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Published 10th March 2012


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Updated: 41 min 34 sec ago

Phoenix: Doyle lands best job in the world

Fri, 01/08/2014 - 18:22
Perseverance has paid off for Tom Doyle who put pen to paper on a two-year contract with Wellington Phoenix on Friday. After an outstanding display against Premier League outfit West Ham United the 22-year-old looked a shoo-in for coach Ernie Merrick’s squad. But past disappointments taught the Team Wellington and Miramar defender not to get ahead of himself, and he refused to do any interviews until the ink was dry on a contract. “I didn’t want to jinx it because I wanted it so much,” Doyle said. “I just wanted to keep my head down and show Ernie that I was up to the job. “Hearing I was getting a contract was a massive relief and now I have to go for it and show the coach he has made the right decision. “Since I was a five-year-old I’ve wanted to be a professional footballer because it is the best job in the world.” Doyle, who began his playing career with Central United, paid tribute to the help he received from former All White Danny Hay while playing for Sacred Heart 1st XI. “Danny got me trials in England with Crewe Alexandra and Leyton Orient but it didn’t work out and when I returned to New Zealand I missed out on selection to the team for the Under-20 World Cup,” he said. “That was a massive setback for me. It really shattered me. “I then had to decide where to go to university. It was a toss-up between Wellington and America. “Opting for Wellington allowed me to play for Miramar and I was chosen for the Phoenix Football School of Excellence.” Doyle admits he didn’t make the most of the opportunity at the time. “Perhaps we were given too much when we went into that environment and were training with the first team every day,” he said. “Some of the boys, notably Tyler (Boyd) and Louis (Fenton) were able to cope but I didn’t. “I was living with seven mates in a university type lifestyle and didn’t do myself justice at the FSE.” It was a completely different Doyle who arrived for Wellington’s pre-season after showing how he had matured by captaining Miramar and being part of the leadership group with Team Wellington. “I was gutted when I was released from the FSE and was determined it wouldn’t happen a second time,” Doyle said. “I now have sensible living arrangements, am eating well and preparing well.” Doyle described his debut against English Premier League side West Ham United as an “unreal” start to what he hopes will be a successful career. “The hard work begins now,” he said. “It is like going to university. Once you earn a place you have to work hard to get your degree.”
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Newcastle Jets sweat on grounded striker

Fri, 01/08/2014 - 14:13
The A-League outfit is still hopeful the 23-year-old will line-up for their FFA Cup clash against Perth Glory at Magic Park on Tuesday, but a lot will depend on Montano securing his visa and international transfer clearance. Jets chief executive Robbie Middleby told the Newcastle Herald the delay hasn’t come as a surprise and the club is trying to get him on the next available flight. ‘‘We always knew that getting him a visa would be a long process, because he’s from a South American country,’’ Middleby said. ‘‘We would have hoped to have had him here for the game against Perth next week, and we’re still hopeful of that, because any day his visa could be approved. ‘‘We’re pushing it as much as we can. We’ve had a lot of correspondence with his club over there, Australian immigration and their immigration, and it could be any day that we get the approval. ‘‘If the approval was to come in the next couple of days, there’s still a chance (of him playing) because his ITC would be granted straight away.’’ Another Newcastle signing, Jeronimo, was quick to endear himself to the Jets’ faithful, bagging four goals in an 8-1 demolition of the Weston Bears in Wednesday night’s friendly. Middleby said the Jets also remained interested in defensive midfielder Erik Paartalu but, with the Thai-based 28-year-old unavailable until the January transfer window, the club was considering a number of options.
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Lampards short-term future set to be decided

Fri, 01/08/2014 - 13:06
Lampard has agreed to join New York City ahead of their first campaign in MLS next year, but a decision is yet to be made on how the veteran will keep fit ahead of the 2015 season in North America. Fellow high-profile recruit David Villa will spend time at Melbourne City, who are also bankrolled by Premier League champions Manchester City, before linking up with their sister club in the United States. A similar arrangement had been mooted for Lampard, only for reports to suggest the former Chelsea man will not be following the Spanish striker to Australia. A loan move to England's top flight for the first half of the season could also be a possibility, with New York City's director of football Claudio Reyna poised to reveal the club's decision. "We're discussing what's going to happen with Frank," Reyna told reporters. "It's been a key topic for us this week and I think we'll have an announcement soon. We need a good solution for us, selfishly for NYCFC, to make sure he's playing at a good level."
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Milligan: Australia targeting Asian Cup win

Thu, 31/07/2014 - 17:06
Melbourne Victory captain Milligan has been a key member of the national team set-up under his former club coach, starting at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil before succumbing to a hamstring strain. The Socceroos finished bottom of their group and came home winless from the tournament, but were able to hold their heads high after producing competitive performances against Chile and the Netherlands. In January, Australia will host the Asian Cup, a competition they reached the final of in 2011 under Holger Osieck. And with the popular, progressive Postecoglou at the helm, Milligan said the team should be aiming to go one step further this time around. "I think the expectations the players are going to put on it are going to be extremely high," he said. "Especially after our success at the last Asian Cup. I think to be at home, expectations will be to win it. "That'll be driven by the players after the performance and effort that we put in through Brazil." Milligan has been designated Victory's domestic marquee for the 2014-15 season and is expected to finalise a two-year extension to his contract at the club in the near future. "I haven't signed, (but) everything's been negotiated," he said. "It's been a long process. We're just sort of sitting down now, dotting the i's and crossing the t's, just making sure everything's in place. "It's basically done. I have a year running on my deal, hopefully it'll be a new three-year deal." Having returned to pre-season training this week following an extended break after the World Cup, Milligan is confident of boasting a clean bill of health going into the new campaign. "I've been very lucky with my knee since I had it done," he said, referring to the minor surgery he underwent in January. "I haven't had any dramas with it. And the hamstring was just poor timing." With Milligan some way behind his team-mates in terms of fitness levels, the FFA Cup round-of-32 tie away to Bayswater City in Western Australia on August 20 could arrive too soon for the skipper.
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Austrian hitman Janko boosts Sydneys attack

Thu, 31/07/2014 - 15:09
The 1.96 metre striker bolsters an already potent attack force that includes Shane Smeltz, Bernie Ibini, Alex Brosque and Corey Gameiro. The 31-year-old will link up with his new Sky Blues team mates for the first time on Monday morning. Janko replaces the club's former international marquee, Italian superstar Alessandro del Piero. If they seem like big shoes to fill the striker pointed out his own boots are sizeable. "I have big shoes, I'm quite tall," Janko said. And he has big hopes of adding to his impressive silverware haul. "I have high expectations... I want to win titles this year and I hope we can celebrate together after this season with the fans," he said. Im delighted and proud to join @SydneyFC Cant wait to start this new adventure! #SydneyIsSkyBlue pic.twitter.com/VKwHlEf0O2 Marc Janko (@JankoMarc) July 31, 2014 A regular goal-scorer during his career, the former Porto, FC Twente and Trabzonspor forward has also played 40 times for his country, scoring 17 times. Coach Graham Arnold said the towering hitman was the perfect fit for his squad. "We have a very frightening front line, the players will need to pick themselves," he told media at the announcement. "(Janko) has got quick feet for a big man. He has so much quality." Arnold added that the Austrian had an "exceptional goal-scoring record and is a fantastic addition to our attacking options, he will complement our current strikers well. “We have put in a lot of time and effort to ensure he has the right qualities and right character to fit into our squad, and I’m very happy we have been able to sign him. “At 6 foot 5 he will cause a lot of problems for opposition defenders and he will give us a different threat up front.” Janko is one of Austrian football’s most recognisable players having scored 75 goals in 108 appearances during a five-year career at Red Bull Salzburg. During that time he helped them lift three Bundesliga titles. He joined FC Twente in 2010 scoring 24 times in 45 games, including the winner in the Dutch Cup against Ajax. He moved to FC Porto in January 2012 where his 8 goals in 12 matches helped the club lift the Portuguese championship. A switch to Trabzonspor in Turkey in August 2012 followed but the big striker had trouble settling in and is delighted by the opportunity at Sydney FC. The Austria skipper says he sees himself "as a leader and to deliver the goals." He added: “I am thrilled to be joining Sydney FC and can’t wait to get started. “I have come here to win trophies and play in the Asian Champions League and I am confident that I will achieve this with Sydney FC. “I have spoken with (chairman) Scott Barlow and Graham Arnold and I am excited about the future direction of this club. I believe I can contribute a big part to this success. “I have also heard a lot about the passion of the Members and supporters for the club and I look forward to playing in front of them.” The Austrian has been handed the No 21 shirt – his lucky number – and could play as early as next Wednesday when the Sky Blues take on Bonnyrigg White Eagles FC at Leichhardt Oval. Barlow said Janko brought goals and leadership to the squad. “Marc is a striker of international pedigree having played for some of Europe’s biggest and most well-known clubs where his goal scoring record speaks for itself,” Barlow said. “He has won league championships in Portugal and Austria, as well as the Dutch Cup and Dutch Super Cup. “As the current captain of the Austrian national team Marc is a proven leader and he brings with him these qualities to our club.”
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Returning coach eyes A-League gig

Thu, 31/07/2014 - 14:09
Perkovic, who spent two years coaching in the Filipino United Football League, led his club to fourth and third place finishes in the past two seasons. The 32-year-old said he has returned home for both personal and professional reasons. “It took a lot of deliberation, however, with career progression and future prospects being the key consideration, I deemed it more beneficial to allow myself the freedom and time to attend the AFC FFA A-Licence course,” Perkovic said. “After experiencing football education in South East Asia and Australia I feel I would get a lot more out of my football education in Australia as it ties in more with my beliefs on how the game should be played. “Also due to time constraints and season scheduling, I would not have been able to do the course in Australia while coaching in the Philippines.” A Sydney United junior, Perkovic started his coaching career in a youth role with the Stanmore Hawks before taking over the first-team of NSW Premier League 2 side Fraser Park FC in 2011. He said his goal was to secure a role in the A-League in any capacity, whether it be with a senior team or in the National Youth League. “I view the opportunity to work in the A-League as both the next logical step and challenge for me as a professional coach, and a significant opportunity in which I will be able to test, develop and improve my skills in a new environment,” Perkovic said. “However, given the nature of the game, I'm also aware that positions are not easy to come by. “That being said, I certainly don't want to disassociate myself from the game for a long period of time. “So should a favourable opportunity arise from the National Premier League that would allow me to continue to improve as a coach and chase success I would definitely welcome that prospect.” At Kaya FC Perkovic introduced a possession-based style of play and a number of his players were called up for national team duty under his coaching. The Sydneysider described his time in the Philippines as invaluable. “I had the pleasure to work in a fantastic professional environment, although resources are not available as in the A-League, it was day in, day out football,” Perkovic said. “Planning became a key factor in a tough schedule with games every four days on average and then having massive breaks in the season for the national team preparations for the AFC Challenge Cup. “Working with national team players and talented youngsters was certainly a pleasure and also working closely with the clubs academy coaches was also beneficial, as it was the first time the youth teams played the same system as the first team. “The best part of working in the Philippines was the ability to reflect on every training session and game to better myself as a coach more often than I was able to in previous roles. “The standard of football in the Philippines is what you would expect, in the sense that it’s a footballing developing nation, so the standard varies from team to team. “The top clubs play some decent football with deferring tactical ideologies, some setting up as counter attacking principals and others like to dominate the game by holding meaningful possession. “There are some national team players in the league, most of them are half-Filipino so they obtained their football development in countries like England, Germany, Belgium, Holland, the US and Spain. There are also some decent quality foreigners in the league as well.”
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A-League friendlies deliver goal glut

Thu, 31/07/2014 - 12:50
Brisbane Roar, Newcastle Jets, Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory comfortable accounted for their lower league rivals while it was a harder day at the office for Western Sydney Wanderers. The A-League champs Brisbane showed no mercy when they smashed Moreton Bay Jets 8-1 at Ballymore Stadium on Wednesday night. The slippery fish – Henrique – proved as hard to catch as ever when he put four past the Jets before Johnny Warren medallist Thomas Broich chipped in with a brace. Roar will be without star striker Besart Berisha in 2014-15 after he signed with Melbourne Victory, but they had little trouble finding their route to goal with Dimi Petratos also getting on the scoresheet. Despite the scoreline it was a standout game for Moreton Bay substitute Dane Forsyth who pulled the game back to 3-1 in the second half and came close to adding to his tally on two occasions. Newcastle Jets’ new signing Jeronimo immediately endeared himself to the Hunter faithful scoring four goals in the other 8-1 rout of the night. The former Adelaide United star proved he could indeed score away from Coopers Stadium when he helped dismantle the Weston Bears at Rockwell Automation Park. Surprisingly, given the scoreline, it was the Bears that took the lead on 15 minutes when Connor Evans latched onto a wayward pass and calmly slotted home to make it 1-0. Thereafter the Jets piled on seven – plus an own goal from Weston defender Shane Farmer on the hour - starting with a bullet header from Joel Griffiths on 22 minutes. Further goals to Kew Jaliens, Jeronimo and a stoppage time strike from Nick Ward completed the demolition. Meanwhile Jeronimo’s former club had a comfortable 4-1 victory over the Adelaide Comets on Tuesday night at a wet and windy Adelaide Shores Football Centre. Reds coach Josep Gombau fielded an even younger squad than the line-up thrashed 5-1 by La Liga side Malaga last week. Youth-team player Bruce Kamau broke the deadlock on 16 minutes before Dylan McGowan bagged a brace and Anthony Costa rounded off the night for the Reds. The Comets managed to pull a goal back through Matthew Bouzalas. On the same night a three-goal second half haul helped Melbourne Victory to an emphatic 4-1 win over NPL side Hume City at John Ilhan Memorial Reserve. In a good sign for Victory’s 2013-15 campaign, marquee Berisha was impressive in his 60 minutes on the pitch, scoring a goal to add to strikes by veteran hitman Archie Thompson, Gui Finkler and trialist George Howard. Victory came from a goal down after Jamie Desmit opened the scoring for Hume on 29 minutes. Goals were not so easy to come by at Deakin Stadium on Wednesday night,however, where the Western Sydney Wanderers edged Canberra United 1-0. Some dazzling skill and a first-half goal from 18-year-old Jaushua Sotirio decided the match.
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Marc Janko to be unveiled as Sydney marquee

Thu, 31/07/2014 - 11:00
The towering 1.96cm striker has been playing with Trabzonspor in the Turkish league after stints with Red Bull Salzburg, FC Twente and Porto. Janko, who has been capped 40 times for the national team and scored 17 goals, fits coach Graham Arnold plans for a target man. Earlier this month Arnold told Fox Sports: “The important thing for me, is we get a player who fits into the team well, and the dressing room, and can still perform at the highest level. He added: “We are talking that style of player to play up front. We are looking forward to getting Shane Smeltz fit as well of course. “I want two players for every position in the team – two first-team players who will push each other every day, to create a healthy and competitive environment.” Janko was on the Sky Blue’s radar three years ago but opted to stay in Europe. Sydney FC will make an official announcement at 2pm today.
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Australian clubs looking at Ronaldinho

Tue, 29/07/2014 - 16:06
The 34-year-old 2002 FIFA World Cup winner has been at Atletico since June 2012, but coach Levir Culpi said on Monday the gifted playmaker was leaving. Player agent Lou Sticca, who helped bring Juventus great Alessandro Del Piero to the A-League, said it was possible the former Barcelona and Milan man could also make the move. Some calls have already been made and now its up to A-League clubs to make a play for him, he told Fox Sports. Anythings possible and hes exactly the sort we should be bringing here. A host of clubs around the world are sure to be interested in securing the services of the two-time FIFA World Player of the Year. Sticca believes the lifestyle in Australia plays to the A-Leagues advantage. It would be a new frontier, hed love lifestyle and the way fans would respect him, he said. Hes globally recognisable and an entertainer. The City Football Group-owned Melbourne City would be frontrunners for Ronaldinhos signature in Australia as they continue their search for a marquee player. Sydney FC, who parted ways with Del Piero at the end of last season, have also been eyeing an international attacker.
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Spiranovic surgery a success

Tue, 29/07/2014 - 16:06
Spiranovic started all three of Australias matches at the World Cup and returned to Western Sydney Wanderers very eager for his second season with the A-League club. But a week ago, the Wanderers identified a problem with one of the central defenders ankles and decided surgery was necessary, sidelining Spiranovic for 10 weeks. In more positive news on Tuesday, however, Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic claimed the 26-year-old will return bigger and better. He (Spiranovic) had his operation yesterday and its all gone very well, Popovic told footballaustralia.com.au on Tuesday. Now its the recovery phase for him. Im sure hell be back bigger and better once he heals from the injury. He had a fantastic World Cup. He came back very eager and keen to get back with the Wanderers in training with all the big games weve got coming up. Unfortunately these things happen in football. (Surgery) was necessary, it needed to be done but we will all benefit from the outcome once he gets over this injury. Spiranovic will miss the Wanderers upcoming AFC Champions League quarter-final versus Guangzhou Evergrande next month, while he may find it difficult to be fully fit for Western Sydneys first match of the new A-League season on October 10.
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Reading boss hails phenomenal Edwards

Tue, 29/07/2014 - 02:03
Edwards, 20, impressed in all three of Reading’s pre-season games so far, scoring the winner in the 1-0 triumph over Exeter earlier this month and providing assists in their past two matches. The Sydney-born talent returned to the Madejski Stadium after spending last term on loan at Perth Glory. Edwards’ impressive form appears now to have shot him into first-team calculations with the Royals ahead of their Championship opener against Wigan on August 9, following glowing comments from Adkins. “From day one when we did the fitness tests, we saw him and thought we’ve got a player here who can run all day long,” the ex-Southampton boss told Get Reading. “Then when you see him on the pitch, his movement is phenomenal. “He’s always showing for the ball, always looking to get into space and get between the lines. “He’s got a penetrating pass on him as well.” Adkins’ praise of the Edwards didn’t stop there, claiming the Australian youth international is growing in confidence. "Ryan has been really impressive since he came back from a loan period last season,” Adkins told the Reading website. "He's got a desire to get into goalscoring positions, to break from midfield and he works ever so hard, he's growing in confidence." The praise comes only days after Edwards told Get Reading that he felt his one-year loan stint at Glory had made him a better player. Edwards made 15 appearances for Perth in 2013-14, but was caught up in the middle of a player revolt amid claims of nepotism which led to the dismissal of his father, Alistair, as coach in December. “This is my fourth year at Reading,” Edwards said. “The first two I came through the reserves and got used to the English type of football. “Then going back to Australia was really good for me, to get experience and be treated as a first-team player. “That’s definitely made a real difference since coming back here. I feel really amongst it now with the first-team boys. I feel a real part of it.” The Royals have two more pre-season fixtures against Stevenage (July 30) and Swansea (August 2) where Edwards will hope to press his first-team case ahead of their Championship opener against Wigan.
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Sydney sign Naumoff for two years

Mon, 28/07/2014 - 23:27
Considered one of the country's best young talents, the 19-year-old pledged his immediate future to the Sky Blues, inking a two-year deal. “It feels incredible to be signing for my home club,” Naumoff said. “My development as a player since signing for Sydney FC’s National Youth League squad has been unbelievable, and I have total belief that I can fulfil my ambitions at this club. “It’s a dream for every young footballer in Australia to sign a first team contract with Sydney FC and walk out in the Sky Blues shirt. “I’m so pleased to have achieved that and I can’t wait to continue on the next step in my career with the club.” Naumoff recently returned from Young Socceroos duty in the USA alongside fellow Sydney FC player Hagi Gligor. The pair were part of Paul Okon’s squad that beat Bermuda 4-1, Chile 5-4 and drew 0-0 with a highly-rated USA team. He made his A-League debut as a National Youth League player for the harbour-siders one the opening day of last season and won the club’s Young Player of the Year Award. Sydney FC boss Graham Arnold said he was impressed with Naumoff’s attitude and ability. “Christopher turned down some tempting offers to sign for Sydney FC and I’m delighted that he has done so,” Arnold said. “We are investing in a very talented stable of excellent young footballers and the great thing is that they are from the Sydney and New South Wales region. “We’ve made no secret of the fact that Sydney FC intends to build and develop the finest young players in the country, and this is a further indication of that. “I think it’s well known that I have never been afraid to give young players a chance and this is another example of a quality young player, which is what I want to bring to Sydney FC. “Christopher has been with the club for a little while and he and his family are confident in the direction we are headed. I’m hopeful he can be a big part of that."
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Nash returns to Central Coast Mariners

Mon, 28/07/2014 - 17:00
Nash signed a two-year pre-contract agreement with his former club. The A-League journeyman was at Gosford under former coach Lawrie McKinna in 2008-2009, and will re-join the Mariners in September after winding up with NPL club Bonnyrigg White Eagles. “I am very, very excited to be back with the Mariners,” Nash said. “From the first day I walked in here, everyone has made me feel welcome and it’s really just a great bunch of guys. The whole setup here is very professional and I couldn’t be happier.” The move reunites the 33-year-old custodian with goalkeeping mentor and analyst, John Crawley, who coached Nash since he was 15. “Matt is a great communicator, reads the game well, is great in one-on-one situations, and has a good distribution game, so he ticks a lot of the boxes that we look for in our goalkeepers,” Crawley said. “With Matt’s addition we will benefit in a number of ways. Firstly, alongside Liam Reddy he offers us another great option between the sticks, and secondly, we will be utilising his knowledge and expertise with our National Youth League squad goalkeepers in helping them progress through the ranks. “We really are blessed to have someone like him coming into the club.” Nash has played with four A-League outfits in the past, starting life in the Aussie topflight with Central Coast before a brief loan period with Adelaide United (2008). He linked up with Newcastle Jets from 2010 to 2012 and then Sydney FC in 2012. He has also represented several clubs in NSW State Leagues.
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Pics: Perth Glory v Malaga

Mon, 28/07/2014 - 14:05
Maybe not so fresh from a 5-1 mauling of Adelaide United a few days earlier, the La Liga team certainly didn't have it all their own way in Perth. Ricardo Horta curled in the opening goal for the visitors on 32 minutes, before Republic of Ireland international Andy Keogh scored on debut to get Glory back level on 57 minutes. It was a good hit out for the Glory with Aussie swimming legend, Dawn Fraser, posing for photos before the coin toss. Click on the links below to check out all the latest match action from the LFP World Challenge. Pics by Getty Images.
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Stirling Lions pride: Hear us Roar

Mon, 28/07/2014 - 12:35
The West Australian National Premier League side will take on last season’s Premier’s Plate and Grand Final winners Brisbane at Western Australia Athletics Stadium on August 19. Don Evans, Stirling’s Football Operations Manager, is hoping the visit will attract a big attendance. “Brisbane Roar are our nation’s champions and will bereceived with football respect from a Stirling community that loves and enjoys technical, attacking football,” Evans said. “Once the whistle blows it will be all about the Stirling Lions though, respect ends once they enter the change rooms, then the battle begins. “The last time we had a massive crowd was when we played Adelaide City as Stirling Macedonia in 1986 in the Nanda Cup, we had a full house at 5,000 people." Stirling Lions have lost home ground advantage after the fixture was moved from Macedonia Park last week, but Evans is hoping for a big turnout. “We expect them to be hanging from the rafters," he said. The Lions, which were founded in 1958, have had former Socceroos such as Robbie Zablica, Stan Lazarides and Troy Halpin play for the club in the past. Recent juniors Stirling have produced include Dylan Tombides and Daniel de Silva. Evans said the club is honoured to be hosting the Roar in their home state. “The football fans in the Stirling region appreciate the skill and quality of the Brisbane side and I know the fans of technical football will come to ... enjoy a real Cup contest,” he said. “We are just so proud to be a part of creating Australian football history. It's like winning the lottery for our humble but ambitious club, we could not have wished for a better opponent to host. “Our coaches and players understand the mountain that needs to be climbed, but we are a club that thrives on challenge and opportunity.” Stirling currently sits in sixth place in WA’s National Premier League. In 2013 the Lions won the regular season title but lost the grand final 2-1 to Bayswater City. The club boasts a number of former A-League and National Youth League players in its squad, including Aleks Vrteski, David Micevski, Dean Evans, Hayden Doyle, Moses Kalau, Clayton Arnez and Ali Ghoulami. Stirling prides itself on its multicultural roots, with no less than 28 nationalities within their junior and senior playing staff. “The team is laced with skilful ball players who will want to show themselves on the big stage,” he said. “I expect an attacking game."
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North late call-up for A-league All Stars

Mon, 28/07/2014 - 12:23
North will link up with the team when the squad goes into camp in Wollongong on the NSW South Coast on Friday. The 32-year-old is the third Brisbane player to be selected for the side and could line up alongside fellow Roar defender Matt Smith as well as 2013/14 Hyundai A-League Johnny Warren Medallist Thomas Broich. The All Stars take on the Italian champions at ANZ Stadium on Sunday August 10 as the cream of the A-League test themselves against world-class stars Andrea Pirlo, Carlos Tevez and Gianluigi Buffon. All Stars coach, Josep Gombau, gave an indication of the football his team would play by declaring North’s ability to play the ball out from the back as one of his reasons for selecting the versatile defender. “We need players who are comfortable to play the ball out from the back to fit with our play,” Gombau said. “Jade North is a player who can play with the ball at his feet and he is also (a) very good defender. “It is also a help for us that he has a good feeling of playing next to Matt Smith, who is one of our other defenders and they played together a lot at Brisbane Roar last year in a successful team. “It is unfortunate that Matthew Spiranovic has the injury but Jade North will be a good player for the All Stars team.” North was surprised at his late call up into the team but looking forward to the challenge of taking on one of the world’s best football clubs. “It has come as a surprise but I’m looking forward to the experience,” North said. “Obviously (Matt) Smithy and I have got a good understanding of each other’s play and hopefully we get the chance to test our partnership against Juventus. “We’ve got a big season coming up at Brisbane Roar and this is a good opportunity to build my match fitness in pre-season and work alongside some different players.” The FOXTEL A-League All Stars will meet Juventus at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on 10 August with the match to be broadcast live and exclusive on the Seven Network nationally.
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Pics: Phoenix v Newcastle

Sat, 26/07/2014 - 21:21
Ernie Merrick's men were edged 1-0 by the Premier League outfit on Saturday after recording a memorable win against West Ham earlier in the week. Click here for all the match action from the Phoenix v Magpies clash. Pics by Getty Images.
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Arnold not carried away by Sydney win

Sat, 26/07/2014 - 20:29
Defeating Premier League oppositition is a rare feat but there were no exuberant celebrations from the Sky Blues boss at Wellington's Westpac Stadium. "Of course it's great to win a game," Arnold said. "But as I said when Wellington beat West Ham there are no points or trophy for it and it's the same for us. "It's about us getting better and better every time we step on the pitch. It's about playing to the game plan and playing to the instructions." Having lost 4-0 to Newcastle United earlier in the week, the Sky Blues fully deserved their victory against the Hammers and Corey Gameiro (two) and Alex Brosque deserved their goals. While Gameiro was fortunate to be allowed his second – after Terry Antonis handled the ball in the build-up – his first inside the fourth minute was a great strike. Brosque too showed good poise for his goal in the 26th minute. Even when a cruel own-goal which deflected on off skipper Nikola Petkovic got West Ham back to 2-1 Sydney didn't panic and instead pressed hard in search of their third. "Consistency is the key but if we can play like that every week (in the A-League) I'll be a very happy man," Arnold said. "I'm very proud of the way the boys have handled themselves." It was West Ham's second successive defeat of the Football United Tour having gone down 2-1 to the Wellington Phoenix in midweek. West Ham manager Sam Allardyce admitted his side had been poor, just three weeks out from the start of the Premier League. "We've played two games and we've played poorly in them," said Allardyce. "The football was not good enough to get results but we're experimenting and working on more open attacking play and it hasn't worked well from a defensive point of view." The Hammers boss also felt the decision to allow Gameiro's second goal to stand had been "embarrassing". "We would have been a bit more upset if we had been in a league match because it would have been a horrendous mistake," he said. "It wasn't the best decision I've ever seen." Hammers and New Zealand defender Winston Reid said the players had not been caught out by the standard of the A-League sides. "I knew what to expect from the players who play in the New Zealand national team," Reid said. "A lot of them play in the A-League. They are not bad players at all. "We came down here and we expected to do well and we didn't do so well. "We'll go back home and work on some things."
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Newcastle stay perfect in NZ

Sat, 26/07/2014 - 18:06
Having dispatched Sydney FC 4-0 earlier in the week, the Premier League side were made to work hard for their win at Westpac Stadium which came courtesy of a first-half goal to Yoan Gouffran. But having beaten West Ham 2-1 on Wednesday night, and restricting a slick Newcastle side to just one goal, the Phoenix can be happy with their week's work. Wellington signings Alejandro Rodriguez-Gorrin and Nathan Burns have settled in well. Rodriguez-Gorrin, in particular, has formed an excellent understanding with fellow Spaniard Albert Riera in the midfield in just a few short weeks. Tom Doyle also did his chances of securing a full-time contract from Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick no harm either after another solid effort at left-back. The second match of the double-header was an entertaining one with chances at both ends bringing the 30,968-strong crowd to life. The Phoenix took the game to their more illustrious opponents from the start with Tyler Boyd finding the side netting early after Siem de Jong's long-range effort had just skimmed the crossbar for Newcastle. Doyle, who was playing local club football prior to the pre-season tournament, was working well down the left flank and he fired a superb cross into the box for Jeremy Brockie, who was flagged for offside. After his impressive debut against West Ham earlier in the week, Rodriguez-Gorrin continued his good form in the midfield but could not find his touch in front of goal. De Jong, who missed training with a bruised toe on Friday, was replaced by Ayoze Perez after just 33 minutes and the Spaniard was quickly into his work. Newcastle won a series of corners but keeper Glen Moss tipped Gouffran's shot over and then denied Perez. The breakthrough for the Magpies eventually came in the 41st minute when Newcastle changed their corner routine. Instead of Jack Colback firing it in to the back post he played it short to Vurnon Anita whose cross found Gouffran and the French striker's looping header beat Moss. Colback could have doubled Newcastle's lead a minute before the break when Perez laid on the perfect ball only for the midfielder's fierce shot to be blocked by Phoenix skipper Andrew Durante. The Phoenix had several chances to equalise in the second half, but Brockie could find no way past Newcastle keeper Rob Elliott. In the 56th minute the Phoenix striker's low shot was pushed behind for a corner, then in the 63rd minute Elliott made a great block to deny him again. The Phoenix continued to press hard for an equaliser, to no avail.
Categories: Just In

Pics: Sydney FC v West Ham

Sat, 26/07/2014 - 17:56
Fans of the Claret and Blue were in fine voice at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, but couldn't lift their team to a win. Click on the links below to see the match action between the Sky Blues and the Hammers by Getty Images.
Categories: Just In