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Updated: 9 min 7 sec ago

Fabio Ferreira joins Central Coast Mariners

3 hours 32 min ago
Ferreira links with the Mariners from rival A-League outfit Adelaide United who are said to be close to signing Spanish attacker Miguel Palanca. A former Sporting Lisbon and Chelsea FC youth player, Ferreira averaged a goal every five games and contributed strongly to Adelaide's efforts since linking with the Reds in 2012. Mariners boss Phil Moss said Ferreira, who is due to arrive on the Central Coast later this week, will add quality to his side’s attacking third. “I am delighted to have secured the signature of a player I believe is one of the top wingers in the Hyundai A-League,” Moss said. “Fabio is an excitement machine, possesses genuine pace, and has a very strong record in the competition in terms of goals and assists. “He is also a player of fantastic character, a player who puts the team’s aims ahead of his personal ambitions. "That is one of the reasons why he has been a fan favourite in Adelaide and we’re sure he will become a fan favourite during his time with us. “What also impressed me is that the first thing Fabio said to me is that he knows he needs to work hard to get into the team. "He understands that we have quality players at the club and that he’ll have to compete for his place each week. “With the right application we’re sure Fabio will have a real impact for us in the back half of this season, and during our 2015 AFC Champions League campaign.” The Mariners, who are currently sitting eighth on the A-League ladder, received a 5-1 shellacking at the hands of Sydney FC on Saturday.
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Jets confirm Italy loan move for Birighitti

6 hours 1 min ago
Birighitti will travel to Italy on Tuesday to finalise the move andwill be with AS Varese until the end of June 2015. The agreement includes an option for the Italian club to purchase the player after the initial loan period. It follows the 23-year-old's unsuccessful trial with Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen in March last year. The Perth native joined Newcastle Jets in January 2012 from Adelaide United. The rising shot-stopper was first choice goalkeeper at the Hunter outfit until recently when he was supplanted by Newcastle local and long-time club stalwart Ben Kennedy. He is the latest player to exit the club which has endured a horror run this season and currently sits one from the bottom of the A-League ladder. On Saturday, Phil Stubbins' men were humiliated 7-0 by Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium. Birighitti has one Socceroos cap to his name and was part of Ange Postecoglou's extended squad for the World Cup in Brazil.
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Wanderers and Saba part ways

6 hours 34 min ago
The Brazilian is one of a number of players at Wanderers earmarked for the exit. An undoubted talent, with an impressive first touch, Saba's training, fitness and on-field application are said to have put him off-side with the club. The 24-year-old joined Wanderers in June last year on a two-year contract and made 15 appearances in the A-League, AFC Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup. CEO John Tsatsimas wished the young playmaker well on his football journey. “The club and player have mutually agreed to part ways to allow the player to pursue alternative playing opportunities," Tsatsimas said “In his short period of time with us we have won the AFC Champions League of which he was a part of, and we wish him every success in the next stage of his football journey." The Asian champions are currently languishing at the foot of the A-League table, with three games in hand, and have yet to win a match this season.
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Muscat cant come to grips with draw

Mon, 26/01/2015 - 03:22
Victory looked headed for the win at nib Stadium when Kosta Barbarouses put the visitors ahead 3-1 in the 57th minute after Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Besart Berisha had scored in the first half. But Glory pair Rostyn Griffiths and Jamie Maclaren found the back of the net in the closing stages to salvage a point for the home side and deny Victory a chance to close the gap on the Hyundai A-League leaders to a single point. The fiery Muscat was disappointed his side did not take advantage of their two-goal lead and was livid with his players for the way in which Griffiths and Maclaren were both able to score when the momentum was firmly in Victory’s possession. “I thought we played some very good stuff tonight and we created a number of chances, but at 3-1 it should be finished,” Muscat said. “We should have even made it 4-1, if not 5-1, and then we go and put ourselves under pressure by conceding from a set piece. “To score three goals away from home, you really should be winning that game of football and I thought we were by far the better team tonight. “How we didn’t go on to win the game, I can’t come to grips with at the moment.” Muscat said his coaching staff would review the defensive lapses and see whether they were linked to his team’s attacking plans. Third-placed Victory has scored more goals (31) than any other team this season and conceded the fourth least (18) at the other end of the pitch. “When we do concede goals, it just seems like it’s very easy for the opposition to score,” Muscat said. “It’s something we’ll look at, but we’ll also look at how we attack.” Archie Thompson and Scot Galloway did not take to the pitch against Glory due to illness, but both are expected to be available for Victory’s next match against rivals Melbourne City on February 7. Berisha is also likely to be fit for the Melbourne derby despite struggling with ongoing soreness. Muscat said defender Mathieu Delpierre was still recovering from the foot injury he suffered in the FFA Cup quarter-final against Glory in October and was unlikely to be resume against City.
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Lowe: We like being behind

Mon, 26/01/2015 - 03:15
Glory fought back from two goals down with 14 minutes left on the clock to secure a 3-3 draw against Melbourne Victory in an entertaining encounter at nib Stadium on Sunday night. It was the sixth time this season Glory has come from behind to either win or draw a match in the closing stages and Lowe’s side sits four points clear at the top of the Hyundai A-League as reward for their gallant efforts. Lowe joked after the match he needed a dictionary to find some new words to describe his team’s fighting qualities. “I keep using character and blue collar…in any walk of life you’ve got a bit of adversity and it’s how you deal with that,” Lowe said. “You don’t look at people when everything’s plain sailing, you don’t look at people when they’re at the top of their game. You look at people when they’ve got a little bit of pain and I’ll tell you what – our lads tick every single box, every single time. “I said at half-time ‘we like being behind’ because we fight back and we come back and it proved true again. I had in mind that they wouldn’t score another goal though…but I’ll take the draw.” The English-born manager said his players were instilled with belief at half-time of emerging triumphant at the final whistle despite trailing 2-1 and all the momentum resting with Kevin Muscat’s Victory. “We embrace what we are, we understand what we are, we know that even when we’re down we’re not down, only the scoreboard tells us we’re down,” Lowe said. “Our players don’t feel down, they don’t look down, they don’t act down, they don’t play down. They’ve just got change the score on the board, which they’ve done again.” The fightback was soured by a serious ankle injury to Chris Harold and Lowe feared the in-form winger could be sidelined for an extended period. Exciting youngster Danny De Silva is expected to be fit for Glory’s next game against Sydney FC at home on February 7 after falling ill during the warm-up. Ruben Zadkovich came into the starting XI for De Silva just before kick-off despite only training once in the past three weeks, according to Lowe, as he continues to battle a back complaint which has restricted his season to just eight A-League and two Westfield FFA Cup appearances.
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Perth Glory salvage late draw with Melbourne Victory

Sun, 25/01/2015 - 22:51
Glory looked dead and buried when Kosta Barbarouses put Victory two goals ahead in the 57th minute, but Rostyn Griffiths and substitute Jamie Maclaren each found the back of the net twice to rescue a point for the league leaders. Perth’s late heroics, however, were soured by a serious ankle injury to in-form winger Chris Harold. Goals 0-1 Fahid Ben Khalfallah (18’) The French-born Tunisian winger was given too much space at the top of the box and fired the opener into the top right corner after a clever build-up from Victory playmaker Gui Finkler. 1-1 Andy Keogh (22’ pen) Harold was brought down in the penalty area by Victory goalkeeper Nathan Coe as he chased down a pass. Referee Peter Green did not hesitate to point to the spot and put Coe’s name in the book for the careless challenge. Keogh then effortlessly pushed the ball into the bottom left corner from the spot as Coe dived to his right. 1-2 Besart Berisha (42’) Glory defender Josh Risdon turned the ball over mid-pitch and the ball was soon in the possession of Ben Khalfallah as he charged towards goal. Berisha made a timely run alongside him and was in perfect position to first receive the pass and then dodge Dino Djulibic before curling the ball past goalkeeper Danny Vukovic to give Victory the lead on the verge of half-time. 1-3 Kosta Barbarouses (57’) The speedy forward attempted to flick a low cross to Berisha in the box after running on to a long ball, but his pass was foiled by Risdon. However, the deflection went straight back into the path of Barbarouses, now in the box, and he evaded Djulbic to register his team’s third goal of the match. 2-3 Rostyn Griffths (79’) Glory needed a hero and the defensive midfielder emerged high from a cross to pull back a goal and give the home side hope of a late rally. 3-3 Jamie Maclaren (89’) The young striker has developed a reputation for late heroics and he secured a point for Glory with a dashing run down the wing and slotted the ball perfectly past Coe at the far post. Key moment It may not have resulted in a goal on the scoresheet, but Finkler’s deadly cross in the opening six minutes set the tone for Victory and exposed fragility in Perth’s usually impenetrable defence. Opta Data Stats Ben Khalfallah’s goal enhanced Victory’s reputation as the best long-range scoring team in the league. Victory has now scored six times from outside the box this season, one more than Glory. Victory has also scored on 15 consecutive visits to Perth, but it was just the third time the two-time A-League champions have netted more than two goals. Treatment table Harold collapsed to the turf in the 28th minute after twisting awkwardly on his right ankle as he attempted to evade a Victory defender. The in-form winger was in obvious pain and was immediately pulled from the game before the half-hour mark for the second straight game after being forced off with heat exhaustion during Glory’s last match earlier this month. Harold had to be carried from the pitch by the team’s medical staff and he appears set for an extended stint on the sidelines. Mystery also surrounds the late withdrawal of Daniel De Silva before the start of the match. The Glory youngster was named to start, but was replaced in the starting XI by Ruben Zadkovich just before kick-off. Meanwhile, Victory pair Archie Thompson and Scot Galloway did not take part due to soreness. Back to the drawing board Rostyn Griffiths will miss Glory’s next match against Sydney FC after picking up his fifth yellow season, creating a headache for coach Kenny Lowe at the back. The defensive midfielder has been a linchpin in front of the back four this season and there are no obvious replacements in Glory’s squad. Zadkovich will most likely fill the void, but has rarely looked comfortable in a defensive role during his few appearances since joining Perth from Newcastle. The Final Word Perth Glory keeps finding a way to salvage a result, even if it does happen late. Kenny Lowe’s side ensured at least another fortnight at the top of the A-League with the draw, but the defensive lapses will give the coach plenty to ponder ahead of his team’s next match against Sydney at home on Saturday week.   One of Glory's biggest strengths this season has been the defence. Caught out badly twice in 45 minutes though. #PERvMVC — Neil Sherwin (@neilsherwin) January 25, 2015 Victory coach Kevin Muscat cut a forlorn figure after the match as he was left to rue a missed chance to close the gap on Perth. There was plenty to like about the performance though, especially without Mark Milligan, Archie Thompson and Scot Galloway. Teams Perth Glory: Danny Vukovic (GK), Rostyn Griffiths, Dino Djulbic, Ruben Zadkovich, Andy Keogh, Nebojsa Marinkovic, Richard Garcia (Jamie Maclaren 72’), Chris Harold (Dragan Paljic 30’), Josh Risdon, Scott Jamieson, Michael Thwaite (C). Melbourne Victory: Nathan Coe (GK), Jason Geria, Nick Ansell, Leigh Broxham (C), Gui Finkler (Connor Pain 79’), Besart Berisha (Jesse Makarounas 86’), Kosta Barbarouses, Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Daniel Georgievski, Carl Valeri, Adrian Leijer. Scorers: Fahid Ben Khalfallah (18’) Andy Keogh (22’ pen), Besart Berisha (42’), Kosta Barbarouses (57’), Rostyn Griffths (79’), Jamie Maclaren (89’) Red cards: Nil Yellow cards: Rostyn Griffiths (10’), Nathan Coe (21’), Adrian Leijer (67’), Andy Keogh (86’), Leigh Broxham (75’) Conditions: 32C, hot Attendance:  12,271 @ nib Stadium
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MacLaren levels late in six-goal thriller

Sun, 25/01/2015 - 22:13
Glory looked dead and buried when Kosta Barbarouses put Victory two goals ahead in the 57th minute, but Rostyn Griffiths and substitute Jamie Maclaren each found the back of the net twice to rescue a point for the league leaders. Perth’s late heroics, however, were soured by a serious ankle injury to in-form winger Chris Harold. Goals 0-1 Fahid Ben Khalfallah (18’) The French-born Tunisian winger was given too much space at the top of the box and fired the opener into the top right corner after a clever build-up from Victory playmaker Gui Finkler. 1-1 Andy Keogh (22’ pen) Harold was brought down in the penalty area by Victory goalkeeper Nathan Coe as he chased down a pass. Referee Peter Green did not hesitate to point to the spot and put Coe’s name in the book for the careless challenge. Keogh then effortlessly pushed the ball into the bottom left corner from the spot as Coe dived to his right. 1-2 Besart Berisha (42’) Glory defender Josh Risdon turned the ball over mid-pitch and the ball was soon in the possession of Ben Khalfallah as he charged towards goal. Berisha made a timely run alongside him and was in perfect position to first receive the pass and then dodge Dino Djulibic before curling the ball past goalkeeper Danny Vukovic to give Victory the lead on the verge of half-time. 1-3 Kosta Barbarouses (57’) The speedy forward attempted to flick a low cross to Berisha in the box after running on to a long ball, but his pass was foiled by Risdon. However, the deflection went straight back into the path of Barbarouses, now in the box, and he evaded Djulbic to register his team’s third goal of the match. 2-3 Rostyn Griffths (79’) Glory needed a hero and the defensive midfielder emerged high from a cross to pull back a goal and give the home side hope of a late rally. 3-3 Jamie Maclaren (89’) The young striker has developed a reputation for late heroics and he secured a point for Glory with a dashing run down the wing and slotted the ball perfectly past Coe at the far post. Key moment It may not have resulted in a goal on the scoresheet, but Finkler’s deadly cross in the opening six minutes set the tone for Victory and exposed fragility in Perth’s usually impenetrable defence. Opta Data Stats Ben Khalfallah’s goal enhanced Victory’s reputation as the best long-range scoring team in the league. Victory has now scored six times from outside the box this season, one more than Glory. Victory has also scored on 15 consecutive visits to Perth, but it was just the third time the two-time A-League champions have netted more than two goals. Treatment table Harold collapsed to the turf in the 28th minute after twisting awkwardly on his right ankle as he attempted to evade a Victory defender. The in-form winger was in obvious pain and was immediately pulled from the game before the half-hour mark for the second straight game after being forced off with heat exhaustion during Glory’s last match earlier this month. Harold had to be carried from the pitch by the team’s medical staff and he appears set for an extended stint on the sidelines. Mystery also surrounds the late withdrawal of Daniel De Silva before the start of the match. The Glory youngster was named to start, but was replaced in the starting XI by Ruben Zadkovich just before kick-off. Meanwhile, Victory pair Archie Thompson and Scot Galloway did not take part due to soreness. Back to the drawing board Rostyn Griffiths will miss Glory’s next match against Sydney FC after picking up his fifth yellow season, creating a headache for coach Kenny Lowe at the back. The defensive midfielder has been a linchpin in front of the back four this season and there are no obvious replacements in Glory’s squad. Zadkovich will most likely fill the void, but has rarely looked comfortable in a defensive role during his few appearances since joining Perth from Newcastle. The Final Word Perth Glory keeps finding a way to salvage a result, even if it does happen late. Kenny Lowe’s side ensured at least another fortnight at the top of the A-League with the draw, but the defensive lapses will give the coach plenty to ponder ahead of his team’s next match against Sydney at home on Saturday week. Victory coach Kevin Muscat cut a forlorn figure after the match as he was left to rue a missed chance to close the gap on Perth. There was plenty to like about the performance though, especially without Mark Milligan, Archie Thompson and Scot Galloway. Teams Perth Glory: Danny Vukovic (GK), Rostyn Griffiths, Dino Djulbic, Ruben Zadkovich, Andy Keogh, Nebojsa Marinkovic, Richard Garcia (Jamie Maclaren 72’), Chris Harold (Dragan Paljic 30’), Josh Risdon, Scott Jamieson, Michael Thwaite (C). Melbourne Victory: Nathan Coe (GK), Jason Geria, Nick Ansell, Leigh Broxham (C), Gui Finkler (Connor Pain 79’), Besart Berisha (Jesse Makarounas 86’), Kosta Barbarouses, Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Daniel Georgievski, Carl Valeri, Adrian Leijer. Scorers: Fahid Ben Khalfallah (18’) Andy Keogh (22’ pen), Besart Berisha (42’), Kosta Barbarouses (57’), Rostyn Griffths (79’), Jamie Maclaren (89’) Red cards: Nil Yellow cards: Rostyn Griffiths (10’), Nathan Coe (21’), Adrian Leijer (67’), Andy Keogh (86’), Leigh Broxham (75’) Conditions: 32C, hot Attendance: 12,271 @ nib Stadium
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A-League pics: Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory

Sun, 25/01/2015 - 21:12
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Moss rues basic defensive errors

Sun, 25/01/2015 - 11:36
The home-side conceded two goals inside the opening 20 minutes and were well and truly out of the contest by halftime when former Mariner Bernie Ibini slotted a third. It only got worse after the break with Marc Janko adding his second and Alex Brosque finding a fifth. The only highlight for the hapless Mariners was a 66th minute Travis Major goal, but that was too little, too late. “I think there’s players in the dressing room who need to take responsibility for the goals we shipped tonight and at the end of the day we beat ourselves,” Moss said afterwards. “Credit to Sydney FC for taking the chance when they did but we had some chances to take something out of it too. “(In the first 15 minutes) we played some good football and I thought we played superbly and attacked well with Dukey threatening . “I thought there was good energy but then we switched off and give away a ridiculous goal. “We worked for two weeks on defending crosses from wide areas and defending crosses in the box and picking up players, because players score goals in space and they scored two goals like that tonight. “That comes down to responsibility and accountability and it comes down to being switched on to your job. “Training for the last two weeks has been absolutely outstanding, it really has. I didn’t see a result like that coming tonight but again we were our own worst enemies.” Moss was tight-lipped about the Mariners-led “Cashed up Arnie” campaign in a local paper that urged fans to print off novelty bank notes with former Central Coast coach Graham Arnold’s face on them. In his own post-match press conference, Arnold said the gimmick probably worked in favour of Sydney FC and Moss wouldn’t have been pleased with it. “What I’d like to talk about is the game tonight to be honest,” Moss said. “It’s not my job to talk about advertising campaigns. “I’ve got my own thoughts about it but at the end of the day my job is to coach the football team, and I take responsibility for it (the result) as the coach.”
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Drained Stubbins unsure on way forward

Sun, 25/01/2015 - 11:31
He looked drained as he faced the media after the game, and a little shell-shocked, as were his players. "We spoke before the game about a good aggressive start, but it was Adelaide who scored first and set the pattern," Stubbins said. "Credit Adelaide, they were a wonderful product today, we got smashed from the start to the finish. It could have been worse. "We had a couple of chances but nothing that remotely were positives from the game, we were clearly second best from start to finish. "My mind's full with a lot of things swirling around, it's not a nice feeling, but it's just what it is." Stubbins seemed stunned with the performance and recognised the Jets need to improve in a lot of areas after this game. He had never been on the end of a 7-0 drubbing, which, even after the game, he was struggling to come to terms with. "Only four weeks ago we beat them (Adelaide 2-1)," Stubbins added. "We weren't ourselves tonight. We lacked leadership, and any genuine desire. We need to improve, a lot of things. "I won't pick on individuals, it was a collective thing. It certainly wasn't a happy camp after the game." Although Stubbins admits it is worrying the way his charges lost the game, he is confident they can turn it around. "There are certainly questions to be asked and we'll have to have some discussions about how we are going to take the club forward," he said. "The level of Adelaide tonight, they were just at a different level, there is no getting away from that. "If we want to be a genuine threat, we have to improve in a lot of areas. Also we need an injection of players. "With some of our errors, we weren't up to the level of the A-League." While Stubbins struggled to come to terms with the Jets performance, he was full of praise for Adelaide. "If Adelaide don't get close to winning it this season, they will be disappointed," he said. Newcastle have a fortnight to lick their wounds and get back on the horse, with a home game against Brisbane Roar at Hunter Stadium on February 6.
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Gombau: We werent aware of record

Sun, 25/01/2015 - 11:29
"It was a very good game for us and everyone is happy," Gombau said. "We scored the goals when we had the opportunities, but whether we win 1-0 or 7-0, it's still three points. "The boys will enjoy tonight and tomorrow, and on Monday it starts again, and we need to try and play better again next game. "The football we brought and the way we played was good. The break has been good for us, as we spent time on our skills and passing, after having a heavy workload with games." Adelaide was definitely the more focused team, from the start right through to the finish, with goals coming in the game's first two minutes and at the 92 minute mark, with five in between. In the first half the Reds took advantage of a frustrated opponent, as Newcastle made numerous errors and received four yellow cards, with the Jets trailing 4-0 at half time. And the final score-line was close to a record, which was 8-1 against North Queensland Fury. "We didn't know we were close to the record, we just play our game," Gombau said. "We respect our opponent, Newcastle, and tried to do the best that we can." While Adelaide was regularly finding the back of the net, the Reds "inexperienced" goalkeepers were keeping a clean sheet. With regular goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic not playing, Paul Izzo wore the gloves, with John Hall taking over for the final 30 minutes, in his A League debut. "Both Izzo and Hally are from Adelaide and fantastic kids," Gombau said. "Izzo started because he had some experience, he kept well in the cup against Wellington, do we decided on him, but I was a little sad for Hally, because he deserved his shot. "And today because we felt the game was going well, I wanted to make this change, for his (Hall's) first game. "At the end of the day, everyone is part of the squad and now everyone in the team have minutes on the field." The Reds again have another couple of weeks break before their next game, and away contest with Central Coast Mariners on February 7.
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A-League preview: Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory

Sun, 25/01/2015 - 01:40
Match details Sunday, 25 January 2015 Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory nib Stadium, Perth Kick-Off: 5:00 PM (Local) (8:00 PM AEDT) Perth Glory squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 3.Brandon O'NEIL, 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Jamie MACLAREN, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA, 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA, 21.Scott JAMIESON, 22.Cameron EDWARDS, 23.Michael THWAITE (c), 27.Dragan PALJIC, 30.Jordan THURTELL (gk) ***two to be omitted*** Ins: 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH (promoted), 22.Cameron EDWARDS (promoted), 27.Dragan PALJIC (new signing), 30.Jordan THURTELL (gk) (promoted) Outs: 2.Jack CLISBY (released), 12.Jack DUNCAN (gk) (not selected) Unavailable: 7.Youssouf HERSI (hamstring – season) 17.Mitch NICHOLS (hamstring – 4 weeks), 13.Diogo FEREIRA (groin – 1 week) Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Nathan COE (GK), 2.Jason GERIA, 4.Nick ANSELL, 6.Leigh BROXHAM (c), 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 11.Connor PAIN, 13.Andrew NABBOUT, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 21.Carl VALERI, 22.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 23.Adrian LEIJER, 24.Scott GALLOWAY ***two to be omitted*** Ins: 2.Jason GERIA, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 23.Adrian LEIJER Outs: 18.Dylan MURNANE Unavailable: 5.Mark MILLIGAN (international duty), 17.Matthieu DELPIERRE (injury) Hashtag: #PERvMVC TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 8.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand) Radio Broadcast: Full coverage Grandstand Digital Melbourne, Online/ ABC Radio Mobile phone app. Second half coverage on 720 ABC Perth, ABC Local Radio WA, 936 ABC Hobart and ABC North Tasmania. Referee: Peter Green Assistant Referee 1: Josh Mannella Assistant Referee 2: Tim Mihevc Fourth Official: Adam Fielding Bluffer's guide Perth Glory go into this big clash spoiling for a rumble after stewing for several weeks on a home loss to Adelaide United in their final game before the break for the Asian Cup. Despite that defeat, Lowe's side are still top of the table by four points and can claim to be the early favourites for the title as the second half of the campaign begins. Melbourne Victory are level with Wellington Phoenix in second place and remain the most likely challengers to Glory for silverware, having entered the break on the back of a hard-fought 2-1 win away to Western Sydney. Both Lowe and Victory coach Kevin Muscat will have used the time without competitive matches to recharge and refocus their impressive squads ready to renew the assault on the premiership and championship. If one side can claim maximum points at nib Stadium, they will send out an important message to the other contenders with just 13 rounds of the regular season remaining. Opta Data stats - Glory have scored in each of their last 11 matches. - No side has conceded fewer goals away from home this season than Melbourne Victory (five, level with Sydney). - Melbourne Victory have never failed to score in 14 visits to Perth, though they've never netted more than twice in a match there. Route to goal Without Youssouf Hersi for the rest of the season and still missing Mitch Nichols for several weeks with a hamstring problem, Glory do have a new weapon in their arsenal for this one. German Dragan Paljic, capable of playing at left-back but more likely to be deployed in a wide attacking role for the Western Australians, has been brought in as a direct replacement for former Wanderers Hersi. We're yet to discover if Paljic is the touchline-hugging type or someone, like Hersi, who cuts in and shoots, but whatever tricks the former Hoffenheim and Kaiserslautern man has in his locker, there's a number of willing accomplices up top ready to help him put the ball in the back of the net. Andy Keogh is arguably the most dangerous centre-forward in the league this season, while Chris Harold, Jamie Maclaren and Richard Garcia have all proven their value to Glory during their impressive first half of 2014-15. In addition to Paljic, Brazilian forward Sidnei will be looking to remind Lowe and the Perth supporters of his potential impact after returning to fitness shortly before the Asian Cup break. It will be business as usual for Victory in attack, with Guilherme Finkler pulling the strings behind Besart Berisha, while you can expect Kosta Barbarouses and Fahid Ben Khalfallah to do some damage on the wings. The likes of Connor Pain and Archie Thompson are excellent options for Muscat to call on from the bench. Who's been in the spotlight this week? Victory's French defender Matthieu Delpierre is still out with the foot injury that has now kept him sidelined since October. Forced off in his team's Westfield FFA Cup quarter-final extra-time loss away to Glory on October 29 with an unrelated muscular concern, the experienced centre-back has managed just three league appearances since joining the Big V and is threatening to prove an even less productive recruit than last season's underwhelming international marquee Pablo Contreras, who at least came good and featured regularly in the second half of 2013-14. Time is running out for Delpierre to recover and contribute meaningfully. Form lines Prior to their 2-1 loss at home to Adelaide on January 5, Glory had gone unbeaten in 10 A-League games, winning eight and drawing two, including a 2-1 win over Victory in Geelong on January 2. Victory meanwhile responded to that home loss by downing the Wanderers in Parramatta. The defeat to Perth was just their second of the season, having given up their unbeaten record in the derby against Melbourne City on December 20. Did you know? Both Glory and Victory have scored a league-high five goals from outside the box this season. However, Victory are the only side yet to concede from outside the box in the A-League so far this term. Prediction Perth Glory 1-1 Melbourne Victory We're expecting both these teams to be well-rested, well-organised and up for the fight. There won't be any signs of the fatigue that began to affect their performances in the latter part of 2014 and early days of the new year. But with both sides evenly matched and desperate not to make a losing start to the resumption of the campaign, perhaps there won't be a way to separate them at nib Stadium.
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Arnold: Cashed up promo hurt Mariners

Sun, 25/01/2015 - 01:22
On one hand the victory – Sydney’s first since November 22 - kept the Sky Blues’ hopes of catching the top four alive, but on the other, it was a harsh blow to the side he’d served for so many years. Arnold’s return wasn’t made easier in the lead-up to the match with the Mariners waging a “cashed up Arnie” campaign in the local paper, urging fans to print off novelty notes featuring his face. Clearly annoyed, the Sydney FC coach said the gimmick didn’t reflect the true nature of the club. “I want to say that the Mariners are special in my heart and are a fantastic club with beautiful people and they’ve done a lot for my career and a lot of players’ careers,” Arnold said after the match. “I don’t worry too much about anything. I think it damaged their players more than anything because on the Tuesday night I got five text messages from players who sent me the photo from the back page of the local newspaper, and said ‘look how disrespectful this club has become’.” Arnold had the last laugh though as his side went up 2-0 inside 20 minutes and never looked back. They dominated every facet of the game with Marc Janko scoring a brace and Christopher Naumoff, Bernie Ibini and Alex Brosque all on the scoresheet. Despite the emphatic score-line, Arnold remained somewhat subdued each time his team found the back of the net. “That’s out of my respect for the Mariners,” he explained. “I love the club and people. I had so many text messages of support it was ridiculous – probably close to 200. “And when you’ve got Mariners supporters texting saying ‘we hope you win today’, it’s crazy. “That’s the damage they’re doing.”
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A-League Review: Adelaide and Sydney rack up the goals

Sat, 24/01/2015 - 22:06
Adelaide United and Sydney resumed their A-League season in style with thumping wins over Newcastle Jets and Central Coast Mariners. Australia's top flight got back under way on Saturday following its three-week break for the Asian Cup, with Josep Gombau's Adelaide thumping the Jets 7-0 at Coopers Stadium to move up to second in the table. The Jets were given a warning of Adelaide's attacking intent when Bruce Djite opened the scoring after just two minutes. A double from Marcelo Carrusca and Nigel Boogaard's close-range finish then put the hosts four goals to the good at half-time. Djite added his second of the game nine minutes after the break, before Adelaide's top scorer Cirio got in on the act with a penalty. And Cirio's fellow Spaniard Isaias completed the rout in injury time, as Adelaide closed the gap on Perth Glory to three points ahead of the A-League leaders' home game against Melbourne Victory on Sunday. Sydney could not quite match Adelaide's goal haul, but were equally impressive in their 5-1 hammering of Central Coast Mariners in Gosford. A brace from Marc Janko, as well as goals from Chris Naumoff, Bernie Ibini-Isei and Alex Brosque gave Sydney their biggest away win in the A-League since they beat the Victory 5-0 almost exactly a year ago.   
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Five-star Sydney brush aside Mariners

Sat, 24/01/2015 - 21:32
After going up by two goals in the opening 20 minutes, Sydney played with ease and confidence to record their first win in Gosford since 2008 and keep their hopes of a top-two finish alive. In front of more than 12,000 fans – their biggest crowd of the season – not a lot went right for the Mariners, whose momentum leading into the Asian Cup break came to a screeching halt. WHAT THEY SAID “It was mixed emotions. I know these boys really well so it’s always mixed emotions. (The new boys) made a massive difference tonight. We just have to build on this now as it’s been a while since we’ve had a win. - Sydney FC attacker Bernie Ibini “I know (coach Phil Moss) likes to be positive but I don’t think there is any positives in that first half. For 10 years we’ve always been committed but it’s just not good enough for a team that’s done so well at home before. I’d like to say sorry to the fans and the members. – Mariners skipper John Hutchinson Goals Janko 15’ 0-1 – After a great through-ball, Alex Brosque slid from inside the box and tapped the ball to Alex Gersbach out wide. Gersbach’s floated cross found Janko unmarked in the area and the Austrian had time to control before finding the back of the net. Naumoff 18’ 0-2 – A virtual replay of the opener but from the opposite side of the field. Terrible defending from the Mariners gave Christopher Naumoff plenty of time to pick his spot and slide a half-volley to the back post. Ibini 44’ 0-3 – It was all too easy for the former Mariner. He let a through-ball roll in front of him into the box and coolly put the ball inside the far post. At this point fears of another Adelaide-Newcastle rout from earlier in the day were on the cards. Janko 48’ (0-4) – Zack Anderson looked like he wanted the ground to swallow him after Janko pounced on a terrible attempted back-pass and lobbed the ball into the net for a 4-0 lead. Major 66’ (1-4) – A length of the field break after a Sydney corner saw Josh Rose selflessly set-up Travis Major in the box for his first ever A-League goal. Alex Brosque 71’ (1-5) – Ibini played Janko into the box, Janko cut it back to Brosque and the skipper finished a nice passage of play with a shot to the far post. Key Moment OK, so going down 2-0 in the first quarter never looks good, but when it happens as early as it did, there’s always hope you can drag yourself back into the contest. When Ibini pushed the gap to three just before halftime though, the match as a contest was over. There would be no comeback. Sections of the Central Coast faithful weren’t shy about voicing their disproval as the Mariners trudged from the field at halftime. Opta Data Stats Sydney completed 487 passes, 125 more than the Mariners, and had 18 shots at goal compared to nine for the hosts. Despite ending up on the wrong side of a 3-0 yellow card count, Sydney FC hardly ever looked like conceding, winning 85% of their tackles. Highlights reel If you had to pick a moment, Naumoff’s one-touch finish was simply sublime, but Sydney’s complete dominance was just as impressive. The visitors completed 89% of their passes and at times seemed capable of setting up scoring chances at will. Coach killer Anderson’s back-pass summed up the night for the Mariners. Confidence shot, poor decision making, execution lacking. Easy pickings for Sydney. Mariners Liam Reddy, Josh Rose, Jacob Poscoliero, Zachary Anderson, John Hutchinson (c), Mitchell Duke, Anthony Caceres (Travis Major 57’), Nick Fitzgerald, Glen Trifiro (Nick Montgomery 45’), Matthew Simon, Eddy Bosnar Sydney FC Vedran Janjetovic, Nikola Petkovic, Milos Dimitrejevic, Bernie Ibini, Christopher Naumoff, Alex Brosque (c), Alexander Gersbach, Marc Janko (Shane Smeltz 75’), Aaron Calver, Jaxques Faty (Matthew Jurman 82’), Mikael Tavares (Rhyan Grant 60’) Scorers Sydney: Janko (2), Naumoff, Ibini, Brosque Mariners: Major Yellow cards Mariners: None Sydney: Tavares (34’), Mark Janko (50’), Grant (79’) Red cards – None
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Pics: Central Coast v Sydney FC

Sat, 24/01/2015 - 21:15
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Pics: Adelaide United v Newcastle Jets

Sat, 24/01/2015 - 19:51
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Seventh heaven for Reds as Jets crash

Sat, 24/01/2015 - 19:00
Adelaide wasted no time getting into gear as the A-League kicked off again after the Asian Cup break, as Bruce Djite found the back of the net in the second minute. And, things just got worse for Newcastle from that moment on as Stubbins’ side was completely eclipsed. What they said “It’s a really satisfying win. The coach has said a lot about our finishing in recent weeks and to come here and bag seven is very impressive. We were good from the front line to the goal-keeper today so it’s all positive.” - Reds midfielder Osama Malik “It’s gutting. It’s 7-0, it just shouldn’t happen. If you’re not doing the small things right, which we aren’t doing as a team then these sorts of things can happen.” - Jets midfielder Zenon Caravella Goals 1-0 Brue Djite (2’) Adelaide made a quality counter-attack count as Nigel Boogaard and Craig Goodwin combined nicely down the left. When the Jets defence failed to clear Goodwin’s cross, Djite was on hand to slam home the opening goal from close range. 2-0 Marcelo Carrusca (23’) Argentine playmaker Marcelo Carrusca showed he’s come back from injury with intent as he rounded Ben Kennedy for an easy finish after a ridiculously good through ball from Isaias. 3-0 Carrusca (27’) David Carney loses possession on the byline before Adrian Madaschi compounds the mistake by bringing down Michael Marrone in the area. Carrusca steps up to the spot and after UAE’s efforts last night he tries a panenka penalty. Kennedy saves it, but Carrusca is given a second chance as Griffiths had encroached. The Argentine makes no mistake second time around. 4-0 Boogaard (35’) Osama Malik heads a corner back into the box and Boogaard is on hand to flick it home. 5-0 Djite (54’) Djite scores his second goal from close-range. His first effort may have been blocked but the striker makes no mistake with the second chance. 6-0 (Cirio 70’) Pablo Sanchez is brought down by Ben Kennedy and this time it’s Cirio who takes the penalty, the midfielder amping up the pain for Newcastle. 7-0 (Isaias 90+3’) Party time for Adelaide as Isaias is given far too much space and he curls in a stunner from 22 yards. Key moment This probably came two minutes in when Djite found the back of the net. It was all downhill for Newcastle after that. Opta Data Stats The result was actually the second time Adelaide have posted a seven-goal win. The Reds beat North Queensland Fury 8-1 in early 2011. Back to the drawing board It would be hard for Josep Gombau to change this side, although his use of Awer Mabil off the bench was interesting. As for Phil Stubbins, it will be interesting to see whether he’s given the chance to rebuild after this result. The Final Word Adelaide United have signalled their intent in the second half of this season, coming back from the break with one of the biggest wins in the club’s history. The effort has seen them leapfrog Wellington into second on the A-League table and they’re just three points behind Perth Glory. It’s also given their goal difference a massive shot in the arm, something that may prove vital over the season’s last few months. Newcastle, meanwhile, are kept off the bottom of the table by the winless Wanderers. But they’ve now conceded 35 goals this season at an average of 2.33 per match. They have a goal difference of -23 as well and things look grim for the Jets, especially after the departure of Marcos Flores during the week.
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DeVere returns to Brisbane Roar

Sat, 24/01/2015 - 15:30
After a four-year stint in South Korea with K-League club Gyeongnam FC, the 25-year-old has signed with the Roar through to the end of the Hyundai A-League season. He will wear No.33. DeVere played 65 times and scored three goals for the Roar from 2008 to 2011. He has nine appearances for Australian at under-20 level, played twice for the national under-23 side and has twice been a substitute for the Socceroos. During his Korean stint he played 86 times for Gyeongnam FC and scored six goals. “To rejoin the Hyundai A-League Champions is a tremendous opportunity,’’ DeVere said. “The Roar has a big second half of the season, not just in the A-League but also with their return to the AFC Champions League. “There are lots of challenges ahead and I am keen to play whatever role the football department thinks can best help the team.’’ DeVere’s last game for the Roar was on 26 January, 2011 against Wellington Phoenix. Coincidentally, the Roar’s first Hyundai A-League game back after the AFC Asian Cup break is against Wellington Phoenix at Suncorp Stadium on Monday, 2 February (7pm kick-off). Roar Director of Football Ken Stead said DeVere’s experience and versatility would be invaluable in the coming months. “He adds to our depth across the backline and his knowledge of Asian football will be very handy,” Stead said. Stead said other players in Australia and overseas were still being assessed with a view to the club making a further signing soon.
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Stubbins: Newcastle Jets only want committed players

Sat, 24/01/2015 - 05:20
The 21-year-old Newcastle product will join Sydney FC at the end of the season, opting to turn down a contract offer from the Jets. The decision comes amid turmoil at the club, following the resignations of CEO Robbie Middleby and chairman Ray Baartz and uncertainty about Nathan Tinkler’s ownership. The Jets are in the market for players following the departures of imports Marcos Flores and Jonny Steele, along with Sam Gallaway for Western Sydney Wanderers, which combined with Hoole’s decision, has created talk of a player exodus. However, Stubbins made a firm statement when speaking to FourFourTwo about the type of players he wanted to bring into the club. “We’re Newcastle Jets and we only want players who want to play for Newcastle Jets,” Stubbins said. “We want people here who are happy to roll their sleeves up and do everything they can for the club.” Ninth-placed Newcastle resumes their A-League season on Saturday away to Adelaide, but despite his decision to leave, Stubbins said Hoole wouldn’t be ignored for selection. “When you’ve been involved in football a long time you understand these situations happen from time to time,” Stubbins said. “Andrew will get the reassurance from my self. We need him to be performing. He’s shown some flashes of his potential which is why another club has come in for him.” Stubbins added: “It’s very disappointing for the club that a player coming through the youth ranks and who has been developed by the club, has decided to leave. “We did everything we could to keep him at the club. He’s had advice and his decision was to leave. We respect that. “I’m sure whilst he remains a the club, he’ll do everything he can for the cause. “He’s a terrific young man. Even though he’s leaving, I’ve still got a lot of time for him.” Meanwhile, Stubbins, who has only managed one win in 14 games in charge of the Jets, conceded the club’s situation was far from ideal. “Any coach you ask, would you prefer a CEO in place to allow for a functioning structure within the club, they’d all say yes,” Stubbins said. “I have to say, the resources and the people we’ve got at the club, including the chairman Nathan Tinkler, are trying extremely hard to overcome the shortfall we’ve got and keep the club heading in the right direction.”
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