (17 Abbey GREEN 90+2'), 12 Sofia SAKALIS (27 Georgia CASSIDY 66'), 20 Quinley QUEZADA (31 Clara HOARAU 90+2'), 23 Isobel DALTON, 25 Grace JOHNSTON (19 Izzy FOLETTA 66') - Subs not used: None

Canberra United: GK Chloe LINCOLN, 2 Alex MCKENZIE, 3 Sarah CLARK, 8 Sasha GROVE, 10 Mary STANIC-FLOODY, 11 Deven JACKSON (16 Maddy WHITTALL 71'), 17 Vesna MILIVOJEVIC, 19 Nickoletta FLANNERY (13 Sofia CHRISTOPHERSON 52'), 22 Cannon CLOUGH (5 Emma ILIJOSKI 70'), 23 Michelle HEYMAN, 28 Tegan BERTOLISSIO (20 Lillian SKELLY 79') – Subs not used RGK Coco MAJSTOROVIC – Attendance: 1,003 - Referee: Rebecca DURCAU

10.2.2024

JACOBSZ AT THE DOUBLE FOR ARMADALE

Armadale have kept their NPLWA Night Series Semi-Final hopes alive, after a 4-2 win against Inglewood United in Group C at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Saturday evening. “Great to see the team beginning to gel and some of our long serving youth players getting on the score sheet,” Armadale assistant coach Sam Hutchings said. “It was a very promising first half marred only by a couple of injuries and a failure to put the game to bed given the number of opportunities we created, and we moved the ball well. In fairness to Inglewood, they came out the blocks in the second half and we allowed them back into the game.

“However, this did provide a glimpse of the groups character and we recovered to win, well with two well worked goals. Some first competitive debuts to mention for youngsters Ben Harrison (18) and Preston Gilling (19) and overall, a decent performance from the group as a whole. We continue to work hard and improve day to day. We are looking forward to welcoming our final squad additions this week and then onto the challenges Redstar will provide next weekend.”

Both sides were searching for their first wins in the pre-season competition, and it was the hosts who found it on the half hour, with Peter Jacobsz finding the target. They doubled their lead just before half time, Amir Ajan the provider to substitute Purvishna Appadoo to score. But Taki Nicolaidis’ hit back after the break, with Yamamoto Kotaro converting from the spot, and Shubham Mokala levelling on the hour.

But four minutes later Armadale regained the lead, with Ajan scoring, and they sealed the tie 14 minutes from time, with Jacobsz adding his second to give them their first win in the group, while Inglewood remain winless. “It was a must win game for the boys, the goals we scored, were all team goals starting from the back with possession passes around the back and balls through the middle into the attackers with really good finishes and getting into some good attacking positions,” Armadale defender Lachlan Collins said.

“Overall was a good win, the boys fought hard after losing a couple of players to injury. Hopefully it’s a speedy recovery for them but I reckon the boys adapted quite well was a slow start at the start of second half conceding two goals. But the boys dug deep and created the good attacking runs and good possession we had in the first half and we got two really important goals back winning 4-2, so at the end of the day got the job done and proud of the boys adapting to the game.”

Armadale: GK Preston Gillings, 2 Lachan Collins, 3 Luke Collins, 4 Nathan Costello, 7 Amir Ajan, 13 Igor Cvijanovic, 15 Lucas Cook, 17 Peter Jacobsz, 18 Joshua Bartler, 19 Charlie Fleming, 20 Jayden Leader – Subs: RGK Joel Driscoll, 6 Purvishna Appadoo, 8 Ben Harrison, 11 Pacifique Dufitimukiza, 16 Matthew Worton, 22 Egide Ngendakumana

Inglewood United: GK Nic Speca, 2 William Formston, 3 Aiden Formston, 4 Ciaran Salinger, 6 Matthew Ntoumenopoulos, 7 Chad Nilson, 8 Dhuors Chol, 9 Harry Evans, 10 Shubham Mokala, 11 Benson Nsegetse, 18 Jordan Brown – Subs: 12 Taylor O’Sullivan, 14 Yamamoto Kotaro, 17 Jeremy Tshongo, 21 Thomas Abraham, 22 James Lindsey

10.2.2024

MURRAY ON TARGET TO BEAT THE KNIGHTS

A goal seven minutes from time from substitute Liam Murray has secured Olympic Kingsway a 1-0 win against Western Knights in the early game at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Saturday evening, keep them second in Group C. “We’re happy with the three points and the clean sheet,” Olympic Head Coach David Tough said. “Western Knights made it hard for us, but I thought we controlled the game, but we're still a work in progress, with plenty to improve on, but I'm content with where we're currently at.”

It was a tight game with both sides having chances, but it was Olympic who won it on 83 minutes. Former Perth Glory striker Joe Knowles, who was making his debut for the club, made space down the right, and his low cross picked out Murray at the back post to score.

“It wasn’t our best game overall, it was quite a difficult match in the heat,” Olympic midfielder Tyler Garner said. “We are still working on a few things and improving our chemistry as a team. Nonetheless we are happy with the clean sheet after leaking goals the past few games, hopefully we can improve and put in a solid performance next week.”

Midfielder Joshua Samson said they are working hard in preseason, as they prepare for the new season. “I thought we showed great persistence and fight to keep playing our style yesterday. Our build up play was good and we played through the lines into the final third on numerous occasions,” he said. “It was an enjoyable game to be a part of with both sides creating chances and fighting for every ball. We were happy to get the result and keep a clean sheet, but we know we still have room for improvement. We will continue to work hard and build our fitness in preparation for the start of the NPL season.”

Olympic Kingsway: GK Adrian Sinagra, 2 Jonathon Leithead, 3 Daniel Walsh, 4 Ollie Annis, 6 Aryn Williams, 7 Tyler Garner, 8 Mitchell Oxborrow, 9 Joe Knowles, 16 Sasa Njegic, 17 Joshua Samson, 20 Luke Hewings – Subs: RGK Seb Medica, 5 Calum O’Connell, 11 Liam Murray, 12 James Fanelli, 15 Shane Cassidy, 19 Lebib Lebib

Western Knights: GK Sam Reilly, 5 Adam Harris, 10 Alex Da Rocha, 11 Owen Goodliffe, 14 Jack Bardsley, 15 Luke Passeretto, 17 Shay Donovan, 19 Orhan Boric, 21 Jesse Lazzaro, 22 Kristian Santich, 23 Daniel Santich – Subs: 2 Jake Sardelic, 6 Denzel Tshuma, 16 Gian Zupanov, 20 Bailey Collingwood, 25 Jay Sheridan, 30 Travis Cook

10.2.2024

BAYSWATER BEAT FLOREAT TO KEEP FINALS HOPES ALIVE

It’s still tight in Group B of the NPLWA Night Series, and Bayswater City are still in the mix for a final spot after a 3-1 win against Floreat Athena at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday evening. “We have got seven points so far which is great but the tally of points has not been matched by our performances,” Bayswater Head Coach Gary Williams said. “We have a great deal of room to improve and will continue to work hard in training, but on the positive side it was great that some of our young players got a chance play and they all did well.”

It was Floreat who found the opener, a corner picked out the unmarked Noah Shamaki who headed past Casey Robertson. But the hosts hit back and levelled when they won possession in the middle of the park, and Chris Jackson crossed to Sam Dwek, who made no mistake. Bayswater hit the front before the break, Luke Palmateer’s cross field ball found Jason Mirco, who found Declan Hargreaves on the right, and his cross found Dwek who headed home his second at the far post

After the break it was end-to-end football, as Floreat looked for the equaliser, but it was the hosts who won it late. The high press from Bayswater saw substitute Josh bell nick the ball off Sean McManus, and he raced one-on-one with the keeper, and the youngster made no mistake to give Bayswater the points. “It was a great game,” Mirco said. “It keeps us in the finals hopes, and we look forward to next week’s clash against Stirling.”

Bayswater City - GK Casey Robertson, 4 Luke Palmateer, 6 Declan Hargreaves, 10 Jason Mirco, 14 Samuel Dweh, 15 Jackson Stephens, 16 Aryan Yazarlou, 18 Christopher Jackson, 19 Julian Kelly, 20 Sam Mitchinson, 24 Joshua Anasmo – Subs not used: 5 Thiak Kuel, 21 Scotlan Morrison, 22 Celeston Fuller, 23 Joshua Bell, 28 Konstantinos Sparta

Floreat Athena – GK Joshua Hunter, 3 Ali Mohamed, 4 Ben Steele, 5 Ethan Mom, 6 Cherno Bah, 10 Nicholas Ambrogio, 12 Kyle Murray, 17 Alexander Christodoulakis, 19 Mohammed Al-Zaidy, 23 Flilippo Gioffre, 25 Noah Shamaki – Subs not used: RGK Jason Saldaris, 8 Sean McManus, 9 Guy Davies, 11 Ajang Yuot, 16 Luke Ryan, 20 Friday Zico, 22 Dau Deng

10.2.2024

LAST MINUTE HEARTBREAK FOR GLORY

Perth Glory continued their unbeaten run in the Isuzu Ute A-League to four games, after a dramatic 3-3 draw against Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Friday evening. It looked like they were in for a long night after the hosts raced to a two-goal lead early, with goals from Hiro Ibusuki and a Zac Clough’s penalty. But Glory fought back with skipper Adam Taggart scoring before the break, and second half goal to David Williams and Josh Rawlins had them ahead. Oli Sail then saved a Stefan Mauk penalty late in the game and it looked Alen Stajcic’s side would leave with the points, but a controversial goal from Panagiotis Ikianis eight minutes into stoppage time, saw both sides take a share of the spoils.

“I couldn’t tell if the ball had crossed the line, in fact I never saw it, but it’s a goal, but I don’t know where he (referee) got the eight minutes of stoppage time,” Stajcic said post-match. “I thought first half we were poor, yes, we hit the post and Tags scored, but they dominated the game, and looked threatening with every ball into the box. They caused us all sorts of problems, which we weren’t solving well, and we lacked discipline in key moments, and could have been further behind at the break.

“But the second half was a role reversal, right from the first moment our intensity and pressure on the ball increased, and we created numerous chances. I thought we were the better team in the second half, and it’s disappointing for us to let it slip late. I think that’s the third time we’ve conceded a goal with the last kick of the game, and we could be in and around the top six if we didn’t concede. But it’s another would’ve, could’ve and should’ve, we didn’t defend well for the last corner and we’ve got no one to blame but ourselves.”

Stajcic was forced into two changes from the side that beat Melbourne City last time out, with Mustafa Amini out injured, he was replaced by Jarrod Carluccio, while Josh Rawlins came in for his first starting appearance, since returning to the club on loan, in place of the suspended Stefan Colakovski. It was the hosts who made the better start, and were ahead after only nine minutes, Ryan Kitto’s cross from the left was headed powerfully home by Japanese striker Ibusuki to give Carl Veart’s men the lead.

Glory looked for an immediate response, and youngster Daniel Bennie almost supplied it, sent into goal by a neat ball from Taggart, but his effort from the angle hit the outside of the woodwork. But moments the hosts doubled their advantage, a corner from the left was punched clear by Sail, but referee Ben Abraham spotted a hold on Ibusuki by Aleks Susnjar, and pointed to the spot. Clough stepped up and no mistake from the resulting penalty. The visitors were struggling, and it was Sail keeping them in the game, the Kiwi keeper getting down well to make a smart save to deny Kitto’s long-range effort.

Then on the half hour, Glory was back in the game. Giordano Colli’s corner from the left was flicked on by Darryl Lachman, and Taggart lost his marker at the back post to score. Still the Reds were dictating terms, and Sail made three vital saves late. First, he denied Ibusuki and Clough’s headers, and the best of them came in stoppage time, when he got down well at his near post to turn Ibusuki flick around the post. It was a poor first half from the team in white, but they were still in the game.

Glory started well after the break, and Taggart had two opportunities to level, but failed to take them, but moments after coming off the bench Williams did. Colli’s corner was only punched clear by James Delianov as far as Williams, whose first time shot flew into the net, much to the delight of the travelling supporters at that end of the ground. The visitors were now on top and Bennie went within inches of his first A-League goal, but like the first half, the woodwork denied him.

But eight minutes from time Glory hit the front. Colli won a tough 50/50 tackle in the middle of park and Taggart sent substitute Trent Ostler down the left, he and Bennie exchanged passes, before Ostler pulled the back to Rawlins on the edge of the box and the teenager rifled home. But moments later the hosts had the perfect opportunity to level after Luke Bodnar handled in the box. Mauk stepped up to take the spot kick, and Sail guessed the right way and saved superbly.

The board went up from the fourth official, showing six minutes of stoppage time, and it looked like Glory had won it when Taggart steered home substitute Joel Anasmo’s cross, but his celebrations were cut short, with the assistants flag up for offside. The six minutes were up, but still the game went on and in the eighth minute the hosts salvaged a point. Isaias’ corner was headed goalward by Giuseppe Bovalina, and Ikianis flicked the ball home despite a goal line clearance from Colli, the assistant on the far side flagged to say the ball crossed the line.

Adeliade United: GK James DELIANOV, 3 Ben WARLAND, 6 Stefan MAUK, 7 Ryan KITTO, 8 ISAÍAS, 9 Hiroshi IBUSUKI, 10 Zach CLOUGH (17 Luka JOVANOVIC 79'), 27 Josh CAVALLO (66 Nestory IRANKUNDA 60'), 43 Giuseppe BOVALINA, 51 Panagiotis KIKIANIS, 55 Ethan ALAGICH (26 Ben HALLORAN 61') - Subs not used: RGK Ethan COX, 2 Harry VAN DER SAAG, 22 Ryan TUNNICLIFFE, 23 Luke DUZEL

Perth Glory: GK Oli SAIL, 2 Johnny KOUTROUMBIS (4 Luke BODNAR 71'), 14 Riley WARLAND (19 Trent OSTLER 71'), 15 Aleksandar SUSNJAR, 16 Josh RAWLINS (3 Jacob MUIR 90'), 17 Jarrod CARLUCCIO (9 David WILLIAMS 61'), 20 Giordano COLLI, 22 Adam TAGGART, 23 Daniel BENNIE (31 Joel ANASMO 90'), 29 Darryl LACHMAN, 77 Bruce KAMAU - Subs not used: RGK Cameron COOK, 27 Jayden GORMAN – Referee: Ben ABRAHAM

9.2.2024

PETKOV HEADS LATE EQUALISER FOR FREMANTLE

Fremantle City have kept their NPLWA Night Series Semi-Finals alive, with a hard fought 2-2 draw against Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens on a warm Friday evening. “It was a really entertaining game, and I thought we continued to build on last week’s win and grew into the game second half and had some golden opportunities to take the lead,” Fremantle Head Coach Matthew Sparrow explained.

“A draw was looking likely until the game burst into life in the final few minutes with the sending off, and we conceding late. But the character the lads showed to get the point was really pleasing. In the end it shows how far the club has come if we’re disappointed coming away from Perth with a point. The boys are improving week by week, slowly we are getting bodies back into the squad which will give us more depth by the time round one comes around.”

Fremantle found the opener on 12 minutes, Oli La Galia finishing well after some build up play. But Perth found the equaliser five minutes later, Abdul Osman’s defence splitting pass sent Gordon Perkins in on goal, and he finished clinically. The game looked like it was heading for a draw, but it took a twist in the final minute when Patrick Loughrey was shown a second yellow card and sent off. Perth capitalised on the extra man and hit the front again in stoppage time. A free kick on the right was floated into the box, the ball fell Osman, who did well to bring the ball down, and it fell Federico Achilli, who pounced on the loose ball to poke home.

But Fremantle, who beat Perth Glory last week, weren’t finished in the final minute of stoppage time they restored parity. Anthony Topini cross picked out Robert Petkov who made no mistake. “That’s two weeks in a row now we’ve conceded a late equaliser which is obviously disappointing,” Perth SC assistant coach Stuart Banks said. “This early in preseason though, with a lot of new and mostly young players we know there is still a lot of work to do and we will keep working hard in training to make sure we iron out any issues prior to the start of the season.”

Perth SC: GK Joe Pollard, 4 Jack Cawley, 6 Abdul Osman, 7 Ethan Banks, 8 Hayley Orr, 10 David Ninkovich, 11 Daniel Faichney, 12 Zayd Farah, 14 Judd MacDougall, 16 Federico Achilli, 17 Gordon Perkins – Subs: RGK Rocco Liberti, 2 Emerson Alexis, 9 Sam Cook, 13 Matthew D’Hotman, 19 Joshua Cala, 20 John Lardis, 21 Christian Belladonna

Fremantle City: GK Ryan Barker, 3 Patrick Loughrey, 7 Charles Chechlacz, 8 Anthony Topini, 9 Oliver La Galia, 11 Robert Petkov, 16 Jesse Fuller, 17 Taj Bingwa, 20 Joshua Macri, 21 Nicolas Santalucia, 23 Riley Woodcock – Subs: RGK Isaac Driessen, 4 Anton Guarino, 10 Alex McLean, 15 John Chalmers, 18 Davin Park, 19 Darsi Mukunzi, 22 Lachlan Vearing

9.2.2024

TEN MAN GLORY HOLD STIRLING

A ten-man Perth Glory have secured their first points in the NPLWA Night Series, after drawing 1-1 with Stirling Macedonia at Dorrien Gardens on Friday evening. “The boys performed really well last night, and controlled the match despite having 10 men for 80 minutes,” Glory Head Coach John Walmsley said. “It was pleasing to see the maturity from the side, with this being the first exposure to first team football for many of them, it was a disciplined, mature performance from the group.”

Glory made the worst possible start with keeper Liam Coyne sent off after colliding with the Stirling striker who raced on to a through ball, and he was deemed to be the last man. They brought on reserves keeper Jim Collins, for his NPL debut, and took of the unfortunate Aiki Tsukamoto. Stirling made their one-man advantage count moments later, neat link up play down the right between Asher Nelson and Brent Quick, ended with a hard and low cross from Nelson, which deflected off Andriano Lebib for an own goal.

It was a real arm wrestle from then on, but it was the ten-men Glory who levelled 11 minutes from time. Giovanni De Abreu regained possession high up the pitch, before combining with substitute’s Samuel Barry and Tadiwanashe Kuzamba to score. Stirling pressed late, but Glory held firm to take a share of the spoils. “Tonight’s performance and result is simply unacceptable,” Stirling skipper Dejan Spaseski said. “We let complacency creep in early after going 1-0 up against 10 men and after some missed chances, this came back to bite us. We look forward to bouncing back next week.”

Perth Glory: GK Liam Coyne, 2 Gert Prinsloo, 3 Manolo Veneracion, 4 Adriano Lebib, 5 Sean O’Connor, 7 Aiki Tsukamoto, 8 Jaylan Pearman, 9 Sebastian Despotovski, 10 James Overy, 11 Laat Mathiang, 12 Giovanni De Abreu – Subs: RGK Theodore Leeming, 6 Daniel Jankuloski, 14 Tadiwanashe Kuzamba, 15 Oliver Leeming, 16 Samuel Barry, 17 Royle Rahamim, 25 Jim Collins

Stirling Macedonia: GK Liam Price, 2 Brent Quick, 5 Kai Matthews, 6 Dejan Spaseski, 7 Asher Nelson, 10 Sam Wynne, 13 Calvin Whitney, 15 Shade Stewart, 17 Alex Tanevski, 18 Danny Douglas, 19 Ciaran Byrne – Subs: RGK Jack Telford, 4 David Stokoe, 9 Kade Fearnall, 11 Louis Hadfield, 12 Joshua Bosevski, 14 Joshau Bilaloski, 50.




If you have any additional information on Western Australian soccer that we have left out, or if you would like to get in contact, email Jacob at jacob@footballwa.net

since the 26th June, 2002

eXTReMe Tracker

Last Update: 11th September, 2023

© 1997 - 2023

Formerly www.soccerwa.com