It’s been a long wait for a spot in the first team, for Stirling Lions’ keeper Connor Campbell.
But all his hard work and dedication has been rewarded with the number one jersey at Macedonia Park this season. With the likes of Cory Hugo and Aleks Vrteski between the sticks at the club over the past four years, the 20-year-old custodian has had to bide his time but, after getting the nod this season he has impressed.
“I’m pleased that my hard work has paid off,” Campbell said. “I have been with Stirling since Under 15’s, and have being training with the first team squads ever since then. Gaining experience from keepers like Cory and Aleks has definitely helped me get to this level, and I’m pleased with how I‘m playing; I just need to keep improving and become more consistent.”
The Lions have started the season well, and it’s been a new look side on and off the park. Campbell said things are ticking along nicely. “We defiantly have a fresh looking team compared to previous years, and we are gelling both on and off the park well,” he said.
“I think we learnt early on in the night series that we could score goals, though we just needed to tighten the defence up, which we have done with the likes of Tim Hill, Nathan Bowden-Hasse and Steve Purton working well together and the new addition of Anthony Bafobusha has fitted in well. I feel like we have surprised a lot of people early in the season which is good, but we need to become more consistent and find the ability to grind out results if we are having an off day, if we are to be real title contenders.”
Lions assistant Coach Dejan Vilic said Campbell has worked hard on his game and deserves his spot in the side. “Young Connor has been great in goals for us this season. He is still young and in the coming years he will only get better and stronger,” he said. “Kid has come through our junior ranks from 15’s all the way to our league side and as a young player it’s great to see, both for him and the club. Robbie and I believe in him, and I can see a bright future for him as long as he keeps working hard.”
Campbell said new coaching duo Robert Mileski and Vilic have been great to work with, and said they are the complete opposites. “What’s the saying, good cop bad cop, that’s them to a tee,” he joked. “Dan is great during games, always making sure we are switched on, keeping the intensity up and he is always good for a spray at half time if we are playing poorly. “I have known Rob for a long time now and he is a great coach, he has always supported and shown faith towards me, so I am pleased that he has been given the opportunity as head coach, and that I have been given the chance to play for him.”
The keeper started football late, when he was 11 years old at Balga SC, and then moved to Stirling at under 15s and been here ever since, and has learnt a great deal while at the Lion’s Den. “While at the club I worked with Paul Turvill, and he has been a great coach and mentor to me, and has had the biggest influence on my keeping, he has basically taught me everything I know,” Campbell said.
This week the Lions travel to Rosalie Park to take on Subiaco AFC, and will be looking to keep their push up the table going. “I hope we can keep this good form going, it’s a crucial game for us to keep the pressure on the top sides,’ he said. “But we can’t be complacent when it comes to Saturdays game, because they are fighting to stay out of relegation, fighting for pride I guess, so the focus for us, which I’m sure Dan and Rob will emphasizes will be mentally preparing, making sure that we ‘turn up’.”
Stirling Lions continued good start to the season after a 3-2 win against Subiaco AFC at Rosalie Park.
But they left it very late with the winner coming in the second minute of stoppage time with an own goal from the unfortunate Alex Triglaucania. Daniel Micevski had given the Lions the lead early, but James Oliver levelled before half time. Lawrence Shuruma but the visitors back in front, but Danny Milne looked like he had earned the home side a point late on before the own goal. “It was a scrappy match, but I thought over the course of the 90 minutes we did create more opportunities and deserved the win,” Micevski said. “We showed great character after they equalised, to keep pushing forward to get the late winner.”
The visitors had the great opportunity to take the lead when midfielder Anthony Bafobusha was brought down in the box, and referee Adam Fielding pointed straight to the spot. Robert Petkov stepped up, but saw his penalty crash off the post and away to safety. But that miss was forgotten on 25 minutes when the visitors hit the front. Petkov ran at the Subiaco defence and slid the ball into Micevski, who finished clinically past Ryan Montgomery. The Lions continued to dominate, but couldn’t find the second, and in the shadows of half time the home side levelled. Oliver’s free kick was misjudged by Lions keeper Connor Campbell and the ball went into the net to make it all square at the break.
Subiaco keeper and back four were working overtime as the Lions pressed but there was little they could do five minutes after the break as the Lions regained the lead. Shuruma lost his marker in the penalty area and finished low past Montgomery. But Gerry McEwan’s side hit back and with five minutes remaining they levelled. Import striker Milne finding the net, much to delight of the Subiaco faithful. But their celebrations were cut short in stoppage time, when the Lions won it. There looked little danger when a ball came into the area, but Miki Vujacic’s flick caused problems and Triglaucania headed the ball up and over the keeper and into his own net to give the Lions the points.
Daniel Micevski scored a double as Stirling Lions defeated Cockburn City 4-0 in their PS4 National Premier Leagues WA clash at Macedonia Park.
Micevski’s brace added to Teeboy Kamara’s early goal in a commanding first half performance, before captain Miki Juvacic sealed the points after the break.
It was Stirling’s first home win of the season and coach Rob Milevski was glad he could put on a show for the supporters.
"Our starts have been slow over the past few weeks and it was something we addressed in training," he said.
"We wanted to make sure we were first out of the blocks, and once we got the first goal, we were able to press and we took our chances from there on in."
Harry O'Brien came close for Cockburn when he cut through the defence on nine minutes, but goalkeeper Connor Campbell acted fast to clear the danger.
Immediately after, Steve Purton chipped the ball in behind Cockburn’s defence for Kamara to coolly lob over Jack Adams.
City continued to push forward to their credit, as Conor Kavanagh tested Campbell with a volley on the half hour mark.
But Micevski scored twice within three minutes to all but end the contest, first tapping in Lawrence Shuruma's through ball, before smashing in a cross from Anthony Bafobusha.
Stirling looked to keep up the pressure after the break and they duly added a fourth goal as skipper Vujacic put the game out of reach on 58 minutes.
O'Brien, Feisal Zaw and substitute Julian Teles all came close to grabbing a consolation for the visitors, while Adams did well to keep the scoreline down.
Cockburn coach Marc Anthony said his team lacked the desire to win early on in the game after a second 4-0 defeat in consecutive weeks.
"We need to get out of the rut we're in because there's no doubt that we're not playing well," he said.
"I’d like to think we've got much better performances in us this season, so it's time to roll our sleeves up instead of giving mediocre performances."
Report by Colin Outhwaite
Stirling Lions SC are proud to announce the appointment of TROY REID in the role of Technical Director for our Mini Roos.
Troy has been involved with youth coaching with Albany Rovers since 2010 and the High Performance / SAP / Representative Programs run in the Great Southern Region.
He oversaw a successful two years as Premier League coach which saw Rovers finish Runner-Up in the League and reach the Cup Final.
Troy will step in to the role of MiniRoos Technical Director, where he will be responsible for overseeing the 6 - 11 program at Stirling. The MinRoos TD role will see Troy assisting and mentoring our junior players and coaches, putting in place coach education and help the club promote the Stirling philosophy in line with the FFA Curriculum.
When asked about the appointment, Troy commented -
"I feel privileged and excited about working for such a beautiful club like Stirling and excited about the challenge ahead. The MiniRoos are our future and I look forward to playing my part in the development of our future stars".
All Players, Supporters, and Committee Members welcome Troy to his new role at the Club and are extremely excited to have Troy as a part of the Stirling Lions SC in what is a very important role for the club. We all very much look forward to working together with Troy as the club invests in our Mini Roos Players.
WELCOME TROY !!!!!!!!
Stirling Lions SC are proud to announce the appointment of DAN EVANS in the role of Technical Director.
Dan has been the Head Coach and Academy Director of Melville City FC for 2012 and 2013, overseeing the club transition into State league Football.
Dan was Ashfield Technical Director and Youth Coach in 2014 which was a hugely successful season for the club. Dan is a seasoned contract worker for Football West in development coaching and community coach education.
Dan is currently in the final stages of his A-license.
When asked about his appointment to the TD role at Stirling Lions, Dan commented -
"I am very excited by the challenge in working for what is a big club in WA. I feel priveledged to be offered the position. I very much look forward to working hard and improving things on and off the pitch".
All Players, Supporters, and Committee Members welcome Dan to the Club and are extremely excited to have Dan as a part of the Stirling Lions SC in what is a very important role for the club. We all very much look forward to working together with Dan to take the club to the next level.
WELCOME DAN !!!!!!!!
STIRLING LIONS are pleased to announce the appointment of Rob Milevski as our senior coach for the 2015 NPL season.
Rob Milevski, a former player for Stirling, has played a part in the club structure as Reserves Coach for many years and successfully led the Reserves squad to the Grand Final against Perth last season. Rob will be assisted by Dejan Vilic who was previously part of the Stirling Lions coaching team.
Vick Lazarov, the Club President is delighted both have accepted the roles and said “Rob is progressing in his coaching career and we are pleased he has remained at Stirling Lions. He has an extensive history with the club and we have been true to our philosophy of promoting home grown coaches who are striving to develop themselves and others. They will be aided by John Alavakis who has accepted the role of Football Operations Manager and as a group they will work together to bring success to our club”.
The Club would also like to take the opportunity to thank Don Evans, who recently resigned from his position as Football Operations Manager for his years of service to the club. We wish Don all the best in his future endeavours.
FFA Cup - The Lions are dreaming of an FFA Cup upset
As a player Gary Williams had a taste of FA Cup success with non-League English outfit Hitchin Town and now the Stirling Lions coach is aiming to mastermind a seismic shock by knocking A-League champion Brisbane Roar out of the inaugural FFA Cup.
The visit of Mike Mulvey's Roar to the 7000-capacity Macedonia Park in the Perth suburb of Balcatta on 19 August is the pick of the round of 32's minnow versus giant duels and Williams - a Perth policeman - is aiming to roll back the years to the mid-1990s when unfancied Hitchin reached the second round proper of the FA Cup by claiming the scalps of Hereford United and Bristol Rovers.
The fun ended when it lost to Wycombe Wanderers, managed by now Ireland boss Martin O'Neill, and Gillingham, led back then by now Crystal Palace chief Tony Pulis.
"They have a reputation for attractive football and we will have nothing to lose. To be at home in front of our own fans is just an added bonus and we are hoping for a near full hose of around 7000.
"We play in front of average crowds of around 400 so it's going to be a special night."
The defending National Premier League champion in Western Australia, Stirling is the club which spawned the talent of Socceroos great Stan Lazaridis as well as Daniel de Silva, the 17-year-old Perth Glory rookie who will join AS Roma in Italy in a year.
It was also the club which gave gifted former West Ham United and Young Socceroos striker Dylan Tombides, who tragically died earlier this year, his start in football.
One-time striker Williams, who also played for non-league Hayes and Bedford Town before migrating to Australia in 2003, added: "We have a good mix of players and we believe we have enough quality to worry Brisbane."
Williams is looking to former Perth Glory rookie Moses Kalau, a Congolese refugee, to provide the spark up front down the left side, insisting his pace can hurt Brisbane.
Goalkeeper Aleks Vrteski is a former Australian youth player who played four first-team games for Perth Glory, while midfielders Dave Micevski and Dean Evans were also on Glory's books along with defender Hayden Doyle.
"We'll give Brisbane the respect they deserve but there's nothing to say we can't pull it off on the day. We'll be putting in extra training sessions to try and prepare the players," added Williams, 45.
"Our aim is to give ourselves every chance against the top players in Australia. It's a great opportunity to get the romance of the FFA Cup up and running.
"We want Brisbane to look at us afterwards and say 'they have got some really good players there'.
"Myself and my assistant Daniel Stoitis encourage an open and expansive game and try and keep the ball down and play. It's been a bit of a rebuilding year for us after losing the core of our team at the end of last season, players like former English Premier League player Andy Todd who went home.
"It's all about giving ourselves a financial boost and putting this club on the map in terms of recognition. It's an opportunity we plan to make the mist of."
By David Lewis
Dear Dylan Tombides…..Rest In Peace. Your Beautiful Spirit Lives Forever in the Lions Den
The Stirling Lions Soccer Club wishes to thank Doug Hesketh for his contribution and all the memories over the past 7 years.
As Doug signed of on his 7 years of service to the club to take some time out and also focus on his soccer App - Is stat your game
We couldn't help notice all the positive contributions both Doug and Steve gave to the club over the last 7 years.
Mick Lyons wanted Stevie at the club as a promising 16 year old, and being to young to drive Doug obliged.
Steve made the first team squad in 2006, a team that went on to finish runner up in the league and won the Cup. The team took out the Charity Shield and went on to win the Cup again in 2007 and Charity Shield for the second year in a row.
Doug took on the 18's after Don recommended him knowing the hard work he had done with Fremantle City's quality 18's.
Doug together with Joe Pugliese set up a system that worked a treat, and they won the league undefeated in their second year together and made 2 Cup finals and a league runners up. They produced excellent players for the 21's and league team. The reserves won a league and a Cup during the years and the league won the Cup and league runner up in 2010. Doug and Joe worked a system with 18's and Reserves, with Rob Milevski, during 2010 that set up our very youthful Reserve set up that also made the grand final in 2012.
Doug took over the league squad and head coaching role toward the late stage of 2011. He brought Gary Williams back to the club as his assistant losing just 1 game from the 10 after the take over. The squad was remodelled in 2012 and despite playing some excellent football could not maintain consistency, he also brought his friend and renowned sports trainer Russell Methanda to the club and implemented a professional environment to work in at Stirling.
In 2013, the 18's, 21's and league teams made the top five of their leagues with the first team winning the Premier league loosing just 2 games in 22 and unbeaten in 17, an amazing achievement and our first Premier League Title in 18 years. So when we look back it's been a positive 14 achievements in 7 years that Doug and Steve have contributed towards.
Stevie captained Stirling Lions for Mick Lyons, and also Captained Perth Glory's youth team making the NYL A league grand final in 2011, before playing 2 years in Asia and last year he won the NSW premier league with Bonnyrigg White Eagles.
Doug now wants to give his usual 150% effort to his soccer App project and that's his focus for the next 6 months and said " it's not fair on the club if I try to do both coach & the App and something will suffer. I can say I know what is required to do the head coaches job properly and I just don't think I can do both at this time".
The Stirling Lions Soccer club would like to sincerely thank both Doug and Steve for their contribution to the club. The “HESKETH CONTIRBUTION” to the club will be forever remembered and valued. Everyone at the Stirling Lions would like to wish Doug and Steve the very best of luck for the future.
PS - Check out Doug's Soccer App - Is stat your game
Doug Hesketh informed Stirling Lions he decided he will not lead the club in 2014.
Pictured with the trophy haul from 2013 Including the West Australian Premier League Trophy, also the Alan Armstrong Cup and the framed picture of famous U18s team he built in 2008 with Joe Pugliese that won the U18s Premier League undefeated.
Doug Hesketh informed Stirling Lions he decided he will not lead the club in 2014. My soccer app IS STAT YOUR GAME is really taking off and I need to spend to spent time on it , along with my family, travel in 2014 and my work commitments its really made me stop and assess my current situation.
After an amazing list of achievements at all levels of the Club in the past 7 years, it’s with a great sense of mixed emotion to inform the Committee “I can’t give the head coaches position the commitment and effort that I know is required in 2014 “.
“After 2 .5 years leading the club as senior coach and rebuilding the squad and winning the league, I know what is required and what it will take, at this moment. I cannot commit again to that level in 2014.”
Preparation for 2014 is well under way and I have contributed a little to this but I believe as I explained it’s not really fair on either party at this time if I can’t maintain the commitment required.
During my 7 years at Stirling Lions I have worked with some great coaches and have built and rebuilt a number of teams at all Premier League levels for Stirling and all have been very competitive and successful and produced excellent players, still at the club or scattered around the league.
• I think winning the Premier league unbeaten with the U18`s as well as a couple of cup finals and a runner up.
• The time I spent working with 18s/21s with Joe and Rob 3 years ago targeting the quality of young players we needed.
• Assembling a solid senior coaching group with Gary also getting my good friend Russell Mathanda to the club has improved our professionalism.
• Winning the Premier League 2013 with the 1st team by 4 clear points with only 2 losses after rebuilding the squad, managing players to gel and play as a team gives me a lot of pride and confidence in my ability as a coach.
I have my FFA qualifications; I took the first team job wanting to test myself at the top state league level. I am extremely grateful to Don, George, Anne and the Committee and all at the club for the faith they put in me and my ability as a Senior Coach. I believe over the last 7 years my achievements speak for themselves. I wish everyone continued success at the Club and believe Gary and Stoits (Danial Stoitis) will do a great job.
Phil Arnold scored twice against Sorrento to book Stirling into the Grand Final.
Stirling Lions qualified for the 2013 season finale by brushing off Sorrento 3-1 in this afternoon’s Preliminary Final at Macedonia Park. Goals inside ten minutes by Dean Evans and Phil Arnold had the home side in a commanding position from which they never once looked back.
Gavin Knight gave Sorrento a glimmer of hope before the break but Arnold was having none of it and promptly restored his teams’ two-goal advantage with the goal of the game.
“All the goals were well taken today which is pleasing, topped off by a stunning strike from Phil late on which was the icing on the cake,” said winning coach Gary Williams. “We now start planning for the Grand Final against Bayswater City next week.”
Stirling’s all-attack start stunned Sorrento. In the 2nd minute Rory Grant drove down the left and, having found his path blocked by two defenders, pulled the ball back for Evans to side-foot in from 6-metres. That lead was doubled seven minutes later when Miki Vujacic clipped over the defence for Arnold, who cleverly side-stepped Curtis Aspden before blasting into the roof of the net.
Ryan Pearson came within inches of cutting the deficit shortly after with a shot on the run which fizzled over the crossbar.
Stirling was quick to resume the attack but Arnold was robbed of a shot by Wesley Padley’s sliding tackle before Andy Brown’s spectacular bicycle kick had Aspden stretching for the top corner.
It took a good twenty minutes for Sorrento to start making any meaningful in-roads. Pearson got a header on-target but it was far too close to Aleks Vrteski, who was also well-placed when Brodie Martin got on the end of a Knight corner.
Sorrento got the goal they were after via an Aspden clearance which deceived the home defence but not Knight, who calmly tapped a bouncing ball under the oncoming goalkeeper with 36 minutes on the clock. Play was at the opposite end four minutes later when Steve McDonald was fortunate not to concede a penalty for pulling down Grant as the pair competed for a bouncing ball.
The second half was only six minutes old when Arnold took possession in midfield and, after taking a couple of touches, unleashed an explosive shot from 22-metres which soared across Aspden and into the top corner.
Grant should have sealed the game ten minutes later but blazed high from Daniel Micevski’s cutback.
Todd Harnwell was unlucky not to post Sorrento’s second goal when his shot on the turn crashed back into play off the base of the upright.
The Gulls enjoyed the bulk of late possession but their long ball approach caused very few moments of concerns for experienced the defensive combination of Vrteski, Andy Brown, and Andy Todd.
Stirling Lions SC 3 (1 Dean Evans, 2 Phil Arnold
Sorrento FC 1 (Gavin Knight)
Sunday 29th September 2013
Venue: Macedonia Park
Kick off: 2:30pm
STIRLING LIONS SC: 1. Aleks VRTESKI, 3. Clayton ARNEZ, 4. Andy TODD, 5. Dean EVANS, 6. James COGLEY, 7. Miki VUJACIC (12. Timothy HILL 70’), 8. Andy BROWN (11. Dennis GALAN 89’), 9. Rory GRANT (15. Josh BOOYSEN 72’), 10. Dan MICEVSKI, 14. Gareth McGLYNN, 16. Phil ARNOLD Substitutes not used: 2. Matthew HAROLD, 13. Dave FILIPPOU
SORRENTO FC: 1. Curtis ASPDEN, 6. Daryl PLATTEN, 7. James MORGAN, 8. Brodie MARTIN, 9. Todd HARNWELL, 10. Gavin KNIGHT, 13. Steve McDONALD, 18. David PRICE (20. Jesse FULLER 61’), 21. Mike ASPIN, 22. Ryan PEARSON, 25. Wes PADLEY (2. Danny CAIN 61’) Substitutes not used: 15. Razak GELOO, 17. Jared LOVE, 60. James MORGAN
Champagne flowed on the Payne Park pitch and the Stirling Lions roared out their club song after winning the All Flags State Premier League with a hard-fought 1-0 win over the Bunbury Forum Force.
Report by George Goodwin
Almost beside himself with delight, Stirling Lions assistant coach Gary Williams struggled to control his emotions as he said: “Seventeen years of trying is over,” Williams said.
“We have finally won our first Premier League championship.
“We knew we had to win outright of making certain of the title and what a delightful feeling it is to finally break our drought.”
But it was not without its modicum of luck with Bunbury Forum Force controlling exchanges after a tough, even first half when often the hero Ryan Risdon turned villain, giving away a penalty at the 75 minute mark for substitute Daniel Micevski to slam into the roof of the net.
Risdon’s challenge in the box saw referee David Costello have no choice but to point to the dreaded spot after the Force defender lifted a boot too high in a bid to stop Nathan Herold from a dangerous breakaway raid.
Only the staunchest Forum Force supporters dared hope for an upset win over the Premier League leaders who were gunning for their first flag, although there was incentive for the home team.
After a dismal, disrupted first half of the season, the Force’s second half charge was a monumental success under the tutelage of Trent Hathaway who brought stability and belief to his club and a rise up to the mid levels of the points table.
The first half of Saturday’s match at Payne Park was a tough, end-to-end slog with both goalkeepers called on to make a saves, but with scoring shots on target at a premium with the Force on the charge after the interval.
The Lions attacked from the restart but were repelled by Liam Hutchinson, Oliver McGee and Risdon, and soon the visitors goals were under siege with a desperate save by Clayton Arnez conceding a corner which curled agonisingly past the post.
Andy Todd, Phil Arnold, and skipper Andy Brown were up to their task cutting short Forum Force raids in the box, while at the other end Phil Arnold, Josh Booysen, Micevski and Rory Grant with the Lions best chance came in the 75th minute when an Arnold power drive looked to make up for a missed “sitter” late in the first half, but Force goalie Ryan Montgomery brought off a great, diving save.
Stirling Lions SC 1 (Dan Micevski penalty 75 mins) (OG 64’)
Bunbury Forum Force 0
Saturday 7th September 2013
Venue: PV Payne Park (Bunbury)
Kick off: 3pm
Referee: David Costella
Assistant Referees: Shaua Chen and Nico Hoyle
STIRLING LIONS: 1 – Aleks VRTESKI, 8 – Andy BROWN, 5 – Dean EVANS, 4- Jason GAVIN, 7 – Miki VUJACIC, 2 – Andy TODD, (6 - Nathan HERALD 80’), 3 – Clayton ARNEZ, 12 – Sam FUZIO, 15 – Josh BOOYSEN , 9- Rory GRANT (10 – Dan MICEVSKI 75’). 13 - James CROTTI, Gavin DENNIS, 14 – Ryan McDARBY. Substitutes not used: 13 - James CROTTI, Dennis GALAN, 14 – Ryan McDARBY,
BUNBURY FORUM FORCE: 1 Ryan MONTGOMERY (GK), 2 - Ryan STEWART 41 (Ken TAYLOT 86’), 3 – Liam HUTCHINSON, 4 – Oliver McGEE, 6 – David MURPHY (Jayden PROSSER 72), 7 – Bright ABABIO, 8 – Mat SPURLING, 9 – Steve HOWSON 10 – Ryan FRANCIS, 11 – Jon BROOKES (14 – Lee STEWART 89’), 13 – Kieran QUINN, 16 - Scott GEARE. Substitutes not used: Kieran QUINN, Scott GEARE.
Report By - George Goodwin
A Bayswater City own goal after some impressive skill from Stirling Lions winger Moses Kalau was enough to knock Bayswater off of top spot in the All Flags State Premier league, as Stirling held on for a 1-0 at Macedonia Park yesterday.
Report by Chris Andrawes
Kalau fired in a hard low cross following some impressive trickery down the left wing, which Bayswater keeper Devon Spence was unfortunate enough to palm into his own net midway through the second half, leaving the keeper to take the blame for his mistake.
“(I’m) pretty gutted, I’m not going to blame anyone but myself,” Spence said.
“I thought the boys played well, I thought it was a tight match and one mistake cost it.”
The former NTC and Glory youth player Kalau was excited that his effort had helped his side reach the top of the league, despite admitting that the goal wasn’t what he had planned.
“To be honest I was going for a cross, but then it just had power behind it, and it came off his hand and rolled in the net,” Kalau said.
“Today we were pumped for it, we were ready, we’ve been preparing for this (game) for a long time now.
“We just have to take one game at a time until the end of the season and see where it takes us.”
Stirling coach Doug Hesketh was pleased with his side’s achievement of not only catching up to league runaways Bayswater, but also overtaking them.
“It’s where we want to be, it’s not over yet and every game we play is a very difficult game, so we’ve got to just be determined, we’ve got to be organised and we’ve got to be committed to what we’re doing,” Hesketh said.
Stirling managed to take top spot in front of a huge home crowd, which Hesketh put down to the quality of football that his team displays.
“Fabulous to get so many to the local game,” he said.
“I think when you’re around the local game enough you realise that it’s quite a good spectacle, the standards getting better every year and skills like Moses showed today, people are willing to pay to see.
“We like playing here, the crowd are great for us, the club gets behind us and we like playing on big pitches.”
Throughout the game both teams were incredibly evenly matched, with half-chances falling both ways and possession evenly split.
Bayswater however had the majority of the ball in the opening 20 minutes, but seemed to struggle to break down the Stirling defence, which featured new signing; former Blackburn Rovers defender Andy Todd.
In the second half Stirling turned the heat up and frequently pressured the Bayswater back line through Kalau and another new signing in the form of Daniel Micevski, who joined Stirling on deadline day along with brother David who watched from the stand.
With the addition of Andy Todd along with the Micevski brothers, Hesketh feels his side are well positioned to finish the season off strongly.
“We’ve probably lost six players from the original group through suspension, injury and different things, but we’ve brought in three proven quality players,” he said.
“Nothing is beyond these lads, there’s a belief.”
Bayswater missed a handful of good chances throughout the game, with the most guilt edged coming in the final five minutes as Brian Farrell found himself with a free header in the six-yard box, but he put his effort straight at Stirling keeper Aleks Vrteski.
Bayswater assistant coach Stewart Moses felt that his side had taken the game too lightly.
“Some of the boys have had a bit of a bollocking and rightly so,” he said.
“We’ve lost top spot now, but let’s see how the boys bounce back from it.
“We’re still in the semi-final of the cup, we’ve won the Night Series, we’re second now, one point behind them and the pressures on (Stirling) now, so let’s see how they handle the pressure.”
Stirling Lions SC 1 (OG 64’)
Bayswater City SC 0
Saturday 6th July 2013
Venue: Macedonia Park, Balcatta
Kick off: 3pm
Referee: Mathew Cheeseman
Assistant Referees: Matthew Southern, Tony Chorley
Stirling Lions: 1. Aleks VRTESKI, 2. James COGLEY, 3. Clayton ARNEZ, 4. Andrew TODD, 5. Dean EVANS, 7. Milorad VUJACIC (12. Sam FUZIC 70’), 8. Andrew BROWN, 10. Daniel MICEVSKI (9. Rory GRANT 78’), 13. Moses KALAU, 14. Gareth McGLYNN, 16. Phil ARNOLD Substitutes not used: 11. Dennis GALAN, 6. Matthew HAROLD, 20. James TURVILL Yellow cards: Evans 80’ Red cards: Nil
Bayswater City: 1. Devon SPENCE, 2. Patrick QUINN, 4. John KEARNEY, 5. Andrew REALE, 6. Todd HOWARTH, 8. Paul McCARTHY (9. Gustavo GIRON MARULANDA 67’), 12. Steve BURTON, 15. Brian FARRELL, 16. Jamie COYNE, 18. James ISAIA (10. Damien CATALANO 87’), 20. Hasan EL YASSIRI (14. Ross COSGROVE 75’) Substitutes not used: 19. Gianni PAPALIA, 3. Daniel KOVACEVIC Yellow cards: Cosgrove 79’ Red cards: Nil
Report By - Chris Andrawes
A workmanlike performance was praised by Stirling Lions coach Doug Hesketh as his troops thumped Floreat Athena 4-1 in their All Flags State Premier League contest at a sunny Macedonia Park on Saturday afternoon.
Report by Ilija Mihalj
The impressive victory also shot Stirling up to top spot on the league table, level on points with Bayswater City whom it meets in a blockbuster clash at Frank Drago Reserve next Sunday.
“Today we thoroughly deserved to win and we played some excellent football,” Hesketh said.
“They scored a goal just before half-time, but we started the second half just as well as we did the first.
“We have a young but experienced squad, but I really think we are still very much a work in progress.”
It took Stirling less than five minutes to stamp its authority on the game when Phil Arnold slipped his marker, only to shoot just wide after a flick on from Dean Evans in midfield.
Floreat’s first shot on goal came on the quarter-hour when the skilful Benny Kouakou fired past the far post, but it was teammate Ian McMurray that had the best chance of the early stages when he inexplicably hooked the ball off target from barely six yards out.
The deadlock was finally broken on 23 minutes, but it was at the opposite end as Rory Grant smashed home from the penalty spot to put Stirling 1-0 up after Floreat defender Bobby Wilson clipped Lions captain Andy Brown in the 18-yard box.
It was 2-0 just three minutes later as a pin-point Evans corner found the head of Jason Gavin who leapt highest to nod home amongst a crowd of players from both teams.
On 34 minutes the lead was almost tripled when former Perth Glory winger Scott Bulloch wreaked havoc down the left before crossing low and hard for Arnold who forced a stunning one-handed save from Athena stopper Brad Eiffe.
Stirling looked to be cruising towards a comfortable half-time lead when James Cogley handled in the penalty area allowing Floreat skipper Mark Pritchard to dispatch the spot-kick and pull his side back into the game.
Within 60 seconds of the restart, Kouakou almost levelled matters with an acrobatic effort that was denied by a solid save from Aleks Vrteski in the Stirling goal.
But just as Athena sniffed an equaliser it was undone by a quick-fire Lions move on 53 minutes that saw Arnold sweep home Bulloch’s cross with his left foot for 3-1.
Floreat was visibly deflated at the concession of the goal and struggled to create many more clear-cut opportunities, although Pritchard went close late on with a delicate lob that Vrteski had to spectacularly tip over.
With the game in stoppage time, Stirling pressed for a fourth goal and found it when Arnold crossed in from the left and found substitute striker Anthony Lyons who headed home from close range to leave Eiffe with no chance.
Despite the emphatic win, coach Hesketh was bullish about his side’s early season position but is looking forward to next week’s surprise top-of-the-table clash with reigning premier Bayswater.”
“It’s only three games into a long season, but so far we have shown great character and great skill,” he said.
“We like to play against anyone and we just want to do our best every week and hope we can get some results.”
Stirling Lions 4 (Rory GRANT pen 23’, Jason GAVIN 26’, Phil ARNOLD 53’, Anthony LYONS 90+1’)
Floreat 1 (Mark PRITCHARD pen 42’)
Saturday March 30 2013
Venue: Macedonia Park, Balcatta
Kick off: 3pm
Referee: David Costello
Assistant Referees: Stuart Muldoon and Rob Hall
Stirling Lions: 1. Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 2. Michael PUGLIESE, 3. James COGLEY (7. Miki VUJACIC 78’), 4. Jason GAVIN, 5. Dean EVANS, 6. Matt HAROLD (15. Kyran NUNES 51’), 8. Andy BROWN (c), 10. Scott BULLOCH, 12. Rory GRANT (9. Anthony LYONS 73’), 14. Gareth McGLYNN, 16. Phil ARNOLD Substitutes not used: 20. Connor CAMPBELL (rgk), 13. Clayton ARNEZ Yellow cards: Matt HAROLD 45’, Gareth McGLYNN 48’, Kyran NUNES 81’ Red cards: Nil
Floreat Athena: 1. Brad EIFFE (gk), 2. Blair GOVAN, 3. Jack ALLEN, 4. Spencer HARRIS, 5. Cameron YORKE, 6. Mark PRITCHARD (c), 8. Bobby WILSON, 10. Francisco JORQUERA (14. Alessandro VITELLI 59’), 11. Benny KOUAKOU, 16. Ian McMURRAY (15. Chris RIZIDIS 76’), 21. David HEAGNEY (17. Callum FRANSZ 59’) Substitutes not used: 23. Jordan BARBAS (rgk), 33. Ben WANTEE Yellow cards: Jack ALLEN 54’ Red cards: Nil
Report By - Ilija Mihalj
After seeing his team go two goals up in under 20 minutes, ECU Joondalup coach Salv Todaro was disappointed with his team's capitulation to finish their second round All Flags Premier League tie with a 4-2 loss to Stirling Lions. Report by - Al Martin
"We started off like a house on fire and should have finished the half with at least a couple more goals,” he said.
"Stirling did well to bring it back to 2-2 before half time, albeit due to soft defending on our part, but I felt like we had a claim for a couple of penalties and the disallowed goal was harsh.”
Tanner Selyer was certain he'd put ECU back in the driving seat at 3-2 with an improvised finish on the edge of the box, and the referee initially agreed until he saw his assistant flagging for offside.
After consulting with the linesman, referee Michal Jasinski ruled it out due to the ball making contact with former Perth Glory winger Tommy Amphlett, who was sprawled on the ground in an offside position.
The contention centred around the fact the shot was goal-bound anyway and the deflection was minimal at best, it was a decision that might have gone either way.
Stirling coach Doug Hesketh cut a frustrated figure early on in the first half but noticeably mellowed with his team’s stirring fight back.
"I was going to give them a rollicking at half time, but fair play to the boys they brought it back through their own persistence and hard work and over the course of the game I felt we thoroughly deserved the win,” he said.
Hesketh praised ECU Joondalup's opening two goals which were excellent strikes, the passing and movement for the second particularly impressive with Amphlett central to a slick one-touch passing move that finished with a cool finish from Jon Higgins.
"I have a slight issue with our lad leaving the back post for their first (goal), but it was a great strike and he probably won't hit a ball as well as that for the rest of the season," he joked.
Gareth McGlynn and Dean Evans brought the scores level with the old one-two striking in the 25th and 27th minute respectively, stunning ECU before they carried on their fight back to add an extra two goals in the second half.
"I'm only unhappy when we're not competing all over the pitch and after the first 20 minutes we did that, I thought some of our approach play was excellent" said Hesketh.
"We changed formation a few times and were happy with the outcome, at one point they had four defenders marking one of our strikers, which obviously gives us more space and time on the ball in attack during the second half.”
Todaro was philosophic on the second half performance, saying that on another day the outcome could have been very different.
"(Aleks) Vrteski has made three or four great saves in the second half while, aside from their two goals, our keeper's only touched it once,” he said.
"We need to expand on our passages of passing and high-pressure play, because when it comes off other teams can't handle us.”
ECU Joondalup 2 (Taylor 3’, Higgins 18’)
Stirling Lions 4 (McGlynn 25’, Evans 27’, Harold 62', Grant 77')
Saturday March 23rd 2013
Venue: ECU Joondalup
Kick off: 3pm
Attendance: 250 (Approx)
Referee: Michal Jasinski
Assistant Referees: Joel Ledsham and Tom Glavovic
ECU Joondalup: 1. Andy BANKS, 2. Igor NOVAKOVIC, 3. Jon STRIPE (13. Tommy JONES 80‘), 4. Dale McCULLOCH (c), 15. Scott BLACKMORE, 6. Shaun TIMMINS, 7. Tommy AMPHLETT, 8. Joe SMITH, 9. Tanner SELYER (20. John MONTEROSSO 58’), 10. Jon HIGGINS, 11. Tony TAYLOR Substitutes not used: Todd HOYLE (Rgk), 19. Gareth CAWLEY Yellow cards: Nil Red cards: Nil
Stirling Lions: 1. Aleks VRTESKI, 3. James COGLEY, 4. Jason GAVIN (11. Denis GALAN 83'), 5. Dean EVANS, 6. Mathew HAROLD, 8. Andy BROWN (c), 9. Anthony LYONS (13. Moses KALAU 66'), 10. Scott BULLOCH, 12. Rory GRANT, 14. Gareth MCGLYNN, 16. Phil ARNOLD Substitutes not used: Connor CAMPBELL (Rgk), 22. Clayton ARNEZ, 7. Miki VUJACIC Yellow cards: Nil Red cards: Nil
Report By - Al Martin
Watch the video from The Hammers US National Camp in California.
West Ham United Football Club from London, England play in the England Premiership. They have arguably one of the greatest youth academies in the world. Six players from the current full England national team are graduates of the West Ham United Academy.
The West Ham United International Academy (right coaches Mike Leigh and Tony Carr) has been established to identify players who may one day be good enough to play at The Hammers in the English Premier League - Will you “Be The One”?
When: October 8th - 11th, 2013 (Tuesday - Friday)
Where: The Macedonia Park Football Complex "Home of The Stirling Lions SC", 273 Albert Street, Balcatta, Western Australia.
Time: 9.00am – 11.00am
For 11 – 13 yr old boys and girls
Time: 1.00pm – 3.00pm
For 14 – 17 yr old boys and girls
Cost: Australian $165 (incl GST) - Cheques Payable to Stirling Lions Soccer Club, PO Box 831. Balcatta 6021 WA
Other: To register online go to :
Online Credit Card Payments will be charged at US$ Equivalent.
Enquiries: Mike Leigh 0416 195 637 or Anne Ferrante 0433 401 566
The camp is open to 11-17 year old boys and girls and will be overseen by Mike Leigh from the West Ham United International Academy coaching staff. The camp will consist of coaching methods and drills from the West Ham United Academy plus technique testing, with each player receiving a West Ham United International Academy pack and t-shirt.
Will you “Be the One”?
The Stirling Lions SC would like to invite all family and friends to come and try ZUMBA.
Keep FIT and have FUN
Every Thursday Night @ 7:00pm
To be held at -
MACEDONIA PARK (home of The Stirling Lions SC)
273 Albert Street Balcatta 6021
Cost - $10
For further informtion please contact Rose on 0417 176 548
Stirling Lions coaches, Doug Hesketh and Gary Williams coincidentally found themselves in Liverpool in October of this year and courtesy of Everton legend Mick Lyons, visited the Everton training ground at Finch Farm. Both coaches were allowed access to the facilities, watched the first team train and met first team coach David Moyes in addition to a number of the players.
Both were gushing in their praise of Everton FC. Doug Hesketh said "We were treated like one of them from the moment we walked through the door". "David Moyes was very personable and took a genuine interest in the progress of Australian football". "The facilities were amazing with state of the art technology and magnificent surfaces which were well manicured and must be a pleasure to train on". "We have requested similar facilities at Stirling" joked Hesketh.
Doug and Gary watched the training session and met a number of the players as they came off the pitch. The full first team squad were present with the exception of Tim Howard who was still returning from international duty with the US.
Gary said "It was a great day, I am a football fan at heart and the staff at Everton FC were great". "The vast majority of the players had just returned from international duty and as result the training session was fairly short". "A number of players came over to speak to us and my son who was also with us posed for a number of photographs with Leighton Baines, Phil Neville to name only a couple". I am a great believer that you are never too old to learn and just being at the ground for only a few hours was an invaluable education". "When you see the intensity and technical ability of top Premier League players you realise how good they actually are, television sometimes disguises this but being at pitch side validated this". "Doug and I would like to personally thank Mick Lyons for arranging the day on our behalf".
A man-of-the-match performance from inspirational skipper Andy Brown helped Stirling Lions to a hard-fought 2-0 victory over the Western Knights at Wauhop Park on Saturday.
In fact, it was the Knights that started the better with midfielder Jamie Burns going close from distance early but failing to trouble Corey Hugo in the Stirling goal.
Striker Hayden Barnett fired the Lions’ first shot in anger not long after, but he too narrowly missed, shooting just over from long-range.
Just before the half-hour, Brown unleashed a vicious effort from the edge of the penalty area only to see it go wide following a good spell of possession from the visitors.
With four minutes of the first half remaining, a gritty Knights performance was almost rewarded when youngster Jackson Turner combined with the skilful Jesse Fuller in the box, only for the latter to swivel and shoot over when he should have at least hit the target.
But, in a lapse of concentration synonymous to so many of the Knights’ defensive performances this season, Stirling centre-back Denis Galan was allowed far too much time to pick out teammate Clayton Arnez who coolly slotted the ball past Alfie Brincat and into the unguarded net right on the stroke of half-time.
It was a huge blow for the Knights who had been good value up until that point and continued to fight on in the second period.
Jamie Grego went close from distance before stand-in captain Ivan Zuvela somehow headed over when it seemed easier to score than miss.
In the 56th minute, Rory Grant failed to capitalise on Ethan Levitt’s long pass with the Stirling defence knocking the ball to safety as the big Scot was getting ready to pounce.
Brown had obviously seen enough of the Knights’ resurgence as he started to assert his dominating influence on the contest from that point on.
On 59 minutes, a mazy run from defence saw Brown link up with Barnett before driving a tame effort just wide.
Brown’s work in the defensive half was also impressive, helping his side alleviate the pressure provided by the dangerous Grant who again went close with a header with just four minutes of normal time remaining.
But as the Knights threw everything forward looking for a vital point, they were exposed at the back and an inexplicable error from centre-back Brian White allowed Brown to latch on to the loose ball, power past a couple of defenders and thump a low drive in to the back of the net off the far post.
It was a disappointing end to another honourable display by the home side, but with just three games remaining and a four-point gap between themselves and second-bottom Armadale, things are looking grim for the proud club.
A win next week against the National Training Centre at Wauhop Park is an absolute must if the Knights are to avoid their first relegation in almost two decades whilst Stirling could potentially help them out with victory against Armadale at Macedonia Park.
Western Knights 0
Stirling Lions 2 (Clayton ARNEZ 45’, Andy BROWN 89’)
Date: Saturday, 11 August 2012
Western Knights: 24. Alfie BRINCAT (gk), 2. Julian TELES, 3. Brian WHITE, 4. Jesse FULLER, 6. Ethan LEVITT (5. Ashley MURRAY 72’), 7. Ivan ZUVELA (c), 8. Ryan SHACKLETON, 9. Rory GRANT, 11. Jamie BURNS, 12. Jamie GREGO (13. Jake MANN 55’), 14. Jackson TURNER (10. Ivan SKORICH 62’)
Substitutes not used: 1. Nathan CIPRIANO (rgk), 16. Nils MONDRE
Yellow cards: Ivan SKORICH 81’
Red cards: Nil
Stirling Lions: 1. Cory HUGO (gk), 2. Michael PUGLIESE, 3. Clayton ARNEZ (15. Rob CLARKE 79’), 4. Jason GAVIN, 6. Matt HAROLD (13. Daragh KAVANAGH 67’), 7. Gareth McGLYNN, 8. Andy BROWN (c), 9. Hayden BARNETT, 10. Adam LUCA, 11. Denis GALAN, 14. Kyran NUNES
Substitutes not used: 20. Connor CAMPBELL (rgk), 5. Andy HAROLD, 12. Tim HILL
Yellow cards: Denis GALAN 14’, Kyran NUNES 32’
Red cards: Nil
Report by Ilija Mihalj .
Jason Mirco scored a blistering first-half drive to give Sorrento a narrow 1-0 win over Stirling in the opening round of the All Flags State Premier League.
The winger didn't look like he had a lot on from 25 yards off but fired an unstoppable hammer blow past Cory Hugo that was fit to win any game of football.
Stirling looked pretty good throughout the match, creating a number of chances through the dangerous Matt Barlow and Phil O'Callaghan.
Ryan McDarby's shot that came back off the crossbar was the closest the Lions came to equalising, though they'd feel unlucky not to receive a penalty after a blatant handball from a Sorrento defender.
The opening half hour was fairly quiet as both sides took time to settle, but just after the quarter of an hour mark, a flurry of half chances looked to open the game up.
For Sorrento, Todd Harnwell ghosted in at the near-post to head straight at Hugo and then Martin blazed over after a corner broke to him.
Stirling had the better openings though, as Barlow, O'Callaghan and Matt Harrold all squandered decent opportunities for the games opening goal.
Then the games pivotal moment as Jamie De Abreu did well down the right to beat his man and pull the ball back for O'Callaghan, but he blazed over and Sorrento scored the key goal moments later as Mirco unleashed from distance.
Mike Aspin was nearly made it two on the stroke of half time but his effort hit the underside of the bar and bounced out as the Gulls went into the break 1-0 up.
The second half started in similar fashion to the first as both sides struggled to get into their stride, but when the chances did arrive, it was hard to see how the game stayed as it did.
Ryan McDarby had two efforts from the edge of the box, the latter of the two crashing against the upright as Stirling started to turn the screw.
Sorrento weren't without chances of their own though as Reece Vittiglia headed onto the crossbar from Mirco's cross.
Barlow was a danger throughout and his deflected shot with 10 minutes to play brought the best out of Aspden.
The former Armadale striker was then put through on goal but poor composure from the number nine saw his scoop the ball over the bar, as he possibly thought he had strayed offside.
There was a late shout for a penalty when the ball looked to have bounced off a Sorrento arm in the area, but Sorrento clawed onto three valuable points to start their season.
Report by Tommy Doleman.
In a one sided match, Stirling proved to be too strong and too fit for Subiaco who showed signs of giving up late in the game. Stirling striker Anthony Lyons required medical attention early, but returned to the game to score the opening goal in the 14th minute. Three minutes later, Garath McGlynn capped off a brilliant through ball from Craig Robson to double Stirling's lead.
The yellow cards were prominent early, with Garath McGlynn (Stirling) and Joe Kresling (Subiaco) being shown the paper inside the first 25 minutes. Subiaco struggled to get possession, and when they did, they wasted it. Subiaco captain Jordan Rhodes had two good chances to score late in the half, but both were sent wide of the netting. Phil O'Callaghan joined the goal scorers list late in the first half to make the score 3-0 at the break.
Subiaco started the second half on top of Stirling for the first 15 minutes, with a number of chances coming. A rash tackle from new recruit Matt Harold saw Subiaco granted a free kick in a dangerous position, but again the chance was squandered. Just one minute after coming on, Matt Barlow delivered a perfect cross to Phil O'Callaghan who slotted it past Marcus Urban for his second goal, while Paul Loydd scored a great goal to open his account for 2012.
At the other end Stirling conceded their first goal for the night series with a great strike from captain and danger man Jordan Rhodes who got his reward for creating a number of chances throughout the night. New Stirling recruit Matt Harold made a great steal in the 75th minute and weaved his way through two defenders before slotting an easy goal. The floodgates opened for Stirling with goals coming from Matt Barlow, Phil O'Callaghan and Paul Loydd to seal an easy win for Stirling.
After the game Stirling coach Doug Hekseth said that there would be no easy games this year. "I was very wary of Subiaco because I know some of the players, particularly Jordan Rhodes," he said. Hesketh said he was happy with the chances that were created during the game. "Last week I think we had 35 shots on goal for four goals, this week would have been about the same, but we scored more goals," he said.
Next Sunday the Stirling Lions meet Bayswater City at 7pm at Macedonia Park with Stirling needing only a draw to progress to the quarter finals.
Stirling Lions: 2. Tom KENNEDY, 4. Jason GAVIN,. 5. Ryan MCDARBY, 6. Craig ROBSON, 8. Garath MCGLYNN, (9. Matt BARLOW 57'), 10. P. O'CALLAGHAN, 11. Anthony LYONS, (12. Alex CASTIELLO 63'), 14. Andy HAROLD, 16. Matt HAROLD, 17. Paul LOYDD, 20. Francis SOALE (GK). Substitutes not used: 1. Dennis GALAN, 3. Kyran NUNES, 7. Jamie DEBREV
Subiaco AFC: GK. Marcus URBAN, 3. Ger FITZGERALD, 4. Frank GALVIN, 7. Simon RALPHS, 8. David CALDER, 9. Joe KRESLING, 10. Scott WRIGHTON, 14. Jordan RHODES, 15. Ross MILLAN, (19. Niall TORPEY 86'), 23. Simon EDWARDS, 25. David GROSE, (26. Joe DIXON 67'). Substitutes not used: RGK. Tom BARRETT, 6. Harry JOHNSON, 11. Tom PROCTOR
Report by Nathan Drudi.
In Friday evening's late game Stirling Lions started their 2012 Football West Night Series with a solid 4-0 win against First Division Fremantle Spirit at Macedonia Park.
First half goals from skipper Jason Gavin and newly signed Irish midfielder Gareth McGlynn, gave the home side a 2-0 lead at the break. Further goals from Phil O'Callaghan and an own goal by Spirit defender Mohamed Bangura gave the Lions a the win against a determined Fremantle side.
The Lions were off to a perfect start and were ahead in the first minute. McGlynn's corner from the right was headed home by former Middlesbrough defender Gavin. The Sprit almost hit back immediately; Diego Garcia's powerful shot from the edge of the penalty area was well saved by Cory Hugo at full stretch. It was an even first half hour with chances few and far between, the best falling to Lions midfielder Jamie De Abreu on 29 minutes. His run and shot was well tipped over the bar by Bradley Parfitt. De Abreu's energetic running game menaced Fremantle all night.
The second goal came for the Lions on 35 minutes when a free kick was awarded to them just outside the penalty area. Ex Derry City playmaker stepped up and powered home a curling shot past the outstretched fingers of Spirit keeper Parfitt. Spirit battled hard and went close to pulling a goal back on the stroke of half time. Tim Hill, who is on loan at the Spirit from the Lions, saw his long-range free kick saved low by Hugo.
It was the Spirit who opened the second half the better and went close six minutes in. Zoran Vrteski's long ball sent Garcia clear, but the striker's shot from the edge of the penalty area flew over the top. The Lions couldn't shake off a determined Spirit side and they had to wait till the 70th minute to increase their lead. A good run down the right by De Abreu ended with a low hard cross which was unfortunately turned into his own net by Bangura. Then three minutes later it was 4-0. New Lions midfielder Craig Robson sent Matty Barlow clear down the right, he crossed to O'Callaghan who scored from close-range.
Lions Coach Doug Hesketh was pleased with the win and paid tribute to the Spirit side. "We're delighted to win tonight, but they really made it hard for us," said Hesketh. "We probably scored too early, and we went a bit flat after that. We made a few changes in the second half and I thought we were better, but credit to Freo they did a good job tonight.". This Saturday night (11 February 2012) the Lions meet Subiaco City at Macedonia Park with kick off at 8pm while the curtain raiser at 6pm will pit Bayswater City against Fremantle Spirit.
Article by Peter Simcox.
Stirling Lions’ preparations for the 2012 Football West Premier League has begun with the signing of five players in a busy week at Macedonia Park.
Lions’ President Don Evans and senior Coach Doug Hesketh were on hand on Thursday night to announce the signing of Armadale pair Craig Robson and Marlon Ramirez, and Forrestfield United trio Anthony Lyons, Matt Harold and Andy Harold.
Evans is delighted to have added some quality players to the club, after the loss of Bobby Wilson and Ludovic Boi to Floreat Athena. “We have had a keen interest in both Marlon and Craig, as they are excellent players who consistently perform at a high level and are very versatile with excellent attitudes to the game,” said Evans.
“Doug was at Fremantle City when Marlon was developing through the youth ranks and has been very impressed with how he has matured as a senior player at Armadale FC. Craig has come through a professional development system in the UK and been outstanding every time we watched him play in 2011. They are excellent players who bring youth enthusiasm and ability beyond their years and we are extremely happy to have them at Stirling,” said President Evans.
Ramirez is looking forward to the new challenge. “I had a great five years at Armadale, and I have a great deal of respect for Scotty Miller and in my opinion is one of the best coaches going around. My decision to leave was for personal reasons and I do wish them all the best and thank them for what they have given me,” said Ramirez.
“The move to the Lions is a great opportunity for me. They are a very professional club and from what I have heard from the coaching staff, it looks like they are set for a very big year. They have kept some very important players such as Andy Brown and Phil O’Callaghan and adding some like Craig and the Forrestfield lads I think the squad is very strong and hopefully come the end of the year we are there competing for trophies.”
Anthony Lyons (Left), Matt Harold (centre) and Andy Harold (right) were welcomed to Macedonia Park this week by Hesketh, who is looking forward to working with them. “The lads are new additions to the club and are excellent players with desire to play consistently well at Premier league level in 2012,” said Hesketh.
“We have been watching them play for some time and were keen to get them down to ‘The Den’. We spoke to them all after the 2011 season and discussed football and what we are trying to achieve. They impressed us immediately, they have a very professional attitude for young players and it’s a fact they have been outstanding players at senior level in 2011.
“Matt and Andy have been superbly developed by Forrestfield FC`s coaching staff and Anthony although new to Australia shows great potential. They want to challenge themselves and to progress in the Premier League and Gary and I are very excited to have them in the first team squad for 2012.
For Lyons the move is great and he thanked Forrestfield for they support last season. “It was hard to move away from Forrestfield as they were so good to me during my first season, playing football in Australia. I was instantly made to feel at home and owe so much to the president Heinz, manager Phil, back room staff and all the players. I'd like to thank everyone at Forrie,” explained Lyons.
“As soon as I was contacted by Doug, I was excited straight away by a fellow Liverpudlian on the other end of the phone. Then when he asked me would I be interested in a move to Stirling, I couldn't say no to such an opportunity. I'm really happy with the move and look forward to meeting the rest of the squad. I'm already buzzing for the night series and the season ahead.”
New Stirling Lions striker Matty Barlow can’t wait for the new season start, after a summer move from Armadale to Macedonia Park.
The 24-year-old enjoyed his stint at Alfred Skeet Oval and was happy with his form last season. “On a personal level it was a successful season for the Reds, I feel I did well and scored some good goals in a team that was scrapping at the wrong end of the table and in difficult circumstances at times,” said Barlow.
The former Oldham Athletic striker is looking forward to the new challenge at The Lions and has been impressed with the new squad. “The main reason for my move is to be successful. I'm desperate to win something this year and I feel Stirling will give me the best chance to do that, I had a couple of other options but believe the clubs ambitions match mine,” explained Barlow.
“Settling in has been easy, a few of us have made the move from Armadale and I knew a couple of the lads from playing in the State team last year. All the lads are brilliant, lots of young, determined players at the club which bodes well for our season. Our squad is strong, we look to have a big squad this year so competition for places will be high and will bring out the best in all of us, there's also a lot of quality there to, which is important if we want to win trophies this year.”
Lions’ Coach Doug Hesketh is delighted to have secured the services of the Englishman, especially after losing Jamie Watt. “Losing Jamie was a blow but to get Matty and Anthony Lyons into the squad is great and gives us more options as a team,” said Hesketh.
“Matty was upfront with us and we only discussed football, he was clear what he wanted to achieve, he wants to play for Stirling and we are delighted to have him, he has a very good playing background a player I enjoyed watching last year and he’s a top lad.”
Barlow is looking forward to Friday’s Night Series opener and believes Lions coach Hesketh and Gary Williams has got the side working well. “Doug and Gary have been fantastic with me personally and I think we'll be looking to play exciting football next year, there's a lot of enthusiasm from them both and that rubs off on us players,’ explained Barlow.
“I've never been so excited to get back playing again, the off season is so much longer than I'm used to so I'm excited for Friday to come around. If I'm honest I don't know much about Fremantle but what I do know is that we have prepared well over the last month or so and are ready to win games. “We enjoyed a good friendly win over a strong Cockburn recently so all the boys are ready raring to go and hopefully we'll have a good, successful, winning season.”
Article by Peter Simcox.
Macedonia Park will again host a group in the 2012 Football West Night Series. Last week the Lions were drawn in group B along with fellow Premier League side Bayswater City, first division side Fremantle Spirit and second division side Subiaco United. It all kicks off for Doug Hesketh’s side on Friday 3rd February when they host Fremantle Spirit at 8.30pm.
In all 31 All Flags State League teams will take part in the bumper tournament, with MySolar Sunday Premier League winners Southern Spirit invited to take the place of the National Training Centre to make it a total of 32 entrants.
It will also be the first time that the new All Flags State League Division Two clubs will be seen in competitive action against their more-fancied rivals.
The new format effectively replaces having separate tournaments for different divisions and will see eight groups of four teams.
Football West General Manager of Competitions and Operations, Keith Wood, is looking forward to the revamped format which was decided upon in conjunction with feedback from the State League Standing Committee.
"We called for expression of interest for venues and are pleased to say that we have nine different hosts for the 2012 tournament," he said.
"In allocating clubs to groups, we tried to combine geographical convenience and strength of teams to make the groups as even as possible while trying to minimise travel.
"We believe these groups will create more ‘derby' atmospheres and hope the local community really gets behind next year's instalment.
"The eight group winners will then progress to the knockout stages where the Quarters, Semis and Final are pre-determined draws like the UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup."
Stirling Lions’ 2011 season came to an end on Friday night when the club held its Presentation Night at Macedonia Park.
Defender Michael Pugliese (right) wrote himself into the clubs history by winning his second Fairest and Best award in four years. 23-year old Pugliese was caught off-guard when his name was read as out as Stirling’s best player over the recently completed season. “I was quite surprised I won the award,” said Pugliese, who won his first Fairest and Best at Stirling in 2008. “I didn't think I had the best of seasons, having missed a few games with suspensions and injuries, but I was delighted to receive the award for the second time.”
Stirling entered this year full of optimism but things didn’t quite go according to plan as Pugliese explained. “I think it’s safe to say we under-achieved this season,” said Pugliese, whose team finished in sixth place and trophyless. “The club had high hopes of the team doing well but a lack of consistency was our main problem. We finish top in the home games table, however, our away record let us down. If Stirling can fix this it will be a different story come the end of next season.”
Lions Coach Doug Hesketh was happy for the defender. “I was pleased for Michael getting his second F&B, he has been a fine example to all the lads at the club coming through the ranks and being ranked one of the best defenders in the league. We know this because people are always inquiring about him and his availability,” explained Hesketh.
“He is very consistent, gets the odd goal is a great trainer and to be quite honest with Pugs what you see is what you get. He’s a top lad with great athleticism and a brilliant attitude to the game. His state selection proves he is catching people’s eyes, and I think if you went to watch him in one game you may not notice him much, but you watch him in four or five games you see he makes very few mistakes.
“I have watched him for five years and he is solid and very reliable (But I think he needs to work on his acceptance speeches – ha, ha!!) – Well done Mick.“
Jamie Watt went home with trophies as Fairest and Best Runner-Up and Golden Boot while Phil O’Callaghan was voted Players Player of the Year.
Tim Hill collected Fairest and Best, Players Player of the year and Golden Boot awards in the Reserves where Luke Woodward was runner-up in the main category.
The Youth team trophies were taken out by Dylan Filocamo and Edward Pop, who were joint Fairest and Best, Daragh Kavanagh was the Fairest and Best Runner-Up, Michael Gama Most Improved Player, Geordie Papathanassiou (Golden Boot), while Robert Clarke was the winner of the George Mitsopoulis Youth Trophy.
All state league trophies were sponsored by Pave WA
In the Women’s division Alexis Mann won the Fairest and Best, Ashlee Lowry was the Fairest and Best Runner-up, while Leda Ferrante won the Coaches Award.
In the Sunday League Rick Filocamo won the Fairest and Best and Golden Boot award, with Cameron Gilchrist the Fairest and Best Runner-up, while Daniel Markou won the Coaches award.
All Sunday League Trophies were sponsored by West Coast HI-FI
Midfielder Andy Brown was the best placed Stirling Lions player in last week’s Football West ‘Gold Medal’ night at Grand Ballroom of the Burswood Entertainment Complex to celebrate the achievements of the recent State League season.
Brown, who arrived at Macedonia Park from Mandurah City in round eight finished with 15 votes, ten behind winner Steven Burton from Balcatta.
Lions Coach Doug Hesketh was delighted for the midfielder. “Andy is a quality player we are glad to have at the club. He had a niggling injury for a while and the physios (Arvi and Alex) should be congratulated getting him out on the pitch some weeks, but he seemed to control it well and now seems to be over it and preparing for next season,” said Hesketh.
“I think he had a good season with us as he scored goals for us, gave us an experienced professional, honest presence and attitude on the pitch and I believe Andy is an important player for us in the future. He is as straight as a die and wants to win, Gary and I are no different, I think the Lions will see the real Andy Brown next year after a solid pre-season.”
Ludovic Boi was the next best picking up 13 votes, with Phil O’Callaghan on eight points. To see the full list of votes click link below.
The Stirling Lions would like to invite young footballers wishing to trial for our club down to the Macedonia Park Complex on the following Dates :
Trials will run for 4 weeks.
Under 11 Development Squad & U12 Academy
Monday 24th October
Under 15 Academy
Tuesday 25th October
Under 14 Academy
Wednesday 26th October
Under 13 Academy
Thursday 27th October
Time: 5.30pm (Registration) for a 6pm start
Please bring your own water bottles and shin pads are a must.
A second half double from Perth Glory striker Shane Smeltz has sealed a 2-0 win for the A-League side over a gallant Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park on Wednesday evening.
Introduced at half-time the New Zealand international Smeltz, showed why he's one of the best forwards in the Hyundai A-League with two goals in the space of 10 minutes.
The first arrived on 56 minutes, after Liam Miller through ball was expertly finished from 10 meters, his second was a classic from long-range, his fourth goal in two pre-season games.
Again Perth Glory coach Ian Ferguson rotated his squad to ensure all his players get quality game time over the next fortnight. Bas van den Brink, Chris Coyne, Scott Neville, Todd Howarth and Adam Hughes were all rested, with another game against All Flags Premier League winners Balcatta on Saturday.
Lions coach Doug Hesketh was delighted with his sides performance. “We were delighted with the efforts of the team tonight. We took the game to them and our formation of 3-5-2 seemed to work well,” said Hesketh.
“Our backline looked comfortable against a strong Glory striker force, and Gary and I managed to get eight subs on, Connor Campbell, Tom Clark, Darragh Kavanagh, Eddie Pop, Ben Meredith, Luke Woodard, Alex Castiello, Tom Kennedy, all the players were under 19-years of age, to give them and experience we hope they will get used to the big crowd at Macedonia Park.
“All in all it was an excellent exercise and opportunity to test ourselves against an A-League side, and they all lifted and did a great job.”
It was even opening in front of a healthy crowd, with new Glory striker Billy Mehmut and Scottish midfielder Miller lively, and on 18 minutes Miller pace took him clear of two Lions defender, but his shot from the angle was blocked and cleared by Jason Gavin.
Glory skipper Jacob Burns then went close but his with stinging shot from 18 meters, which was deflected away for a corner.
The Lions, with Gavin, Michael Pugliese and Bobby Wilson outstanding at the back, also went close in an entertaining opening. Former Glory Youth midfielder Ludovic Boi (left) tried his luck from long-range, but he was denied by a great save by Neil Young.
Moments later Dean Evans picked out Andy Brown, who eased past Burns in the middle of the park. He threaded a pass to Phil O’Callaghan whose shot dipped inches over the crossbar.
Lion’s striker Jamie Watt (right) and O’Callaghan were giving the Glory defence problems, and late in the half Watt’s lob looked certain to score, but Young saved superbly at full stretch.
The Glory made four changes at the break, bringing on Smeltz, NTC midfielder Blamo Qua Qua, Balcatta keeper Lewis Italiano and Ryan Lowry, the brother of Qantas Socceroo Shane. The introduction of Smeltz was significant as he opened the scoring 11 minutes in to the second half, Miller’s through ball picked out the striker, who finished clinically.
It was 2-0 10 minutes later, the klions lost possession in the middle of the park and Smeltz, who had looked lively on his introduction, cut in from the left and his low shot beat Cory Hugo on his near post.
The Glory made further changes with Steven McGarry and Jesse Makarounas coming on, and both had chances in the second half, after good work on the flanks by Travis Dodd and Evan Berger.
Lions’ striker’s Watt and O’Callaghan continued to test the Glory back four but at the final whistle it was the Glory running out 2-0 winners.
Lions’ assistant Coach Gary Williams was happy with the performance and is looking forward to next season. “I felt the game against the Glory was a fitting way to end our season. Doug and I have been pleased with the reaction from the players since we took over and this gave the opportunity for our players to show their ability against full time professionals,” explained Williams.
“The atmosphere generated from a large crowd gave the players an extra incentive and despite losing 2 -0 we gave a good account of ourselves against a strong side displaying most of their first team.
“We gave an opportunity for some of our younger players who stepped up on the night which bodes well for the future of the club. These players will be given every opportunity to develop in the near future and Doug and I both hope some of them push through and give us a headache with player selection next year.
“Unfortunately we missed out on the top five by two points, this provides Doug and I with an opportunity to assess and reflect upon the season in anticipation for 2012.”
Stirling Lions: 0
Perth Glory: 2 (Smeltz 56', 67')
Stirling Lions – GK Cory Hugo, 2 Michael Pugliese, 3 Bobby Wilson, 4 Jason Gavin, 5 Dylan Filicamo, 6 Ludovic Boi, 7 Andy Brown, 8 Dean Evans, 9 O'Callaghan, 10 Jamie Watt, 11 Dennis Galan
Subs – RGK Connor Campbell, 12 Luke Woodard, 13 Alex Castiello, 14 Tom Kennedy, 15 Tom Clark, 16 Darragh Kavanagh, 17 Eddie Pop, 18 Ben Meredith,
Perth Glory – GK Neil Yong, 2 Josh Mitchell, 4 Billy Mehmet, 7 Jacob Burns, 10 Liam Miller, 13 Travis Dodd, 14 Steven McGarry, 16 Evan Berger, 19 Josh Risdon, 23.Andrezinho, 24 James Isaia
Subs – RGK Lewis Italiano, Shane Smeltz, Blamo Qua Qua, Ryan Lowry, Steven McGarry, Jesse Makarounas
Stirling Lions’ All Flags Premier League season ended on Saturday with a 2-0 win at Mandurah City, but they are in action again on Wednesday evening when they host Perth Glory in, a pre-season hit out for the A-League side (7pm).
David Mitchell’s side played fellow Premier League side Bayswater City on Saturday, coming away from the Frank Drago Reserve with a 3-0 victory.
The Glory will also take on league champions Balcatta at The McGillivray Oval, Mt Claremont on Saturday - Kick-off 11am
It’s free entry at Macedonia Park on Wednesday, with bar and canteen facilities available on the night.
All are welcome as the Glory prepare for the start of the Hyundai A League season, which kicks-off in just 34 days! Perth Glory’s first home game will be against Adelaide United on October 9. Kick-off 4.30pm.
Stirling Lions ended their All Flags Premier League season, with a 2-0 win against already relegated Mandurah City at The Hyundai Stadium on Saturday.
Second half goals to former Mandurah striker Phil O’Callaghan and Jamie Watt (right) won the game for Doug Hesketh’s side, which missed out on a top five spot by two points, while Mandurah’s four year run in the Premier League is over.
The home side made just the one change to the side that beat the NTC last week with Garin Collins coming into the side to replace the injured Seb Bell. The Lions made two changes to the side that beat Floreat Athena with Dennis Galan and Dylan Filocamo coming in to replace Dean Evans and Clayton Arnez.
It was a blustery day on the south coast at kick off and with the wind behind them Mandurah had the first real chance on seven minutes. Darren Broxton found Michael Grigo in space in the middle of the park, but his long-range effort was wide of the target.
Then on the quarter hour Trevor Laure was found down the right by Robbie Hamm, his deep cross to the back post was cleared well by Michael Pugliese. From the resulting Broxton corner, Grigo’s volley from the edge of the box flashed wide.
The visitors opening chance came three minutes later. A mistake in the middle of the park by Broxton let in O’Callaghan. He fed Ludovic Boi down the right, his shot from eight-yards was well saved by Phil Straker, the rebound falling to Watt, who blazed over.
Then a poor clearance from Mandurah skipper Ryan Townsend on 22 minutes went straight to Boi, but the former Perth Glory Youth player’s shot from 20-yards was wide.
The best chance of the half went to the home side on 35 minutes. Tom Straker found Laure on the right, he played the ball into Grigo, whose first time shot from 16-yards was superbly saved by Cory Hugo.
Both sides were struggling to cope with the wind and the bouncy pitch, but the Lions had the last chance of the half on 40 minutes. Bobby Wilson’s cross from the left was flicked on by former Mandurah skipper Andy Brown, and O’Callaghan’s goal bound shot was deflected wide.
The Lions lost young defender Filocamo (right) at the break with an ankle injury, he was replaced by under 18’s midfielder Boas Mtwale, but it was the home side who opened the brighter.
A quick break by Laure down the right stretched the Lions. He cut inside Jason Gavin, but his shot was saved low by Hugo. Then moments later Aaron Dos Santos’ shot from the edge of the penalty area, flashed over the crossbar.
After the early scare the Lions began to take control of proceedings. A long-throw from Wilson on 52 minutes was flicked on by Brown, and O’Callaghan’s snap shot from eight-yards was inches over the top.
The Lions introduced 17-year-old Alex Castiello (below), son of former Cockburn City coach Tony, for his league debut on 73 minutes to replace the injured Brown, and he had an immediate impact. He found Boi in the middle of the park three minutes later, and Boi’s slide rule pass sent Watt clear, but the Scottish striker’s lob went agonizingly wide.
But five minutes later the Lions’ dominance was rewarded with the opening goal, and it was Castiello in the thick of the action. The teenager’ run and shot from 25-yards, deflected off O’Callaghan, wrong footing Phil Straker, and the ball looped up and over the stranded former Lions keeper.
It was almost 2-0 three minutes later, Wilson’s speculative shot from the left was heading for the corner of the net, but the alert Phil Straker pushed it around the post.
The points were made safe for the Lions in the 89th minute, a long clearance from Wilson sent Watt clear. The striker timed his run superbly, with the Mandurah defenders looking for the offside flag that never came; he outpaced Ivan Zuvela and finished clinically past the keeper.
Lions Coach Doug Hesketh was delighted with the win and the performance of young Castiello. “I thought the game was heading for a draw, but when we brought Alex on I thought he gave us a lift and he played really well and his shot set up the first goal,” said Hesketh.
“I’m proud of the players, and Gary (Williams) and I spoke to them after the game and thanked them for their support since we took over. We’ve scored in every game since we’ve had them, and we’ve kept a clean sheet which was pleasing today.”
All Flags Premier League
Saturday 3rd September 2011
Mandurah City 0
Stirling Lions 2 (O'Callaghan 78, Watt 89)
Venue – Hyundai Stadium
Crowd - 300
Referee – Josh Mihevc
Mandurah City: GK Phil STRAKER, 2 Ryan TOWNSEND, 3 Michael GRIGO (21 David DAWSON 82’), 4 Tom STRAKER, 6 Ivan ZUVELA, 7 Darren BROXTON, 8 Garin COLLINS, 9 Aaron DOS SANTOS, 11 Trevor LAURE (17 Graham MATTHEWS 69’), 15 Matt STARES, 16 Robbie HAMM (12 Marco DOS SANTOS 75’)
Subs not used: RGK Michael GREEN, 22 Liam HURST
Yellow Cards - Nil
Stirling Lions - GK Cory HUGO, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 3 Andy BROWN (12 Alex CASTIELLO 73’), 4 Jason GAVIN, 6 James DAVIES (15 Tom CLARKE 91’) 8 Bobby WILSON, 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 11 Dennis GALAN, 14 Ludovic BOI, 16 Dylan FILOCAMO (5 Boas MTWALE 46’)
Subs not used – RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 7 Luke WOODARD
Yellow Cards – Watt 72’
Stirling Lions’ 2011 league season comes to an end on Saturday when they travel down south to take on Mandurah City in round 26 of the All Flags Premier League at the Hyundai Stadium (3pm)
The Dolphins have already been relegated but Coach Doug Hesketh is looking to finish off the season with three points. “We put in a good shift in last week against Floreat Athena and we want to finish the season off with three points on Saturday,” said Hesketh.
“Gary and I have been happy the way the lads have played since we took over from Lincs, and if we had a little bit of luck along the way we could have made the top five finals. That wasn’t to be but the lads have given us everything and they are determined to go out with a win on Saturday.”
Mandurah have been in good form of late, but it was too little too late for them. Andy Brown makes his first return to the club who he left to join the Lions this season, and another form Dolphin Phil O’Callaghan will be looking to end the season with a few goals.
Ivan Zuvela has been in great form over the past month for Mandurah and he Tom Straker and Ryan Townsend will have to be on their toes, while I’m sure former Lions shot stopper Phil Straker will want to deny his former club.
Midfielder Ludovic Boi scored twice, to help Stirling Lions to a 3-1 win against Floreat Athena in the final game in round 25 of the All Flags Premier League at Macedonia Park on Sunday.
Phil O’Callaghan had given Doug Hesketh’s side the lead on four minutes, before Damien Catalano levelled for the visitors seven minutes later. Boi’s first goal regained the lead for the Lions before half time, and the former Perth Glory Youth player made it 3-1 on 67 minutes to win the game.
In other games on the day, Dejan Vilic’s under 18’s were beaten 2-1 by Floreat, while Rob Milevski’s reserves side won 4-1, with goals from Owen Curtis 2, Boas Mtwale and Geordie Papathanassiou.
The home side made five changes to the side that beat the NTC last time out, with Cory Hugo, Michael Pugliese, Boi, Andy Brown and Dean Evans returning to the starting line-up.
Floreat made three changes to the side that lost 0-3 to ECU Joondalup in round 24. In came Miki Vujacic, Mark Pritchard, Calum Fransz, Liam Boland and Kyle Moran dropped to the bench, while Jarrad Smith was omitted.
The home side made a perfect start and they were ahead on four minutes. Evans’ corner from the right was met by Jason Gavin, his shot was cleared by Julian Madaschi, but the ball fell to O’Callaghan who fired home from six-yards.
It was nearly 2-0 moments later, O’Callaghan was sent clear down the left by Brown, he pulled the ball back to Boi, who fired straight at Floreat keeper Alex Dunn when well placed.
Floreat, who were looking to break a two game losing streak, hit back on 11 minutes with the equaliser. Lions midfielder Boi gave the ball away on the edge of the Lions penalty area, and he was made to pay, Catalano curling his shot into the top corner of the net from 16-yards, giving Lions’ keeper Hugo no chance.
The visitors began to dominate proceedings and went close to a second on 16 minutes. Calum O’Connell’s cross from the left picked out Michael van Dongen, but he headed straight at Hugo.
It was O’Connell again moments later, the former Brisbane Roar defender again picked out Michael van Dongen at the back post. His first time shot was well saved by Hugo, the rebound falling to Catalano, who saw his low shot saved again by the Lions’ custodian.
Floreat were well on top, and Paul van Dongen should have done better on 26 minutes when Catalano’s through ball sent him clear, but Hugo saved at the second attempt.
Then against the run of play the Lions regained the lead. Evans and Brown combined to send Watt clear, the Scotsman shot was blocked, but the ball fell kindly for Boi, who fired home from five-yards.
It was almost 3-1 on the stroke of half time. Evans’ corner from the right was headed back across goal by Gavin, and O’Callaghan’s header at the back post crashed off the post, and Evans’ follow up shot was cleared, but it was 2-1 to the home side at the break.
The Lions began the second half just as they had finished the first, and six minutes in Brown’s surging run from the middle of the park ended with a precise through ball to Watt, whose shot beat Dunn, but O’Connell cleared the ball off the line.
The game was still in the balance and Hugo came to the Lions’ rescue on 63 minutes, pushing Mark Pritchard’s long-range shot around the post. Two minutes later Catalano found second half substitute Daniel Trevisiol in down the right, but as the young midfielder was about to pull the trigger, Bobby Wilson made a superb covering tackle to clear the danger.
Then two minutes late the Lions wrapped up the points when they made it 3-1. Watt found space on the edge of the box and sent a ball into the path of Boi, who fired low past Dunn, into the bottom corner of the net.
It was nearly four to the home side on 70 minutes; Evans was found down the right by Watt, his cross into the penalty area picked out O’Callaghan, whose header from eight-yards flashed inches over the bar.
Wilson went close for the home side late on, Evans’ cross from the right found Wilson at the back post, his volley from 12-yards beat Dunn but Trevisiol cleared the ball off the line, and at the final whistle it was the Lions celebrating a 3-1 win.
Lions Coach Doug Hesketh was delighted with his sides win. “I was pleased with the second half performance; we lost our way in the first half. We started well but I don’t know what happened after that, but we settled and got the important goal before half time, which was pleasing,” said Hesketh.
“Ludo was great for us today. He scored two and had an assist in their goal too. We brought him into the middle of the park in the second half and he came into the game. I thought Jason Gavin was outstanding at the back for us today, we now want to end the season with a win at Mandurah next week.”
All Flags Premier League
Sunday 28th August 2011
Stirling Lions 3 (O’Callaghan 4’, Boi 31’, 67’)0
Floreat Athena 1 (Catalano 11’)
Venue – Macedonia Park
Crowd - 300
Referee – David Costello
Stirling Lions - GK Cory HUGO, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 3 Andy BROWN (7 Shintaro ITO 74’), 4 Jason GAVIN, 5 Dean EVANS, 6 Clayton ARNEZ (12 Luke WOODARD 85’), 8 Bobby WILSON, 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 14 James DAVIES (11 Dennis GALAN 78’), 16 Ludovic BOI
Subs not used – RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 15 Dylan FILOCAMO
Yellow Cards – Gavin 29’, Davies 65’
Floreat Athena: GK Alex DUNN, 4 Julian MADASCHI, 6 Miki VUJACIC (13 Kyle MORAN 56’), 8 Michael VAN DONGEN (17 Daniel TREVISIOL 62’), 9 Paul VAN DONGEN, 11 Damien CATALANO, 12 James ISAIA (10 Liam BOLAND 74’), 14 Mark PRITCHARD, 15 Calum FRANSZ, 16 Ante KOVACEVIC, 18 Calum O'CONNELL
Substitutes not used: GK Simon MADASCHI, 3 Michael SALSANO
Yellow Cards – Paul van Dongen 23’, Kovacevic 54’, Catalano 65’
Stirling Lions play their final All Flags Premier League game on Sunday when they host Floreat Athena at Macedonia Park (3pm)
Both sides are still in with a chance of the end of season top five series, but three points is vital. Lions coach Doug Hesketh was happy with the win against the NTC last time out and hopes to end the season with two wins starting on Sunday.
“We did an efficient job against the NTC two weeks ago allowing seven of the younger players to be involved with the first team, they all gave a good account of themselves on and off the field so well done.
"Also our senior players took the game over in the second half against the NTC and showed good leadership skills as well as demonstrating the ability they all have to win the game comfortably, so again well done lads,” said Hesketh.
“As this is our last home game for 2011 Gary and I would like to thank all the committee and staff at the club and our Loyal supporters for being there week in week out supporting The Club ,The Coaches and Our teams and I promise you we will do our absolute best to get a good result on Sunday.”
In team news midfielder Andy Brown returns from suspension, while Cory Hugo returns between the sticks, but Jamie de Abreu is missing, after the midfielder headed to play in the US College system.
The likes of Alex Dunn, one of the most underrated keepers in the state, Miki Vujacic, James Isaia, and Julian Madaschi are the backbone of the Floreat side, while player coach Ante Kovacevic adds his experience at the back. Former Lions striker Liam Boland has been in great form this season and will need to be watched closely, while in midfield Paul and Michael van Dongen import Mark Pritchard, Damien Catalano and Callum O'Connell have added stability to the side, and they will be hoping to end the season on a high on Sunday.
They arrive here today on the back of two defeats, which has seen them slip down the table. A 1-5 loss at Bayswater City was followed by a 0-3 home loss to ECU Joondalup, so they will need all three points today to keep their top five hopes alive, like ourselves.
Watch the video from The Hammers US National Camp in California.
West Ham United Football Club from London, England play in the English Championship. They have arguably one of the greatest youth academies in the world. Six players from the current full England national team are graduates of the West Ham United Academy.
The West Ham United International Academy (right coaches Mike Leigh and Tony Carr) has been established to identify players who may one day be good enough to play in at The Hammers - Will you “Be The One”?
When: October 10th - 13th, 2011 (Monday-Thursday)
Where: The Macedonia Park Football Complex "Home of The Stirling Lions SC", 273 Albert Street, Balcatta, Western Australia.
Time: 9.00 – 3.00pm
For 11 – 17 yr old boys and girls
Cost: Australian $150 (online credit card will pay US$ equivalent, alternatively you can mail a cheque to Stirling Lions Soccer Club, PO Box 831. Balcatta 6021 WA –
Please make cheque payable to Stirling Lions Soccer Club).
Other: To register go to the link below and fill click to register on the Australian Camp
The camp is open to 12-17 year old boys and girls and will be overseen by a senior member of the West Ham United International Academy coaching staff. The camp will consist of coaching methods and drills from the West Ham United Academy, with each player receiving a West Ham United International Academy pack t-shirt.
Players excelling at this camp will be invited to the West Ham United Academy in London for a 10 day West Ham United Academy experience. One player’s trip will be fully funded! –
Will you “Be the One”?
It was a great day for football at Macedonia Park yesterday with over 4,000 fans attending the State Cup Final games on the day and Lions President Don Evans was delighted the way the day went. “Personally I thought it was a great day for football from start to finish and congratulations to all the winners and commiserations to those that came second. Well done to Paul Price and all of today’s winning coaches,” said Evans
It was a huge day for us at Macedonia Park and Evans was quick to praise all the helpers on the day. “Who said our game was dead in this state. A big thank you to all that helped make it a great day for football, especially the great man Fabio Cannavaro, super Stan Lazarides, all at Football West, Perth and Sorrento SC and the fantastic volunteers from the Lion’s Den who worked their backsides off all day,” commented Evans.
It was Sorrento’s first cup final win and Evans congratulated their President on the cup success. “Congratulations to a great President and leader of Sorrento FC Mr Tom Bartlett, this win is the least this top man deserves. If it is his swan song I would like to personally say well done Tom..........you have been the backbone of the club and deserve to take a well-earned break.....total respect for a gentleman of the code,’ said Evans
Stirling Lions scored two second half goals to beat the Football West National Training Centre 2-0 in round 24 of the All Flags Premier League at Macedonia Park on Saturday.
The NTC dominated the first half and should have gone to the break in front, but second half goals to Jamie Watt and Clayton Arnez saw Doug Hesketh’s side run out winners.
In other games on the day Joe Pugliese’s under 18’s won 4-2 against the NTC with Geordie Papathanassiou scoring a hat-trick, with Robert Clarke added the other. Rob Milevski’s reserves side went down 1-3 to the NTC, Owen Curtis scoring the only goal for the Lions
The Lions, who were coming off the bye made wholesale changes to the side that lost 2-4 to ECU Joondalup last time out, with Dylan Filocamo, Boas Mtwale, and Luke Woodard making their starting league debuts for the club.
The NTC dominated early, and with a strong wind behind them, went close on 11 minutes. A poor back pass from Filocamo sent Sahr Musa in on goal, but young keeper Connor Campbell stood tall to save.
Then four minutes later the Lions gave the ball away in midfield, allowing Sabit Oyet to run at the Lions defence, his curling shot from 18-yards whistled inches past the far post.
It was one-way traffic as the NTC dictated the game, and on 19 minutes Storm Roux’s pace took him clear of Filocamo down the right. He cut the ball back from the bye-line to Reece Vittiglia, whose shot from eight-yards was cleared of the line by Woodard, and Reece Vittiglia’s follow up shot was well blocked by Dennis Galan.
The Lions suffered a blow on 21 minutes when young keeper Campbell had to leave the field after a clash with Oyet, and he was replaced by under 18’s keeper Drew Jenke. The 16-year-old had had a busy day playing in both the 18’s and reserve games, and now the first team.
Starved of possession, the Lions first opportunity on goal didn’t come until the 25th minute. Daniel Dols was caught in possession by Watt, he sent Phil O’Callaghan clear down the left. His cross to the back post picked Watt whose volley from eight-yards was well saved by Francis Soale.
NTC were playing some great football as they continued to control the game, and on 28 minutes Vittiglia’s free kick from the edge of the penalty area was well saved by Jenke.
Both sides were guilty of giving the ball away cheaply, but it was the NTC creating the better chances. A quickly taken short corner on 34 minutes caught the Lions napping, Blamo QuaQua cross was headed inches over the bar by Dols.
Then five minutes later NTC had the best opportunity to take the lead. A quick attack down the right ended with the ball at the feet of Vittiglia, his curling shot beat Jenke but crashed off the crossbar and away to safety.
Just before the break the Lions went close to taking the lead when Filocamo ball over the top sent Watt in on goal, but a fantastic covering tackle from James Marocchi saved the day and it was scoreless at the break.
Whatever coach Doug Hesketh said at half time worked as the Lions came out strong in the second half, and ten minutes in they had the lead. Galan and Wilson combined to free Watt, and the Scottish striker fired home past Soale from eight-yards.
Kenny Lowe’s youngsters looked to hit back immediately and seven minutes later Brendan O’Neil’s free kick found Dols at the back post, but his header was saved by Jenke.
The Lions were now beginning to get on top and on 67 minutes O’Callaghan’s shot from 18-yards was tipped over the bar by Soale at full stretch, and moments later Arnez’s free kick from the right picked out skipper Jason Gavin, whose powerful header crashed off the post.
Their dominance was rewarded with a second goal on 73 minutes. A poor clearance from NTC keeper Soale, under pressure from O’Callaghan, only went as far as Arnez 20-yards from goal, he looked up and saw the keeper was out of his goal and fired home into an empty net.
Both sides had late chances to score, first on 90 minutes Watt’s corner from the left picked out Gavin, whose header was well saved by Soale. Then in stoppage time a ball over the top sent second half substitute Chris Rizidis in on goal, but Jenke was alert to save, and when referee Paul Anderson brought an end to proceedings it was the Lions running out 2-0 winners.
Lions coach Doug Hesketh was pleased with the second half performance and the way some of the younger Lions players performed on the day. “In the first half a few lads were defiantly below par, but second half we played some good football. We gave some of our younger players the opportunity today and they never let me down. Our whole bench was under 18’s and 15-year-old Robert Clarke came on late, and he is a player to watch in the future,” said Hesketh”
‘It’s a huge game next week against Floreat Athena for our top five chances. Hopefully we will have the whole squad available and we can put a good shift in and get the three points.’
On the other hand NTC Coach Kenny Lowe was happy with his sides’ first half performance, but said they lost their way in the second. “I thought we were excellent on the ball in the first half, but struggled physically in the second half when they went a little bit longer. But that’s something the lads will learn, but technically today I thought we bossed the game,” said Lowe.
“Our end product today let us down, and we spoke at half time about this. We got behind them on numerous occasions but when the ball went into the box we wanted too many touches on the ball in there and the chance was gone.”
All Flags Premier League
Saturday 13th August 2011
Stirling Lions 2 (Watt 55’, Arnez 73’)
Venue – Macedonia Park
Crowd - 150
Referee – Paul Anderson
Stirling Lions – GK Connor CAMPBELL (RGK Drew JENKE 21’), 2 Dylan FILOCAMO, 3 Luke WOODARD, 4 Jason GAVIN, 6 Clayton ARNEZ, 7 Boas MTWALE (15 Shintaro ITO 54’), 8 Bobby WILSON (5 Robert CLARK 81’), 10 Phil O’CALLAGHAN, 11 Dennis GALAN, 13 Jamie WATT, 14 James DAVIES
Subs not used – 9 Tom CLARKE, 16 Daragh KAVANAGH
Yellow Cards – Arnez 77’
NTC – GK Francis SOALE, 2 Storm ROUX, 3 Daniel DOLS, 4 James MAROCCHI, 5 Scott GALLOWAY, 6 Blamo QUAQUA, 7 Sabit OYET (14 Alex JOVIC 64’), 8 Brendon O’NEIL, 9 Reece VITTIGLIA, 10 Byron HUDSON, 11 Sahr MUSA (12 Chris RIZIDIS 64’)
Subs not used – 15 Nick AMBROGIO
Yellow Cards – Oyet 16’, Musa 25’
Stirling Lions will take on the Football West NTC side on Saturday in the Football West Development game at Macedonia Park (3pm). The NTC are in their first season in the top flight, and with the pick of the states talented youngsters gelling well, Doug Hesketh knows his team will be in for a tough game. “We know we will be in for a tough game as they look to continue their improvement under the guidance of Kenny Lowe,” said Hesketh.
“We have had a break last weekend and have been patching the squad up a bit this week at training. Travel, trials, sickness, work commitments, injury and suspensions have been the main reasons for this. But fortunately for us Saturday we have a solid group of players available to play and we will be looking for an improved performance on the ECU game from some individuals as well as a team.
“We finished strong at ECU with great goals from Jamie and Phil but some early decisions that went against and poor concentrations proved a difficult situation to recover from and it was not to be unfortunately.”
While the game is going on he will have one eye on the rest of the All flags Premier League results, with the Lions still in with a strong chance of reaching the top five finals, come the end of the regular season. “I believe as a club the 2011season is not over yet, and we are still playing to win every game, starting on Saturday,” explained Hesketh.
“The Lions are in a solid position as across all three leagues, 18`s,21`s and League with a fairly young average age we have shown steady consistent progress all season and Gary and I will try now to blend the younger talented players with our more experienced senior players to learn from for the future.”
With Perth Glory Youth players Josh Risdon, Sam Mitchinson, Adam Taggart and Reece Vittiglia, in the young NTC line up, they be no pushovers. They have surprised many this season, and will want to add to their three wins for the season to date. There will be a gold coin entrance fee at the game, so get along to Maccie Park and support the Lions.
A John Thornley hat trick saw ECU Joondalup claim a 4-2 win over the Lions side on Saturday afternoon, in round 22 of The All Flags Premier League at The ECU Arena, and in the process relieving their relegation worries.
Lions coach Doug Hesketh was very disappointed with the result. “Although without Andy Brown and a few senior players 75% fit, Gary and I thought we would be good enough to knock over ECU, so it was a very disappointing result,” said Hesketh.
“We believed we were better equipped to win the game and we did pay attention not to give them set pieces if possible, unfortunately three of their four goals were from set pieces and we were looking at a 4-0 score line at one point. The two penalties against us where tough and Cory actually saved the first one and we were slow to react we also have to learn from that.
“I take full responsibility for the result as I put the team on the park, we do expect the players to take responsibility for the way they played on the day and the decisions they made in certain situations.
ECU was the better side during the opening exchanges, and was given the perfect chance to open to scoring when Thornley was adjudged to have been fouled in the area. The striker dusted himself off to take the resulting spot kick, however his effort was well saved by Cory Hugo. Home supporters were relieved though when the rebound fell kindly to the number nine and he finished easily.
It took 16 minutes for Stirling to muster a chance of any note but Ludo Boi’s shot was straight at Andy Banks. At the other end, Scott Blackmore came close to doubling ECU’s lead but his low left foot strike flew just past the post.
Stirling continued to try gain a foothold in the game and their best move of the half came after 20 minutes. A neat ball by Michael Pugliese released Jamie De Abreu down the left and the winger cut inside before delivering a great cross to the back post. The ball was met by the onrushing Dave Hunt but his volley under pressure went over.
While the Lions probed and tried to get in behind ECU, the hosts continued to create better chances with Charlie Comyn-Platt forcing Hugo into an excellent reflex save following a goal mouth scramble.
The second goal came on 40 minutes as once again ECU were awarded a penalty. Great work in the left corner by Jake Benson-Cooper gave Scott Bushby the chance to fire in a shot on goal. His effort struck Bobby Wilson on the hand and referee Hugh Best pointed to the spot. Thornley once again stepped up and calmly converted to leave Joondalup two goals to the good at half time.
Things got even better for ECU within two minutes of the restart when centre half Mark Rodgers added a third, firing home John Higgins’ corner having been left unmarked.
Desperate to change the flow of the game, Stirling changed to a 3-5-2 formation. However they fell even further behind just after the hour mark when Thornley completed his hattrick. Lions skipper Jason Gavin lost the ball in midfield, allowing Blackmore to release Thornley who slotted home at the second attempt following another good save by Hugo.
To the Lions credit they continued to push forward and were rewarded on 71 minutes, Jamie Watt finishing superbly from Phil O’Callaghan’s cross to make it three goals in his last two games. Then in the final minute Watt returned the favour, feeding his strike partner O’Callaghan who buried a header past Banks, but it was to little too late.
Lions Coach did take some positives out of the defeat, for his side to work on. “ On a positive note (from stats recorded on the day) we did have 24 attempts on the ECU goal and the fact we scored our two goals very late in the game suggests to us we never gave up and this does remind us we have character.
“Tactically we changed it and I thought Clayton Arnez did very well wide right wing, Phil and Jamie’s goals were very well taken, I always thought when we had the ball at their feet we were looking dangerous. In my opinion they are the best striking combination in the league their movement and work rate is exceptional, time ran out on Saturday and fair play to ECU they took every chance they got, we have to improve.
ECU boss Amphlett was satisfied with both the result and the manor of the team’s performance.
“The boys have been playing really well and we haven’t been putting the ball in the net and it was important to get the first goal and settle them down but then we just totally dominated the game,” he said.
“They’ve been up for it every week but we just haven’t put our chances away and today we did.”
The win gives ECU breathing space over both Armadale SC and Mandurah City, with Cockburn still rooted firmly to the bottom of the table.
ECU Joondalup 4 (John THORNLEY 7’, 40’, 66’, Mark RODGERS 47’)
Stirling Lions 2 (Jamie WATT 71’, Phil O’CALLAGHAN 91’)
Saturday, 30 July 2011
Local kick-off: 3.00pm
Referee: Hugh Best
Attendance: Approximately 180
ECU Joondalup: GK Andy BANKS, 4 Charlie COMYN-PLATT, 5 Marc RODGERS, 6 Scott BUSHBY, 7 John HIGGINS, 8 Scott BLACKMORE, 9 John THORNLEY, 11 Tom JONES, 10 Jake BENSON-COOPER, 17 Ryan MCDARBY (Luke SMITH 77’), 18 Dale MCCULLOCH.
Substitutes not used: GK Bryn HINDLEY, 14 Jordan DODD, 15 Jared MCNALLY, 16 Shane PICKERING.
Yellow Cards: Jake BENSON-COOPER 79’, Tom JONES 91’.
Stirling Lions: GK Cory HUGO, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 3 Dave HUNT (16 Robeto LUJAN 56’), 4 Jason GAVIN, 5 Mitchell Crocker (11 Luke WOODARD 46’), 6 Clayton ARNEZ, 7 Jamie DE ABREU (15 Tim HILL 66’), 8 Bobby WILSON, 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 14 Ludovic BOI.
Substitutes not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL.
Yellow Cards: Cory HUGO 6’, Jamie DE ABREU 28’, Bobby WILSON 40’, Michael PUGLIESE 83’.
Stirling Lions head to the Edith Cowen University on Saturday to take on ECU Joondalup in round 22 of the All Flags Premier League (3pm)
A hard fought 2-2 draw last week with ten men, was a good result for the Lions and assistant Coach Gary Williams is looking forward to the ECU game, as they look to maintain their place in the top five. "I thought we started well last week against Inglewood in a game we knew would be tough as they possess a lot of good players. It was a huge blow to lose Andy Brown before half time and caused Doug and I to think hard about the formation best suited to achieve a result. The effort displayed by the players is a credit to them and shows that we have great character in the squad at the moment. Unfortunately our achievement was soured by the injury to James Duncan and I on behalf of our club would like to wish James a speedy recovery,” said Williams.
“We will need to display that same character this week in the game against ECU. Whilst ECU have had a poor run of results during the last month or two we certainly do not under estimate the size of our task this week. On their day ECU can be a match for any team in the league and we will have to be at our best to get a win.”
In team news Andy Brown is missing due to suspension, while James Davies is overseas, but despite this and losing a couple of players overseas Williams believes they have a side that can win on Saturday. “We have a good squad, who are working for each other, and we head up to ECU in good form. Recently we have lost Anthony Skorich who is trialling in Europe and Dean Evans who played against Chelsea this week and who I believe is in line to be involved against Blackburn at the weekend. Our congratulations and best wishes go to Dean who we hope will secure a full time contract at Kitchee FC,” explained Williams.
ECU have struggled in recent week’s winning only once in their last six games, but in Andy Banks, Charlie Comyn-Platt, Dale McCulloch, Scott Blackmore and Jon Higgins they have a very strong core unit that is spearheaded by 23-year old striker John Thornley. They will be desperate for the points, so it should be a tight game – get along and support the Lions!!!!!
A move to Macedonia Park this season has been a good one for Clayton Arnez. The former Perth Glory Youth and NTC defender has fitted in well at The Lion’s Den and he has been impressive in recent wins against Perth SC, Western Knights and Sorrento. “Things are going really well for me at Macedonia Park and I feel at home every time I walk onto the park to represent The Lions,” said Arnez. (Right in action at Bayswater City - Photo by Brett Kluzcnik)
“Our squad definitely has a very good mix of young and senior players and I think that’s been the real key to our success. Lately we have been struggling a bit with players leaving such as Dean Evans and Anthony Skorich, and we have also lost players to injury and suspension at crucial times but hopefully we can hold tight and finish strong in the next few games and challenge in the top five finals.”
A ten man Lions side fought back to earn a valuable point against Inglewood United last week and the 19-year-old believed it showed the character of the side. “The boys all showed lots of character to hang on and get a point from that game after losing Browny (Andy Brown) and that just shows how much determination we have to win and make the finals this year after such a bad start of the season. The boys are looking to rectify that and show our class in the finals,” explained Arnez.
Arnez played his junior football at Sorrento, before moving to the Lions Academy at the age of 12. He then moved to the NTC for four years, before heading to the Perth Glory Youth, an experience he enjoyed. “I enjoyed my time at the NTC, and working with head Coach Kenny Lowe,” said Arnez.
“He has definitely been a big influence in my career, as I know he has been for so many other boys he has coached. He always allows players to express themselves through football and encourages players to play the game as it should be played.”
“I then went to the Glory Youth team under Gareth Naven, and I played a few games with them as an associate with the NTC and that was a good experience for me as a young footballer. My highlight during that time was stepping onto the field for the first time wearing the Perth Glory colours.”
The teenager has had a taste of the A-League and would like to make the next step and play professional football. “I definitely want to make that next jump to A-League and it has been an ambition of mine since I was young. I have recently been to USA for college soccer to see what it was like, but I feel I have better opportunities here. I definitely intend on going overseas to trial if it doesn’t work out here, but at the moment I’ve got to work hard and play my best for the Lions,” explained Arnez..
The Lions face a tough test this weekend when they visit ECU Joondalup, a side looking for points to stay in the league. “It’s going to be one of our toughest games of the season, as ECU are fighting for their lives trying to save their season, hungry and determined to win and prevent us from beating them on their own turf. We need to be on our best game to beat them this weekend,’ said Arnez
Dean Evans has rubbed shoulders with some of the greats of world football. Currently trialling with Hong Kong club Kitchee, Evans came on early in the second half as his team went down 4-0 to a star-studded Chelsea line-up in the semi-final of the Asia Trophy. (Left - Evans get a tackle in on Chelsea midfielder Yossi Benayoun). “It was probably the best moment in my career as a footballer … it was a real buzz and an experience I’ll never forget,” enthused Evans. “Knowing you’re playing against some of the best players in the world is a bit terrifying but when you’re out there it’s like playing against any other men.”
Evans, 21, has been at Kitchee since the beginning of the month and will turn out against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday before finding out whether he has been successful in landing a contract. “I’m very happy with the way I’ve trialled at Kitchee. I’ve played quite well in the friendly games so hopefully I’ve done enough to secure a deal,” commented Evans. “I have a meeting on Sunday with the coach and chairman to find out whether or not the deal will go through, fingers crossed it is all positive news.”
The Stirling Lions Soccer club would like to send best wishes to Inglewood United defender James Duncan after he suffered a horrific broken leg in Saturday’s 2-2draw at Macedonia Park. (Photo by Brett Klucznik)
The talented 25-year-old received five fractures in his lower leg after a 50/50 challenge with Lions youngster James Davies
Lions President Don Evans wished James a speedy recovery and he would like the WA football public to start fundraising to help him in his rehabilitation. “It’s terrible news for young James, all at Stirling wish him well in his recovery and we’ll support any fundraising to help the lad out by donating $200 to help him through his rehab.....I know it's not going to fix the injury any quicker but hope it goes some way to help pay any uncovered medical expenses," said Evans –
All the best James - From all at the Den
Stirling Lions and former Perth Glory Youth skipper Dean Evans will step on to the big stage on Wednesday night when his side Kitchee FC take on English Premier League side Chelsea, in the first game of the Barclays Asia Trophy.
The 21-year-old, who is on trial at the Hong Kong Champions, has impressed the coaching staff and will be involved in match and games against Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers, who are also in the tournament. “I’m a bit nervous now I know everyone can watch back home,” joked Evans. (The game is on Fox Sports 3 8.30pm Wednesday)
“I’ll be coming off the bench, so hopefully I’ll get some time but we will see.”
Evans will have some familiar faces in the crowd to watch him with mother Kathy and his father Don travelling over, and Don is probably more nervous than Dean will be. “It's a huge opportunity for Dean and as a family we are all united in the belief he will do well, and get his well-deserved first pro contract after this trial period at Kitchee,” said Evans senior.
“Dean is so level headed, I think it's me who is more nervous at the moment but I know he is up to the challenge and will give all he has in the two games coming up.”
Dean is happy to see them so he can talk to someone. “With mum and dad now finally some people that can speak English,” said Evans.
A ten man Stirling Lions scored in the 89th minute to earn a share of the spoils against Inglewood United in round 21 of the All Flags Premier League, at Macedonia Park on Saturday.
It was an action packed game with the Lions hitting the front on 14 minutes through Jamie Watt, but former Lions striker Ndumba Makeche levelled nine minutes later, then the Lions lost Andy Brown with a straight red card on 39 minutes.
But the game was marred mid-way through the second half with Inglewood United defender James Duncan receiving a horrific broken leg after a 50/50 tackle with Lions youngster James Davies. Inglewood looked to have secured all three points when Rory Grant nodded home with 20 minutes to go, but Watt had the final say firing home late to earn Doug Hesketh’s side a point.
“I was real proud of the lads today, I thought we were unfortunate to lose Browny, but I except the referee’s decision. We changed things around at half time, and the lads never gave in, and they fought it out to the end and got their rewards late in the game,” said Hesketh.
“The game was over-shadowed by the horrific injury to the Inglewood lad, and from everyone at the Stirling Lions club we wish James a speedy recovery.”
The Lions made one change to the side that beat Sorrento 3-1 last week with Roberto Lujan replacing Anthony Skorich, who has headed overseas for trials.
Inglewood also made the one change to the side that lost 0-3 against Balcatta last week, with Makeche coming into the side, with David Perich dropping to the bench.
It was uneventful opening 10 minutes, but the first opportunity fell to the Lions on 12 minutes. Clayton Arnez long-throw was flicked on by Bobby Wilson, and Lujan’s (left) snap shot from 10-yards went wide of the post.
Then two minutes later the Lions hit the front. Arnez’s cross from the right picked out Phil O’Callaghan at the back post; he cut the ball back across goal and Watt fired home from close-range.
It could have been 2-0 moments later, Brown and Watt combined to send O’Callaghan in on goal, but keeper Oliver Taseski was out quick to deflect the ball wide of the target.
Inglewood, who at start of play was level on points with the Lions, began to get into the game and on 18 minutes a good run and shot by Adrian Caceres flashed wide of the post, but five minutes later they were level.
Ryan Clarke (right taking on Lions defender Michael Pugliese),found space down the right and cut inside Arnez before picking out Makeche, the youngster beat the challenge of Wilson before firing home from the angle.
Conceding the goal only seemed to spur the Lions on and they went close five minutes later. Great work in the middle of the park by Brown, saw him beat three Inglewood players before sending O’Callaghan in on goal, again Taseski was out quick to save.
The Inglewood custodian was in the thick of the action, and on the half hour Ludovic Boi sent O’Callaghan in again. The striker’s first touch was too heavy allowing Taseski time to narrow the angle and block. Moments later Jamie De Abreu picked out O’Callaghan, and it looked like he would give the Lions back the lead, but his volley from eight-yards was superbly saved by Taseski.
With the home side dominating, their cause was made harder with the sending off of Brown. His strong tackle on Dannie Richman was given a straight red card by referee Paul Anderson.
As the half came to end both keepers kept their sides level with superb saves. First on 42 minutes a quick break by the Lions saw Arnez skip clear down the right. He cut inside, and his shot from the edge of the box was superbly saved by Taseski at full stretch.
Then in stoppage-time James Sammut sent Makeche in down the right, his cross found Caceres, who’s first time shot was brilliantly saved by Hugo at full stretch, so it was 1-1 at the break.
After the break the Lions continued to take the game to Inglewood, and nine minutes in De Abreu through ball sent O’Callaghan clear, but again Taseski denied the striker.
Inglewood was struggling to make their extra man count, and it was the Lions that went close again on 65 minutes. Boi’s corner from the right was powerfully headed goal wards by Wilson (left), but Taseski again came to his sides rescue tipping it over the bar.
On 68 minutes, a 50/50 tackle between Inglewood defender Duncan and Lions’ second half substitute Davies, saw the defender break his leg, in a sickening incident that took the gloss of the game. The defender was carried from the field and he was replaced by Paul Dugdale.
There was still three points up for grabs, and Inglewood put themselves in the driving seat when they hit the front on 73 minutes. Sammut’s ball sent Caceres in down the right, his deep cross found the unmarked Grant at the back post and the big striker headed home.
The Lions looked for a response and O’Callaghan and Watt combined to send Arnez in on goal on 84 minutes, but Taseski was again out quick to save.
With time running out the Lions had one last roll of the dice. A long throw by Wilson was headed on by Jason Gavin, the ball deflected back to the Lions skipper, who looked up and found Watt (right) who fired home from six-yards, to give them a share of the spoils, much to the delight of the Lions faithful.
Lions’ skipper Jason Gavin was delighted with the fighting performance of his side, although it was overshadowed somewhat by the injury to Inglewood defender James Duncan. “Going down to ten men we knew it was going to be tough, but the lads dug deep, and I think we got what we deserved with a late goal to earn a point,” said Gavin.
“It’s a bit of a hollow feeling after what happened to the young lad, we hope he has a speedy recovery, as no one likes to see that, but to our lads credit we kept going and got the late equaliser.”
In the earlier games Dejan Vilic’s under 18’s drew 5-5 against Inglewood. The Lion cubs were winning 4-1 when keeper Drew Jenke was unfortunately sent off, but they held on to earn a point. On target for the side was Geordie Papathanassiou, who scored four, and Robert Clarke.
Rob Milevski’s reserve side also drew with Inglewood United, 1-1. Denis Galan had given them the lead in the second half, but he was sent off late, and Inglewood levelled through Michael Baczynski.
Stirling Lions 2 (Watt 14’, 89’)
Inglewood United 2 1 (Makeche 23’, Grant 73’)
Stirling Lions: GK Cory HUGO, 2 Michael PUGLIESE (12 James DAVIES 61’), 3 Andy BROWN, 4 Jason GAVIN, 6 Clayton ARNEZ, 7 Jamie DE ABREU (15 Tim HILL 83’), 12 Roberto LUJAN (5 David HUNT 74’), 8 Bobby WILSON, 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 14Ludovic BOI
Substitutes not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 11 Luke WOODARD
Yellow Cards – Pugliese 40’
Red Card – Brown 39’
Inglewood United: GK Oliver TASESKI, 5 Daniel STOITIS, 6 Ross HARVEY, 8 Ryan CLARKE, 9 Rory GRANT (16 Jake GEDDES 83’), 10 Adrian CACERES, 11 James SAMMUT, 12 Dannie RICHMAN (15 David PERICH 77’), 14 Ndumba MAKECHE, 18 Jason COLLI, 26 James DUNCAN (3 Paul DUGDALE 71’)
Substitutes not used: RGK Alex SUTTON
Yellow Cards – Grant 30’, Perich 90’+3
Referee – Paul Anderson
Stirling Lions will be looking to continue their charge into the top five on Saturday when Inglewood United make the trip to Macedonia Park, in round 21 of The All flags Premier League (3pm)
It also gives the players a chance to redeem themselves, as the reverse fixture in round eight at the 6PR Stadium ended with a heavy 5-1 defeat.
The Lions will be without Anthony Skorich who has headed overseas for trials, with David Hunt and Robert Lujan battling it out for a starting spot. Doug Hesketh's side leap frogged Sorrento last week with a 3-1 win and he knows they will have to be at their best against a strong United side. “Gary and I have been working to try to get some consistency in our games and the lads have been tremendous, training hard and applying themselves. Last week we worked hard against Sorrento and managed to get a result we are all proud off. Cory Hugo was out standing in goal, Ludo Boi was buzzing and Jamie Watt got a great hat trick, but for Gary and I the team was the real star everyone did their jobs and did them well,” explained Hesketh.
“Saturday however is a different story. We have discussed last week’s game as a team and we are trying to work on our weaknesses and practice our strengths. The lads worked very hard all week and we will try to improve on the performance when we lost to Inglewood earlier in the season, with your our supporters behind us we hope to achieve this.”
Despite losing 3-0 at home last week against Balcatta, Inglewood have impressed this season and coach Shane Pryce will be looking for an improvement from his chargers. David McNally returns to the squad after missing last week, and Paul Dugdale returns after suspension. Also Danny Stoitis, Dannie Richman, Dugdale, David Perich and Ndumba Makeche will be looking forward to a return to their former club, and Richman (left in action for the Lions v Floreat athena - Photo by Brett Kluzcnik) is looking forward to the game. “We really need a result against an in-form Lions team to keep our top five chances alive. It a big game for Dougy and Perich, who transferred to us early in the season, and of course Ndumba who has been a revelation for us this season,” said Richman.
“I thought last week’s result wasn’t a true reflection of the game. We had chances in the first half, Rory Grant hit the woodwork twice in quick succession, and we played some good football. In all honesty we didn’t play that badly they were just too good, they came out second-half an showed us why they’re the best team in league.”
Richman enjoyed his time at the Lions, but come Saturday he will be doing everything he can to get the points for Inglewood. “I joined Stirling when I was 14 and worked my way up to the first team under Micky Lyons by the time I was 16-17. The club at the time had a lot of young players coming through together (Ludo Boi, Dean Evans, Matty Italiano, Phil Arnold) an it was like a real family,” explained Richman.
“We had a great season in my first year of seniors and capped it off by winning the cup final against Cockburn on penalties. I’ll always thank Micky and Don Evans for giving me that opportunity when I was so young and I still think back of the time I spent a Maccie park fondly, but not on Saturday.”
Teenager midfielder David Hunt has bided his time at the Macedonia Park, and is now pushing for a starting role in the senior side. The 19-year-old, who has come on through the junior ranks is enjoying life at the moment with the senior side. “It has been good at Stirling this year, aside from a few injuries. I've had the chance to play first team football, and train with players who I can learn a lot from, which I am delighted with,” said hunt.
He came off the bench last week against Sorrento and gave the Lions drive down the flank and he enjoyed contributing to a good 3-1 win. “It was a great win for us against a good Sorrento side. I was excited to be included in the squad on Saturday, and happy that I could make a positive impact in the second half when I came on,” explained Hunt.
“I really think Doug and Gary's game plan was implemented well by the boys. We all worked hard during training the week before and I think that was reflected in the game against Sorrento. Doug and Gary are both great coaches; there is a mutual respect between them and the boys, which creates a desire for us to do our best.”
A change of coach mid-way through the season was hard on the players, but the transition from Paul Lincoln to Doug Hesketh seemed to go well for the side. “Doug has taken over Linc’s' role very well. It made it easier as he had already been at the club for a number of years and for me and a few others, he had coached at a junior level. My teammates and I were sorry to see Linc’s go, but with Doug now as coach I believe we can make the top five,” said Hunt.
Hesketh believes Hunt will be a huge part of the squad in years to come. “Dave has progressed very well through the club from under14`s, and he was an important part of the under 18`s Championship winning side. I know Linc’s and Danny started to consider him during the season which must be a boost of confidence for him, and Gary and I are happy he is trying to establish himself now as a first team player at the club as we all know him so well,” said Hesketh.
“Consistency is the trick now for Dave, I mean on his day he is a tremendous player as he showed last week against Sorrento he is fast, tricky and gets the odd goal here and there. But he must keep working at his game and try to, as an individual recognizing what he brings to the team, and making sure it’s there every time he is on the field training and playing.
“He should be proud of how he is progressing and the club is proud to see another potential player coming through the squads to the top level, I would love to see him be part of another Championship winning side one day.”
Hunt began his football down the road from Macedonia Park at Balcatta and he has now worked his way through the ranks. “I started playing football when I was 6 for Balcatta. At the age of 10 I played for Kings Academy which was the youth development program for Stirling Lions,” explained Hunt.
“Before making the under 18s team I injured my back, setting me back for a year. Once in the team, I worked hard to progress to the reserves. This year I played my debut for the first team against ECU in the first game of the night series and also scored my first goal. That has definitely been my highlight. I have been in and out of the league team this season but I hope if I work hard I can cement my spot in the squad for the rest of the season.”
It’s another huge game on Saturday for the Lions, when Inglewood United visit Macedonia Park, and Hunt knows it will be a hard fought game. “This week is definitely going to be an exciting game. Inglewood is playing well at the moment with a mix of younger and more experienced players. However I believe the Lions are coming into form after last Saturday’s performance, will make us a tough opponent to beat - especially at the Lions Den!”
Football West has announced Macedonia Park, home of The Lions, as the venue for the 2011 State League Cup Final. Eleven-time Cup winners Perth SC will battle it out with Sorrento, who are yet to hold the knock-out trophy aloft, on the afternoon of Saturday 20 August for the prestigious piece of silverware. “We are pleased to be able to spread some of our key matches around and reward these clubs that have invested money in the development of their facility,” Football West chief executive Peter Hugg said. “The Macedonia Park complex is also the recipient of the MySolar energy system and a keen supporter of our Black, Gold and Green project, which we thank them for.”
Lions President is delighted with the news and believes it’s fantastic news for all the hard working staff at the club. “The committee and volunteers who make Macedonia Park tick as a first class local football venue are thrilled to hear that the Stirling Lions home base has been chosen to host this year’s State League Cup Final,” said Evans.
“It has been over 15 years since any Grand final has been held at the complex and everyone is ready for it and now in planning mode to make the day one to remember for players and fans alike. Our stand can comfortably sit 2,000 fans suiting all weather conditions and the playing surface is the best it has been since the Park was opened in 1981......truly a fitting way to celebrate 30 years of Macie Park history.”
A hat-trick from Scottish striker Jamie Watt has given Stirling Lions a 3-1 win against Sorrento in round 20 of the All Flags Premier League at Macedonia Park on Saturday.
The win moves the Lions above The Gulls on the table and Watt was happy to be part of good all-round Lions performance. “It was a very important game for us today, and the boys were up for it, and for 70 minutes we were on top and thoroughly deserved the three points,” said Watt.
“We used the flanks well today, and I was in the right place at the right time to score the goal. It’s always a hard game against Sorrento but it was a good performance from the side and the win moves us into the top five.”
It was a huge game for new Lions Coach Doug Hesketh, his first home game in charge, and he made two changes to the side that lost 1-2 at Bayswater City. In came keeper Cory Hugo and skipper Jason Gavin returned from injury, with both Connor Campbell and Dennis Galan dropping to the bench.
Sorrento coach Paul Price made just the one change from the side that beat Mandurah City last time out, with experienced defender Danny Cain coming in for Adam Luca, who dropped to the bench.
It was the home side that began the brighter and on three minutes Bobby Wilson’s ball over the top sent Phil O’Callaghan clear, but the striker’s lob was well held by Curtis Aspden.
Moments later Ludovic Boi wriggled clear in the middle of the park and found Andy Brown, but the WA state skipper fired wide from 12-yards.
Their enterprising start was rewarded with the lead on 16 minutes. A great through ball from Michael Pugliese sent Watt in on goal, and the striker finished with aplomb past Aspden.
The Lions continued to dominate and on 20 minutes Anthony Skorich found Jamie De Abreu (left) in space on the edge of the penalty area, his shot from eight-yards was pushed around the post by Aspden.
Sorrento thought they had the equaliser in their first real attack three minutes later. Jason Mirco’s cross from the right picked out Jack Doyle in the six-yard box, his first time shot looked destined for the back of the net, but Hugo produced a stunning point blank save to deny him.
It was Doyle again five minutes before the break. The Irish striker drifted in from the left, cut inside the penalty area, but his curling shot drifted the wrong side of the post, so it was 1-0 to the Lions at the break.
The home side were out of the blocks quickly in the second half, Boi sent Skorich clear in the first minute, but Aspden spotted the danger and was out quick to save.
Sorrento, who with a win could put a five point buffer on the Lions, went close to an equaliser moments later. Mirco again was the supplier, finding space down the right, his cross picked out Todd Harnwell, whose first time shot whistled just wide of the post.
Skorich limped off ten minutes into the second half, replaced by David Hunt, and the teenager had an immediate impact. He found Brown on the edge of the penalty area and the midfielder’s shot was superbly blocked by some desperate defending from Brodie Martin.
The Lions doubled their lead on 56 minutes. De Abreu’s pace took him clear down the left, he fed Hunt, who in turn picked out Watt at the back post, and he finished clinically past Aspden from six-yards.
Sorrento looked to hit back immediately, Doyle found David Foster on the edge of the penalty area, but his shot was saved low by Hugo.
The home supporters were out of their seats again on 68 minutes when the Lions made it 3-0. De Abreu sent Pugliese in down the left, his ball in to the box picked out the unmarked Watt who fired home to complete a memorable hat-trick.
Sorrento coach Paul Price made a couple of changes, and the introduction of Adam Luca and Joe Allanson gave them a lift, and on 74 minutes Luca found Mirco down the right. His cross picked out the unmarked Allanson who headed over from eight-yards.
The Gulls gave their supporters some hope when they reduced the arrears on 77 minutes. David Price picked out Mirco in space down the right, his cross into the box caused panic in the Lions defence and the unfortunate Clayton Arnez deflected the ball into his own net under pressure from Allanson.
To the visitors credit their continued to take the game to the Lions, and should have reduced the margin in the 89th minutes. A great ball by Doyle sent Todd Harnwell in on goal, but his shot went agonisingly wide from eight-yards.
Then in stoppage-time Mirco’s cross from the right found Allanson, but the substitute headed wide, and at the final whistle it was the Lions celebrating a 3-1 win.
Lions coach Doug Hesketh was happy with the team performance against a good Sorrento side. “I’m delighted with performance. We’ve worked hard on the system we wanted the lads to play and it paid dividends today,” said Hesketh.
“The whole team played their part, but I thought Jamie Watt’s work rate was superb and I’m delighted for the lad with his hat-trick.”
In the earlier games the Lions under 18's beat Sorrento 2-1 with goals from Boas Mtwale and Robert Clarke to move them to fifth on the table, while the Lions Reserve went down 2-3 to Sorrento, Tim Hill and Roberto Lujan on target.
Stirling Lions 3 (Watt 16’, 56’, 68’)
Sorrento 1 (OG’ Arnez 77’)
All Flags Premier League – Round 20
Date - Saturday 16th July 2011
Venue – Macedonia Park
Kick Off - 3pm
Attendance – 300
Referee – Michal Jasinski
Stirling Lions: GK Cory HUGO, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 3 Andy BROWN, 4 Jason GAVIN, 6 Clayton ARNEZ, 7 Jamie DE ABREU (12 Roberto LUJAN 78’), 8 Bobby WILSON, 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 13. Anthony SKORICH, (5 David HUNT 55’), 14, Ludovic BOI (11 Dennis GALAN 86’)
Substitutes not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 15 Tim HILL
Yellow Cards - Nil
Sorrento: GK Curtis ASPDEN, 2 Danny CAIN, 5 Jamie HARNWELL, 6 Daryl PLATTEN, 8 Brodie MARTIN (19 Adam LUCA 74’), 9 Todd HARNWELL, 10 Jason MIRCO, 16 Jack DOYLE, 18 David PRICE, 22 Ryan PEARSON, 24 David FOSTER (11 Joe ALLANSON 66’)
Substitutes not used: RGK Todd ROSS, 7 Jared LOVE
Yellow Cards – Todd Harnwell 60’, Martin 73’
Stirling Lions are back on home soil again this week, after three games on the road, and Sorrento are the visitors in round 20 of the All Flags Premier League at Macedonia Park (3pm)
Doug Hesketh’s side had been a good run of form, winning three on the bounce, before last week’s 2-1 defeat at Bayswater City. He is looking forward to the side rebounding against a strong Gulls side, with the return of Cory Hugo along with skipper Jason Gavin . “We go into Saturday’s game after a week off and the opportunity to re charge after a hectic couple of weeks. The transition has been smooth and the lads have responded to the training and tactics Gary Williams and I have used,” said Hesketh.
“We played a solid game at Armadale against a dangerous side eventually winning 3 - 1, we followed that with an excellent performance at Western Knights with some excellent football and solid defending when the Knights came back at us, again winning 3 – 1.
The defeat at Bayswater has given everyone at the club something to think about but Hesketh believes a draw would have been a fairer result. “Unfortunately we went down to Bayswater 2 - 1, the loss of Cory Hugo (left), due to work commitment, and Dean Evans (Trials in Japan) made a difference but Connor Campbell (18yrs old) did a fine job in goal showing he is a senior player in waiting,” explained Hesketh.
“We did have a number of decent chances in the Bayswater game and a decent penalty call turned down, but it was not to be and we must move on and learn from the mistakes we made. We have re-grouped discussed the game and this week and will do our absolute best to improve on that performance with our supporters behind us.”
Sorrento is coached by former Tottenham Hotspur and Wales international Paul Price, and the former Western Knights coach has built a strong side. Daryl Platten, Ryan Pearson and Danny Cain anchor the Gulls defence with former Perth Glory player Jamie Harnwell, while former Hull City keeper Curtis Aspden continues to impress behind them.
The drive across the middle of the park comes from Brodie Martin, Adam Luca and David Price; down the flanks they have Jason Mirco and Jack Doyle, while David and Todd Harnwell are responsible for the goals.
Sorrento arrive here today in fifth place on the All Flags Premier League table, only two points ahead of the Lions, so it will be a tight encounter. The Gulls beat the Lions 1-0 in the round seven clash at Percy Doyle Reserve, but have won only two on the road, against Mandurah City (Rd 6) and Armadale (Rd 11).
The Lions will be looking to keep the top five in their sight on Saturday when they host Sorrento at Macedonia Park. For midfielders Jamie De Abreu and Andy Brown (right in action at Inglewood United) a win is vital against a side snapping at their heels.
“We've been in good nick lately and we managed to string a good run together, which was well overdue, putting us back in the top 5 race,” said Brown.
“The Bayswater game was of course disappointing for everyone at the club, no one likes to lose, but sometimes it can do you good and we have learned from the game. It’s brought us back down to earth, re-focused us on the job in hand and emphasised the fact that we have to be tuned in for every training session, warm up and game if we want to achieve something this year.”
For De Abreu (below in action against ECU Joondalup), Saturday gives the Lions a great opportunity to bounce back and beat a side only two points ahead of them in the league. “I thought we were well worth a point at Bayswater, but that’s football. They scored early which rattled us, but after that we settled down and were playing the ball around nicely. “said De Abreu.
“It’s a massive game this weekend; a win will cement a spot in the top five and create a little bit of a buffer against teams around us, especially as we got the bye coming up as well. All the boys know the importance of this game and training has been at a really high intensity.”
Brown, who skippered the WA State side against Perth Glory last week, believes this week will show the true character of the players, and a win against the Gulls will show the rest of the league the lions mean business. “We will be looking to get back to winning ways post Bayswater game. The boys have put a lot into training this week, Doug has cracked the whip and everyone has responded positively,” explained Brown.
“Sorrento will be no easy meat. They have a stubborn defence and threats going forward, in saying that, I think we match up well against them and I am confident of a win, pushing us closer to a finals berth.”
There is good news on the injury front with Jason Gavin returning and Cory Hugo returns from work commitments and Brown believes the pair will give them a huge boost. “It’s good to get Cory back in between the sticks after a holiday which is a big plus. He has an abundance of experience and keeps the defence in order. Jason has responded well to a short lay off and is back in full training and ready to start, so it great to get the skipper back,’ said Brown.
“Dean Evans is a noticeable absentee as he trials with a club in Hong Kong, so we will be without his services. (Good luck from all the boys). Other than that we are all fit and raring to go and await Dougie’s selection on match day.”
Former Perth Glory Youth skipper and Stirling Lions midfielder Dean Evans has headed for trials at Hong Kong First Division side Kitchee FC, and the 21-year-old in looking forward to the challenge. "I've been here for a week and all is going well at the moment. It's summer here so it's quite hot and humid, but I'm sure I'll get used to it," said Evans.
"The club are in pre-season and the Coaches main aim is to have everyone very fit and used to the hot weather conditions, so slowly the sessions will become more and more intense. We train on astroturf, so that's something I have to get used to, but on match days always on grass at the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground, and the faculties at the club are second to none."
Evans, who was awarded the last two Most Glorious Youth player award at Perth Glory, said the trials came out of the blue but is delighted to have the opportunity. "I'm here till the end of July, by then I will know whether they want me to stay. My management team helped me setting up the trials. I had a phone call from Spanish Kitchee FC coach Josep Gombau last weekend, asking me to come to Hong Kong ASAP, so it happened very quickly, and I'm delighted to have the opportunity to show them what I can do," explained Evans.
"The club have five import spots, and all are Spanish players, and they are allowed one Asian spot as well, so hopefully I fill that position."
The talented midfielder, who has been in sparkling form for the Lions in the All Flags Premier League, is returning from Osteitis pubis and things are going well on the pitch. "At the moment the injury is going well. I did quite a lot of strengthen work in the area, so slowly but surely I'm regaining a lot of strength around the groin area. From time to time I do feel a bit of groin soreness but that's to be expected, but touch wood hopefully no more injuries," said Evans.
With Evans in the side the Lions have been in good form, but without the midfielder they were beaten 1-2 at Bayswater City last week, but he believes the side will make the top five come the end of the season. "I watched Saturday's game, and I thought we were quite unlucky to come away with nothing, I thought we deserved at least a point but that's football," said Evans.
"I'm sure the boys will make the top five, and we have a great bunch of players. We've been paying some good football and if we keep playing like that then I'm sure without doubt we will make the end of season finals, and after the cup break this week they can get their season back on track against Sorrento at Macedonia Park next week.
Stirling Lions’ three game winning streak came to an end on Saturday, and Bayswater City almost certainly booked their place in next seasons’ top flight by scoring their third win in as many weeks, this one 2-1 against the Lions at Frank Drago Reserve. New signing Million Butshiire bagged the deciding goal midway through the second stanza after Cesar Gonzalez’s early opener was cancelled out before half-time by Phil O’Callaghan. The three points gained moves Bayswater, last years’ Division One champions; twelve points clear of the relegation zone with only six games to play. (Photo's by Brett Klucznik)
Bayswater could not have wished for a better start as, with only 3 minutes played, Gonzalez expertly guided his near post header into the net from a John Kearney corner. The margin should have been doubled minutes later but Gustavo Marulanda scuffed weakly at debutant goalkeeper Connor Campbell. After this initial flourish the respective defences seized control and it wasn’t until the 31st minute that either was next breached with O’Callaghan placing into the top corner, well out of Gianni Papalia’s reach, after a determined down the centre of the park by Clayton Arnez (left).
Marulanda was presented another great chance to post Bayswater a second goal, the attacker getting the better of the defence but his hesitancy to shoot when faced by only Campbell eventually saw the chance go begging. A minute later Cisco Jorquera blasted high from a promising position after taking a layoff from John Kearney. Andy Brown did likewise at the other end after a tidy move involving Jamie Watt and O’Callaghan, who touched the ball back for his captain. The clock had just ticked over into stoppage time when Anthony Skorich’s powerful low strike has Papalia at full-length to push wide.
O’Callaghan was guilty of a glaring miss four minutes into the second half, the striker scooping over from 5-metres after meeting Jamie De Abreu’s low centre. Gavin Knight then tucked the ball past Campbell only to turn to see an offside flag disallow his finish. Campbell nervously plucked out of the air a long-range strike by Marulanda and Jorquera’s attempt also from distance wasn’t far past the target as Bayswater stepped up the pace. Papalia kept the sides on level terms with a superb fingertip save to keep out Skorich’s header from a Ludovic Boi corner.
Bayswater soon enough resumed the attack and Butshiire should have done much better than drag wide after going past the defence in the 66th minute. That miss was forgotten four minutes later when Butshiire angled a wonderful finish across the ‘keeper and inside the far post to put the home team back into the lead. Stirling prodded and probed at the home defence across the final twenty minutes but with Gonzalez on patrol there was simply no way they were going to get through. The closest they came to equalising was a speculative long-range attempt by Brown that cleared the crossbar by a considerable margin.
The Lions 18's were narrowly defeated 1-0 but the Lions Reserves had an upset 2-1 win over Bayswaters undefeated table topping side.
The Lions have a week’s rest due to a Cup round bye then meet Sorrento a Macedonia Park on Saturday.
Bayswater City: GK Gianni PAPALIA, 2 Cesar GONZALEZ, 3 Luka NJEGICH, 15 Nathan DIAZ, 8 John KEARNEY, 7 Bryan McKEOWN, 16 Francisco JORQUERA (4 George TCHAMI 80'), 11 Larry MILLER (4 Alex CANIGLIA 41'), 10 Gavin KNIGHT (6 Thomas GOODING 75'), 9 Gustavo MARULANDA, 17 Million BUTSHIIRE
Substitutes not used: Jordan ANDREWS, Max ELLIOT
Yellow Cards – Njegich 61’, Jorquera 68’, Marulanda 84’
Stirling Lions: GK Connor CAMPBELL, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 3 Andy BROWN, 5 Clayton ARNEZ, 7 Jamie DE ABREU (16 Roberto LUJAN 78'), 8 Bobby WILSON, 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 11 Dennis GALAN (15 James DAVIES 52'), 13 Anthony SKORICH, 14 Ludovic BOI (12 Mitchell CROKER 90')
Substitutes not used: Francis SOALE, Jamie STREET
Yellow Cards – Skorich 87’
Referee – Paul Anderson
Stirling Lions will continue their three games on the road when they take on Bayswater City in round 19 of the All Flag's Premier League at Frank Drago Reserve on Saturday (3pm)
Lions coach Doug Hesketh is excepting a tough game against a Bayswater side that have not lost in their last three games. “We know we are going into a very difficult game against Bayswater this week, they are a strong squad well organized and have continued to recruit all season, so we will have to be at our best to match them,” said Hesketh.
“They have great forwards and play good football all over the park, saying that we believe in our lads too. We have a good balance of youth, experience and skill with a belief we can do well. The lads have trained well all week and are really showing Gary and I they are a solid group .The work rate last week was tremendous and we will need to be on our game this week to get something from the game.”
The Lions are at full strength for the game, and will have teenage keeper Connor Campbell in goal to replace Cory Hugo who is away with work.
Bayswater are coming off two away wins at Balcatta and ECU Joondalup and with striker Gustavo Marulanda and John Kearney in good form, while new signing Million Butshiire makes his debut after a surprise move from Cockburn Cityand George Tchami and keeper Gianni Papalia in defence, Mauro Marchione’s side will be looking to make it four without defeat.
West Ham United Football Club from London, England play in the English Premier League. They have arguably one of the greatest youth academies in the world. Six players from the current full England national team are graduates of the West Ham United Academy.
The West Ham United International Academy has been established to identify players who may one day be good enough to play in the English Premier League - Will you “Be The One”?
When: October 10th - 13th, 2011 (Monday-Thursday)
Where: The Macedonia Park Football Complex "Home of The Stirling Lions SC", 273 Albert Street, Balcatta, Western Australia.
Time: 11-13 year olds (boys and girls): 9-11am
14-16 year olds (boys and girls): 1-3pm
Cost: Australian $150 (online credit card will pay US$ equivalent, alternatively you can mail a check to Stirling Lions Soccer Club, PO Box 831. Balcatta 6021 WA –
Please make check payable to Stirling Lions Soccer Club).
Other: To register go to the link below and fill click to register on the Australian Camp
The camp is open to 11-16 year old boys and girls and will be overseen by a senior member of the West Ham United International Academy coaching staff. The camp will consist of coaching methods and drills from the West Ham United Academy, with each player receiving a West Ham United International Academy pack t-shirt. Players excelling at this camp will be invited to the West Ham United Academy in London for a 10 day West Ham United Academy experience. One player’s trip will be fully funded! –
Will you “Be the One”?
The Stirling Lions have collected three points this week and roared into the Top five of the All Flags State Premier League table, after beating third placed Western Knights at Nash Field on Saturday.
The game started evenly, with both teams having viable shots at goals in the opening minutes and it was Knights striker Branimir Mikulic who had the best early chance. He ceased an opportunity seven minutes in, when he made a bee-line for goals down the centre of the field, but his attempt was parried away by Lions custodian Cory Hugo.
But it was the Lions that hit the front on 11th minutes. With impeccable accuracy, Stirling's Dean Evans crossed the ball from a corner kick into Bobby Wilson at the back post, who headed it toward goal and Lions striker Jamie Watt nipped in to glance past goal keeper Frazer Siddall and score the first goal of the match in the 11th minute.
Stirling were up for it as Jamie De Abreu's intimidating run down the left wing during the 15th minute showcased the visitor's hunger for success, and hoping for their third win in a row.
Their hard work paid off in the form a set piece in the 21st minute. Evans's corner found striker Anthony Skorich in the box, who headed the ball to the back of the net in a similar fashion to the prior goal, taking the score to 2 nil at the close of the first half.
Despite the Knights coming out hard for the second half, it was the Lions who opened the scoring once again. Jamie Watt calmly tapping in the loose ball after Phil O'Callaghan's shot was parried by keeper Siddall into the path of the Scottish striker in the 49th minute.
The visitors looked set to make it 4-nil just a minute later, when O'Callaghan received the ball right in front of goals. But he lost balance and as a result his shot lacked power and was effortlessly scooped up by Siddall.
In a turn of events, Western Knights' Stuart Ferguson tapped his way to a goal in the 52nd minute, when he received an assist into the box from Duncan Hind, taking the score 3-1.
From this point on the Western Knights lifted their game, but it wasn't enough to deter the visitors. Although no goals were conceded for the remainder of the match, Stirling continued their dominance, creating a myriad of opportunities in a small period of time.
Stirling did however land themselves in a dangerous situation, when a substandard clearance from De Abreu was intercepted by Callum Roberts in the 61st minute. Unfortunately for the home side the energetic substitute couldn't make it past the reliable Stirling back line.
Newly appointed Stirling coach Doug Hesketh felt the boys played tremendously well, putting the win down to starting changes and focusing on set pieces.
"This week Skorich and De Abreu started, and I think that helped us a lot," he said.
"Our set pieces were obviously good. Two of our goals scored were off corners."
In his second game as coach, Hesketh said that the absence of Dennis Galan was worrying, but Dean Evans stepped up this week to fill the position.
"I always knew Dean was capable, but he really impressed me."
"Overall, it was a fantastic performance from Stirling under pressure."
The Lions 18's had a solid 4-2 win while the Reserves had a narrow defeat 2-1 to the Knights.
The Lions travel to Frank Drago Reserve to meet an in form Bayswater City this Saturday kick off 3pm.
Western Knights: GK Frazer SIDDALL, 2 Duncan HIND, 3 Stuart FERGUSON, 4 Cormac DAWSON (8 Daniel TRIM 47'), 5 David ANNALL, 9 Simon VERSAICO (11 Callum ROBERTS 77'), 10 Stuart MONTGOMERY, 14 James MORGAN, 17 Branimir MIKULIC, 18 Glen THOMAS (7 Luka JUKIC 56'), 22 Johny MIRCO
Substitutes not used: RGK Thomas DIXON
Yellow Cards - Daniel TRIM 77', Luka JUKIC 86', James MORGAN 88'
Stirling Lions: GK Cory HUGO, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 3 Andy BROWN, 5 Dean EVANS, 6 Clayton ARNEZ, 7 Jamie DE ABREU (4 David HUNT 88'), 8 Bobby WILSON, 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 13 Anthony SKORICH (12 Roberto LUJAN 81'), 14 Ludovic BOI
Substitutes not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 11 Dennis GALAN, 15 Tim HILL
Yellow Cards - Bobby WILSON 59', Anthony SKORICH 73', Jamie WATT 83', Michael PUGLIESE 88'
Stirling Lions are on the road again on Saturday when they travel to Nash Field to take on third placed Western Knights (3pm).
There are only five points separating the two teams so Saturday’s game is vital and coach Doug Hesketh is looking forward to the game, and hoping to continue their good form. “I think the trip to Nash Field will be very difficult, they are unbeaten in four, and have a good mix of experienced and young players and a great keeper,” said Hesketh.
“Saying that our squad is pretty good also and did a good job at Armadale in difficult conditions and we also have a great mix of players to try to match them. The squad trained well all week even with the state lads having to double up, I think we have prepared well and Gary and I want the lads to show the quality they did last week and try to get a result.”
Hesketh got off to a winning start last week at Armadale and with Bobby Wilson and Jason Gavin back to their best form in defence, and Dean Evans and Ludovic Boi in the middle of the park, it looks like a tight encounter in Mosman Park.
The Knights new signing Johny Mirco scored a double in last week’s 2-0 win at Mandurah and has settled in well at his new club. Simon Versaico and Callum Roberts have added pace to the Knights and they will cause the Lions problems if they are allowed to play. Get along and support the Lions – Under 18’s kick off at 11am, the Reserves at 1pm and the main game at 3pm.
Stirling Lions trio Michael Pugliese, Bobby Wilson, and Andy Brown have all been selected to play for Western Australia in a game against A-League side Perth Glory at the nib Stadium on Tuesday July 5th.
It’s a great honour for the trio and Lions Coach Doug Hesketh was delighted with the news. “It’s great to see three of the lads getting state selection. Bobby is a good player very good striker of the ball and seems to have shaken off his injury, Brownie (below for WA v SA - Photo by Brett Klucznik) is solid and a leader on the field and getting back amongst the goals, and Michael Pugliese is one of the most underrated players in the league in my opinion,” explained Hesketh.
“The games as we know are all about opinions so when an independent coach recognises their form and quality’s its good for them and the club. The lads all put in a great shift last week and I saw Robbie Dunn watching so they must have impressed him, and I think we had a couple more who would have been knocking on the door, Gary Williams and I wish them all the best against the Glory.”
WA State team coach Robbie Dunn has selected an 18-player squad to take on Perth Glory and the former Socceroo has handpicked the best available players from the All Flags State League, with a strong emphasis on selecting as much home grown talent as possible.
Dunn will be joined with fellow assistant coaches Peter Murphy and Andy Thorburn, with fellow ex-Socceroo Rob Zabica as goalkeeper coach.
Last night saw the team train together for the first time and Dunn was pleased with how the session went.
“The coaching staff has been watching the games closely and we believe that between us, we have come up with a crop of in-form players that can give a good account of themselves against the Glory,” he said.
“We want to show that the All Flags State League has some good quality players that can and should be knocking on the door for selection at A-League clubs.
“Having only two sessions with the lads is not ideal, but their enthusiasm last night leads me to believe that they won't be pushovers and that the players will give a good account of themselves against the exciting new Glory squad.
“I believe that Ian Ferguson has put together one of the best playing list at Glory for many years recruiting some top quality players and I am sure he will appreciate a good run out before the Celtic game and the WA boys will surely do this on the night for him and of course for themselves and Football West as a whole.”
The WA State team will next train on Wednesday 29 June at BGC Stadium - Dorrien Gardens, before the match on Tuesday 5 July at nib Stadium, with kickoff at 7pm.
WA STATE TEAM v PERTH GLORY, 5 JULY 2011
GK Andy Banks - ECU Joondalup, GK Oliver Taseski - Inglewood United, Greg Sharland - Perth SC, Trent Kay - Perth SC, Cormac Dawson - Western Knights, David Annall - Western Knights, Luka Jukic - Western Knights
James Morgan - Western Knights, Bobby Wilson - Stirling Lions, Michael Pugliese - Stirling Lions, Andy Brown - Stirling Lions, Stephen Burton – Balcatta, Mark Pritchard - Floreat Athena, Jarrad Smith - Floreat Athena, Jason Mirco – Sorrento, George Tchami - Bayswater City, Matt Barlow – Armadale, John Higgins - ECU Joondalup,
Coach - Robbie Dunn
Assistant Coach - Andy Thorburn and Peter Murphy
Team Manager - Chris Beech
Goalkeeper Coach - Rob Zabica
Stirling Lions defender Bobby Wilson has recovered from a knee and foot injury and is ready for Saturday's blockbuster against Western Knights at Nash Field. The former Notts County player, who returned to the side against Perth SC two weeks ago, is happy to be back and looking forward to the Knights game. "The injury is going well. I'm just taking it slow and working on strengthening the injured areas, but I'm just glad to be back on the park," said Wilson.
"We know playing the Knights is always a tough game, especially with their pitch it makes it even tougher. But the boys have got enough about them to pull through this one."
Back-to-back wins against Perth SC and Armadale has moved the Lions back into top five contention and Wilson believe with the squads injuries clearing up they will be ready for the challenges ahead. "We have finally turned the corner this season and both wins were well deserved, and we can now start pushing towards the finals," said Wilson.
The Lions have had a change of coach with Paul Lincoln stepping down for family reason, and Doug Hesketh has taken up the reins, and Wilson wished Lincoln all the best. "I think it came to a point where Paul needed to prioritize his commitments, and I think anyone would have made the same decision. He is going through a hard time personally and all the boys and club are behind him even though he has left the club." explained Wilson.
"Doug and Gary Williams have settled in really well, and the changeover has been good. It's freshened up the whole club and hopefully we can keep the wins going for them."
It was reported A-League side Perth Glory were watching the talented defender last week, but Wilson's only concern at the moment is the Lions but would like to make the next step. "Glory are having a look around the league as there are a number of good players here. Obviously if the opportunity came I would love the chance to test myself at the next level, so we'll see what happens," said Wilson
West Ham and former Stirling Lions junior striker Dylan Tombides will head into the under-17 World Cup in Mexico with his confidence soaring after rattling home three goals in two warm-up matches for Australia's Joeys this week.
Not that he had any reason to be lacking self-belief before finding the net in scratch match victories over Canada and Uruguay.
The Hammers front man is a star in the making. Praised by then Hammers boss Avram Grant last season, the 17-year-old was the reserve team's top scorer before he was elevated to the first team substitute's bench on the last day of the English Premier League season.
Although he did not make an appearance and already relegated West Ham were beaten by Sunderland, the experience was invaluable to a young player still learning his trade.
"Obviously, as a 17-year-old sitting on the bench, it's unbelievable," he told thewest.com.au. "A year ago, if someone said that's where I would be, I wouldn't have believed it.
"But I was disappointed I didn't get the chance to get on."
Assistant national technical director Alistair Edwards, who worked with the Joeys in a two-week Canberra camp before they left for Mexico, said Tombides was an outstanding prospect. "He's a special player," Edwards said.
Opportunities for Tombides will be plentiful in Mexico where the Joeys kick-off their campaign against Ivory Coast on Tuesday morning (WA time), before facing Brazil on Friday and rounding out the group stage against Denmark on Monday week.
His goal-scoring knack could be the key to the Joeys going further in the competition but he is honest enough to recognise the mountain the team faces against excellent opposition.
"We do have a bloody hard group and we'll all have to be on our game every game if we want to go far in the tournament," he said.
Tombides is looming as a key weapon for Australia in what has been dubbed the group of death.
"He is a very technical player, who also knows how to use his body to great effect," Joeys Coach Jan Versleijen told The World Game from Mexico.
"He has all the tools at his disposal and he absolutely has the talent to go very far in the game. But at the age of 17 it is hard to say whether they will make that next step," added Versleijen.
"A lot of it is hard work, opportunity and being at the right club at the right time. For him, he is at a club which clearly recognises his quality and that is a good thing.
"They are also keen to give him an opportunity to develop. He needs to be playing regularly at a good level to progress."
Stirling Lions exacted sweet revenge in a clinical and controlled display of wet weather football at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Saturday in their 3-1 win, after being knocked out of the Cup by Armadale only a fortnight ago. Lions controlling midfielders all got on the score sheet with Andy Brown, Dean Evans and Ludo Boi getting amongst the goals.
The Lions were slow to start as Armadale opened up looking to exert their home ground influence early with brothers Tom and James Robinson getting involved in the early Armadale attacks. A defensive mix up by Lions captain Bobby Wilson and stand in left full back Clayton Arnez allowed Tom Robinson to sneak in behind the Lions defence and deliver a pin point cross to brother James who headed home from close range in the 6th minute sending the Army faithful into song and celebration.
Stirling wrestled back control as creative midfielders Brown, Evans, Boi and Roberto Lujan played some excellent one touch passing that had the Army defence on the back foot. The Lions equalized when Evans and Boi combined with Phil O'Callaghan who sent a defense splitting pass through to Brown who calmy chipped the advancing keeper Cyril Sharrock in the 25th minute.
The Lions continued the onslaught on the Armadale defence and soon after O'Callaghan beat two defenders to get into the box but his angled shot whistled centimetres past the post with Sharrock well beaten. Armadale countered when Craig Young sent a great ball wide to James Robinson who whipped in a cross that beat all the Lions defence with Matt Barlow at full stretch but unable to get purchase on the ball.
A Cyril Sharrock howler almost gifted Lions winger Lujan the lead in the 40th minute as he took too long to clear the ball and Lujan nipped in to steal the ball from the bemused keepers’ feet and with an open goal at his mercy blasted wide. Stirling were firing on all cylinders as Boi and O'Callaghan had shots into the side netting before the half was over.
Stirling came out breathing fire as the rain came down early in the second half with a quick exchange of passes from Evans and Brown releasing livewire Ludo Boi (left) to smash his shot from 20 metres rocketing low and hard past Sharrock in the 48th minute.
Armadale bounced back with Barlow testing Lions custodian Cory Hugo with a long range shot that Hugo acrobatically saved tipping the ball over the bar in the 50th minute.
It was end to end football as the Lions brought on fresh legs with Jamie DeAbreu and Anthony Skorich providing good run out wide for the impressive Stirling side. Armadale were not to be outdone as a series of corner kicks poured pressure on the Lions goal but Cory Hugo stood tall and plucked the ball like a cherry as it bobbled in the box.
The final act would see hard working Lions midfielder Dean Evans take on the Armadale defence and blast his shot at goal and skidding into the bottom corner from a slight deflection in the 85th minute.
Lions newly appointed coach Doug Hesketh said "I was proud of our efforts today and in particular the hard running off the ball by our forwards which opened the path for 3 of our midfielders to score. It was important we backed up the good win against Perth last week with a result today and the lads executed the game plan perfectly today."
Stirling's Reserves had a solid 3-1 win while the 18's drew 1-1.
This week the Lions travel to Nash Field to meet 3rd placed Western Knights next Saturday at 3pm.
The Stirling Lions have accepted senior Lions coach Paul Lincoln's request for compassionate leave to assist his family with his gravely ill father Robert who has had a brave cancer fight in recent months.
Club President Don Evans said "It has been a trying time for Paul all year long, the weight of football has compounded on Linc's whose gravely ill dad has been in need of total family support whilst bravely fighting a cancer battle. The club accepted his request to step down to devote the remaining time to support his mum and dad in their time of need. Paul Lincoln has been tremendous in the year and a half he has been with our club and will continue to be a respected and honoured champion of our club. Last years effort in putting the Lions back on the football map with a historic Solo Cup win against Floreat Athena and Runners Up in the league topped off a fantastic year for the club and for Paul personally as he took out Coach of the Year. Linc's will be a valuable part of the club going forward and he has indicated a willingness to still help out and coming down on match days supporting the Lions with the rest of us. Everyone at The Den wishes Paul and his family well through this difficult time."
Respected Under 18's youth coach Doug Hesketh has been appointed Head Coach along with former Lions assistant Gary Williams returning to his former role, while Dejan Vilic will take over the Under 18's alongside Joe Pugliese.
Stirling Lions bounced back to form in convincing fashion on Saturday, handing out a football lesson in their 3-1 win over second placed Perth SC 3-1 in an entertaining encounter at Macedonia Park. Man of the match Bobby Wilson had Perth Glory eyes there to witness his dominant performance leading the Lions defence.
Both teams played with high intensity from start to finish, but it was home side Stirling who came out on top as the final whistle blew.
The first half of the game was dominated by the Lions with lively strikers Jamie De Abreu and Phil O'Callaghan hitting the post from direct strikes at goal while midfielders Dean Evans and Andy Brown pulled the strings in the centre of the park.
Only one goal was scored during the first half, by Stirling striker Phil O'Callaghan (left) during the 41st minute. This was the first of a hat trick for O'Callaghan, who shot from 15 yards out, with his first attempt shakily blocked by goal keeper Devon Spence. He collected the subsequent deflection and buried the ball into goals to take the score to 1-nil at the close of the first half.
Both sides came out firing in the second half. Perth asserted themselves early, when Vlad Naumovski took a shot at goals, with Stirling goal keeper Cory Hugo blocking his attempt in a diving save in the 50th minute. Hugo fumbled the ball and dropped it at the striker's feet, allowing him a second chance. Naumovski saw the opportunity to equalise and tried to tap the ball over the line, but his shot lacked direction and was scooped up by the experienced Hugo.
Seven minutes later, Perth equalised when Matt Danskin assisted Greg Sharland in the box, whose first shot was saved by goal keeper Hugo parying it back into the path of Sharland to put it away in the 57th minute.
In the 62nd minute referee Michael Tolmie made a controversial offside call against Stirling. The home side thought they had scored their second goal of the match from a viciously struck Dean Evans free kick, in the form of an own goal from Perth defender Shaun Kilkelly. Lions spectators roared with disapproval at the decision, as the offside flag went up against Bobby Wilson who hadn't made contact with the ball.
Lions fans roared with approval ten minutes later when Tolmie pointed to the spot after a crude lunging challenge from Shaun Kilkelly brought down Roberto Lujan in the box. A penalty was awarded to the home side, neatly taken by O'Callaghan, who placed the ball in the bottom left corner, past the despairing efforts of Devon Spence who leapt to the left during the 71st minute.
Tempers on the Perth bench became frayed during the 77th minute, when substituted player Matt Danskin swore at referee Michael Tolmie from the sideline. Tolmie immediately dealt him a red card for his uncouth behaviour.
O'Callaghan's onslaught continued into injury time. He scored his third and last goal of the match when goal keeper Spence came off his line, allowing the striker to tap the ball over his head and into the back of the net during the 95th minute, taking the final score to a comprehensive 3-1 win to Stirling.
The Lions Reserves handed out a 5-0 thrashing to Perth while the Under 18's lost 2-0 to top of the table Perth.
Next week the Lions travel to Alfred Skeet Reserve in Armadale to meet an in form Armadale side who knocked the Lions out of the Solo Cup last Monday.
Stirling Lions 3 (O'CALLAGHAN 41', 71', 90+5')
Perth SC 1(SHARLAND 57')
Date: Saturday 11 June
@ Macedonia Park
Attendance: Approx. 300
Kick Off: 3.00pm
Referee: Michael TOLMIE
Stirling Lions: GK Cory HUGO, 2 Clayton ARNEZ, 3 Andy BROWN, 4 Jason GAVIN (11 Dennis GALAN 32'), 5 Dean EVANS, 6 Brent GRIFFITH, 7 Jamie DEABREU, 8 Bobby WILSON, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 14 Anthony SKORICH, 16 Roberto LUJAN (13 Bons MTWALE 81')
Substitutes not used: 9 Jamie WATT, 12 James DAVIS, 20 Connor CAMPBELL
Yellow Cards - Nil
Perth SC: GK Devon SPENCE (gk), 2 Trent KAY, 4 Craig SIMPSON, 6 Shaun KILKELLY, 7 Matt DANSKIN (9 Dave ONOFORO 67'), 8 Rob PUCA, 11 Rob SCIASCIA, 14 Josh PERIERA, 17 Vlad NAUMOVSKI, 22 Dean APPLEGREN, 23 Greg SHARLAND (3 Adam BACHILLER 67')
Substitutes not used: RGK Jason SALDARIS, 15 Antonio NAGLIERI, 20 Matt IZZO
Yellow Cards: ONOFORO 77', Craig SIMPSON 79'
Red Cards: DANSKIN 77’
Armadale booked themselves a second successive State League Cup semi-final appearance by beating trophy holders Stirling Lions 4-1 at Macedonia Park. Stirling's Cup defence looked to be on safe ground after Jamie De Abreu fired them into a first half lead. However, Armadale surged back after the turnaround with Craig Young equalising before the game was swung well and truly in their favour by Tom Robinson and Matt Barlow. Stirling were down to ten men when Barlow added his second, and the teams' fourth, late on.
The first opening of an action-packed first half had Barlow skim the outside of the post. Stirling countered two minutes later with Anthony Skorich's attempted lob over Jack Adams drifting off-target. Jamie De Abreu (left) opened up a passage to goal in the 20th minute by getting past Matt Bennion and slotting into the bottom corner, much to the joy of the home supporters. With half time on the approach Armadale upped the ante, Tom Robinson finding the feet of Craig Young who was denied an equalising goal by Cory Hugo's diving save.
Armadale kicked off the second period with a spell of sustained pressure. James Robinson's ambitious long-range attempt hit the post with Barlow sending the rebound wide. Three minutes later James Robinson got his shot from the top of the 18-yard box on target only for Hugo to save. This attacking approach was rewarded in the 54th minute when a James Robinson corner picked out Young, who drove into the back of the net with a crisp finish.
Now back on level terms, Armadale wanted the lead. And they had it on 67 minutes when Tom Robinson was sent one-on-one with Hugo, who blocked his opponents initial shot but was helpless as the rebound was sent into the net. Barlow got himself on the scoresheet after 80 minutes by volleying in after being teed-up by Tom Robinson. Stirling's misery continued six minutes later with substitute David Hunt shown a straight red card. The icing was put on Armadale's cake three minutes from the end when Barlow rifled into the net with a free-kick.
Stirling Lions 1 (DE ABREU 20')
Armadale 4 (YOUNG 54', Tom ROBINSON 67', BARLOW 80', 87')
Date: Monday 6 June
Venue: Macedonia Park
Kick Off: 2.30pm
Referee: David COSTELLO
Stirling Lions: GK Cory HUGO, 2 Rick DELBASSO (12 Ludo BOI 49'), 4 Jason GAVIN, 5 Dean EVANS, 6 Brent GRIFFITHS (16 Dave HUNT 77'), 7 Jamie DE ABREU, 9 Jamie WATT (8 Bobby WILSON 65'), 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 11 Dennis GALAN, 14 Anthony SKORICH, 15 James DAVIS
Substitutes not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 3 Tom SENIOR,
Yellow Cards - GRIFFITHS 23’, GALAN 52'
Red Cards – Hunt 86’
Armadale: GK Jack ADAMS, 2 Blake ADAMS, 3 Sean NICHOLLS, 4 Warren BEATTIE, 5 Matt BENNION (7 COSTELLO 88'), 10 James ROBINSON 11 Thomas ROBINSON, 14 Craig YOUNG, 15 Craig ROBSON, 16 Ali PAREDES (12 POTTON 85'), 17 Matt BARLOW
Substitutes not used: 6 Marlon RAMIREZ
A fantastic double on debut to Million Butshiire has sealed an incredible 3-2 win for struggling Cockburn City, whose coach Mick Lyons was up against his former side Stirling Lions for the first time.
Butshiire, Ivan Skorich and Ian McMurray were three of the starting new faces for the Cockerels, while former Socceroos and Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Michael Petkovic was on the bench.
It didn't take long for Butshiire to make an impact at Dalmatinac Park, poking home the opener just two minutes into the match as the pacy striker ducked in behind the napping Lions defence and sneaking his shot past Cory Hugo.
To the Lions credit they nearly responded immediately, but a goal line clearance saved Cockburn's blushes.
However, the visitors did manage an equaliser in the 10th minute through two-time Golden Boot winner Phil O'Callaghan.
The Lions marksman received the ball on the edge of the penalty area and fired a low, stinging drive into the bottom-left corner, out of Dejan Aleksic's reach.
Stirling nearly had another later in the half through Anthony Skorich, but the former Perth Glory striker's header was cut out by a strong Aleksic save.
At the other end, it was Skorich's opposite number and younger brother Ivan, that was causing havoc for the Stirling defence.
The former National Training Centre striker headed the ball from a Cockburn corner into the path of teammate Rory Feely, but the latter's spectacular attempt at an over the shoulder volley travelled the wrong side of the post.
It was drama aplenty as play resumed in the second half, with a match-ending tackle, sending off and an own goal scored in the space of five minutes of the restart.
Ruthless Stirling defender Michael Pugliese caught Cockburn's Jon Davite in a crunching challenge which saw him immediately cautioned by referee Michal Jasinski.
However, a few moments later saw the referee incredibly march over to Pugliese once again, this time displaying a red card and sending the Lions defender in for an early shower.
Both teams were down to 10 men as Davite was off the field receiving treatment when some terrible Stirling defence under pressure saw Brent Griffiths errantly score an own goal to end a nightmare few minutes for Paul Lincoln's side.
Davite was subbed off moments later as Cockburn looked destined to hold on for their 2-1 lead.
City captain Paul Natale made his side's job much harder when the usually reliable defender inexplicably attempted to back pass to a teammate, but instead laid the ball perfectly for Stirling striker Jamie Watt, who made no mistake from six yards.
With approximately 15 minutes left to go in the match, Cockburn desperately needed a winner to come to get their season back on track and it came from the boot of Butshiire.
The former Perth Glory Youth attacker executed a well-taken shot from a tight angle, curling it into the top right corner of Hugo's goal and sending the Cockburn fans into raptures to grab a 3-2 lead, and they were able to hold on until the final whistle.
Cockburn City 3 (BUTSHIIRE 2', 74', O,G 51’)
Stirling Lions 2 (O'CALLAGHAN 10', WATT 73')
Date: Saturday 4 June
Venue: Dalmatinac Park
Attendance: Approx. 300
Referee: Michal JASINSKI
Cockburn City: GK Dejan ALEKSIC, 17 Paul NATALE (c), 9 Rory FEELY, 12 Jon DAVITE (3 Declan BOYAN 52'), 7 Ivan SKORICH, 19 David ARRAYA, 13 Su Sang YANG, 6 Pavle BISERKO, 5 Jason GODFREY, 21 Ian McMURRAY, 15 Million BUTSHIIRE
Yellow Cards - Nil
Substitutes not used: 23 Michael PETKOVIC, 13 Wesley BRITZ, 4 Terrence CONNER, 18 Ross EDWARDS
Stirling Lions: GK Cory HUGO, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 3 Andy BROWN, 4 Jason GAVIN (c), 5 Dean EVANS, 6 Brent GRIFFITHS, 14 Jamie DE ABREU (11 Dennis GALAN 53'), 9 Jamie WATT (12 Shintaro ITO 73'), 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 16 Roberto LUJAN, 7 Anthony SKORICH
Substitutes not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 15 James DAVIS
Yellow Cards: PUGLIESE 49', LUJAN 87', EVANS 88', GALAN 90+2'
Red Cards: PUGLIESE 50'
Former Stirling Lions and Perth Glory Youth skipper Steve Hesketh was back in Perth last week recuperating from injury and we caught up with him to chat about his time at Indonesian ISL side Deltras Putra Sidorajio. "It's going great in Indonesia, it's a little bit different to Australia but I'm really enjoying the experience and of course the football," said Hesketh.
"This is my first season at the club so I've had to try and establish myself in the team and the league, but I've been fortunate to have played over 20 games this season and only missed a few through suspensions and the last couple of weeks with an injury. I picked up a knock on my knee in the last match, nothing to serious but it came at a good time with us having a few weeks between games and I was able to come home and catch up with family and friends which was fantastic."
It's been a busy time for 22-year-old after leaving the Glory last season he headed off to the UK and America for trials and could be heading back after the end of the ISL season. "I really enjoyed my time in both the UK and America. I went to Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United, Bury and Accrington Stanley in the Uk and played a number of reserve games. It was a great experience and a great opportunity to test myself even though I just lucked out, but that's how trials go. It's always hard to show everything you've got in a short period of time, and I've defiantly not ruling out going back," explained Hesketh.
"In the US I went to MLS side Portland Timbers where I played against Mexican Champions Deportivo Atlas and was on the bench against Manchester City, who were on their pre-season tour, in two exhibition games. They invited me back in January, but after Robbie Gasper, who is playing in the ISL, contacted me I headed over to Indonesia and the rest is history."
The ISL is the official league in Indonesia and Hesketh believes it's a good standard of football. "The standard in the league is excellent, and many of the Indonesian National team play in it. The new IPL took a few players away but there are a number of quality imports from Brazil, Argentina, Korea and Malaysia. There is a restriction in the league with all clubs only allowed 5 foreign players," said Hesketh.
"At the moment I've just begun to establish myself in Asia and I'm looking forward to playing here next season. I've been contacted by a few clubs regarding next season, which is great, so we will see what happens."
Hesketh keeps in regular contact with the Lions through their web site, as they were the club that gave him his chance at senior level. "I still talk to all the lads on Facebook and talk to President Don Evans regularly, and I wish the lads well for the remainder of the season. I'll be catching a few games when the ISL season finishes and return to Perth for a holiday," said Hesketh.
Balcatta returned to the top of the All Flags Premier League after a hard fought 2-0 win against Stirling Lions at Grindleford Reserve on Sunday.
The Lions had the better of the first half but failed to take their chances, and second half goals from Daniel Niederberger and Ashley Rosindale gave Michael Roki’s side the win.
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln was disappointed with the result but not the performance. “We will play worse than that this season and win, and I’ve told the players that in the rooms. I was really proud of the way we took the game to Balcatta, but if you don’t take your chances you won’t get the results,” said Lincoln.
“It thought we played some terrific football in the game but our decision making in the last third let us down today. Balcatta are a good side and we took it to them, and if we play like that for the rest of the season we will win more than we lose.”
The Lions made three changes to the side that beat Mandurah City 4-2 last week with Michael Pugliese returning to the side along with Jamie De Abreu and Brent Griffiths. Ludovic Boi failed a late fitness test and he joined Bobby Wilson on the side lines while Dennis Galen dropped to the bench.
It was a sad day for the Balcatta Soccer Club, after the death of reserves player Luke Beyer in a car crash on Friday, and the players and supporters stood as one in a minutes silence before the game in his honour.
It was a great start for the Lions and they went close in the fourth minute. Dean Evans curling free kick beat keeper Lewis Italiano but struck the outside of the post.
Then four minutes later Anthony Skorich (right) found Jamie Watt on the edge of the penalty area and his first time shot was deflected wide by Adam Tong.
Balcatta settled and went close themselves on ten minutes, Skorich’s poor clearance only found Moe Atak and his through ball sent Niederberger clear on the left of the penalty area, his low shot well saved by Cory Hugo.
The crowd were enjoying the high tempo game and two minutes later Balcatta went close to taking the lead. A corner from the right by Rosindale caused problems in the Lions defence, and Jovo Pavlovic’s shot on the turn from eight-yards was cleared off the line by Roberto Lujan.
With the first goal being vital in the game it was the Lions dominating possession and on 22 minutes Evans’ free kick from the right found Andy Brown at the back post and his first time shot was superbly saved by Italiano.
The talented Balcatta keeper came to his sides rescue again five minutes later, saving well from Lujan’s (left) after the speedy winger was sent clear by Skorich, although the flag was raised for offside.
A win was vital for both sides and they both created further chances as the game ebbed and flowed. Atak sent John Migas in down the left, he laid the ball back to an unmarked Niederberger on the edge of the penalty area, but the striker blazed over. While at the other end Watt set up Phil O’Callaghan in the last minute, but his shot was saved by Italiano.
The visitors opened the second half like the first, and on 53 minutes De Abreu and Watt combined to set up O’Callaghan, whose curling shot went just over the top.
But it was the home side that took the lead four minutes later. Migas picked out Rosindale on the left, and he fed Niederberger, who found space on the edge of the penalty area and fired home.
The Lions looked to bounce back immediately and De Abreu fired wide on the hour, and moments later O’Callaghan’s shot flashed wide of the far post.
With The Lions pushing men forward Balcatta started to pick holes in their defence and on 77 minutes Rosindale wriggled clear on the edge of the penalty area and his low shot was well saved by Hugo and Jason Barrera’s follow up shot was deflected wide by Pugliese (right).
Moments later Rosindale was the supplier, finding Barrera on the right of the penalty area; his low shot beat Hugo but went the wrong side of the post.
The Lions were pushing everything at Balcatta, O’Callaghan shot on 85 minutes was saved low by Italiano and three minutes later the Balcatta keeper produced another stunning save to deny Watt’s close-range volley.
The points were wrapped up for the home side in the 90th minute. Stephen Burton won possession in the middle of the park, and played in Rosindale. The strikers shot was well saved by Hugo but the rebound fell kindly to Rosindale who fired home the rebound, to give Balcatta the three points.
Balcatta Coach Michael Roki was delighted with the win on a sad day off the pitch for the club. “I was really pleased with the win today, it been a hard few days for the club with the loss of Luke, and I’ve been through the same at Floreat with Troy Bernard a few years ago,” said Roki.
“It’s was an emotional day for the club today but the players were great. Adam Tong was a doubtful starter today with a neck injury, but he passed a late fitness and he was excellent, and Lewis was outstanding making a couple of critical saves.”
Balcatta: GK Lewis ITALIANO, 5 Adam TONG, 6 Spencer HARRIS, 7 Daniel MICEVSKI, 8 Jason BARRERA, 9 Moe ATAK, 10 Ashley ROSINDALE, 11 Daniel NEIDERBERGER (15 Paul VATISTAS 83’), 12 Stephen BURTON, 13 John MIGAS, 16 Jovo PALOVIC
Subs not used - RGK Jason SALDARIS, 2 Simon ELTONBOTT, 3 Chris THACKRAY, 17 Veo HUMAN
Yellow Cards – Pavlovic 48’, Burton 81’
Stirling Lions: GK Cory HUGO, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 3 Andy BROWN, 4 Jason GAVIN, 5 Dean EVANS, 6 Brent GRIFFITHS, 7 Anthony SKORICH, 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 14 Jamie DEABREU, 16 Roberto LUJAN
Substitutes not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 8 James DAVIS, 12 Shinto ITO, 11 Dennis GALAN
Yellow Cards – Nil
Referee – David Costello
After last week’s hard fought 4-2 win against Mandurah City, the Lions are on the road in week 14 of the All Flags Premier League when they take on league leaders Balcatta in a local derby at Grindleford Reserve on Sunday (3pm)
Anthony Skorich found his goal scoring touch last week with a brace and Lions Coach Paul Lincoln hopes he can continue on with his good form on Sunday. "It was a good performance from Anthony last week and he and Phil O’Callaghan are in good form, so I’m hoping they can continue that form into Sunday’s game. I thought the whole team fought the game out well against Mandurah which was pleasing,” said Lincoln.
“We go in as the underdogs and we have to be on our game to come away with three points. They are a good team with many match winners. We are hoping to nullify the supply to Rosindale and Burton and hopefully put some pressure on their defence. . The players are looking forward to the game and are well aware of how important it is for them.”
In team new Bobby Wilson is out through injury, but Brent Griffiths returns to the side after missing the win against Mandurah. The Lions and are hopeful defender Michael Pugliese will return after missing last week, and he and Ludovic Boi will have late fitness tests on Sunday.
Balcatta are clear at the top of the table and English striker Steven Burton continues to impress for the home side, and his partnership with Ashley Rosindale will need to be watched closely. Paul Vatistas is close to a return, while Jovo Pavlovic and Chris Thackray return to the squad from suspension.
When Swan United was relegated from the Premier League last season, it looked like the end had come on the career of keeper Cory Hugo.
The former WA State shot stopper thought it was time to hang up the gloves but after a word in his ear from Stirling Lions Coach Paul Lincoln the 32-year-old headed down to Macedonia Park, and he’s enjoying his new surroundings. “I thought the time had come. I did the preseason with the Lions and was keen to get a kick but they decided to go with youth which was fair enough. A few weeks in James Turvill got injured and Linc’s called me to help out, I wanted to make it clear that I was keen to play the whole year and they were happy with that,” said Hugo.
“I have a family now with another baby coming so I’m looking forward to that but at the same time I am still keen to do as much as I can with my football because everyone keeps telling me that you’re along time retired.”
It was a huge decision for Hugo to leave the Black and Whites last season, but he believes they have a good keeper in Daniel Agudelo to see them back to the Premier League. “Aggers is an excellent keeper who deserves to be playing first team football. He has been very loyal to the Swans and I wanted to make sure that when I left Francis Street they had a readymade replacement that would be good for them,” explained Hugo.
“Playing first division would have meant that Daniel or I left and I thought it would be better for the club to have the young gun, which would be around for another 10 years. I loved my time at Swans and will be at many of their games when I finally hang up the boots in the future. The people there were great to me and I really appreciated their support.”
The experienced keeper has settled well at The Lions, and is enjoying his time and believes they will get stronger. “I’m certainly still enjoying playing and we have a quality team. I came here to end my career with some more trophies and I’m confident with the squad we have that we can turn our season around and finish in the top five, where anything can happen,” said Hugo.
“We have had some injuries and playing staff leave throughout the year which doesn’t help, but where getting to the point where there is competition for places and that means we all have to perform to keep our spot. That can only mean that we play better football and get the results we need to move up the ladder.”
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln is delighted to have the experienced Hugo at the club. “Cory has brought experience and leadership to the team and is also a mentor for our younger keepers. His season to date has been good and I think he will step up in our big games and show why we brought him to the club,” said Lincoln..
The Lions beat Mandurah City last week to keep them in touch with the top teams and Hugo believes the big win could kick start their season. “It was a very important win for the club last week. We know need to take that momentum with us and continue to get results. We all know one game doesn't make a year and we have to be more consistent for the whole 90 minutes to finish where we think we should be in the top five,” said Hugo.
An away trip to Balcatta this week for the Lions, and Hugo is expecting a tough game. “They are the benchmark in the league this season, but they have had some stumbles recently. If we play our own game and work hard for each other we certainly have the team to beat them. We have quality players all over the park and on the bench and I’m sure that if we approach the game with the right mind set we will get the result we want on the weekend,” explained Hugo.
Former Lions’ striker Dylan Tombides could not have wished for more from the first year of his scholarship with West Ham United. Ten-months ago Tombides, who turned 17 in March, was playing Youth team football but inside the space of a few months had been promoted to the Reserves.
Rated highly by the Hammers coaching staff, Tombides continued his rise and on the final day of the Premier League season appeared on the bench for the first team game with Sunderland. And there'll be little time for rest during the off-season with the Hammers’ Academy Player of the Year due to represent Australia at the Under-17 World Cup.
Tombides, who spent time in the juniors at Macedonia Park, is pleased to be reaping the rewards of his hard work. "It's been a great season. I'm very happy with my development so far. It's all about getting a chance and taking it and I think I've done that well this season," he said reflecting on a stellar twelve months. "A lot of hard work has gone in behind the scenes. I spend a lot of time in the gym and when I get home I'm really tired. It's all about going to bed and getting some good sleep and coming back the next morning ready to go. It does make a big difference. I might stay around and do a little extra that could make me a bit quicker or a bit stronger. That's what gets you a little bit further in your life."
Some of the recent seasons' games stand out a little more than others for Tombides. "It was nice to walk out at Upton Park in the FA Youth Cup against Manchester United," he commented. "Every game I play is always a highlight, but the one I'd probably take is scoring two against Arsenal reserves. A lot of first team players played so it was another good experience for me. Being in the squad against Burnley was a very big thing for me ... Being considered for that event was a proud moment for me."
Tombides' other big highlight has been training with the senior set-up. "Training for the first team was both exciting and nerve-wracking. Once you get into it, you're up and running but at first you're just hoping you can get through the session without making yourself look like a bit of a mug!," he said. "The coaching staff and players are very nice and kind to you, so it was good to train with them. I just went out there and did the best I could. If I fitted in then great, but I know I still have things to work on."
Tombides (Left with Lions' President Don Evans) was quick to praise the influence on his career made by Academy director Tony Carr and his parents, Jim and Tracylee. "Tony has been a very good coach for me - you've only got to see the players who have come through the Academy. I've only played under him for a season so far, but you can see I have come a long way under his eye, which is a testament to him," the striker commented. "My family and friends have always been encouraging me, too. I'm very thankful to them because they're always around to help me out and without them I wouldn't be where I am today."
The icing on the cake will come next month when Tombides lines up for Australia at the Under-17 World Cup in Mexico. "It's a big tournament and I'm really looking forward to it," said Tombides, who made his Joeys debut last August against Portugal. "No matter how far we go, it'll be a great event and a good experience for us. We have got a lot of things to work on, but I'm confident we'll do all right. We won't be rolled over. Australians don't lie down. We'll always fight to the end and that might get us the last-minute goal that could take us through."
Tombides, who netted nine goals in 32 appearances at West Ham this season, is eager to continue making his mark for both club and country. "I'm very happy with what I've been gifted, but it's up to me what I do with it. I can't just think 'I've made it'. I've still got a long way to go and to work very hard," he commented. "I'll obviously start with the youth team next season, but as soon as I progress I'll be very happy. At the same time, my progression means younger players will get a chance in the youth team, which will be very good for them and will help the club as a whole."
Stirling Lions jumped to sixth on the All Flags State League ladder with a come-from-behind 4-2 win over Mandurah City at Macedonia Park.
A double from midfielder Anthony Skorich sealed the Lions' fourth win of the season, and Lions Coach Paul Lincoln was delighted with the performance. “The players new the importance of the game and that no less than a win would do so I was pleased for them that they responded,” said Lincoln.
“We started with a different formation and it worked out for us. There are still areas for improvement so we need to get better in areas. Anthony Skorich was terrific and it was good to see his hard work rewarded with two goals. I was also pleased with the performance of Jason Gavin who I thought had his best game this season.”
Lincoln was forced into two changes to the side that lost at Floreat Athena last week with Jamie Watt and Dennis Galen coming into the side to replace the injured pair Michael Pugliese and Brent Griffiths.
Stirling attacked hard early on, eager to turn around a recent run of poor form. Skorich had a chance to open up the scoring at the quarter-hour mark when he found some space on the right, but his shot only managed to hit the side-netting.
The visitors took a shock 1-0 lead against the run of play when Victor Insuralde smartly chipped the ball over Stirling keeper Cory Hugo from 15-yards.
Skorich was rewarded for his hard work minutes later after getting on the end of a sensationally timed free-kick from Dean Evans to square things up at 1-1
Evans setup another at the 36 minute mark when his perfectly timed corner-kick found the head of Bobby Wilson for a 2-1 advantage.
Mandurah had a golden opportunity to get back into the game when Lions' keeper Cory Hugo gifted them with a penalty. Insuralde found the back of the net but referee Paul Andersen called it back. Unfortunately for the Dolphins' striker he hit the second attempt too hard and over the crossbar.
Skorich completed his double before half-time, getting on the end of a Jamie Watt’s cross with a powerful strike that left goalkeeper Kenny Ftynogiannis stranded.
Garin Collins gave his side a glimmer of hope minutes into the second half when he coolly slotted the ball past Hugo to make it 3-2.
Mandurah Coach Mike Brazil made a double-substitution on the hour mark, injecting some much-needed energy into his side.
Ludo Boi put a nail in the Mandurah coffin with the fourth with 20 minutes remaining. Roberto Lujan picked up the ball on the left and made a run across the top of the box and laid it wide to Boi who finished with aplomb.
Lions’ second half substitute Mitchell Crocker almost made it five late on, his darting run took him clear of the Dolphins defence, but the youngster hesitated and his shot was block by Ftynogiannis.
City tried desperately hard to salvage a draw in the dying stages but it was too little too late as the Lions gained three very valuable points.
Stirling Lions: GK Cory HUGO, 3 Andy BROWN, 4 Jason GAVIN, 5 Dean EVANS, 7 Anthony SKORICH (15 James DAVIS 53'), 8 Bobby WILSON (12 Shintaro ITO 81'), 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 11 Dennis GALAN, 14 Ludo BOI (2 Mitchell CRONER 84'), 16 Roberto LUJAN
Substitutes not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL
Mandurah City: GK Kenny FYTNOGIANNIS, 2 Ryan TOWNSEND, 3 Jeff BRIGHT, 4 Tom STRAKER, 5 Jake LORRETTO (9 Billy RICKMAN 62'), 7 Darren BROXTON, 8 Garin COLLINS, 10 Victor INSAURADALE (21 Sean DASH 88'), 15 Matt STARES, 16 Robbie HAMM, 17 Seb BELL (11 Tommy JONES 62')
Substitutes not used: RGK Tim SMITH, 13 Cameron LOMAX
Referee – Paul Anderson
Attendance – 500 (approx.)
Stirling Lions will be looking at starting the second half of the season better than the first, when they host Mandurah City in week 13 of the All Flags Premier League at Macedonia Park on Sunday (3pm)
A disappointing defeat last time out against Floreat Athena left the Lions in 10th place on the table level on points with Sunday’s visitors, and coach Paul Lincoln will be looking for a big response from his players. “Last week’s result was disappointing for our club; we had a lot of players that didn’t play well, although we did dominated possession but that possession did not lead to any goals. Floreat defended well getting numbers back and along with the pitch being compact it was difficult to score, but that’s no excuse,” said Lincoln.
“The season is at the half way mark and we have had a poor start having only won three games. I am confident that we can turn it around and make our move up the ladder. The players are well aware of the situation we are in and will be treating today’s game like a cup final. Mandurah will not be easy they have a better record away from home and need to win as well so we expect a tough contest.”
In team news Lions midfielder Andy Brown comes up against his former club for the first time since his move and he and Dean Evans will be vital if the Lions are to keep pace with the top five. Jamie Watt has recovered from injury but with Michael Pugliese faces a late fitness test, but Brent Griffiths is out injured.
The Dolphins are coming of the bye and won last time on the road at Cockburn City. Defender Jeff Bright is looking forward to Sunday’s showdown with the Lions. “The Lions wouldn't be happy with where they are sitting on the table and will try to turn it around starting this weekend but I’m pretty confident of getting something out of the game. I think as a playing group we are starting to really find some form our defence has been strong all season and our strikers are starting to score goals which we have lacked,” said Bright.
In other Premier League games Inglewood United host Floreat Athena at the 6PR Stadium, league leaders Balcatta host Western Knights at Grindleford Reserve, Armadale entertain Cockburn City at Alfred Skeet Oval, while ECU Joondalup take on the NTC at The ECU Arena – Bayswater City have the bye.
Floreat Athena continued their midseason revival with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Stirling Lions at Litis Stadium on Sunday.
A first-half strike from Paul Van Dongen was enough for Athena to record their third win of the season.
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln was left to rue another poor performance, especially in front of goal. “We had a lot of players that didn’t play well today. We did dominated possession but that possession did not lead to any goals, which is a concern. Floreat defended well getting numbers back and along with the pitch being compact it was difficult to score, but that’s no excuse,” said a disappointed Lincoln.
Stirling had the bulk of the attacking early, continually poking holes in the Athena defence, but they were dealt a blow early with midfielder Brent Griffiths suffering a groin injury in the opening 15 minutes. Michael Pugliese came agonisingly close when his shot got past the outstretched hands of Floreat keeper Alex Dunn, only to rocket into the upright.
Floreat got the scoring underway against the run of play when Paul Van Dongen caught Stirling goalie Cory Hugo off his line and coolly slotted the ball into the back of the net.
This turned the game on its head as the home side lifted their intensity heading into half-time. The blue-and-whites took a 1-0 lead into the break and nearly doubled their advantage early in the second half when Mark Pritchard found some space, only to spray his shot well wide.
Shitaro Ito was subbed on to bring some much needed energy into the Lions attack and made an immediate impact on the game. The match heated up on the hour mark as the two fierce rivals battled hard for possession in the midfield. Athena was down to 10-men after Calum O'Connell was given his second yellow card for a reckless challenge on Ito.
Dunn was outstanding between the posts for Floreat, producing a number of sensational saves to keep his clean sheet. Stirling had their chances to salvage a point late in the match but time-after-time wasted their opportunities.
After some very nervous moments for the Floreat faithful they hung onto three very valuable points to leapfrog Stirling on the table.
Floreat assistant coach Taki Nicolaidis praised his side's fighting qualities in what was a tough second-half.
"It was tough, both teams haven't had the best start to the season," he said.
"Once we got 1-0 up we did want to protect the lead.
"Credit to the (desperation of the) 10 guys who had to finish the game off."
Nicolaidis also credited the performance of goalkeeper Alex Dunn who performed exceptionally well under pressure.
"I've got a lot of time and respect for Alex, he's a really underrated goalkeeper," Nicolaidis said.
"He has done it tough coming through the 18's and reserves.
"(Alex is) just getting better every year."
Floreat Athena: 1. Alex DUNN (GK), 4. Julian MADASCHI, 5. Jarrad SMITH, 6. Miki VUJACIC(15. Callum FRANZ 66'), 8. Michael VAN DONGAN, 9. Paul VAN DONGAN (13. Daniel TREVISOL 79'), 10. Liam BOLAND, 12. James ISAIA, 14. Mark PRITCHARD, 16. Ante KOVACEVIC, 18. Calum O'CONNELL
Substitutes not used: RGK Simon MADASCHI, 2. Max ELLIOTT
Stirling Lions: 1. Cory HUGO (GK), 2. Michael PUGLIESE, 3. Andy BROWN, 4. Jason GAVIN, 5. Dean EVANS, 6. Brent GRIFFITHS (15. James DAVIS 13'(12. Shintaro ITO 57')), 7. Anthony SKORICH (9. Jamie WATT 79'), 8. Bobby WILSON, 10. Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 14. Ludo BOI, 16. Roberto LUJAN
Substitutes not used: RGK Drew JENKE, 11. Dennis GALAN
It’s round 12 of the All Flags Premier League this weekend and the Lions visit traditional rivals Floreat Athena at the E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday (3pm)
It’s a must win game for both sides and Lions Coach Paul Lincoln is looking forward to get back into league action after the two week break. “The players are looking forward to the game and they are well aware of the rivalry between the two clubs. It’s a must win game for us, and we know it will be a real battle and have to be at our best to come home with maximum points,” said Lincoln.
A good run out last week saw the Lions beat the NTC 3-0 and defender James Davies (left) believes the two week break for some of the players helped out with their injuries. “The weeks break was definitely a help for us, and gave everyone time to catch up and recover from injuries and any soreness from previous weeks, while the NTC game gave Linc’s the opportunity to try out a few different formations and positions,” said Davies
“Floreat are a good side, but have struggled early in the season, so Sunday’s game is massive for both of us. We go there full of confidence and have a full squad to choose from. We’ve trained well this week and had extra sessions, as we look to kick start our season.”
Floreat were beaten 3-2 at ECU Joondalup last week and midfielder Jarrad Smith knows s the importance of three points on Sunday. “We were disappointed not to have taken any points from ECU last week, but some costly defensive errors, lack of concentration and some wasteful finishing cost us. We almost salvaged something from the game with a late second goal and an equalising goal in the dying seconds being ruled out for offside,” said Smith.
“Sunday’s game is vital for us and with a win we could move into 7th spot. But points aside, these encounters always tend to be an intense and colourful battle with the clubs having a rich history and rivalry, and this one will be no different.”
The Lions will be without former Bournemouth midfielder Garreth O’Connor who has headed back to Ireland after failing to recover from injury, and they will be sweating on the fitness of striker Jamie Watt, who will have to pass a late fitness test.
Anthony Skorich and Dean Evans played starring roles as Stirling Lions toppled the National Training Centre 3-0 in the Football West Development game at Macedonia Park.
Evans marked his first start of the season by putting the home side in front early with Skorich doubling their advantage before the interval. The result was put beyond doubt by Daniel Dols’ own goal seven minutes from the end of regulation time.
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln was pleased on the day when all three Lions teams put in good performances against good opposition. “I’m really pleased with all three teams with our under 18s which included a lot of our under 16s winning, our reserves coming back from 3 – 1 down to draw 3 all with young under 18’s player Ben Meredith scoring two quality goals,” said Lincoln.
“We played in patches and I used the game to try things, the result was meaningless so I was able to do this. We did play better when we played the ball on the deck. Our first goal was good team play and well finished by Dean Evans. We now look forward to playing Floreat which is a must win.”
The Lions gave a debut to new signed Shintato Ito, who signed from Cockburn last month, while Lincoln gave youngster Mitchell Crocker his first start of the season.
The first chance on goal came from the NTC with Ivan Skorich deflecting wide a dangerous low cross from Sahr Musa. Stirling responded with venom in the 10th minute when Ito knocked the ball into the path of Evans who coolly swung his shot past goalkeeper Tom Doyle and inside the upright.
Musa did his best to work NTC back into the match breaking free of the defence and forcing an excellent save from Cory Hugo in a one-on-one. A long ball by Roberto Lujan in the 33rd minute allowed Anthony Skorich to outpace the defence and pushed the ball past Doyle for the Lions second.
With one goal already under his belt, Evans struck the post with a low drive two minutes after the interval. Ludovic Boi, Anthony Skorich and Bobby Wilson also joined in on the party with long-range efforts that were narrowly close to giving Stirling a third goal. That finally arrived on 81 minutes when Anthony Skorich pulled the ball back into the area where substitute Daniel Dols’ attempted clearance deflected off ‘keeper Doyle and rolled into the net. The NTC worked tirelessly for a late consolation but it was without success.
Stirling Lions: GK Cory HUGO, 5 Dean EVANS, 6 Mitchell CROCKER (2 Tom SENIOR 77'), 8 Bobby WILSON, 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Ludo BOI (7 Boas MTWALE 58'), 11 Dennis GALAN (4 Jason GAVIN 55'), 12 Shintato ITO, 13 Anthony SKORICH, 14 Roberto LUJAN, 15 James DAVIS
Substitutes not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL
National Training Centre: GK Tim DOYLE, 2 Josh RISDON (17 Steven WALMSLEY 11') (13 Daniel DOLS 54'), 3 Byron HUDSON, 4 Sam MITCHINSON, 5 Hanafi GHAZALI, 6 Brandon O'NEILL, 7 Reece VITTIGLIA (12 Aleksandar JOVIC 43'), 8 Blamo QUA QUA, 9 Ivan SKORICH, 10 Harry O'BRIEN, 11 Sahr MUSA
Substitutes not used: 14 Chris RIZIDIS
Stirling Lions are back in action this weekend when they entertain the Football West NTC squad on Saturday at Macedonia Park (3pm)
Coming off the bye, the Lions will look to continue their good form they showed against ECU Joondalup last time out, and Coach Paul Lincoln will tinker a little with the side due to a few injury concerns. “It’s good to get back on the park after the bye and the lads are raring to go,” said Lincoln.
“We have to be sensible about the game, it’s a development game for the NTC side, and we have players with niggling injuries. They will not be selected; the bigger picture for us is next week’s clash at Floreat Athena. But saying that we will not be taking the NTC lightly, they have a talented squad and are well coached by Kenny Lowe. It’s a great chance for us to give the opportunity to the fringe players to show me what they can do in the first team, and put pressure on the other lads in the squad come selection time for the next league game.”
Michael Pugliese is not available due to suspension, but former Perth Glory Youth skipper Dean Evans is pushing for a starting role after missing three months with a groin injury.
The NTC are yet to win this season, but are coming off an impressive display against league leaders Balcatta last week, the youngsters losing 4-3. Kenny Lowe is the head coach, and with the talents of Sabit Oyet, Storm Roux, Chris Rizidis, Adam Taggart, Steven Walmsley, Sam Mitchinson, Josh Risdon and Reece Vittiglia in their side, they will give the Lions a tough game. Get along and watch the Lions do battle with the state’s best talented youngster- it should be a cracker!!
Stirling Lions have been drawn at home to Armadale in the Solo Cup Quarter Finals on Monday 6th June 2011 (2.30pm) Lions coach Paul Lincoln is happy to be drawn at home as they look to hold on to their crown. “I’m happy to be drawn at home in the cup, but Armadale are a good side and have just been given a boost with the return of James Robinson,” said Lincoln.
“We are confident if we play to our best we can reach the semi-final, and keep the dream of back-to-back cup wins alive."
The draw was made at the Football West office today, and in other games the only first division side left in the competition, Shamrock Rovers were drawn at home to Sorrento at Harold Rossiter reserve. While the other two games are all Premier league tie’s with Mandurah City hosting Perth SC at The Hyundai Stadium while league leaders Balcatta travel to Nash Field to take on Western Knights.
Lions reserves side will host league leaders Floreat Athena (12.15pm), likewise the under 18’s (10am)
Stirling Lions midfielder Dean Evans has returned to the pitch after three months on the side line with Ostietis pubis. The former Perth Glory Youth player returned for the Lions in their 7-2 cup win against Gosnells City last week, and he's happy to be back on the park and will be hoping to get his match fitness up to scratch in the next month.
"It's been a frustrating time for me; I got OP at the start of January whilst playing with the Glory. At the time I thought nothing of it, and just thought it was just a bit of groin soreness, but then I found out it was more serious, and had to sit out for three months to get it right," explained Evans.
"It was good too finally get back and play some minutes for the Lions, and I was happy to get on the scoresheet. I've never been so tired in my life and only played half a game. But I was happy, and pulled up pretty well. I had a bit of soreness in the legs, but that was expected, and hopefully touchwood, from now on, no more injuries."
The talented midfielder was rewarded for his consistent form by being voted Glory Youth 'Player of the Year' for the last two seasons, but he is still to be signed for the 2011 Youth-League season, but will look at offers. "It's always a great honour to win awards, and was very surprised when I won it. I didn't think I was in the running because I missed too many games, but none the less I'm very honoured to go back to back with Cam Edwards as joint winner too," said Evans.
"I'm still unsure regarding next season at Glory, and nothing concrete has been offered, but I'm keeping my options open."
A number of WA players have moved to the new Indonesian Premier League this season, and Evans would look to try this if things didn't work out in Australia. "For sure if things don't work out in Australia, I would look at all options available, for a professional contract where ever that is," said Evans.
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln is delighted to have Evans back in the squad. “Dean is a true professional, his attitude and commitment to his game is outstanding, and his work ethic, strength and vision are attributes to his game. It has been unfortunate that Dean has been out injured because I believe he makes us stronger, so I’m delighted to have him back,” said Lincoln
This weekend Evans comes up against a few of his Glory Youth team mates this weekend, when the Lions host the NTC at Macedonia Park on Saturday. "I'm looking forward to the game, as I'll come up against some former team mates, so hopefully there's a bit of niggle and banter out on the field. It's perfect for me because I need match fitness and hopefully I can play another 60 minutes on the weekend and then push for full fitness. The NTC are a good footballing side, so they will be no pushover, but I'm sure our boys will show them the respect they deserve," explained Evans.
Stirling Lions kept their State League Cup defence on course with a 7-2 thrashing of Gosnells City at Macedonia Park on Tuesday in round two of the Solo Cup.
Anthony Skorich scored a brace along with Bobby Wilson and Jamie Watt before Ravi Kuppsamy pegged a goal back for Gosnells. Jamie De Abreu returned Stirling’s four-goal buffer but just minutes later that was again trimmed by an own goal by Jason Gavin. Phil O’Callaghan returned fire with Dean Evans marking his return from injury by scoring in stoppage time.
In other results on the day The Lions 18’s won 4-1, while the reserves won 4-2 to also progress into the quarter-finals.
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln made one change from the side that beat ECU Joondalup on Saturday, with skipper Jason Gavin returning in place of Andy Brown, who was cup-tied.
A positive start but Gosnells was undone after just seven minutes when Skorich posted Stirling’s first goal of the afternoon. The home side then took complete control of the game as successive shots from Wilson then Watt were pushed away by goalkeeper Alan Dunlop.
It was during the 27th minute that Wilson found his feet for Stirling’s second goal. Minutes later Dunlop charged too far out of his area, allowing Skorich to curl the ball around him and take the score to three-nil.
Stirling comprehensively pummelled the opposition just five minutes later when Dennis Galan put a through ball into Watt, who tapped into the bottom left hand corner.
A questionable foul in the 40th minute gave Gosnells a kick just outside of the 18-yard box which Kuppasamy sent quickly into the back of the net, and bring the difference back to three goals at the end of 45 minutes.
The home side came out firing in the second half, controlling the speed and direction of the game. Evans played an accurate long ball to O’Callaghan but he shot wide while Scott Muirhead, Ludo Boi and Jamie Davis were also unable to find the net.
It was left to substitute De Abreu to show his team mates how it’s done in the 65th minute. Gavin’s attempt to put the ball over the line six minutes later resulted only in the defender scoring Gosnells’ second goal of the afternoon.
Stirling soon resumed the attack, Evans weaving past a couple of defenders to go one-on-one with Dunlop but the midfielder’s shot was straight into ‘keeper’s hands. O’Callaghan added his named to the scorers in the 78th minute by tucking into the net during a crowded encounter inside the penalty area. Ten minutes later Evans bagged Stirling’s seventh and final goal of the game to send his team in the last eight of the competition.
Lions coach Paul Lincoln was happy to be in the quarter finals and a chance to go back-back. “We were expected to win and we did that and got through unscathed. It was good to see Dean Evans back. He did some really good things today so he will get better with more games under his belt. The weekend has been good for the club with all three teams winning on Saturday and today,” said Lincoln.
Stirling Lions: GK Cory HUGO, 2 Michael PUGLIESE (6 Mitchell CROCKER 75’), 3 Dennis GALAN, 4 Jason GAVIN, 8 Bobby WILSON, (5 Dean EVANS 46’), 9 Jamie WATT, (7 Jamie DE ABREU 46’), 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 11 Scott MUIRHEAD, 13 Anthony SKORICH, 14 Ludo BOI, 15 Jamie DAVIS, - Subs not used – RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 16 Roberto LUJAN
Gosnells City: GK Alan DUNLOP (gk), 2 Brent MAYNE, 3 Ciaran ALLEN, 4 Adrien MCBRIDE, 5 Graham TOUGH, 6 Darren TWYMAN, 7 Ian MCGUIRE, 13 John CABRERA, 8 Andy POMFRET, 9 Darren FRANCIS, 10 Raveshlan KUPPASAMY, 11 Shane WALTERS, 12 Dragan MILANKOVIC, RGK David KEENAN, 14 Aaron COSLANI
Stirling Lions hit back from last week’s thrashing at Inglewood United to beat ECU Joondalup 3-0 in week nine of the All Flags Premier League at Macedonia Park on Saturday.
Scott Muirhead, (Right in action against ECU defender Ross Anderson) who was playing his last league game for Stirling Lions before heading to Melbourne, scored a brace, the other coming from the penalty spot from Phil O’Callaghan. The win moves the Lions up above ECU on the table to sixth, while ECU, who have now gone four games without scoring, drop to seventh.
Lions Coach was delighted with his performance especially after last week’s heavy defeat at Inglewood. “It’s been a long week for us, there has been a lot of soul searching, but I’m really proud of the boys, they showed great character out there today,” said Lincoln.
“We kept our shape well today and I thought youngster James Davies was outstanding today. He had a bad day at the office last week, but he stood up today and I thought he was terrific.”
Both sides made changes to their starting line-up for this vital game. Lions coach Paul Lincoln made three changes to the side that lost at Inglewood last week with skipper Jason Gavin out suspended, he was replaced by reserves skipper Denis Galan, while Michael Pugliese and Anthony Skorich returned with Jamie De Abreu dropping to the bench and Huss Awada was omitted.
ECU Coach Syd Amphlett made just the one change from the side that drew with Mandurah City last week, with Scott Blackmore returning from suspension to replace the injured John Higgins.
There was a good Easter crowd in attendance at kick off and it was the home side with the first opportunity on seven minutes. Muirhead ball into the box found Jamie Watt; he pulled the ball back to Anthony Skorich, whose shot from 20-yards went wide of the post.
It was a tentative opening from both sides, a win vital for both, but ECU should have hit the front on 20 minutes. A great run down the left by Ian McMurray, ended with the Scottish striker pulling the ball back to John Thornley, his shot from eight-yards was superbly saved by Cory Hugo, and Blackmore’s follow up shot flashed wide.
This was the best period of the game for the visitors and eight minutes later Jordan Withey’s corner from the right was headed inches past the post by Charlie Comyn-Platt.
But as the half ended it was The Lions beginning to get on top. First on 33 minutes Skorich and Boi combined to set up O’Callaghan, but the midfielders shot drifted wide.
Then six minutes later a great run and cross from teenage defender James Davies picked out Skorich, but the former Perth Glory striker headed over from six-yards, and it was scoreless at the break.
It was a lively opening to the second half with chances at both ends. First on 49 minutes Thornley’s cross from the right was headed down by McMurray, but Withey blazed over from 10-yards. Then moments later Boi sent Muirhead racing clear down the left, his pinpoint cross was met by Skorich, his point blank header was superbly saved by Andy Banks.
But on 58 minutes the Lions hit the front, with one of the goals of the season. Muirhead received the ball on the left and there looked little danger, but the Scotsman cut inside Ross Anderson and curled the ball superbly into the top corner of the net giving Banks no chance.
ECU received a double blow moments later with Ryan McDarby and Blackmore limping off, and it got worse for the northern suburbs club when the Lions doubled their lead on 68 minutes.
Watt’s through ball sent Andy Brown clear and the midfielder, who was making his home debut for the Lions, fell under a challenge from Mark Tebbut and referee Michal Jasinski had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. ECU were incensed as they thought the midfielder was offside, but the flag never came, and O’Callaghan (left) kept his nerve to fire home the spot-kick to make it 2-0.
ECU looked to hit back immediately and seven minutes later Jonathan Stynes’ through ball sent McMurray clear. The Lions defence looked for the offside flag that never came, and as the big striker was about to pull the trigger Davies made up ground to block his shot, and the chance was gone.
Lions keeper Hugo was lucky not to see red in the 78th minute, when Ben Kelly’s ball sent McMurray clear again, and the former WA state keeper brought him down on the edge of the box. But he was only given a yellow card for the offence, much to the amazement of the ECU coaching staff and players.
The visitors were ending the game the better and on 82 minutes Withey’s cross picked out Thornley, whose shot on the turn was well blocked by Bobby Wilson, and the ECU strikers follow up shot flashed wide of the post.
Then seven minutes later a great run down the right by former Lions defender Ross Anderson, ended with a cross to the unmarked Stynes, who blazed over from six-yards. Moments later Anderson again crossed form the right and Thornley’s snap shot beat Hugo but crashed off the cross bar, and Scott Bushby’s follow up shot went wide.
With ECU pushing players forward the Lions hit on a counter attack and made it 3-0 in the fourth minute of stoppage-time. Galan’s long ball sent Muirhead clear, as the ECU defence looked for the offside flag, but the Scotsman kept his composure and lobbed the on-coming Banks to make the final score 3-0.
ECU assistant Coach Andy Petterson was left disappointed with the second half fade out. “It’s been the same story for the last month. We start off games well, have great chances but can’t put them away, like today. At the start of the season those chances were going in, but for some reason they have dried up at the moment,” said Petterson.
Stirling Lions 3 (Muirhead 58’, 94’, O’Callaghan (pen) 68’)
ECU Joondalup 0
Stirling Lions: GK Cory HUGO, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 3 Andy BROWN, 5 Denis GALAN, 8 Bobby WILSON (16 James STREET 87’), 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 11 Scott MUIRHEAD, 13 James DAVIES, 14 Ludovic BOI, 15 Anthony SKORICH (7 Jamie DE ABREU 73’)
Substitutes not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 6 Shintaro ITO, 12 Mitchell CROCKER,
Yellow Cards – Hugo 81’, Wilson 82’
ECU Joondalup: GK Andy BANKS, 3 Chris WYLIE (13 Jordan DODD 81’), 4 Charlie COMYN-PLATT, 5 Ross ANDERSON, 6 Mark TEBBUT, 7 Jordan WITHEY, 8 Scott BLACKMORE (10 Jonathan STYNES 62’), 9 John THORNLEY, 12 Scott BUSHBY, 14 Ryan MCDARBY (2 Ben KELLY 59’), 16. Ian McMURRAY
Substitutes not used: RGK Brynn HINDLEY, 11 Sebastian FRANSSAN,
Yellow Cards – Wylie 36’
Referee: Michal Jasinski
Stirling Lions will be looking to bounce back from last week’s 1-5 loss at Inglewood United, when they entertain ECU Joondalup in week nine of the All Flags Premier League at Macedonia Park on Saturday. (3pm)
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln will be looking for an improvement from his squad. “The past two weeks we have been disappointing and the result at Inglewood was embarrassing,” said Lincoln.
“Yes I have had to make a series of changes over the past two weeks to cover injuries and players not available, but this is no excuse for our recent poor performances.”
“Saturday’s game against ECU will be another hard game – they have match winners such as John Higgins, John Thornley and Ian McMurray so we need to improve across the board to take a must needed three points.”
In team news Michael Pugliese (left) is close to a recall, the defender has been in great form prior to his injury, while new signing Andy Brown will make his home league debut. Scott Muirhead will be missing as the defender has left the club to try his luck in the Victorian Premier League.
ECU Joondalup Coach Syd Amphlett is looking for an improvement from last week’s 0-0 draw against Mandurah City. “It was great to get a clean sheet last week, and we’ve worked hard on our defence at training this week,” said Amphlett.
“Charlie Comyn-Platt has been in fine form, and his new partnership with Mark Tebbut looks promising. We are playing well without getting the just rewards, so we are looking to capitalise on the negative talks coming out of the Lions this week and get the three points to keep us in touch with the top five.”
ECU Joondalup kept their first clean sheet of the season last week and harbour plans for another on Saturday. Suspension will prevent Dale McCulloch from taking to the field, but the northern suburbs outfit regain the services of Scott Blackmore.
It’s been a frustrating 2011 for Lions striker Jamie Watt, after he broke his finger in the first game of the season. But the Scottish striker has been playing with a cast on for the last four weeks is looking forward to taking on his former club ECU Joondalup on Saturday. “The injury is coming on fine. I broke my finger badly against Balcatta after a collision with a defender. I’ve had wires in for five weeks but there out now and I’m back on the mend and should hopefully stop playing with a cast after this week,” said Watt.
“Saturday’s game is going to be great, they started the season well but have fallen away, a bit like ourselves so both teams will be right up for it and looking to get the three points. Personally I’m looking forward to it, always good to go up against your old team, still got a lot of mates up there but I’m sure come 3pm Saturday that will be out the window and I will be in for a hard game.”
Watt has fitted in well at Macedonia Park and believes they are not far away from hitting their straps. “Obviously it’s been a disappointing start to the season with Stirling as results haven't been good, but I’m enjoying my time here, and convinced once we get a settled team we will start flying up the league," said Watt.
It was a disappointing result last week at Inglewood, especially when the Lions took the lead early in the second half and then had two good chances to increase the lead, a defeat Watt found hard to take. “I was gutted about last weekend’s result, to take the lead and then get on top for the next five minutes.
“Oliver Taseski made two great stunning saves from Scott Muirhead and myself, and I think the boys just thought we we're going to go on from there and win it no problems, but we never saw what happened over the last 30 minutes, coming. Think it was just a case of switching off and then at 2-1 we changed formation and chased the game, maybe a bit early and that left us exposed,” explained Watt.
It’s also been a frustrating time on the injury front for the Lions, and players heading overseas, but with the signing of Andy Brown and the injuries clearing up Watt believes the Lions will push up the league. “That's been our problem all season, boy's out missing and we can't get a settled starting 11. It's going to be same again on Saturday but hopefully we can get a result. We then have the bye, and I think it has come at the right time for us, as it will give the injured boys a chance to get back. I’m sure you will start to see a different Stirling team and with Browny in the mix, he's a quality player and when he settles in is going to be a great addition to the team,” said Watt.
The striker enjoyed his time at ECU, (left in action for ECU against Floreat Athena) and is looking forward in catching up with them on Saturday. “Ye I enjoyed my time at Joondalup. Syd and the rest of the coaches and committee put a lot of effort in up there and they have a good squad of boys that have played together for a number of seasons which is hard to do in this league. They have some great players like John Higgins, Charlie Comyn-Platt and one of the best keepers in the league with Andy Banks, it will be good to catch up with them,” said Watt.
Stirling Lions suffered a disappointing 1-5 loss at Inglewood United on Saturday in their All Flags Premier League round eight game at the 6PR Stadium.
Heavy back-to-back defeats saw Inglewood drop to tenth on the table, but a double from former Lions striker Ndumba Makeche, and singles to Rory Grant, James Sammut and Ryan Clarke gave Shane Pryce’s side the points, this after Phil O’Callaghan had given the Lions the lead early in the second half.
“Full credit to Shane Pryce and Inglewood United they definitely wanted the three points more than us,” said a disappointed Lions Coach Paul Lincoln.
“We had our chances prior to the onslaught, but we embarrassed ourselves today. We have some soul searching to do and some hard work on the track this week to get things right. The players are a proud group so I am confident we can bounce back next week.”
The Lions made three changes to their side that lost 0-1 at Sorrento last week, with new signing Andy Brown making his debut, while Bobby Wilson returned after a foot injury and Huss Awada (left) came in at the back. Out went Brent Griffiths, who is in America having trials, while David Hunt and Robert Lujan dropped to the bench.
The home side made one change to the side that lost 1-4 at Balcatta last week with defender David McNally returning from suspension to replace Rikki Smith, who dropped to the bench.
It was an even opening, with both sides looking to kick start their seasons and the first opportunity fell to the visitors on three minutes. Ludovic Boi’s pass sent Jamie de Abreu in on goal, but his weak shot was saved low by Oliver Taseski.
Inglewood should have taken the lead on 18 minutes, Sammut’s free kick from the left of the penalty area picked out Clarke at the back post, but the midfielder headed wide from six-yards.
Moments later it was the home side again to go close. Makeche held the ball up well and played it back Dannie Richman on the edge of the box, his powerful shot was well saved by Cory Hugo. (right)
It was becoming an arm wrestle with both sides having chances. First on the half hour Boi played the ball to Brown, whose shot from 18-yards drifted wide of the target. Then eight minutes later a great run down the left by Clarke ended with a cross to Makeche, who blazed over from eight-yards.
Just before half time the Lions went close to the lead. O’Callaghan found Boi, who ran at the Inglewood defence. He waltzed past three defenders and his fierce shot was pushed around the post by Taseski at full stretch.
The Lions made a perfect start to the second half, and were in front four minutes in. Scott Muirhead’s long throw was met by Wilson, his header was only parried by Taseski and O’Callaghan was quickest to react to fire home the rebound from six-yards.
It was all the Lions as they continued to take the game to their host, and two minutes later Muirhead’s free kick from the edge of the box was curled around the wall, but Taseski produced a stunning save low to his right to deny the Scotsman.
But Inglewood held firm and levelled in the 59th minute. Makeche found Paul Dugdale who picked out Grant, and the big striker rode two tackle before firing low past Hugo.
It was now the home side on top and they hit the front three minutes later. After a long clearance from Taseski, there looked little danger, but Awada’s header back to his keeper was far too short and Makeche nipped in and fired low past Hugo.
Inglewood was going in for the kill on the Lions, and after a great run by the impressive Sammut, who wasn’t closed down by a static Lions defence, his shot flashed inches past the post.
Hugo kept his side in the game on 73 minutes when Richman sent Makeche clear, but the youngster fired straight at the Lions custodian.
But it was 3-1 two minutes later, Richman again sent Makeche clear down the left. His cross to the back post picked out the unmarked Sammut who fired home eight-yards.
It only got worse for Paul Lincoln’s side sixty seconds later when Inglewood made it 4-1. A great ball from Dugdale sent Makeche racing clear and he finished clinically past a stranded Hugo.
In stoppage-time the icing was put on the cake when Inglewood made it 5-1. Dugdale again was the provider his ball over the top sent Clarke clear, and he fired low past Hugo.
A great performance from Inglewood and Coach Shane Pryce was obviously delighted after the match. “I’ve got a great bunch of players at the club and we went down a goal early in the second half, but the football we played in the second half was great and very pleasing as the coach,” said Pryce.
“We changed things a bit today, and went back to what we know and it worked. The older heads at the back did well when they put us under pressure early in the second half and that was important in the victory.”
Inglewood United: GK Oliver TASESKI, 2 David MCNALLY, 5 Daniel STOITIS, 6 Darko ILOMANOSKI, 8 Ryan CLARKE, 9 Rory GRANT 11 James SAMMUT 12 Dannie RICHMAN, 14 Ndumba MAKECHE 16 Paul DUGDALE, 17 Brendan CRAIG (18 Jason COLLI 58’)
Substitutes not used: RGK Alex SUTTON. 3 Daniel KOVACEVIC, 4 Rikki SMITH, 13 David PERICH,
Yellow Cards - nil
Stirling Lions – GK Cory HUGO, 3 Andy BROWN, 4 Jason GAVIN, 7 Jamie DE ABREU (15 Anthony SKORICH 65’), 8 Bobby WILSON, 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 11 Scott MUIRHEAD,13 Huss AWADA (12 Roberto LUJAN 76’), 14. Ludovic BOI, 16 James DAVIES (6 David HUNT 65’)
Substitutes not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 2 Denis GALAN
Yellow Cards – Hugo 19’, Gavin 46’, Brown 56’, Wilson 84’
Referee: Tim Mihevc
Stirling Lions are on the road this weekend, when they take on Inglewood United in week eight of the All Flags Premier League at 6PR Stadium on Saturday (3pm)
The Lions will be looking to bounce back from last week’s disappointing 0-1 loss at Sorrento, and Coach Paul Lincoln will be looking for a big improvement. “The loss at Sorrento was disappointing I thought a draw would have been a fair result, but we did not play as well as we did the week before, the game was scappy and our decision making in the last third cost us,” said Lincoln.
“This week is a must win against Inglewood. We still have a long injury list so the inclusion of Andy Brown is timely. Inglewood has a number of ex Stirling players in their squad so we expect a tough game.”
Midfielder Jamie de Abreu (left) knows the importance of Saturday’s game, with the bye and NTC games only two weeks away. “It’s a massive game this weekend for us, and all the players know that. Last week we didn’t get the result we wanted, but we took a lot of confidence from the fact we were creating some good chances, just the final product was lacking and this week is a good chance for us to redeem ourselves,” said De Abreu.
“Andy Brown had come in and is going to strengthen our midfield which is great and Bobby Wilson is back as well, so there will be no excuses, three points is a must!.”
In team news Brown goes straight into the squad after his move from Mandurah City in the week, while Michael Pugliese should return to the defence. Likewise Wilson, who returned to football in the reserves last week, but Gareth O’Connor will still miss out with a hamstring injury.
Both sides need the points to keep up with the top five and the home side welcome back defender David McNally from suspension after missing last week's 4-1 defeat at Balcatta, while Brendan Craig and James Sammut continue to impress.
Possible Squads - Stirling Lions – GK Cory Hugo, GK James Turvill, Michael Pugliese, Brent Griffiths, Jason Gavin, David Hunt, Andy Brown, Bobby Wilson, Jamie de Abreu, Jamie Watt, Phil O’Callaghan, Scott Muirhead, Roberto Lujan, Corey Cullen, Ludovic Boi, James Street,
Inglewood United - GK Oliver Taseski, GK Jason Razmovski, David McNally, Rikki Smith, Daniel Stoitis, Darko Ilomanoski, Dannie Richman, Lee Carr, James Sammut, Paul Dugdale, Ryan Clarke, Jason Colli, Brendan Craig, Jake Geddes, Rory Grant, Ndumba Makeche, James Duncan.
Stirling Lions have bolstered their midfield, with the signing of Mandurah City and WA State midfielder Andy Brown (photo below by Brett Klucznik) for the rest of the season.
The talented midfielder goes straight into the squad for Saturday’s game at Inglewood United and Coach Paul Lincoln is delighted to have captured his signature. “We are really pleased with the signing of Andy, who will fill a position in the heart of the midfield,” said Lincoln.
“He will give us strength, class and leadership in the middle of the park which has been missed since the departure of Shane Robinson. He is a very good player and has the ability to win games from his own boot.”
It’s been a tense wait for Lincoln but the signing is great news for the club. “We approached Mandurah asking permission to talk to Andy, but we didn’t hear back from them. So we left it a couple of weeks and then contacted Andy and after our meeting he went away to think about it, and we were delighted when he rang back and agreed to sign.
“He’s a winner and he wants the opportunity to help the Lions succeed this season. He wanted a new challenge in his football and he knows a number of the players at Macedonia Park, so he will fit in really well,” explained Lincoln.
Stirling Lions suffered a 1-0 defeat against Sorrento in week seven of the All Flags Premier League at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday.
Todd Harnwell was the hero for the home side as he struck four minutes from time to give Sorrento a 1-0 win and consecutive league victories.
“It was a disappointing result for us today,” said Lions coach Paul Lincoln.
“I thought a draw would have been a fair result, but we did not play as well as we did against Bayswater. The game was scrappy and our decision making in the last third cost us. We did not have any clear winners on the day although Brent Griffiths played well.
“We missed Michael Pugliese at the back today he has been in outstanding form for us. Injuries have taken its toll which was highlighted by all three teams being defeated today.”
The result means Sorrento move away from the bottom of the league into mid-table while the Lions miss the opportunity to keep pace with Balcatta and the Western Knights at the top.
A largely forgettable opening to the match finally sprung into life on 20 minutes when a lack of communication across the back from the Stirling defence presented an opportunity for Todd Harnwell, but his effort was weak and straight at Cory Hugo.
Shortly after that, good interplay through the middle involving Jason Mirco and Brodie Martin led to David Price curling an effort just over the bar.
Stirling's first meaningful effort came from Jamie Watt (left) who tried to make contact with a long ball into the penalty area, but couldn't get the desired touch to beat Curtis Aspden in the Sorrento goal.
The better chances were going the way of Sorrento though and on the half hour Shaun Timmins was involved in some clever work down the left before delivering a perfect cross to David Foster who forced a great save from Hugo.
From the ensuing corner, Hugo needed to call on his defence for help when Foster's goal-bound headed was cleared off the line by Jason Gavin.
Mirco's set pieces continued to pester the visitors back four and he lifted a free kick just over the cross bar, before supplying a ball in for Timmins who nodded just wide.
The Lions continued to look dangerous with their pace on the break and in the second half, neat stuff from David Hunt on the left gave Jamie De Abreu a chance to hit it from distance, but his strike was never troubling Aspden.
Aspden was called into the action three minutes later though when he was required to make a double save, first bravely driving at the feet of De Abreu before holding onto the follow up effort from Lujan.
Stirling's best chance however came on 70 minutes when De Abreu (right) was again the action, having been released by a super through ball from Ludovic Boi, but he dragged his effort narrowly wide of the post.
It didn't look like the deadlock was going to be broken with Sorrento the next to come desperately close to opening the scoring when Foster's header crashed against the bar and Mirco's follow up was saved by a grateful Hugo.
However, there was to be one final chance for the hosts and it was expertly taken by Todd Harnwell who broke the offside trap to latch onto Adam Luca's clipped ball before finishing with aplomb.
And in the dying seconds the Gulls survived a late penalty shout, when Jamie Harnwell looked to have handled in the area, but the home side held on to claim a vital three points.
Sorrento: GK Curtis ASPDEN, 2 Danny CAIN, 5 Jamie HARNWELL, 6 Daryl PLATTEN, 8 Brodie MARTIN, 9 Todd HARNWELL, 10 Jason MIRCO, 17 Shaun TIMMINS (11 Adam LUCA 71'), 18 David PRICE, 22 Ryan PEARSON, 24 David FOSTER (7 Kyle MORAN 77')
Substitutes not used: 3 Stuart BANKS, 4 Cameron YORKE
Stirling Lions: GK Cory HUGO, 3 Brent GRIFFITHS, 4 Jason GAVIN, 6 David HUNT, 7 Jamie DE ABREU, 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 11 Scott MUIRHEAD, 12 Roberto LUJAN (8 Corey CULLEN 62'), 14 Ludovic BOI, 15 James STREET
Substitutes not used: RGK James TURVILL, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 16 Bobby WILSON
Referee – Hugh Best
Stirling Lions will hope to build on last week’s 4-2 win against Bayswater City, when they travel to Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday to take on Sorrento in week seven of the All Flags Premier League (3pm)
The Lions are unbeaten in their last three games and go into the game be full of confidence. Coach Paul Lincoln knows it will be a tough game but is confident they can come away with the points. “It is always a tough game up at Sorrento and they are coming off a good away win at Mandurah City last week,” said Lincoln.
“Paul Price will have them up for the game, and for us we get the opportunity to play some of our younger squad members, after we’ve lost a number of players through injury and a couple moving on to other clubs. I think that if can perform like we did last week we will give a good account of ourselves but we know we have to be at our best if we want to take home three points.”
In team news Bobby Wilson returns to the squad after a long injury lay-off, but Ross Anderson and David Perich will not be available after joining ECU Joondalup and Inglewood respectively in midweek. Michael Pugliese will have a late fitness fit, but they will be without the injured Anthony Skorich, Gareth O’Connor, Huss Awada, Dean Evans and James Turvill.
The Gulls won on the road last week and go in search of their first home league win of the campaign. Jack Doyle limped off last week and is in doubt, but they do welcome back Cameron Yorke from suspension and former Perth Glory defender Jamie Harnwell, while Adam Luca is close to a return from injury. Youngster Shaun Timmins made an impact off the bench last week and will be looking to push for a starting role this week.
Stirling Lions defender Bobby Wilson’s 10 week injury nightmare is almost over. The talented 22-year-old has been chomping at the bit to get back on the park after injuring his foot, and after returning to the bench last week he will be hoping to play some part in the Lions way game against Sorrento this weekend
“It’s been a nightmare for me, but luckily I caught my foot before it actually fractured, however it has taken longer than I expected and it’s been a frustrating hard 10 weeks but it’s finally coming good,” explained Wilson.
“I have been trying and trying to con the physio and gaffer into letting me train, but luckily they have stuck up to me and kept me out and now thankfully I see what they did has helped me a lot in the long run.”
The former Notts County defender trained pain free last week and was on the bench against Bayswater, but coach Paul Lincoln chose not to risk him near the end with the point’s safe, but he thought the lads worked hard to get the victory. “Last week was a fantastic win against a tough Bayswater side. It was frustrating seating on the bench, as I’m eager to play every minute. But I knew I wasn't quite ready and was more than happy to just be a part of it again,” said Wilson.
“This week against Sorrento I will be available for selection, but I will probably start on the bench. I know it’s a slow journey back from injury, but I can't wait to hopefully help the team out against a strong Sorrento team.”
The Lions have unfortunately lost a number of players due to injury, and the depth of the squad has been tested in the first six weeks of the season, but Wilson believes they will be there or there about again this season. “The squad is looking small at the moments, but we have a lot of young talent coming up and they are proving themselves on the big stage, and if they are then fair play as long as we keep winning it doesn't matter who plays we are a team and everyone is involved,” explained Wilson
Stirling Lions moved to fourth in the All Flags Premier Division table, after a 4-2 win against Bayswater City at Macedonia Park on Sunday.
First half goals from Scott Muirhead and Jamie De Abreu set the Lions on their way to victory, although the visitors levelled with an own goal by Lions skipper Jason Gavin, and a stunning strike from Gustavo Marulanda. But Phil O'Callaghan put the Lions back in front from the penalty spot and Jamie Watt wrapped up the scoring and gave the Lions the win12 minutes from time.
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln made five changes to the side that drew against Western Knights last time out. Cory Hugo came in for his Lions debut replacing keeper Connor Campbell, while Jamie De Abreu, Roberto Lujan, Ludovic Boi and youngster James Davis came in to the side. Ross Anderson, Garreth O’Connor and Anthony Skorich were out injured, while David Perich dropped to the bench.
It was even opening and the first shot in anger came from the visitors on seven minutes, Joshua Tumoe's long-range shot went over the top, while the Lions first chance fell to Muirhead moments later. He was found by Gavin on the left, he cut inside Alex Caniglia and his low shot was well saved by Gianni Papalia.
The opener came on 32 minutes; Boi’s cross field ball was misjudged by Bayswater defender Caniglia. Muirhead’s first touch took him clear, and his low shot flashed past Papalia and into the bottom corner of the net.(Below)
It became 2-0, two minutes later. Gavin Knights played the ball back to Nathan Diaz, but the defender poor first touch let in De Abreu, who raced clear and finished clinically past Papalia to double the Lions lead.
Bayswater looked to hit back immediately and Cisco Jorquera great through ball sent Knight in on goal. The striker’s first shot was well blocked by Hugo, and Knights’ follow up shot hit Michael Pugliese, and the Bayswater players appealed for handball but referee Michael Tolme waved away their protests.
The visitors made a change with five minutes remaining of the first half, bringing on former Lions striker David Sesay, and he was soon in the action. Knights good run down the left, ended when he pulled the ball back to Sesay, and his first time shot deflected off Brent Griffiths and Hugo saved low at his near post.
But from the resulting corner Bayswater reduced the margin. Marulanda corner into the box was headed into his own net by Lions skipper Gavin under pressure from Sesay and George Tchami. It was 2-1 at the break.
The visiting supporters thought they had a penalty early in the second half when Jorquera went down under Gavin’s tackle, but referee Tolme was well placed to wave away their protests.
Then on 64 minutes Bayswater levelled with the goal of the match. Jorquera sent Marulanda clear with a superb through ball, and the striker outpaced Pugliese and his shot across his body flew into the net of the near post, much to the delighted of the Bayswater faithful.
The Lions didn’t have long to wait to regain the lead, and four minutes later De Abreu cross from the right hit the arm of the unlucky Tchami, and referee Tolme pointed straight to the spot. It looked a little harsh, but O’Callaghan kept his nerve to send Papalia the wrong way to make it 3-2.
Moments later second half substitute David Hunt played in De Abreu, and with only Papalia to beat the youngster’s shot flashed just wide of the far post.
But on 78 minutes the Lions wrapped up the points. A long throw by Muirhead was flicked on by Griffiths, and Watt (right) nipped in between two Bayswater defenders and fired home from four-yards.
Bayswater pressed in the final five minutes, and Hugo had to be at his best. First the former Swan United keeper saved well from Marulanda’s shot after being played in by Jorquera, and in injury time the Lions custodian did even better to deny Kailo Karpeh.
Lions coach was happy to get the three points and hopes his side can build on the win. “We took our chances today, and I’m happy with the four goals. I thought we played well in the second half, the boys worked really hard and it was good to get Cory (Hugo) in goal, as it gave us a bit of stability back there,” said Lincoln.
“We had a few players out today but the lads that came in worked really hard and all contributed on the day. It’s great to see Bobby Wilson ready for action, and he will be chomping at the bit to start next week, he has been missed and it’s great to have in back.”
Stirling Lions - GK Cory HUGO, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 3 Brent GRIFFITHS, 4 Jasan GAVIN, 7 Jamie DEABREU, 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 11 Scott MUIRHEAD, 13 Roberto LUJAN, 14 Ludovic BOI, 15 James DAVIS
Subs not used - RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 6 David HUNT, 8 Denis GALAN, 12 David PERICH, 16 Bobby WILSON
Bayswater City - GK Gianni PAPALIA, 2 Nathan DIAZ, 3 Luka NJEGICH, 4 George TCHAMI, 5 Alex CANIGLIA, 6 Thomas GOODING, 7 Joshu TUMOE, 8 Francisco JORQUERA, 9 Gustavo MARULANDA, 10 Damien CATALANO, 11 Gavin KNIGHT
Subs not used - 12 Kailo KARPEH, 13 Milan MIRKOVIC, 14 David SESAY, 17 Larry MILLER, 16 KAMARA
Referee - Michael Tolme
Assistants - Hugh Best and David Currie
Stirling Lions face newly promoted Bayswater City in week six of the All Flags Premier Division game at Macedonia Park on Sunday (3pm)
The Lions could only draw against Western Knights last weekend, after missing a number of golden opportunities but Coach Paul Lincoln is confident they will turn their season around, sooner rather than later. “Last week against the Knights the result didn’t reflect the dominance we had and those that saw the game would have thought that we were very unlucky not to have won it. In football you sometimes need a lucky break to go your way and last week we certainly didn’t have the football gods on our side,” said Lincoln.
“The loss of Garreth O’Connor to a hamstring injury in the second half did not help and it appears he will be out for a few weeks, which is disappointing. On the positive side I thought Michael Pugliese was outstanding, and although he missed a couple of chances, Phil O’Callaghan (left) played his best game this season and will start to find the net like we know he can.”
“Bayswater will be a tough game and I am sure they will be really keen to make amends from the last time we met. They have a hard working team so we need to ensure we restrict their midfield and close down the likes of Marulanda and Tumoe. If we can continue our performance from last week I am confident we can get the 3 points.”
In team news The Lions will be without the injured Irish midfielder Garreth O’Connor, but welcome keeper Cory Hugo to their side, in replace of the injured James Turvill. Ludovic Boi (right) returns from suspension, while Bobby Wilson is close to a recall after a foot injury. City will hope to get back in the winner’s circle after back-to-back defeats. Gavin Knight will be pushing for a starting spot, while Gustavo Marulanda and Thomas Gooding will have big parts to play if they are to take home the points.
Stirling Lions have fought out a 0-0 draw against Western Knights at Macedonia Park on Saturday afternoon, in week five of the All Flags Premier Division. It could have a different story if the Lions had taken a host of chances. Phil O'Callaghan and Jamie De Abreu were guilty of missing glorious opportunities in the second half while Scott Muirhead hit the post as Paul Lincoln's men couldn't finish off the visitors.
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln knows they have to improve in front of goal. "We battered them in the second half today. I think we've had four one on one's, the boys have to finish one of those because if you don't you are lucky you don't get beaten. But it was a bit disappointing we didn't capitalise on the opportunity's we created today," said Lincoln.
The Lions were the dominant side throughout the match and played eye catching football at times, but if they are to move up the table they will need to be much more ruthless in front of goal.
The match began well for the Lions as Phil O'Callaghan rifled a Jamie Watt pass at Frazer Siddall, and then only managed to direct his follow up across the face of goal.
A flowing move on 28 minutes started by the impressive Anthony Skorich lifting a delightful cross out wide for Dave Perich who picked out Watt whose dummy left Muirhead with a glorious opportunity to have a crack on goal ended with a fine save again from Siddall.
O'Callaghan then had a header saved from no more than two yards out as Ross Anderson's (right) deflected shot following a set piece fell kindly for the striker but nothing was going right for him and you could sense it was going to be one of those days in front of goal.
The heat was having an effect on all players with fatigue clearly setting in during the second half as the game began to open up something that the Stirling strikers tried to take full advantage of early on.
A cute dummy by the hard working Watt left O'Callaghan clear again but even one on one he still couldn't find the target, instead shooting into the arms of a grateful Siddall.
The Lions lost influential midfielder Garreth O’Connor with a hamstring injury he was replaced by Roberto Lujan. He was soon in the action after a great Dave Perich ball out wide found the midfielder and his step over left his marker for dead but his shot rippled the side netting.
A thunderbolt from Scott Muirhead (left) was only inches above the crossbar as it left Siddall flapping at thin air as Stirling continued to pile on the attacking pressure which the Knights couldn't counter.
The Knights were sloppy in possession playing on the counter attack and lacked the killer ball when they moved forward but with Branimir Mikulic and Stuart Montgomery fighting for every ball they were still a dangerous threat.
This was evident on 60 minutes when Montgomery's fantastic cross found Duncan Hind but his header was off target. Then Stirling inched that bit closer to finding the opening goal but this time even with the keeper beaten Muirhead found the inside of the post from a direct free kick.
They then found the net with Muirhead again instrumental in the build-up as his shot/cross found Watt who tapped in but his run was just too early and the linesman flagged for offside.
Another substitute Jamie De Abreu was the next player to miss a one on one chance and he couldn't use the heat as an excuse for missing this guilt-edge opportunity, as he toe poked Muirhead's through ball way over the top when it seemed certain a side footed attempt would finally bury the Knights.
It was the Knights who had the final chance on goal though and could have pinched the points as Hind headed over a Perfect Montgomery cross, but it was honours even at Macedonia Park as the referee blew for full time and Stirling were left to rue missed chances.
STIRLING LIONS: GK Connor CAMPBELL, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 11 Scott MUIRHEAD, 4 Jason GAVIN, 5 Ross ANDERSON, 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 3 Brent GRIFFITHS (7 Jamie D'ABREU 74'), 12 Dave PERICH, 8 Garreth O'CONNOR (14 Roberto LUJAN 42'), 15 Anthony SKORICH
Subs not Used: RGK Drew JENKE, 13 Huss AWADA, 16 Dennis GALAN
Yellow Cards – Muirhead 70’, Gavin 78’
WESTERN KNIGHTS: GK Frazer SIDDALL, 2 Duncan HIND, 3 STUART FERGUSON, 4 Cormac DAWSON, 5 David ANNALL, 6 Garth LECKY, 8 Ethan LEVITT (12 Ivan GAVRANIC 60'), 9 Simon VERSAICO, 10 Stuart MONTGOMERY, 11 Branimir MIKULIC, 13 Ryan SHACKLETON
Subs Not Used: RGK Thomas DIXON, 14 Jamie GREGO, 15 Josh WADE
Yellow Cards – Versaico 52’, Annall 66’, Mikulic 78’
Referee - Michal Jasinski
Stirling Lions host the unbeaten Western Knights in week five of the All Flags Premier Division on Saturday at Macedonia Park (3pm) The game was originally to be played at Nash Field but after the sudden death of stalwart volunteer Vjekoslava Simic during the week the Knights requested the game be switched. Our sincere condolences go out to the Simic family and all the Knights committee.
The Lions coach Paul Lincoln was happy to get off the mark last week against Armadale and he's looking for an improvement against the Knights. "Last week was an important win and vital we got the three points. The lads will gain some confidence from it and we hope to start stringing some wins together,” said Lincoln.
“Each week is a tough proposition in this league and taking on the Knights will be another challenge for us. We will do what we can to make it hard for them and hope we can restrict the likes of Montgomery, Mikulic and Versaico.
In team news James Turvill (left) will have a late fitness test on his injured knee, and if he's not fit teenager Conner Campbell will continue in goal.
The Knights will be looking to continue their good start to the season, but coach Carl Medica knows they will have to be on top of their game. “I was very happy with the result against Mandurah, I thought we dominated the game, and even though we went into half time a goal down, we remained focused and positive in the second half and got the result we fully deserved,” said Medica.
“Saturday game against the Lions should be a cracker, I know Linc’s will have his boys fired up, and he probably wouldn’t be happy with their start of the season, but as we all know it's a very long season, and I'm sure he will have them focused on the task ahead.”
Knights’ midfielder Paul Cooke faces a late fitness test after picking up a groin injury, but better news on Luca Jukic and Callum Roberts who are back in the squad after injury.
Anthony Skorich is enjoying life at Macedonia Park, after being released from A-League side Perth Glory, the 21-year-old is trying to help Stirling Lions kick start their season and he’s settled in well at the club. “I've settled in at the club very quickly, I knew a few of the boys before I had got there and they've all welcomed me into the team,” said Skorich.
“I had interest from a few clubs but I choose The Lions, I've always thought they've been a very well-run club and this year should be at the top of the table or there about. Playing in the state league previously you dislike many other clubs, but Stirling was always one I was alright with.”
The Lions earned their first win of the season last week against Armadale last week, and it was a much needed three points, but the striker believes they will get better. “To be honest the game was very average, however if we want to move up the table, you must win those scrappy affairs. On a positive I don't remember Armadale having more than one maybe two clear cut chances on the day,” explained Skorich.
There have been a number of new faces at the Macedonia Park this season, but Skorich believes once they start to gel they will be there or there about come the end of the season. “Like most teams that have a lot of new faces, it's going to take us a few weeks to unite, but I'm very confident after a few games with a consistent line up in place, we'll rack up a lot of consecutive points,” said Skorich.
“There are a few players at the club that have played at a high level within the club. Scott Muirhead has been impressive; he has great delivery into the box and is very relaxed on the ball which is good to have in this league.”
Lions coach Paul Lincoln has been under the pump over the past month, but Skorich is enjoying working with him. “Linc’s has been good to work with; he's a very positive person and is confident in the team. It's been hard for him the first few weeks with all the new faces within the team but he's done well, uniting everyone together, which is a major aspect if you want to be a successful team,” said Skorich.
The Lions coach is delighted to have the striker at Macedonia Park and believes he will have a huge impact. “It is terrific to have a quality player like Anthony in the squad. He knows how to finish and is good in the air. I think his best position is up front and he hasn’t played that roll for me yet, but I expect Anthony to dominate at this level especially after he has a few more games under his belt,” said Lincoln.
Skorich started his football as six-year-old at Phoenix Park, before joining Western Knights seven years later. He played his junior football there, and made his senior debut for the Nash Field club as a 17-year-old. A year later he was signed by Perth Glory on a one year youth deal, then a two year professional deal. “It was a great insight for me into what football is like at the next level. My highlight would have to be the last game against Brisbane away in my first year, when I made my starting debut and scored my first goal for the club,” explained Skorich.
“It was a little disappointing to be cut from the Glory but I didn't let it affect me, the next day I was thinking of my next move and excited for a new chapter. Obviously having the taste of pro-football is spurring me on to get a contract elsewhere, but for now I'm concentrating on playing well here and winning every game for Stirling Lions.”
Next up for the Lions is a visit of Skorich’s former club Western Knights, and he knows it will be a tough game, but one he’s looking forward to. “I think the game will be an end to end affair and I believe if we stick to our way of playing football, we'll take the three points. They've started off very well this season but now that we have had two games together, with a fairly consistent outfit we'll be ready to establish ourselves in the top five.”
It's been a hectic time for 14-year-old Currambine resident Ross Millard, after he was announced as the lucky winner of the all expenses paid West Ham United Academy football experience trip to London this month. The talented left footer who plays with ECU Joondalup was delighted when West Ham’s rep in Australia Mike Leigh knocked on his door and gave him the good news. "When Mike first told me, I was over the moon and I was speechless. It was definitely a shock, and a fantastic feeling," said Millard.
"I'm looking forward to not just the football, but the experience I’ll be receiving and the confidence boosts that will help me through my career. The football side of things is a brilliant achievement in itself and it will be a fantastic opportunity to show quality coaches, what I can do."
Stirling Lions hosted the very popular West Ham United Academy experience at Macedonia Park last year with over 140 talented youngsters enrolling for the four day trial that will see one lucky player getting an all expenses trip to London and the home of the Hammers at Upton Park. Past City of Stirling mayor and current councillor Terry Tyzak was announced as the Patron for the Academy and helped launching the week’s trials.
West Ham’s coaching co-ordinator Mike Leigh was on hand to run the trials with 10 well qualified coaches that included Stirling Lions players Bobby Wilson, Mario Marcinko, Roberto Lujan, Scott Muirhead and Tom Ingram. The boys and girls ranged in age from 11-16 and displayed incredible talent as the coaches put them through the West Ham drills.
It's a great opportunity for the Ocean Reef Senior High School student, and he thanked his parents for all their hard work taking him to training and matches over the years. "Mum and dad are very proud of me and have been very supportive to me in my football over the years. They will not be coming over with me though due to the lack of time to spend with them. The schedule West Ham have given me is a full on timetable, but no doubt they’ll be thinking of me whilst I’m in the U.K," explained Millard
The youngster started playing football when he was 5 years old at a Heathridge until he was 10. He then moved to the academy side at ECU Joondalup, and still plays for them today in the under 15’s team. He represented Australia last season in Malaysia, and played for the WA state under 14's in Canberra, where he was selected in the All Star team. He also starred in the Football West International challenge in early 2010, where he was voted the best and fairest.
Stirling Lions President Don Evans was very pleased with the inaugural attendance saying “We were more than happy with the numbers that attended and West Ham representative and chief scout in Australia Mike Leigh was very happy with the kid’s skills levels and hunger and commitment displayed,” explained Evans.
“Our club is focused on delivering quality football learning programs with real bridge linkages to partner clubs around the world. West Ham has a great reputation and the parents and youngsters (who came from far and wide) I spoke to were full of praise for the clinic and the one on one skills sessions held at our complex. We are very pleased for young Ross and his supporting family and know he will represent WA proudly and skilfully.”
Stirling Lions have won for the first time this season in the All Flags Premier Division, after a 2-1 victory against Armadale at Macedonia Park on Saturday.
Scottish striker Jamie Watt (right) struck in the 36th minute to put the Lions in front, but Armadale levelled in first half stoppage-time with a stunning free kick from Parys Okai.
Watt put the Lions back in front three minutes into the second half, and he thought he had a hat-trick four minutes later, but his goal was firstly given by referee Michael Nugus, but the official changed his mind after consulting with his assistant.
In other games on Saturday Doug Hesketh’s under 18’s had a hard fought 0-0 draw against Armadale, while Rob Milevski’s reserves won for the first time this season, and in some style, 11-0 against Armadale. On target for the Lions were Tim Hill 3, Mitchell Crocker 3, David Hunt 2, Corey Cullen, Jamie Street and Jesse Compton
Lions’ striker Watt was delighted to finally get the first win of the season and too bag a couple of goals. “I’m happy to score a couple of goals, but I’m gutted about the third one I scored. I was celebrating my hat-trick as the referee had awarded it, but he then changed his mind, which was disappointing,” Watt said after the match.
“I thought we played some good football in the second half, but it was a bit nervy near the end. But we’re happy to get the first win on the board.”
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln made four changes to the side that lost 4-2 at Perth SC last week. Keeper James Turvill was injured in the warm up and he was replaced by teenager Connor Campbell, who made his league debut. Brent Griffiths also made his debut for the Lions after his move from Perth Glory, while Huss Awada and Ludovic Boi came in to the side. Robert Lujan was omitted and David Perich and Ross Anderson dropped to the bench.
Armadale coach Scott Miller made just the one change to the side that drew 2-2 with ECU Joondalup last week, with Anthony Campbell replacing the injured Jason Goodwin.
It was a tentative opening from both sides, the first real chance falling to the home side on 11 minutes. Anthony Skorich was sent clear by Garreth O’Connor, and as the Armadale defender’s looked for the offside flag that never came, the former Perth Glory striker crossed to Watt, who blazed over from six-yards.
Armadale, who won in their only other away game this season at Floreat Athena, went close to the lead seven minutes later. Paul Lloyd’s corner from the left was headed over by Thomas Robinson at the back post.
Moment’s later young Lions keeper Connor Campbell came to his sides rescue, saving superbly from Anthony Campbell, after the former Western Knights striker had wriggled away from Jason Gavin on the edge of the box.
The Lions were beginning to get on top and on 34 minutes Awada’s cross from the left was headed down by Watt, and Phil O’Callaghan’s volley from 16-yards was saved by Sharrock at the second attempt.
But two minutes later the Lions hit the front. Griffith’s ball sent Watt clear, he out muscled Aaron Beattie and fired home from eight-yards, giving Sharrock no chance.
Armadale looked to hit back immediately, and from Lloyd’s free kick three minutes later Steven McDonald’s header at the back post, was saved low by Connor Campbell.
The visitors won a free kick in the last minute of the first half, when Griffiths brought down Robinson on the edge of the box. Up stepped Okai to curl the ball over the wall and into the net, much to the delight of the travelling supporters, to send the sides in level at the break.
With Coach Paul Lincoln’s half time address still ringing in their ears, the Lions opened up brightly and they regained the lead three minutes in. Great work on the right by Skorich, ended with a pinpoint cross to Watt, who headed home via the far post.
They continued to dominate and on 52 minutes Skorich’s corner from the right wasn’t cleared by the Armadale defence, and when Anthony Campbell’s attempted clearance fell to Watt he fired home. The referee’s assistant’s flag was raised, but referee Michael Nugus waved away the flag and awarded the goal.
But after the Armadale player’s protested he went over to his linesman and after a long discussion he changed his decision and awarded a free kick for offside.
With the let off Armadale pressed for the equaliser and they should have had it on the hour. Lloyd’s corner from the left picked out the unmarked Robinson, who headed wide from eight-yards.
A win was vital for the Lions, and they went close to a third on 64 minutes. Boi fed Muirhead down the left, the Scotsman’s cross picked out O’Callaghan who headed wide at the back post.
It was the best period of the game for the home side, and moments later O’Callaghan sent second half substitute De Abreu in the right, he outpaced Matt Bennion but Sharrock was alert to save low.
The Armadale custodian then made a great double save to deny the Lions. First on 73 minutes he parried a Boi shot from 12-yards, and he recovered superbly to save one handed from Watt’s follow-up shot.
Armadale weren’t going down without a fight and they went close on 78 minutes. Robinson played a great ball into second half substitute Sean Nicholls down the right, his shot whistled inches past the far post.
It was nervy ending for the home supporters as Armadale pushed men forward, but it was the Lions who had the best chance to finish the game off in 86 minute. Skorich played in Watt on the left of the penalty area. He won two strong tackles in the box, and cut inside, but his final shot was wide of the target.
The final whistle was greeted with a huge cheer from the home supporters; the Lions running out 2-1 winners Lions coach Paul Lincoln revealed after the match he had given the side a rev up at half time. “I’m delighted to get our first win of the season, but I told the players at half time the performance wasn’t good enough and they bounced back and played well in the second half,” Lincoln said.
“A third goal would have been nice and we thought we had it when Jamie scored, but again we’re not getting the rub of the green in some of the decisions, but it didn’t hurt us today, let’s hope we start to get a few our way in the future.”
Stirling Lions – GK Connor CAMPBELL, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 3 Brent GRIFFITHS (5 Ross ANDERSON 78’), 4 Jason GAVIN, 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Phil O’CALLAGHAN, 11 Scott MUIRHEAD, 13 Huss AWADA (7 Jamie DE ABREU 58’), 14 Ludovic BOI, 18 Garreth O’CONNOR, 19 Anthony SKORICH -
Subs not used – RGK Drew JENK, 6 David HUNT, 12 David PERICH
Yellow Cards – Pugliese 24’, Griffiths 46’, Watt 57’
Armadale – GK Cyril SHARROCK, 4 Aaron BEATTIE, 5 Matt BENNION, 6 Marlon RAMIREZ, 7 Anthony CAMPBELL (16 Ali PAREDES 70’), 8 Ross DIAMOND, 10 Paul LLOYD, 11 Thomas ROBINSON, 13 Steven MCDONALD, 14 Craig YOUNG, 15 Parys OKAI (3 Sean NICHOLLS 64’) - Subs not used – RGK Alex PREECE, 18 Tom KENNEDY,
Yellow Cards – Diamond 21’, Campbell 31’, Ramirez 74’
Referee – Michael Nugus
Assistants – Tim Mihevic and Taz Paraskevas
Stirling Lions entertain Scott Miller’s Armadale SC on Saturday in week four of the All Flags Premier League at Macedonia Park (3pm)
It’s early in the season but it is a must win game for the Lions. Coach Paul Lincoln knows the importance of three points come 4.45pm on Saturday. “We have not started the season as well as we would have liked and our form is patchy. This is disappointing but to be expected with the amount of changes to the squad.
“I’m confident that when we get more games under the belt of Garreth O’Connor and Anthony Skorich and the inclusion of Bobby Wilson we will see a change in fortune,” he said.
“Last week against Perth we were our worst enemy three mistakes three goals. We cannot afford to make mistakes like we did against a quality side like Perth as you get punished and that we did. We also missed the work rate of Ludo Boi in midfield; he is a very important player for us.
“In saying this though if we converted the penalty opportunity and go into half time at 1-1 the confidence grows and we may have got something from the game, but that’s football. The challenge for us is now to get a roll on and we have set a target of 9 points from the next three games.”
Armadale are coming off two good results, an away win at Floreat in week two, and a 2-2 draw against ECU Joondalup last week, after being two goals down, so Lincoln knows his side need to be at their best. “Saturday’s game against Armadale will be another tough game and we need to convert our chances make less mistakes and be more accountable in defending. We have worked hard this week on the track and the lads know the importance of the game,” explained Lincoln.
In team news for the Lions, Corey Cullen returns after injury, and Ludovic Boi (left) returns after suspension, while former Perth Glory defender Brent Griffiths goes straight into the squad for Saturday’s game, to join his old teammate Anthony Skorich, who will make his home debut in this important clash. A player missing on Saturday will be Paul Dugdale, the former Burnley FC youth player has moved to Inglewood United.
Armadale will look to experienced keeper Cyril Sharrock, and former Motherwell defender Steve McDonald (right) for on-field leadership and Tom Robinson, Craig Young and Anthony Campbell for goals.
Matt Bennion continues to impress in the backline, while in the middle of the park former Lion, Tom Kennedy has fitted in well at Alfred Skeet Oval, with Jason Goodwin and Marlon Ramirez adding stability in the engine room.
Stirling Lions: GK James TURVILL, RGK Connor CAMPBELL, Michael PUGLIESE, Jason GAVIN, Ross ANDERSON, Jamie DE ABREU, Garreth O’CONNOR, David HUNT, Roberto LUJAN, Phil O'CALLAGHAN, Scott MUIRHEAD, David PERICH, Corey CULLEN, Brent GRIFFTHS, Anthony SKORICH, Huss AWADA, Jamie WATT
Armadale: GK Cyril SHARROCK, RGK Alex PREECE, Matt BENNION, Marlon RAMIREZ, Ross DIAMOND, Jason GOODWIN, Paul LLOYD, Thomas ROBINSON, Steven MCDONALD, Craig YOUNG, Parys OKAI, Aaron BEATTIE, Sean NICHOLLS, Ali PARADES, Tom KENNEDY
Stirling Lions will continue the defence of the state league cup after being drawn to play first division side Gosnells City in the second round of the Solo Cup at Macedonia Park on Tuesday 26th April.(3pm)
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln is happy to be drawn at home. “It’s always good to get a home tie in the cup, so I’m pleased with that,” he said.
“We know we will have to be on our toes as the cup can turn up surprises, but we have more pressing issues in the league at the moment, starting on Saturday against Armadale.”
The draw took place at Football West headquarters on Friday morning with General Manager, Competitions & Operations, Keith Wood and State League Administrator Angela Murphy.
In other ties Balcatta will host Cockburn City at Grindleford Reserve, in an all-State Premier League affair, while there will be a local derby between Rockingham City and Mandurah City at Lark Hill. Meanwhile Armadale will host the winner of the postponed Ashfield versus Floreat Athena clash.
UWA-Nedlands FC - Western Knights – UWA Sports Park
Dianella White Eagles - Shamrock Rovers – Dianella Reserve
Armadale - Floreat Athena OR Ashfield – Alfred Skeet Oval
Kingsway Olympic - Perth - Kingsway Reserve
Rockingham City - Mandurah City - Lark Hill
Sorrento - Melville City – Percy Doyle Reserve
Stirling Lions - Gosnells City – Macedonia Park
Balcatta - Cockburn City – Grindleford Reserve
Stirling Lions were beaten in a six goal thriller against Perth SC in week three of the All Flags Premier Division on Saturday evening at the BGC Stadium.
Andreas Oliviera opened the scoring just before the half-hour, But the Lions should have levelled before the break but Jamie Watt’s penalty was saved by Devon Spence.
Robert Sciascia made it 2-0 shortly after the interval, put Phil O'Callaghan pulled one back for Stirling, only for Adam Bachiller to restore Perth's two-goal buffer. Scott Muirhead netted for the Lions to set up a tense finish, but Oliviera's second of the evening finally won the points for the home side.
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln was left disappointed after the defeat. “We had a chance to make it 1 all just before half time but Devon Spence made a great save from Jamie’s spot kick,” he said.
“Again we made silly errors for goals and we’ve got to stop this sooner rather than later. Good side punish you and they did that tonight so it was going to be difficult, but we did show some fighting spirit to get within one goal and then a poor decision from the linesman not raising his flag for a clear offside restored there two goal buffer. Overall the result was disappointing and we need to improve in areas and I am confident we will. It now makes next week game a cup final for us we need three points."
Lincoln made two changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Cockburn City last week, with Jamie Watt returning from injury and Anthony Skorich making his Lions debut after his move from Perth Glory. Ludovic Boi was suspended and Jamie De Abreu dropped to the bench.
Perth also made two changes to their side that drew 0-0 at Bayswater City last week, with Matthew Danskin and Robert Sciascia replacing the injured Shaun Kilkelly and Robbie Puca.
Both sides were guilty of giving the ball away too easily in the opening stages but it was the Lions who might have gone ahead after just four minutes, Watt's deflected cross bouncing off the top of the bar.
Oliviera had a shot at the far post charged down after Craig Simpson had glanced a free-kick into his path, while David Onoforo completely miscued from the edge of the box following a neat move down the left involving Bachiller and Sciascia.
However, home supporters didn't have to wait long to celebrate. After 29 minutes Onoforo made amends for his earlier blemish, robbing Ross Anderson just outside Stirling's area and squaring for Oliviera who side-footed home from 12 yards.
Moments later, Lions keeper James Turvill did well to parry Jason do Santos' fierce angled strike, then Trent Kay headed an Antonio Naglieri free-kick over.
Paul Lincoln's side were then given a golden opportunity to draw level. Referee Kris Griffiths-Jones adjudged Watt (right) to have been fouled in the box. The striker himself got up to take the spot-kick but Perth keeper Devon Spence guessed correctly and made a fine save away to his right.
Perth started the second half brightly and Bachiller flashed a low drive just past the far post, before Sciascia sent a similar effort wide.
The second goal did arrive, however, after 52 minutes. Turvill misjudged a long crossfield ball, allowing Onoforo to take the ball around him, before coolly laying it back for Sciascia to blast into the roof of the net from 10 yards.
Dom De Felice almost made it 3-0 two minutes later but after doing brilliantly to evade two challenges he fired wide from 12 yards. Only a spectacular diving save from Spence from O'Callaghan's header denied the Lions after 59 minutes.
However, there was nothing the Perth keeper could do seven minutes later to keep out the striker's glancing header from Scott Muirhead's corner.
Bachiller gave Ronnie Campbell's side some breathing space with a brilliant turn and shot from just inside the area on 72 minutes but Muirhead (left) made it 3-2 with 12 minutes remaining, pouncing from close range after Perth had failed to deal with a long throw-in.
Lions substitute Jamie De Abreu saw his low strike from 15 yards blocked on the line, before the home side made sure of the points with a minute remaining.
A quick Stirling free-kick broke down and when the ball was swept forward Onoforo found himself in acres of space racing towards goal with only keeper Turvill in front of him. The veteran unselfishly rolled the ball sideways to Oliviera who tapped into an empty net.
After a loss and a draw in their opening two league fixtures, Perth boss Campbell was delighted with his side's performance.
"It was very important to win. Obviously it was unexpected losing at home to Mandurah and then the draw last week which was probably a fair result but we've got a bye next week and then we're playing the NTC after that so obviously we're not going to be picking up any points so we needed to win today," he said.
"I thought their commitment was first-class, I thought every player gave 100 per cent and I thought it was a good game.
"It's always easy after the game but I thought the referee had a great game - I thought he let the game flow. It was a great game, six goals and I thought both teams played to win and I thought it was a really good spectacle."
Perth SC: GK Devon SPENCE, 2 Trent KAY, 3 Adam BACHILLER, 4 Craig SIMPSON, 7 Matthew DANSKIN, 9 David ONOFORO, 10 Andreas OLIVIERA, 11 Robert SCIASCIA, 14 Jason DOS SANTOS (17 Vlad NAUMOVSKI, 68),15 Antonio NAGLIERI, 18 Dom DE FELICE (5 Daniel COLLETTA, 74)
Substitutes not used: RGK. Luke MARTINO, 12. Josh PERIERA, 20. Rhys LOXLEY
Stirling Lions: GK James TURVILL, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 4 Jason GAVIN, 5 Ross ANDERSON, 8 Garreth O'CONNOR, 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 11 Scott MUIRHEAD, 12 David PERICH (13 Huss AWADA, 68), 14 Roberto LUJAN (7 Jamie DE ABREU, 53), 15 Anthony SKORICH
Substitutes not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 3 Dennis GALAN, 6 David HUNT
Stirling Lions will be looking for their first three points of the season, when they travel Dorrien Gardens to take on the 2010 Football West Premier League Champions Perth SC (6.30pm)
A drew last week against Cockburn City put the Lions on the board for the new season, and Coach Paul Lincoln is hoping they continue on with it on Saturday evening. “The lads played really well last week and if not for some poor finishing and a referee’s poor decision we would have got our first win – surprising when I say that I think of the Charity Shield game,” Lincoln said.
“We will need to be on our toes on Saturday as Perth will be keen for three points like us, so hopefully we can carry last weekend’s performances and kick start our season.
The Lions will be missing influential midfielder Ludovic Boi (left) due to suspension, while Jamie Watt looks doubtful with a broken hand, although there is a glimmer of hope the striker will be available to play with a special cast on his injured hand. Good news on the injury front with defender Bobby Wilson having his protective boot removed after suffering a fractured foot. The former Notts County defender is still one or two weeks away from playing but the signs are good.
Lions’ defender Michael Pugliese (Below in action at Perth last season) has been in great form at the back with skipper Jason Gavin, and he believes the side is gelling together nicely. “I was very pleased with the way we played on the weekend, but we missed opportunities that eventually cost us the game in the end. A suspect referee decision let Cockburn back into the game and the players were very disappointed with the 1-1 result,” Pugliese said.
“It’s always a tough game against Perth, and I believe the game will be decided in the midfield. If we can go out with the same intensity and work rate we did against Cockburn, we will be able to dominate any team in the league. The players are starting the gel and it won't be long till we start getting the results.”
Perth, who have a new coach for 2011, with Ronnie Campbell taking over from Graham Normanton, were surprisingly beaten by Mandurah City in the first week, and were held by newly promoted Bayswater City on the road last week. Matt Danskin and Robert Sciascia will be pushing for a starting spot after coming off the bench last week, while David Onoforo and Andreas Oliviera will need to be closed down by the Lions. Greg Sharland has missed the opening two games due to injury and is doubt again on Saturday.
Perth SC: GK Devon SPENCE, RGK Luke MARTINO, Trent KAY, Adam BACHILLER, Craig SIMPSON, Shaun KILKELLY, Rob PUCA, Robert SCIASCIA, David ONOFORO, Vlad NAUMOVSKI, Andreas OLIVEIRA, Jason DOS SANTOS, Matthew DANSKIN, Antonio NAGLIERI, Domenic DE FELICE, Greg SHARLAND, Daniel COLETTA
Stirling Lions: GK James TURVILL, RGK Connor CAMPBELL, Michael PUGLIESE, Jason GAVIN, Ross ANDERSON, Jamie DE ABREU, Garreth O’CONNOR, David HUNT, Roberto LUJAN, Phil O'CALLAGHAN, Scott MUIRHEAD, David PERICH, Corey CULLEN, Mitchell CROCKER, Huss AWADA, Jamie WATT
New Stirling Lions midfielder Garreth O'Connor (right in his Burnley days) is looking forward to Saturday's round three clash against Perth Sc at Dorrien Gardens. The Irishman, who arrived from Irish Premier League side St Patricks three weeks ago, made his Lions debut against Cockburn City last week and has settled in really well at Macedonia Park. "President Don Evans and everyone at the club have been really friendly and helpful, and I've settled in really well. We have a good squad and they are a great bunch of lads as well," O'Connor said.
The 32-year-old was signed on the advice of Lions defender Jason Gavin, and he is loving the Perth lifestyle. "My move to the Lions came about through Jason, who I played in the same side in Ireland. I sent Don a video of me playing in England and the rest is history as they say. I'm really enjoying Perth, it's so different to back home, I love the weather and the beaches,” O’Connor explained.
"I found my debut against Cockburn tough going as I'm a bit short of match fitness and the warm weather. is something I'm not use too. It might take me another few weeks to get used to it."
O'Connor (left on his debut against Cockburn City) has had a stellar career in the UK and Ireland and brings a vast amount of experience to the club and the league. "I have played for English clubs Bournemouth for 5 years, Burnley for 3 years, and Luton Town for five months, before moving over to Ireland, where I played for St Pats. Bohemians. and Drogheda FC," O'Connor explained.
"While I was at Bournemouth in 2004 I played in the League Two play-off finals against Lincoln, It was a great day for me, and I scored a good goal and played a part in the other four in the 5-2 win. it was live on TV and there was 35,000 in attendance at the Millennium Stadium. I played against some great players over the years but Ryan Giggs was the most difficult opponent I've played on. It was only a testimonial game but you could still see his class."
The Lions head to Perth on Saturday evening and O'Connor knows it will be a tough game, but one he's looking forward too. "You always like to play against the best teams, and everyone tells me they are the benchmark and they won the League last season, so we know it will be a tough game. I watched them the other week and they looked impressive, they lost their first home agama like us, so both sides will be desperate to kick start their season, but we hope to come away with the three points," O'Connor said.
Click Here to Check out the Solo Cup Highlights - Thanks to Football West TV
Stirling Lions half-time substitute Jamie De Abreu (Left) scored a sensational second-half hat-trick to lead the 2010 cup holders to an emphatic 5-0 win against Spearwood Dalmatinac at Macedonia Park in the opening round of the Solo Cup.
Phil O'Callaghan and Huss Awada grabbed the other two goals as Stirling progressed to the second round, but the game ended on a sour note with midfielder Ludovic Boi sent off by referee Ross Sardi after first being booked for pushing a Dallies player and then retaliating with a kick.
Lions stand-in coach Dejan Vilic brought De Abreu on at half-time for the lively Scott Muirhead and was the star of the show after Spearwood held on for a 0-0 score line at the interval, and the Sunday League team even had the best chance of the first stanza, hitting the crossbar.
Vilic was happy with the result, but again disappointed they didn’t take their chances. “It was a physical contest all day and I thought the boys stuck at it all afternoon. We had a number of chances in the first half including a penalty shout when Roberto Lujan was brought down by the keeper, but again we couldn’t find the target,” he said.
“They defended in numbers but the introduction of Jamie de Abreu changed things and his pace caused them problems, and he scored a good hat-trick. We’ve still got things to work on but it’s good to get through the first round of the cup, the only downside is the sending off of Ludo.”
The first real opportunity of the game was through Dallies striker Joey Brunetto, but the front man blazed his shot over the goal after receiving a great through-ball from David Pallin in midfield.
An in-swinging Muirhead (right) corner was somehow cleared off the goal line by Stuart Connell as Stirling tried to grab an early opener, and moments later the same Lions player headed over the crossbar from close-range.
Spearwood goalkeeper Pedro Pavez was the star of the show, keeping his side in the contest with a number of fantastic saves. He denied Muirhead twice in quick succession after a neat diving effort and then an acrobatic fingertip save to tip the ball over the crossbar after a stinging shot from the Stirling winger.
The hard-running Boi was unlucky not to grab the opener after a superb run in midfield, but his shot couldn't match the build-up as his effort went wide.
Awada then combined with O'Callaghan (left) with a great ball across the face of goal, but the dual Golden Boot winner somehow missed an easy tap-in chance as he failed to strike the ball.
Just as the game looked to be locked at 0-0 at the interval, Spearwood almost grabbed a shock lead after Jordan Andrews' pass to Brunetto was headed into the middle of the crossbar.
However, it didn't take long for Stirling to stamp their authority, with De Abreu embarking on a great run and slotted the ball with ease past Pavez.
This didn't deter Spearwood though as Brunetto then kissed the left goal post with his shot at the other end just minutes later.
Boi nearly grabbed his side's second goal of the match, but another fingertip save by Pavez kept the score at 1-0 to the Lions.
However, Pavez couldn't continue his heroics all afternoon and O'Callaghan made it 2-0 after taking a deft touch saw him cut inside one defender and finish neatly past the Spearwood goalkeeper.
Stirling should have been far more in front, but their wasteful first-half efforts made the game appear closer than it should have been.
New Lions recruit Garreth O'Conner looked at home in central midfield, pulling the strings for most of the day, but it was De Abreu that stole the show after a 25-yard bomb made it 3-0 with less than 20 minutes to play.
De Abreu should have completed his hat-trick a few minutes later, but hit the right goal post from the narrowest of angles near the left by-line.
O'Conner's great through-ball for Awada saw the latter make it 4-0, while De Abreu's rocket from outside the box sealed the 5-0 rout and completed his hat-trick.
Round 2 of the Solo Cup will be held on Tuesday 26 April, on the ANZAC Day Holiday.
The draw will take place on Friday 18 March.
Stirling Lions: GK James TURVILL, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 11 Scott MUIRHEAD (7 Jamie DE ABREU 45'), 5 Ross ANDERSON, 14 Ludo BOI, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 3 Paul DUGDALE, 9 Roberto LUJAN (6 David HUNT 63'), 8 Garreth O'CONNER, 4 Jamie STREET, 13 Huss AWADA - Substitutes not used: 20 Conner CAMPBELL, 12 David PERICH, 15 Mitchell CROCKER
Spearwood Dalmatinac: GK Pedro PAVEZ, 17 Michael MIRCO (18 Andrew DOS SANTOS 74'), 13 Joey BRUNETTO, 2 Peter PETKOVICH, 10 Jordan ANDREWS, 4 Rich WILSON, 5 Stuart CONNELL, 8 Glen PESICH, 9 David PALLIN, 7 Byron ANDREWS, 6 Paulo COELHO Substitutes not used: RGK Justin VANDERHOEK, 12 Morgan FIELDING, 20 Simon HENDERSON, 3 Nathan BREGLIA
Referee - Ross Sardi
Stirling Lions and Cockburn City have fought out a 1-1 draw in the All Flags Premier Division clash at Macedonia Park on Saturday.
Scott Muirhead had given the home side the lead in the final minute of the first half, firing home a free kick from the edge of the box, but The Cockerels levelled six minutes in to the second half in controversial circumstances. Former Lions striker Rory Feely firing home from close –range from a Johny Mirco cross, after the referee waved away his assistants offside flag, much to the displeasure of the Lions.
Lions’ assistant coach Dejan Vilic was disappointed with the Cockburn equaliser but was happy with the performance. “We started better than we did last week and it was important we stated picking up points, especially at home, we had our chances today but didn’t take them,” Vilic said.
“We scored at the right time just before the break, but we know Cockburn would come out hard in the second half, but their goal looked offside and the players stopped as the flag was up, which was disappointing.”
In other games on the day, Doug Hesketh's under 18's remained unbeaten this season with a hard fought 2-1 win against Cockburn City - Ben Meredith and Parviz Shirzadi on target. Rob Milevski's reserve side were held to a 0-0 draw against Cockburn.
Both sides made three changes to their starting line up’s. The Lions lost Jamie Watt through injury and Paul Dugdale to suspension, while David Hunt dropped to the bench. In came Robert Lujan, Jamie Debreu and new signing Garreth O’Connor, the former Bournemouth and Burnley midfielder making his home debut.
Cockburn City lost Marc Anthony through injury and Anthony Pereira to suspension, while Su Sang Yang dropped to the bench. Into the side came David Araya, Michael Grigo, who re-signed for the club from Armadale in the week and Paul Natale returned from suspension.
It was a quite opening, the first chance falling to the visitors. Adrian Webster’s pass sent Feely clear down the right on seven minutes, his shot from the angle went into the side netting.
The home side settled and on 27 minutes Ross Anderson’s ball over the top sent De Abreu in on goal but keeper Dejan Aleksic was out quick to save.
Cockburn, who beat Floreat Athena in their opening game last week, went close two minutes later. Natale was found down the right by Webster, he cut inside Lujan, and his cross from the bye-line was well cleared by Jason Gavin (above) at the near post. Then Moments later Webster’s long-range shot flew over the top.
With O’Connor influential in the middle of the park the Lions ended the half the better, and on 39 minutes Scott Muirhead found Ludovic Boi. The former Perth Glory Youth midfielder wasn’t closed down by Cockburn and his long-range shot whistled just over the bar.
Then in the last minute of the first half the Lions hit the front. A free kick was award on the edge of the box; O’Connor laid the ball back to Muirhead (right) whose shot went through the Cockburn wall and into the net to give the home side the lead at the break.
With Tony Castiello’s half time address still ringing in their ears, Cockburn levelled six minutes into the second half. Webster sent Johny Mirco in down the left. The assistants’ flag went up for offside and the Lions defence seemed to stop, but referee David Costello waved play on. Mirco got to the bye-line and crossed to Feely who scored from close-range, much to the displeasure of the Lions, Gavin was given a yellow card for his protests.
The goal seemed to knock the stuffing out of the Lions and Cockburn almost made it 2-1 eight minutes later. Webster’s deep cross from the left was met by Grigo in the six-yard box, whose flick was saved by James Turvill.
Looking for their first points of the new season, the Lions pushed forward and when Boi fed O’Connor (left) on the hour his shot from 18-yards bounced just in front of Aleksic, the young keeper did well to push the ball over the top.
The three points were still up for grabs and there were chances at both ends. First on 72 minutes Webster played in Mirco, whose shot was well saved by Turvill. Then five minutes later O’Connor found the unmarked Boi on the edge of the box, his shot flashed inches over the bar.
Lions’ keeper Turvell kept his side in the game on 83 minutes, tipping Webster’s long-range shot around the post, but both sides couldn’t find the winner and it ended 1-1.
Cockburn City Coach Tony Castiello was happy with the point. “We didn’t perform particularly well today, our passing was poor. We’ve got things to work on we know that, but at the end of the day, I’ll take the point,” Castiello said.
“Near the end I thought we were the stronger side and could have nicked all three points late, but it would have been day light robbery if we did.”
All Flags Premier Division
Stirling Lions 1 (Muirhead 45’)
Cockburn City 1 (Feely 52’)
Sunday 27th February 2011
Referee: David Costello
Assistant Referees: John Taran and Steven Seeds
Stirling Lions: GK James TURVILL, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 4 Jason GAVIN, 5 Ross ANDERSON, 7 Jamie DE ABREU, 8 Garreth O’CONNOR (6 David HUNT 86’), 9 Roberto LUJAN, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 11 Scott MUIRHEAD, 12 David PERICH, 14 Ludovic BOI,
Substitutes not used: RGK Connor CAMPBELL, 15 Mitchell CROCKER, 13 Huss AWADA
Yellow Cards – Pugliese 13’, Gavin 53’
Cockburn City: 1 Dejan ALEKSIC (gk), 2 Declan BOYHAM (14 Alex DIBLEY 55’), 4 Paul BISERKO, 5 Jason GODFREY, 6 Michael GRIGO (16 Su Sang YANG 78’), 10 Adrian WEBSTER, 11 John MIRCO, 12 John DAVITE, 17 Paul NATALE, 18 Rory FEELY, 19 David ARRAYA,
Substitutes not used: RGK Adam YILDIRIM, 7 Aaron DOS SANTOS
Yellow Cards – Biserko 54’
Cockburn City visit Macedonia Park on Saturday, in round two of All Flags Premier Division (3pm)
The Lions will be looking to kick start their season after a 1-3 loss against Balcatta in the opening round, and Coach Paul Lincoln is looking for a big improvement from last week’s performance, but he knows Cockburn are a strong side. “Last weekend the 3 – 1 loss was not acceptable and it is difficult to pinpoint why we played so well against Perth on the Wednesday night and then so poorly in the first half against Balcatta. The second half we played better and if not for some outstanding saves by Matt Italiano we may have had a different outcome,” Lincoln said.
“Michael Pugliese was best a field in my opinion and Jamie De Abrue did really well when he came on. It was also good to see Scott Muirhead back in the side and when he gets more match fit he will have more impact in games.
“Saturday’s game against Cockburn is another test and it will not be an easy game. Influential players like Mark Anthony, Adrian Webster and John Mirco will need to be contained if we are going to win. The lads know that we need 3 points and I expect them to bounce back from last weekend’s performance.”
In team news The Lions will be without defender Paul Dugdale (left), after being sent off last week, but they hope to have new signing Garreth O’Connor and Anthony Skorich available to make their debuts.
Jamie De Abreu will be pushing for a starting role against his former club, after impressing off the bench last week, while David Peric (right)h and Ludovic Boi will need to be at their best to get the Lions on the board for 2011.
Cockburn City will be without Anthony Pereira, who was sent off last week, and will be looking to end a five year winless run at Macedonia Park. Former Lions striker Rory Feely scored late to give The Cockerels a 2-1 against Floreat Athena last week, and with Adrian Webster and another ex-Lion Marc Anthony pulling the strings in midfield they will fancy their chances of coming away with the points.
Doug Hesketh’s under 18’s will be looking to continue their good start to the season when they play Cockburn City at 11am. Last week Geordie Papathanissiou scored four in the 7-1 win against Balcatta and Hesketh was delighted. “The squad have been training very hard the last couple of weeks, everyone is working well to improve and understand what we expect, some of the younger lads have been showing great promise and the older lads great leadership we still have key senior 18`s players to return from injury in Adam and Trent Blewitt so hopefully in the near future we will be back to full strength,” Hesketh said.
“The conditions were not good last week for both teams Joe Pugliese and I agreed we showed good character and we just got on with the game and put in 100%, well done guys. This week we welcome Cockburn, who are a quality side and I look forward to a great game.”
The Reserves lost a high scoring game last week against Balcatta and Rob Milevski will be looking for an improvement this week and Cockburn Reserves (1pm)
Squads for the game:
Stirling Lions: GK James TURVILL, RGK Lief CRADDOCK, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 4 Jason GAVIN, 5 Ross ANDERSON, 6 David HUNT, 7 Jamie DE ABREU, 8 Corey CULLEN, 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 11 Scott MUIRHEAD, 12 David PERICH, 13 Huss AWADA, 14 Ludovic BOI, 15 James STREET, 16 Anthony SKORICH, 17 Garreth O’CONNOR
Cockburn City: GK Dejan ALEKSIC, RGK Joe PAGE, 2 Declan BOYHAM, 3 Su Sang YANG, 4 Paul BISERKO, 5 Jason GODFREY, 7 Aaron DOS SANTOS, 8 Marc ANTHONY, 9 Rory FEELY, 10 Adrian WEBSTER, 11 John MIRCO, 12 John DAVITE, 14 Alex DIBLEY, 15 Wesley BRITZ, 19 David ARRAYA
Referee - David Costello
The Lions back up again on Labour day Monday, when they begin the defence of the State League Cup, with a game against Sunday amateur side Spearwood Dalmatinac in the newly named Solo Cup at Macedonia Park (3pm)
With the temperature again tipped to be in the high 30’s on Monday, it will be a tough task for the Lions backing up from Saturday’s league game against Cockburn City and Coach Paul Lincoln hopes there will be no Cup shock at Macedonia Park Monday afternoon.
“The Cup Game on Monday will test our depth as it is very difficult for players to play a full game on Saturday and then back it up again on the Monday especially with this heat,” Lincoln said.
“We found it tough backing up after the Charity Shield last week, and it’s hard on the lads. We’ve worked well this week on track and we are looking for two wins this weekend.
Lincoln will not be taking Dalmatinac’s lightly and has told his players not to either. “People will say that we are only playing an amateur team, but they will be fresh and have players that have played at state league level so fingers crossed we come out unscathed. It’s another game in front of our great supporters and we want to make Macedonia Park a fortress, and we hope to start that this weekend,” Lincoln added.
Stirling Lions opened their 2011 All Flags Premier League season with a 1-3 loss in the local derby against Balcatta at Macedonia Park on Sunday afternoon.
First half goals from new recruit Jason Barrera, and an Adam Tong penalty gave the visitors a two goal lead at the break. The Lions lost defender Paul Dugdale with a red card in the 84th minute, and the points were wrapped up four minutes from time when skipper Ashley Rosindale scored. The Lions consolation came from striker Phil O’Callaghan in stoppage time.
In other Lions games Doug Hesketh's under 18's opened their season with a 7-1 win against Balcatta. On target for the young Lions cubs was George Papathamassion, who scored four, Boas Mtwale with two and Parviz Shirzadi with the other. Rob Milevski's reserves went down 5-3 to Balcatta. Robert Lujan, Remo Venditti and Jesse Compton on target for the Lions.
Lions coach Paul Lincoln gave starting home debuts to four players, Ross Anderson, Paul Dugdale, Jamie Watt and David Perich, while there were two new faces on the bench, Huss Awada and American Corey Cullen.
It was hot and humid at kick off, but it didn’t seem to bother the visitors who dominated the opening stages. John Migas and Tong had headers saved by James Turvill in the opening seven minutes, and two minutes later Daniel Micevski cross from the right was fired wide by Rosindale at the back post.
Their dominance was rewarded with the lead moments later, Barrera was sent clear and he finished with aplomb past Turvill.
The Lions looked to hit back immediately. Scott Muirhead was found down the right by David Perich, his cross picked out O’Callaghan in the penalty area but the striker was unable to hit the target.
The frustration was mounting on the Lions bench and Balcatta almost made it 2-0 on the quarter hour mark. Barrera sent Micevski clear, but his shot was well blocked by the alert Turvill
It got worse for the home side when Balcatta doubled their lead on 36 minutes. Migas found Daniel Niederberger, who cut inside the penalty area and was brought down by David Hunt and referee Josh Mihevc had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Tong stepped up to fire low past Turvill to make it 2-0.
In first half stoppage time the Lions almost pulled one back. Muirhead’s 20-yard free kick was heading into the top corner of the net, before keeper Lewis Italiano superbly tipped it around the post at full stretch.
The home side made a double change at the break with American midfielder Corey Cullen replacing Hunt, and Jamie De Abreu coming on Ross Anderson. It seemed to have the required effect and they opened up brightly.
Perich sent De Abreu in down the right on 48 minutes, but the youngster chose to cross instead of shooting and the chance was gone.
Moments later it was De Abreu again who went close. He was picked out by Muirhead and his long-range shot deflected off Tong, but Italiano was equal to it, superbly saving one handed to his right. From the resulting corner Jason Gavin headed wide as the Lions pressed.
Whatever Lions coach Paul Lincoln had said at half time was working as they continued to dominate, but they were struggling to get past Balcatta’s central defender’s Tong and Jovo Pavlovic, who were outstanding.
But they continued to press and Watt was sent clear down the left by Ludovic Boi’s through ball on 69 minutes, his cross was only inches away from the unmarked De Abreu at the back post. Then moments later a great run by Perich ended with a ball to De Abreu, who fired straight at Italiano.
It was all hands on deck for Balcatta as The Lions continued to press, and they should have reduced the lead on 73 minutes. Great work on the left by Cullen ended with a pin-point cross to Watt at the back post, but the birthday boy, blazed over from six-yards.
Things got worse for the Lions on 84 minutes when Dugdale was given a straight red card by the referee after bringing down Moe Atak on the edge of the box. Then two minutes later Balcatta made the points safe, Rosindale firing home at the near post after good work on the left by Migas.
The Lions scored a consolation goal in the first minute of stoppage time, Boi’s corner from the right was headed back across goal by Gavin and O’Callaghan fired home from close-range.
Lions’ coach Paul Lincoln was left very disappointed especially with the first half performance. “It was a slow start today for us. We gave them a two goal start and with this weather it was going to be difficult to get back into the match,” Lincoln said.
“We changed the formation at half time and we dominated the second half but we couldn’t put away our chances.”
A great first up win for new Balcatta Coach Michael Roki and he was happy to get the three points. “It’s an important win for the club today, it’s always nice to win your opening game,” Roki said.
“We had an exceptional first half, and we put them under great pressure and made plenty of chances. But the second half was a different story and Stirling put us under pressure and made life tough for us. We knew they would come out and take the game to us but we held them off and keeper Lewis Italiano made a couple of excellent saves deny them.”
Stirling Lions – GK James TURVILL, 2 Michael PUGLIESE, 3 Paul DUGDALE, 4 Jason GAVIN, 5 Ross ANDERSON (7 Jamie DE ABREU 46’), 6 David HUNT (8 Corey CULLEN 46’), 9 Jamie WATT, 10 Phil O’CALLAGHAN, 11 Scott MUIRHEAD (13 Huss AWADA 75’), 12 David PERICH, 14 Ludovic BOI
Subs not Used – RGK Lief CRADDOCK, 15 James STREET
Yellow Cards – Pugliese 77’, Boi 79’
Red Cards – Dugdale 84’
Balcatta – GK Lewis ITALIANO, 2 Simon ELTON-BOTT, 5 Adam TONG, 6 Spencer HARRIS (4 Michael BLACK 79’), 7 Daniel MICEVSKI, 8 Jason BARRERA, 10 Ashley ROSINDALE, (12 Nicolas TATASCIORE 87’), 11 Daniel NIEDERBERGER (9 Moe ATAK 60’), 13 John MIGAS, 15 Paul VATISTAS, 16 Jovo PAVLOVIC
Subs not Used – RGK Bobson KAROMA
Yellow Cards – Elton-Bott 47’
Referee: Josh Mihevc
Assistant Referees: Kevin Taylor and Ammar Timour
Stirling Lions open their All Flags Premier League campaign with a local derby against Balcatta at Macedonia Park on Sunday (3pm).
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln knows the importance of winning your home games and is looking forward to taking on a new look Balcatta on Sunday. “The night series gave me and the coaching staff the opportunity to look at our younger players at the club and they gave a good account of themselves,” Lincoln said.
“It was disappointing to go out in the quarter finals against Cockburn City, but I see that as an indication that we need to improve as a team to have a successful 2011 campaign, especially at home.”
The visitors Sunday have been busy in the transfer market with a host of new players and a new Coach. Michael Roki has replaced Salv Todaro at the club and Lincoln believes it will be a tough opening to the season for his side. “Balcatta have put together a very good squad of skilful players and Michael has players who can win a game from their own boot. We will need to be at our best to get off to a winning start today and the lads are really looking forward to it, so we should be in for a cracker.”
The Lions will be missing Bobby Wilson with injury, but Lincoln has a number of new players in the mix to make their league debut for the Lions. Paul Dugdale, David Perich, Ross Anderson, Phil O’Callaghan, Jamie Watt, Huss Awada, Corey Cullen and new Irish import Garreth O’Connor are the new faces at the Den this season.
Roki is taking charge of his first league game for the Grindleford Reserve club, and he looking forward to the opener. “The Lions are always a difficult opponent and our new squad is still in the early stages of gelling which is not ideal. All excuses aside we hope to set some standards for ourselves from Round one and the three points will be enthusiastically chased,” Roki said.
“I’m sure Paul Lincoln will have his team well drilled and the pressure will be on us to deliver a knockout blow if we are up to it.”
In the earlier games Doug Hesketh’s under 18’s kick off at 11am, while Rob Milevski’s reserve side kick off at 1pm - See you all at The Lions Den
Stirling Lions were beaten 1-0 by Perth SC, in the 2011 Football West Charity Shield at The BGC Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Shaun Kilkelly scored the decisive goal firing home after David Hunt had cleared Craig Simpson's header off the line five minutes into the second half.
The Lions pressed late and they were convinced they had a penalty in the 86th minute when Phil O'Callaghan was clearly brought down by Kilkelly in the box, but referee Hugh Best was the only one in the ground who didn't see it, and booked the striker for simulation.
Lions midfielder Ludovic Boi, who returned to the club this week, won the 'Alan Beale Medal' as best on the ground and was presented his medal by Brian Beale
It was an even opening with chances at both ends. First on three minutes Huss Awada's cross from the left found Hunt, whose shot from 10-yards was saved low by Devon Spence. Moments later Perth skipper Robbie Puca's free kick picked out Kilkelly at the back post who fired wide from four-yards.
Both sides went close again on the half hour. First Ross Anderson's free kick from the right was mis-judged by Spence, and Jason Gavin headed the ball back across goal and Kilkelly headed the ball off the line. Moments later Antonio Naglieri sent David Onoforo clear, the Perth striker rounded James Turvill but the alert Paul Dugdale cleared the shot off the line.
With the half ending the Lions were on top and on 35 minutes Dugdale whipped in a free kick from the right and O'Callaghan headed just wide from five-yards.
Perth opened the better after the break and five minutes in they were ahead. Puca's corner from the right was met by Simpson at the back post. His header was cleared off the line by Hunt, but Kilkelly was quickest to react and fired home the rebound.
The Lions looked to hit back immediately and from Dugdale's corner two minutes later Anderson headed wide from six-yards.
It was almost 2-0 on 53 minutes. A poor clearance from Dugdale went straight to Andreas Oliviera. His first time ball found Vlad Naumovski, whose shot from the edge of the box beat Turvill but hit the base of the post
Watt headed over from four-yards on the hour from Jamie De Abreu's cross as the Lions stepped it up.
Anderson was causing Perth problems down the right and on 69 minutes the Scottish defender burst into the box and fell under a challenge from Trent Kay, but the referee waved away the Lions penalty claims and booked Anderson for simulation.
With time running out The Lions pushed players forward looking for the equaliser and in the 86th minute O'Callaghan's mazy run saw him skip past three defenders before he was brought down by Kilkelly. It looked a definite penalty but again referee Best waved away the protests and booked the striker, much to the bemusement of the Lions bench and players.
Perth were reduced to ten men in stoppage-time when Adam Bachiller was given a second yellow card by Best, a decision which looked a little harsh.
All gate proceeds will be donated to Telethon for the second successive year.
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln was left a little disappointed by some of the decisions that went against his side, but was pleased the way the lads played despite the defeat. "I thought the boys played really well tonight, and I thought we deserved something from the game. We've had a number of chances and didn't take them, and we didn't get the rub of the green on a couple of penalty decision. But saying that we were not good enough tonight," Lincon said.
"Again the service from wide was poor, but when we got the ball on the deck I thought we played some good football tonight. It's a good warm up for Sunday's opening game of the season against Balcatta."
Stirling Lions - GK James Turvill, 2 Michael Pugliese, 3 Paul Dugdale (7 Jamie DeAbreu 58'), 4 Jason Gavin, 5 Ross Anderson, 6 David Hunt, 9 Jamie Watt, 10 Phil O'Callaghan, 11 Ludovic Boi, 12 David Perich, 13 Huss Awada (8 Corey Cullen 74')
Subs not used - RGK Raymond Craddock, 16 Jamie Street
Yellow Cards - Perich 47' Boi 54', Anderson 69', O'Callaghan 86'
Perth SC - GK Devon Spence, 2 Trent Kay, 3 Adam Bachiller, 4 Craig Simpson, 6 Shaun Kilkelly, 8 Robbie Puca (5 Daniel Coletta 89'), 9 David Onoforo, 10 Andreas Oliviera (Simon Wilson 91'), 15 Antonio Naglieri, 18 Dom de Felice, 20 Vlad Naumovski
Subs not Used - RGK Luke Martino, 12 Josh Perriera, 16 Reece Loxley
Yellow Cards - Bachiller 30', 90'
Red Cards - Bachiller 90'
Referee - Hugh Best
Attendance - 150
The 2010 State League Cup winners Stirling Lions will begin the defence of their title with a home game against Sunday Premier League amateurs Spearwood Dalmatinac at Macedonia Park on Monday 7th March.
The draw for the newly named Solo Cup, took place at Football West headquarters on Monday morning with General Manager, Competitions & Operations, Keith Wood and State League Administrator Angela Murphy.
It’s a gruelling weekend for the Lions, with an All Flag’s Premier League game at home to Cockburn City on the Saturday, before the cup clash on Monday, Labour Day, and Coach Paul Lincoln hopes there will be no shocks in the cup clash. “It’s a busy weekend for our football club, and it’s hard on the players to play two games in three days, but that’s the way the fixtures have been arranged,” Lincoln said.
“I suppose it the same for both sides, as Spearwood will be playing that weekend too. We know we can’t take them lightly as cup games are unpredictable. They have done well in the Sunday Premier League for a number of years, and they have some good players, but I’m confident we will have the firepower to win the game.”
There are three All Flags State Premier League clashes with Balcatta v Bayswater City, Inglewood United v Cockburn City and Mandurah City v ECU Joondalup.
Full Draw - Rockingham City v Queens Park – Lark Hill, Murdoch University v Wanneroo City - Len Shearer Reserve, Stirling Lions v Spearwood Dalmatinac – Macedonia Park, Forrestfield United v Sorrento – Hartfield Park, Canning City SC v Dianella White Eagles - Burrendah Reserve, Swan United v Western Knights – Francis Street, UWA-Nedlands v Bunbury Forum Force - UWA Sports Park, Shamrock Rovers v Belmont Villa – Harold Rossiter Reserve, Balcatta SC v Bayswater City – Grindleford Reserve, Gosnells City v Morley-Windmills - Walter Padbury Reserve, Olympic Kingsway v Fremantle Spirit - Kingsway Reserve, Inglewood United v Cockburn City -6PR Stadium, Floreat Athena v Ashfield - E&D Litis Stadium, Fremantle Croatia v Perth SC - Beeliar Oval, Armadale v Joondalup United - Alfred Skeet Reserve, Mandurah City v ECU Joondalup – Hyundai Stadium
Match’s to be played Labour Day Monday 7th March – 3pm kick off
Stirling Lions 2011 pre-season continued on Saturday morning, and they were beaten 5-2 in a friendly by Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve.
Lions coach Paul Lincoln gave a club debut to new Scottish defender Ross Anderson, while Sean Hughes was selected in midfield. Missing from the Lions side were Roberto Lujan, Corey Cullan, Bobby Wilson, Cory Hugo and Scott Muirhead.
It was a poor start for the Lions and they were behind after only four minutes. Good lead up work by former Lions midfielder Jason Mirco, found Todd Harnwell down the left. His pin-point cross picked out Kyle Moran, who headed home from six-yards.
Things got worse for the Lions three minutes later when The Gulls made it 2-0. David Price played in Jack Doyle down the right. The Irish winger unselfishly pulled the ball back to Harnwell who fired home from eight-yards.
The Lions had the ball in the net on 12 minutes, Jamie Watt long-range shot flew into the net, but the referee had blown for a Lions free kick earlier in the move.
Sorrento continued to cause the Lions problems going forward and on 20 minutes Harnwell’s snap shot from the edge of the box was superbly tipped on to the bar by James Turvill at full stretch.
As the half ended the Lions began to get into the game and on 38 minutes Paul Dugdale fed David Perich, whose shot from 18-yards was saved low by Curtis Aspden.
Then two minutes later the Lions thought they scored, Anderson’s header from Dugdale’s corner went in off the Gulls defender on the line, but the referee ruled that the keeper was pushed in the process and disallowed it.
In first half stoppage-time Sorrento added a third. Shane Webb’s good run and cross from the right found the unmarked Moran, and the former Perth SC striker fired home from eight-yards.
After the break the Lions re-verted back to a 4-4-2 formation and they went close eight minutes in. Jamie DeAbreu’s corner from the left was dropped by Aspden, under pressure from Jason Gavin. The rebound fell to Watt who laid the ball back to Perich, who blazed over from 12-yards.
Lions’ keeper Turvell then saved Moran’s shot from 12-yards, after the striker was picked out by a superb Brodie Martin through ball, and moments later Mirco skipped clear of Hughes and his shot from the angle drifted inches wide of the far post.
The Lions were back in the game on 65 minutes, Watt was sent clear by Huss Awada, and the Scottish striker finished low past Aspden.
But Sorrento hit back immediately, Awada was adjudged to have fouled second half substitute Mike Vickers in the box and referee Michael Tolme pointed straight to the spot. Moran fired home to make it 4-1 to the Gulls.
With both sides making changes the game dropped off in intensity, but Phil O’Callaghan should have reduced the lead on 80 minutes, but the striker lifted his shot over the top.
The margin was reduced again by the Lions three minutes later, Watt heading home Perich’s corner from the right.
But with two minutes remaining Sorrento added a fifth, Dejan Gurovski’s cross from the right was flicked home by Vickers at the front post.
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln was left disappointed by the sloppy first half that cost his team the game. “We were really flat at the start of the game and our intensity wasn’t there early. We tried a new formation today, which you can do in these games, but we seemed to struggle,” he said.
“We improved in the second half when we moved back to a 4-4-2, and we played the ball around well and created a number of opportunities and it gave me the chances to look at some of the squad players which was good. We need to work on our shape, and get the balance right for the opening league game against Balcatta in two weeks.”
Stirling Lions - GK James Turvill, 2 Michael Pugliese, 3 Paul Dugdale, 4 Jason Gavin, 7 Jamie DeAbreu, 9 Jamie Watt, 10 Phil O’Callaghan, 11 David Perich, 12 Paul Anderson, 13 Huss Awada, 16 Sean Hughes
Subs – 5 Jamie Street, 6 David Hunt, 14 Jamie Davies
Sorrento – GK Curtis Aspden, 4 Cameron Yorke, 5 Stuart Banks, 7 Jack Doyle, 8 Brodie Martin, 9 Todd Harnwell, 10 David Price, 11 Jason Mirco, 12 Shane Webb, 19 Adam Luca, 21 Kyle Moran
Subs – RGK Todd Ross, 3 Mike Vickers, 13 Daren Quinncroft, 18 Yasutke Tanara, 23 Dejan Gurovski
Stirling Lions will take on fellow All Flags Premier League side Sorrento at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday (10am) in a pre-season friendly.
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln was left disappointed after the 2-0 loss against Cockburn City in the Bam Creative Night Series quarter-finals, and he will be looking for an improved performance in Saturday's game. "I was really disappointed with our performance against Cockburn, but we have to learn from this and improve in all fasciitis of the game," Lincoln said.
"We made errors that cost us both goals, and our service from the flanks wasn't the best. The players know we are better than that and have worked hard in training this week and I’ll be looking for an improvement at Sorrento."
The coach knows Saturday’s game at Windy Hill is only a pre-season friendly, but with only three weeks to the start of the season it's an important step. "I'll use the game to have a look some of the squad players, but it's a chance for the new players to get some more game time under their belt, and work on our shape," Lincoln said.
"It's not long now until the season starts and we are preparing for the opening game against Balcatta. All the pre-season has been geared up to this and Saturday is another opportunity for the players to push for a starting spot in that game."
The loss of Bobby Wilson, with a fractured foot, is a huge blow, but Lincoln believes they have the players to cover for this. "It's really disappointing for Bobby, who has been a vital member of the team. He has a moon boot on for three weeks and we hope he only misses the opening two league games of the season, but we will have to wait and see," Lincoln explained.
"We will not rush him back, it needs time to heal, I believe we have a strong squad and have the players to cover the loss, it's a big opportunity for one of the squad players to stand up and show me they can play at this level."
Lions squad for the Sorrento game – James Turvill, Michael Pugliese, Paul Anderson, Jason Gavin, Paul Dugdale, Huss Awada, David Perich, Sean Hughes, Jamie DeAbreu, Jamie Watt, Phil O’Callaghan, David Hunt, James Street, Davies
Stirling Lions bowed out of the Bam Creative Night series after a 0-2 defeat against Cockburn City in the quarter-final tie at the E&D Litis Stadium on Saturday evening
The Cockerels hit the front in the eighth minute through former Lions striker Rory Feely, and the game was wrapped up 14 minutes from time when Johnny Mirco scored a controversial second, but with keeper Dejan Aleksic in fine form there was no way back for the Lions.
With instrumental defender Bobby Wilson absent from the Lions defence with a foot injury, Coach Paul Lincoln brought in Australian Schoolboy’s international James Street, while Cory Hugo replaced James Turvill in goal, who dropped to the bench.
Cockburn City coach Tony Castiello was away on holiday and assistant coach Richard Francisco made two changes from last week with Feely returning up front and Jason Godfrey at the back, Anthony Pereira and Samuel Carello dropped to the bench.
The wind was swirling around the ground at kick off, causing problems for both sides, but it was Cockburn who drew first blood on eight minutes. Jonathan Davite’s ball into the box found Feely, who beat Street to the ball and headed up and over the stranded Cory Hugo to give them a perfect start.
Despite going behind the Lions pressed forward and went close themselves on 11 minutes. Good work down the left by Paul Dugdale ended with a cross into the penalty area and Jamie watt’s header flashed wide.
Cockburn keeper Dejan Aleksic came to his sides rescue with a stunning double save on 27 minutes. Former Cockburn midfielder Jamie de Abreu sent Roberto Lujan in down the right, his shot was well saved by the Cockburn custodian. But he did even better from the rebound, saving superbly to deny Corey Cullen’s powerful shot from eight-yards.
Then four minutes later Cockburn should have doubled their lead. A great through ball from Wesley Britz sent Feely clear. The Lions defenders looked for the offside flag, that never came, but Feely wasted a perfect opportunity firing wide with only Hugo to beat, and it was 1-0 at the break to The Cockerels.
It was Feely again who went close early in the second half, his snap shot from six-yards flashed inches over the bar, and moments later Adrian Webster’s long-range shot was deflected wide.
The Lions continued to press and De Abreu’s cross from the right on 52 minutes found Phil O’Callaghan, whose shot was blocked by Godfrey, and Jamie Watt’s follow up shot went inches past the near post.
There were chances at both ends as the game opened up. First on the hour De Abreu’s cross from the right picked out Watt, but the Lions striker headed straight at Aleksic from six-yards. Then five minutes later Feely sent Mirco clear but his shot was saved low by Hugo.
It was end-to-end football as both sides pressed, and on 75 minutes Webster, who was dominating the middle of the park, found Marc Anthony on the right of the penalty area. The former Perth Glory midfielder’s first time volley was saved low by Hugo.
Then sixty seconds later Cullen found De Abreu on the right, his cross found Lujan on the back post, his header was well saved by Aleksic at full stretch and Paul Natale cleared the rebound.
The decisive second goal for Cockburn came on 76 minutes in bizarre circumstances. The Lions won a free kick on the half way line and second half substitute James Davis played the ball back to Jason Gavin, who believed the free kick was to be taken from that position.
But Mirco nicked the ball off the bemused defender, and raced towards goal but his low shot was well saved by Hugo. The rebound fell to Feely who pulled the ball back to Mirco who made no mistake from six-yards. The Lions’ protest was waved away by referee Paul Anderson and Cockburn were on their way to the victory.
They almost added to their lead on 87 minutes, Anthony fired wide from 12-yards and Webster long-range shot moments later was well saved low by Hugo.
Lions coach Paul Lincoln was left disappointed with the second goal and his team’s performance. “We created a number of chances in the second half but the service from the flanks wasn’t the best tonight, and things didn’t go our way,” Lincoln said.
“The second goal killed the game off and I spoke to the referee after the game for clarification which I was not happy with, but that’s football I suppose.”
Cockburn assistant Coach Richard Francisco was delighted with side’s performance. “We battled really hard tonight and we had too, we created a number of chances and we should have really put it away in the first half, with Rory’s one-on-on, but in the end we ground it out,” Francisco said.
“Dejan made some crucial saves in the first half to keep us in the game and was in the right place in the second half too, he’s been great for us, but on the night it was a great all-round performance.”
Cockburn City 2 (Feely 8’, Mirco 76’)
Stirling Lions 0
Saturday 5th February 2011
E&D Litis Stadium
Local kick-off: 7.30pm
Referee: Paul Anderson
Assistant Referees: Ross Sardi and Amit Hosany
Cockburn City: GK Dejan ALESKIC, 2 Declan BOYLAN, 5 Jason GODFREY, 8 Marc ANTHONY, 9 Rory FEELY, 10 Adrian WEBSTER, 11 Johnny MIRCO (6 Anthony PEREIRA 81’), 12 Jonathon DAVITE, 15 Wesley BRITZ, 17 Paul NATALE, 19 David ARAYA (7 Aaron DOS SANTOS 88’)
Substitutes not used: RGK Joe PAGE, 14 Alex DIGBY, 16 Samuel CARELLO
Yellow Cards – Anthony 57’
Stirling Lions: GK Cory HUGO, 3 Jason GAVIN, 4 Michael PUGLIESE, 5 James STREET (16 James DAVIS 59’), 6 Jamie DE ABREU, 7 Phil O'CALLAGHAN, 8 Jamie WATT, 10 David PERICH (13 Huss AWADA 67’), 12 Paul DUGDALE, 14 Roberto LUJAN, 19 Corey CULLEN
Substitutes not used: RGK James TURVILL, 5 Denis GALAN, 17 Adriano D'ADAMO
Yellow Cards – Lujan 33’, Gavin 76’
When former Stirling Lions keeper Aleks Vrteski left A-League side Perth Glory to join Indonesian Premier League side Solo FC a few eyebrows were raised in WA. But the 22-year-old believes the decision he made was the right one and he’s enjoying his football again after a frustrating time in Perth. “My decision to leave Perth Glory was solely due to lack of opportunity,” Vrteski said.
“I really enjoyed my time at the club and I’ve left a number of good friends there, but it was obvious Fergie (Ian Ferguson) didn't see me in his plans and I didn't see myself playing under him and therefore it made my decision to leave Perth Glory black and white.”
A move to the new Indonesian Premier League was perfect timing for the big shot-stopper and he is real enjoying his time at Solo FC, and he played his first home game of the season in front of a full house of 35,000. “Indonesia so far is going great, I’ve settled in really well and the season is three games old so I’m in the swing of things and really enjoying it thus far,” Vrteski explained.
“Last week we beat Bandung 3-1 in my home debut, and the atmosphere was un-describable. We were down 1-0 at half time and when Dave Micevski scored the penalty to level the game I’d never heard a ground erupt like that in my life. It was a real buzz which spurred us on to get the win.”
The IPL is attracting some talented players with former Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie signing for Bandung last week, although he missed the game against Solo due to fitness problems, while David Micevski has also signed for Solo. Vrteski believes the new league is working well and Solo will only get better. “When I first arrived the team was a bit out of shape, and our coach Branko Babic had a lot of work on his hands with only about four weeks to go to the start of the season. But he advised everyone that this season will be used as a preparation to have a strong tilt at the title next season," Vrteski said.
"It's great to have David (Micevski) here, and the moment he arrived he stepped up with his best foot forward and hasn’t looked back since. I'm glad he has had an opportunity to play at a professional level again because that’s where he deserves to be."
Vrteski started playing for Future Glory in 2002 before moving on to Sorrento for two years. He then had a season at Macedonia Park with the Lion, before moving to the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra n 2006. He first joined the Glory in 2007 before moving to Macedonian side Pobeda for two seasons, before returning to the Glory in 2009-10. He has been fortunate to have some excellent coaches along the way to guide him, two in particular. “I’d have to say Willy McNally and Lions’ former Coach Mick Lyons would have to be two coaches who stand out just because they've always believed in me,” Vrteski said.
“They always told me to chase the dream and as a young footballer, self-confidence is a major thing so to gain confidence of these two people in particular was a massive thing for me.”
He trailed with Premier League Wolves in 2005, an experience he enjoyed, but would he be looking at returning to Europe, or would a move to another A-League club be on the cards. “My time at Wolves was a buzz. I still keep in touch with a couple of the players every now and then but not so much the management,” Vrteski said.
“It was a Hoddle era at Molineux when I was there so things have changed. It’s everyone’s dream is to play in a top league in Europe but for now I’m quite happy where I am and if i can play well and gain interest overseas then who knows
“Currently I see the IPL as a massive revolution in Asian football and I hope I can be a part of it for the next few years to come. Who knows what can happen in the future in regards to coming back home to play.
“I’m contracted at Solo FC in 2012, and I’m looking to establish myself between the posts and have a solid season and build on from there. With solid performances builds success so who knows what the future holds so unless Manchester United come in for me to replace Van der sar i think I’ll be here.”
The 2011 Bam Creative Night Series gets down to the business end with the quarter finals taking place this weekend, with intriguing games across the metro area. The early game on Saturday afternoon sees the Lions taking on Cockburn City at the E&D Litis Stadium (5.30pm)
The Lions are coming off a 5-0 win against Bayswater City last week, and Coach Paul Lincoln hopes his side can continue their improvement. “We have worked hard at training this week and the players are improving each session. I will again make changes to the squad that played against Bayswater, as it will give me an opportunity to see the whole squad prior to the Premier League season starting, and see how the younger players go in the side,” Lincoln said.
New American import Corey Cullen and David Perich made their debuts for the Lions last week, while Jamie De Abreu impressed down the flanks. Roberto Lujan and Paul Dugdale were in fine form against Bayswater City, Jason Gavin, Michael Pugliese and Bobby Wilson are forming a tight unit at the back, and with Phil O’Callaghan and Jamie Watt producing a dynamic strike partnership, the Lions will fancy their chances on Saturday, but Lincoln (right) knows they will have to at their best. “The lads are looking forward to Cockburn this week. They will be our biggest test in this campaign, so we know we have to be at our best to get through,” Lincoln added.
Cockburn were unbeaten in Group A and finished runners-up to Western Knights. Striker Johnny Mirco has returned to the club from Floreat Athena, and he was again on the score sheet last week, along with David Araya and Paul Natale, as Cockburn beat Bunbury Forum Force 3-1.
Possible Squads for the game
Lions - GK James TURVILL, GK Cory HUGO, Jason GAVIN, Michael PUGLIESE, Mitchell CROCKER, Jamie DE ABREU, Denis GALAN, Phil O’CALLAGHAN, Jamie WATT, David PERICH, Huss AWADA, Paul DUGDALE, Roberto LUJAN, Bobby WILSON, Corey CULLEN, Adriano D’ADAMO, James STREET, Rick DEL BASSO, Sean HUGHES, Remo VENDETTI, Ian STACK, David HUNT, Nick OLSEN, Tim HILL
Cockburn City GK Dejan ALESKIC, GK Joe PAGE, Declan BOYLAN, Anthony PEREIRA, Alex DIGBY, Marc ANTHONY, Adrian WEBSTER, Johny MIRCO, Jonathon DAVITE, Wesley BRITZ, Samuel CARELLO, Aaron DOS SANTOS, Paul NATALE, David ARAYA, Su Sung YANG, Pavle BISERKO, Declan BOYHAM, Jason GODFREY, Rory FEELY, Shazalee ABDOLLAH, Shintaro Ito, Andrew AMBROGIO, Blake SOKOLOWSKI, Marc ZAGAMI, Ben NICHKEN-LONG
Stirling Lions midfielder Jamie de Abreu has put a horror 2010 behind him and is raring to go in the new season. The 20-year-old has been outstanding in the Bam Creative Night Series and he’s looking forward to injury free season and helping the club to push for honours. “After an injury hampered 2010, first and foremost I want to get as many games under my belt as I can,” Debreu said.
“I just want to cement my spot in the starting 11 and contribute to the team as best I can, either by scoring or setting up goals. We have a squad with a lot of depth and most players can play more than one position so it’s not going to be an easy task. But if I keep training hard and putting in good performances, I think I can really contribute to the team.”
The speedy midfielder joined the Macedonia Park club in 2009 but he was struck down with injury last season. “I missed most of 2010 with osteitis pubis which is basically an inflammation of the pubic bone. It was disappointing because I thought I had a pretty good pre-season and night series, but after the first four or five games something wasn’t right, and I was advised to have some time off to let it rest,” De Abreu explained.
“I ended up having five and half months off my feet which was really difficult, but still managed to keep fit with boxing, swimming and palates. But it wasn’t all bad; the team still did really well which was a good thing. Thankfully I’m fully over my injury and have put in a really good preseason and got my fitness level back up to a good standard. My touch still isn’t where it should be but with more games I think it will come.”
He moved to the Lions from Cockburn, and he was made really welcome by the club. “Everything at the Lions is really good and we’ve started well in the night series. Ever since I came from Cockburn mid-way through 2009, Don and everyone involved with the club have been really friendly and welcoming, which has made it a lot easier for me on the field. We got a really good bunch of boys, everyone gets along and i think that’s an important thing to have a happy dressing room especially for game day,” De Abreu explained.
“As a team we have started well in the night series, I think against Joondalup we probably deserved more than just a point, but I think in the other two games we've shown just what we can do, with some good results. It’s a bonus having lots of different guys scoring for us, showing we don’t just rely on one or two for goals.
“Personally it’s just great to be back playing after a long time on the sidelines. I’ve been happy with my performances but still have a lot of work to do, but I’m getting a lot of help from the coaching staff so hopefully everything comes together sooner rather than later.”
The Lions lost a few players from last season but de Abreu believes the players they have brought in will make the team stronger. “The squad is looking really good at the moment; I believe we have one or two more to come in which will complement what we already have. Training is played at a really high intensity and the boys, who have come in, come with lots of experience so it’s good for us younger guys to learn off them as well,” De Abreu said.
“We did lose some good players but I think we recruited just as good players. Having Jamie Watt and Phil O’Callaghan up front is going to be really important to us, they just seem to know each really well and their movement is going to give any defense trouble.
“We’re also strong at the back with players like Bobby Wilson, Jason Gavin, Scott Muirhead, Michael Pugliese, and now with Paul Dugdale so I think we have a really balanced squad, who should be in contention for some silverware come the end of the season.”
With a year on the side line the midfielder has been thankful to Lions coach Paul Lincoln for his patience. “Linc’s is great to work with. When he first came to Stirling, he put a big emphasis on creating a good team culture, which I think he has done really well, everyone gets along with him as mates but we still have a lot of respect for him as a coach which I think is important,” De Abreu said.
“Personally, both Linc’s and our assistant Danny have been really good with me and improving little things in my game. They've taught me a lot and given me some freedom the attack players, so hopefully I can repay the faith they shown me by putting in some good performances for the team.”
Lincoln has been delighted with De Abreu’s contributions in the night series and is looking for him to continue on with it. “Jamie missed the most of last season so it is great to have him back. His work rate is exceptional and his blistering speed will cause headaches for defenders, and he chips in with the odd goal also which is always good,” Lincoln said.
De Abreu played all his junior football with Cockburn up until under 14’s, before moving to Armadale for under 15s in 2005 and 18s in 2006, where he helped The Reds win the cup and runners-up in the league. He made his Premier League debut for Armadale towards the end of season 2006 at the age of 15 under Peter Murphy, before moving back to Cockburn in 2007, but after limited game time decided to move to Stirling.
This weekend he comes up against his former club in the Night Series quarter-finals and it’s a game he’s looking forward to. “The two times I’ve played them since joining the Lions, we have won both and I’ve scored a couple, hopefully the trend continues,” De Abreu said.
“I know most of the Cockburn boys and they got some really good players, like Adrian Webster, Marc Anthony and Paul Natale just to name a few, so it’s not going to be an easy game. As a team we know that, and as always we will prepare well and focus on doing the things that have been working for us and we should get the right result.”
Stirling Lions will take on first division Swan United in game two of the Bam Creative Night Series on Sunday evening at Macedonia Park (7pm).
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln left the Francis Street club to take up the senior Coaching role at the Lions, but his major concern is the win to keep their Night series campaign on the rails. “We expect another tough game following on from last week against ECU. I have made several changes to the squad with some being forced upon, but the players are well aware that we need to win to have any chance of progressing,” Lincoln said.
Lions new signing Cory Hugo (left) comes up against the club he has played the last decade, while former Swan midfielders Roberto Lujan and Paul Dugdale are in the squad.
United new Coach John O’Reilly is looking forward to the game and knows it will be a tough test for his new look side. ““We’re really looking forward to Sunday game and training has been upbeat this week and the players are keen to get one over their former boss,” O’Reilly said.
“I believe Paul will have his team well prepared, with a tough strategy and a very offensive style. Coming into the game as underdogs helps take the fear factor away, but it would be great to cause an upset, even more so if it was against the best team in our group with several of our old players in it.”
Lions squad for the Swan United game – GK James TURVILL, GK Cory HUGO, 3 Jason GAVIN, 4 Michael PUGLIESE, 5 James STREET, 6 Jamie DE ABREU, 7 Phil O’CALLAGHAN, 8 Jamie WATT, 9 Rick DEL BASSO, 10 David PERICH, 11 Sean HUGHES, 12 Paul DUGDALE, 13 Huss AWADA, 14 Roberto LUJAN, 15 Remo VENDETTI, 16 James DAVIES, 17 Adriano D’ADAMO, 18 Bobby WILSON, 19 David HUNT, 20 Denis GALAN, 21 Ian STACK, 22 Corey CULLEN, 23 Mitchell CROCKER, 24 Scott MUIRHEAD, 25 Tim HILL
After a successful year at Swan United in 2009, English defensive midfielder Paul Dugdale has returned to the APB Premier League to re-unite with former Coach Paul Lincoln at Stirling Lions.
The 22-year-old, who has recently finished his University studies in America, is happy to be back in Perth. “It’s brilliant to be back in Perth, and I’m excited at the prospect of playing for a club who will be challenging for titles every year,” Dugdale said.
“I will have to fight for my place in the starting line-up, as there are some very good players in all positions at Macedonia Park, but I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.”
After only just arriving from the UK, Dugdale could make his debut against his former club in the Bam Creative Night Series on Sunday evening. “Having only just got here, I’m not sure how much action on the pitch I will see, if any against Swan,” Dugdale explained.
“Players have been working hard for their places at Stirling for a few months now, but seeing old faces from Swan will be great. I'm not sure how many of the team are still left from when I was there as I know since Linc’s left there has been quite a few changes. I had a great time at Swan; they are a fantastic club who really looked after me on my first visit to Perth.”
It’s been a busy four years for Dugdale who has just recently finished a stint at ?? University, which he enjoyed on and off the pitch. “I successfully graduated over in America, and had four good years of football in the college system. We had a great team out there, and meeting team-mates like David Perich was the reason that I came to Perth in the first place. We all learned a lot from each other, and training everyday helps you to improve more specific aspects of your game, which has certainly helped me progress as a player,” Dugdale said.
He will have a few familiar faces in the Lions squad this season with former Swan United players with Perich and Cory Hugo at Macedonia Park. “It’s great to have David in the same team again, I think it helps both of us when moving to a new club to have somebody you are familiar with. I only recently found out about Cory as well, which I was happy about, he was one of the players at Swan that was always lifting team spirit up, being positive, so to have him around again can only be a good thing,” Dugdale said.
“Obviously the squad is going to be really strong, nobody will be guaranteed a starting spot, and I know myself that it will be hard to work my way straight into the team. I believe in my own ability though and will go in there confident that I can compete for a place in the starting 11. To have a good squad is vital, it’s a long season and you need every single player.”
Lions’ Coach Paul Lincoln believes the signing of Dugdale is great for the club. “Paul is a quality person and a terrific left sided player who can pinpoint crosses – he is confident on the ball and will add balance to the team. I expect a big season from him and I am confident he will repay the faith I have shown in him,” Lincoln said.
Dugdale is looking forward to working with his former coach and the season ahead. “Paul was brilliant to work for, he's one of those coaches that have been there and done it himself, so instantly you have respect for his knowledge of the game and the league. Every training session is intense, and you know that you are always going to be fighting for your place, which as a player brings out the best in yourself. He trusts his players, and lets them play football, and it gave me the confidence to maybe take a few more risks here and there, which with some coaches is not always possible,” Dugdale said.
“As for expectations for the season, obviously the team comes first, and we want to win the league this year. Winning the cup last season was good for the club, but to win the league would be a further progression for everyone. We want to be challenging for everything as the squad is in place and good enough to do that. From a personal perspective, my main aim would be to get a starting place and keep it for as long as possible.”
After a stellar first season in the APB Premier League, Stirling Lions defender Bobby Wilson has re-signed for 2011, despite overtures from other clubs in the league, and one in particular.
The 22-year-old thought long and hard about his future while on holiday’s in Spain, but he’s glad the decision has been made and he’s looking forward to the season ahead. “I have signed again for the Lions this year, and I’m really looking forward to the season ahead. We had a great year in 2010, and I’ve made a lot of friends at the club, so and I'm looking forward to trying to better last year,” Wilson explained.
“The break in Spain was much needed after playing 40 matches in England, and then coming to play another 30 over here was tough, but seeing my family and some chill out time with the girlfriend was really good.”
The former Notts County defender, who by the way was delighted when The Magpies beat Sunderland 2-1 in the FA Cup third round, was taken aback by the number of clubs after his services, but he’s definite he’s made the right decision. “I was flattered the amount of clubs calling me and offering me different things to try and pull me away from the Lions, but after long talks with my Dad and Lions President Don Evans I think it’s in my best interest to stay at Stirling. Now I can just concentrate on getting sharp and fit ready for the first day of the season,” Wilson said.
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln is delighted to have Wilson at the club in 2011. “The resigning of Bobby is so important for the club if we are to make a tilt for the title because he is a class player. He was terrific last season and was instrumental in our success. His ability to score on set pieces is priceless. I expect a massive season from him and hopefully this can lead to a contract in the A league,” Lincoln said.
A chance to play at the next level in football is the driving force behind the Englishman, but he knows he will have to put the hard work in at the Lions before that, and he has been impressed with some of the summer signings at Macedonia Park. “We have managed to sign two very good strikers in Phil O’Callaghan and Jamie Watt, which is only going to strengthen our squad with more to come in and a few names for last year still away I think we are going to be a very strong side again this year,” Wilson said.
“The standard here is getting better and better and it’s becoming a very good competitive league, and I was delighted last year to be selected by Peter Murphy, the state league coach, and I really enjoyed playing against the Glory and testing myself against the best players in the state. I would love to play that next level that's my aim to break through onto the A-league stage, but I have to perform for the Lions and whatever happens, happens.”
It’s been a huge couple of years for former Stirling Lions youngsters Dylan and Taylor Tombides, after both cemented spots in English Premier League side West Ham United’s academy teams.
Both returned home at Christmas with parents Jim and Tracy-Lee to visit family and friends, and we sat down with the pair for a chat.
Dylan, who was first to head to the UK, has impressed in the Hammers under 18’s side and made his senior debut for the Upton Park club when he came on as a substitute in the Reserves against Chelsea last month, is enjoying his time in the UK. “I’ve been around the club for two and half years, and I’m finding my feet well at the moment,” Dylan said.
The 17-year-old, who was on target for West Ham under 18’s against Arsenal in their 1-0 win last month, and he was also on target for the academy team that beat Aldershot Town 5-0 to see the Hammer progress into the FA Youth cup fourth round, heads back early in the New Year and he is looking forward to another opportunity in the reserves. “It’s been a great month personally and for the 18’s. To be fair we started the season really slowly, but the last couple of month the boys have lifted and it’s showed on the pitch. We beat Arsenal which gave us a massive lift, and like me a number of the side have pushed our way into the reserves side and I’m looking forward to getting back, working hard and looking for a starting spot in the side,” Dylan said.
Dylan began his football as a four-year-old at Wembley Downs, before joining the Lions at 12. He then moved to Perth SC for two seasons before being spotted by West Ham, and his performances in the UK were rewarded with an international call-up for the Australian under-17’s squad, which was a great thrill for the youngster. “It was a great experience for me, and to play for your Country is a great honour. We played England, Portugal and Turkey, and a couple of my West Ham teammates played for England, so I got a little bit of stick from them when they beat us,” Dylan explained.
The striker heads to Dubai in January for an international tournament with the Hammers academy. The Bani Yas International under 18’s Tournament, see’s West Ham United come up against German side Hamburger SV, Egyptian side Al-Ahly Sporting Club and Dubai based side Bani Yas FC, and Dylan is looking forward to it. “It will be a good work out for the lads, and it will be hot over there, something they aren’t used to, but they will enjoy getting away from the very cold temperatures in England at the moment. I’ll catch up with the rest of the squad in London, before heading to Dubai, so I’ve had to watch what I eat over Christmas, so I’m ready to go when I get there,” Dylan said.
With a number of young Australian’s returning to play in the A-League, such as Rostyn Griffiths, who returned from Blackburn Rovers in 2009 and is now at Central Coast Mariners, Dylan believes it’s an option in the future, but he hopes to stay in the UK as long as possible, and knows there is a great deal of work to do at West Ham. “If my career worked out well it would be an option for me. I’m happy in the UK at the moment but if I moved back to Australia and wanted to continue playing professional football then the A-League would be an option for me,” Dylan said.
“It’s an important time for me at Upton Park at the moment. I return home and hope to push for another reserves game and we’ve been drawn at home to either Manchester United or Portsmouth in the FA Youth Cup, so that’s all I’m concentrating on at the moment.”
For 15-year-old Taylor, it’s a great experience to be playing in the Hammers under 15’s academy side, and following in the footsteps of his brother. “Playing at that level in the UK, week in and week out is amazing, and it’s helped my game a great deal,” Taylor said.
The Youngster, who played for The Lions and Perth SC in WA, still has two-years of schooling to go, and he is fitting it in between his football, and he hopes to continue his improvement on the pitch as well as the schoolroom. “In Perth you have big games like Lions v Perth, but over in the Premier Academy league you have games like that every week. The football is sharp and you have to be on your toes all the time. It’s a great opportunity for me at West Ham, and it’s one I want to take with both hands, but I still need to the hard work off the pitch too with my studies,” Taylor said.
After two years in the UK, Taylor is getting used to the cold weather, but he’s not the only one in the side that struggles with the British winter weather. “I’m gradually getting used to the snow and cold weather and it’s just something you have to put up with. We have some talented African players in the squad, and they find it hard to get to grips with the cold, but it’s fantastic to play in the same side as these talented player’s week in and week out, and it’s improving my game all the time,” Taylor explained.
With his brother Dylan making the step to international football, it’s something that Taylor is working towards in the future. “It’s a dream to play for your Country, but it means a great deal of hard work. I’ve seen what Dylan has gone through to get there, and when I get old enough to represent Australia, I hope they release he has a younger brother, and they look at me, which would be fantastic,” Taylor said.
After two successful seasons at ECU Joondalup, Scottish striker Jamie Watt has made the tough decision to leave the Northern suburbs club and join Stirling Lions for 2011.
The 32-year-old said the decision to leave ECU was the hardest decision he has made in football. “Yes it was difficult decision to leave ECU,” Watt said.
“When I arrived in Australia two seasons ago I just turned up at their ground and they gave me the chance to play state league football and I will always be grateful for that. Obviously I’ve made some good friends there and enjoyed my time, so it was really hard to leave but that’s football.”
There were constant rumours that Watt was heading out of ECU last season due to lack of game time but after Coach Syd Amphlett partnered him up with Phil O’Callaghan he never looked back. “At the start of last season Syd had the three strikers, me, Phil and John Thornley, and I was getting moved about, I think I played two games at right midfield. It was frustrating so I was thinking about leaving, as I'm useless playing anywhere but upfront and just wanted to show what I'm capable of up front,” Watt explained.
“Then I finally got a start-up top in the cup and I scored four and from then on I played every game when I was available and obviously started g pretty regularly so it turned in to a good season.”
The move to Macedonia Park sees Watt join up with former strike partner O’Callaghan and he’s looking forward to continuing their partnership. “It’s great to be teaming up with Phil again. It made the decision easier to go to Lions as we had a good understanding last season and we also scored a lot of goals between us so I'm obviously hopeful we can carry it into next season and continue the same form,” Watt said.
Watt played most of career in Scotland in the Highland league. He spent six seasons with Deveronvale, winning the league title twice, and he became the first player at the club to score over 100 goals in the clubs history. He then signed for Cove Rangers and won the league twice, back to back just before he moved over to Australia. He also played in the Scottish Third Division with Montrose, and a highlight was playing Premier League side Hibernian in the cup away at Easter Road.
The Lions won the cup and finished third in the League and Watt is looking forward to the new challenge at Macedonia Park. “The fact y won the cup and just missed out on the league was a big reason to go there. At ECU we were used to just aiming for the finals with so I really want to go step further next season and try and win the league and retain cup, so it's a challenge I'm relishing,” Watt explained.
“I set a high standard last season with ECU so this season my goal is continue on with that and help the Lions to reach the heights they achieved last season, and on a personal level I would just like to pass last season’s tally on the goal charts.”
Lions Coach Paul Lincoln is delighted to have secured the services of Watt for the season ahead. “We are delighted to have secured Jamie’s services for next season. He will be a great asset to the team and he will bring much needed experience in our attacking third,” Lincoln said.
Watt can’t wait for the season to start and working with his new coach. “I’m looking forward to working with Paul, and the fact that he used to be a striker is good for Phil & I as I'm sure he will have some good advice to pass on. Although I'm sure he will be quick to point out our bad faults to so maybe it's not so good that he used to play up front.”
The Stirling Lions have made their first move in the recruitment market for season 2011 with former Lions striker Phil O'Callaghan agreeing to terms to re-join Stirling after a year at ECU Joondalup where he bagged 12 goals. Coach Paul Lincoln said "Phil is an out an out striker who knows how to finish and we could have done with him last year but am pleased to have secured his services for next season. His work rate is first class and he is deadly when it most counts."
Lions President Don Evans also welcomed O'Callaghan back to the Lions Den saying, “Phil saved our clubs bacon is season 2009 and the fans loved him as he knew how to finish from limited opportunities. His return to Macedonia Park is a massive boost to our clubs aspirations to win the league title as he joins a squad brimming with quality and talent." Evans went onto say "Phil is the first of a number of talented local players we are targeting in the hope that we can go one better next season, the fans and board have a taste for success and we won't let our supporters’ expectations down."
The Lions UK imports will play a vital role in the continuing success of the club with WA State defenders Jason Gavin and Bobby Wilson leading the defence again with ex Aberdeen left back Scotty Muirhead and Michael Pugliese filling out what could be the tightest defence in the league. Stirling have a number of players who are trialling at higher levels and could well be without the talented quartet of Shane Robinson, Ludo Boi, Phil Arnold and Mario Marcinko with Asian and Australian clubs bidding for their services.
The club also made a change in the coaching staff with assistant coach Ian Cowan being thanked for his tremendous contribution in helping the club's rise to prominence in 2010 as he considers offers as senior coach at a number of Division One clubs. Paul Lincoln re-united ties with former Swan United Youth coach Dejan Vilic who joins him as his assistant.
The Stirling Lions have tendered to be one of the host venues for the 2011 Night Series which kicks off in mid-January with the grounds now in immaculate order.