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Published 10th March 2012


FourFourTwo - A-League

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Updated: 36 min 49 sec ago

European and EPL clubs circling for Jets

Fri, 22/08/2014 - 19:06
Tinkler confirmed on Thursday that the club was up for sale as he looks to end his involvement in football and focus on other business opportunities. And the Australian mining magnate who also wants to sell NRL club Newcastle Knights and his Patinack Farm racing stable revealed that several clubs were circling for the Jets. Speaking to Sydneys Sky Sports Radio on Friday, Tinkler said: German, Spanish and English clubs are best placed to groom young talent in Australia. If we can do a deal with one of those countries, it will put the Jets in a better spot and it will be a win for the community and everyone involved. Weve been in talks with a number of Premier League and European clubs, theyve been going on for a little while. Tinkler believes Manchester Citys purchase of another A-League club, Melbourne Heart, will set a precedent. City bought Heart in January and have changed the sides name to Melbourne City, while the club will also wear a new home kit that incorporates the Premier League outfits iconic sky blue. I think [for] anybody who owns an A-League club or supports an A-League club that [Manchester Citys purchase] is the future, Tinkler added. What it costs to run an A-League club is really just a transfer fee for these guys at the end of the day. Newcastle finished seventh in the A-League last term, missing the finals by just two points. The club have won the competition once, in 2007-08, when they edged rivals Central Coast Mariners 1-0 in the grand final.
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Blues not Roos in Brosques future

Fri, 22/08/2014 - 17:49
Brosque made his international debut for Australia in 2004 and scored five goals in 21 appearances. The forward played for the Young Socceroos and the Olyroos, appearing in the Athens Olympics, and became a regular under former Socceroo coach Holger Osieck. But he missed out on selection for the 2014 World Cup under new boss Ange Postecoglou and believes his time with the green and gold is finished. Speaking before Postecoglou's Thursday squad announcement Brosque said: “When Ange took over I never spoke to him and to be honest, yeah, I think my time’s sort of come and gone with the national team. “I’m not thinking about it, I don’t think I’ll be a part of it anymore. “Ange has come in and based his squad on youth and bringing up the youth boys, and look to his credit he did very well with the boys in Brazil. I think they’ll only continue to get better from that. “He’s obviously going to continue pushing with that and I’ll support the boys like the rest of Australia.” Brosque rejoined Sydney FC in August as the club’s Australian marquee after three years overseas. The 30-year old had stints in Japan with Shimizu S-Pulse and in the Middle East with Al Ain. “When I went to Japan, when I spoke to my missus, the sort of plan was to go there and stay there for a few years and then come back home,” Brosque said. “But with it being the Middle East, that option came up and so we said we’d go there for a couple of years as well. “In the back of my mind I was always going to come home and once Arnie took over he called me straight away and had a chat to me. “Everything sort of fell into place and I was looking forward to coming home anyway so I just thought that with what Arnie was doing here, I wanted to come back and be a part of it as well.” The attacker, who signed with the Sky Blues for the next two years, said he would like to finish his footballing career at Allianz Stadium. Brosque played more than 100 games for Sydney, scoring 28 goals from 2006 to 2011, and was a key part of the club’s 2009-2010 double-winning season. “When I was coming back I had no sort of intention of going anywhere else or even thinking about going anywhere else,” he said. “If Sydney wanted me then I wanted to come back here. I think I’ll definitely finish my time playing with Sydney. I’ve got two years, if it means after two years, so be it. “But if the club’s happy to keep me going then, yeah, I think I’ll definitely finish my playing career with Sydney.”
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Arnold targets European left-back

Fri, 22/08/2014 - 17:27
Arnold, who has described the club’s attacking third as “frightening,” is hoping to use one of two available visa spots to shore up the left-back role before season kick-off. Speaking before the team departed for the Wingate Townsville Football Cup, the title-winning coach said a Dutch or English import was likely. “I’d like to if possible get one more player in,” Arnold told the club’s website. “We’re a bit short in the left back position at the moment with only young Alex Gersbach there. “Yes, Matty Jurman can play there but he’s a specialist central defender and I want to have two players for every position to create healthy competition between the players. Arnold added: “There’s no doubt that it will be a foreign player because we have two visa spots left and if we can bring a player in that position it would strengthen the squad enormously. “We’re speaking to one or two Dutchmen and a couple of Englishmen as well but on this one I’m just staying patient." The Sky Blues have boosted their attacking ranks in the off-season, signing Austrian hitman Marc Janko, former Sky Blues favourite Alex Brosque and bringing in Golden Boot winner Shane Smeltz. “The morale is fantastic, things are gelling well together at the moment but there is still a lot of work to do and a long way to go but I’m very happy at the moment,” Arnold said. Sydney have lost just one of their five preseason games to date – a 3-1 defeat to Premier League side Newcastle United. But given the team’s notoriously fickle performances in past seasons, it comes as no surprise that Arnold is demanding “consistency” from his players. “Hard work on the training pitch,” Arnold said of his expectations, "every time they go on the pitch that they try to better themselves and become a better team every day. “And we’re working hard on that at the moment and I’m very happy with where they’re at. “I think I’ve got two fantastic leaders in Sasa Ognenovski and Nikola Petkovic and I need those two guys to lead from the back, be the voice of the team on the field and I need them to drive the rest of the team forward. “Plus we have good depth with Matty Jurman in the side, who has been fantastic in the pre-season games to date.” Sydney kick-off their Townsville campaign on Sunday against the Northern Fury before taking on Brisbane Roar and the Newcastle Jets. Sydney travelling squad: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Sasa OGNENOVSKI, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Matthew JURMAN, 6. Nikola PETKOVIC, 7. Corey GAMEIRO, 9. Shane SMELTZ, 11. Bernie IBINI, 12. Hagi GLIGOR, 13. Alex GERSBACH, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 16. Christopher NAUMOFF, 17. Terry ANTONIS, 18. Peter TRIANTIS, 19. Nick CARLE, 20. Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 21. Marc JANKO, 22. Ali ABBAS, Aaron CALVER, . Dylan CATON, Themba MUATA-MARLOW, Anthony BOUZANIS (gk), George TIMOTHEOU.
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Premier League clubs eye off Newcastle Jets

Fri, 22/08/2014 - 16:20
The Hunter outfit looks set to become the latest A-League club in foreign hands as Tinkler continues to offload his sporting empire. The financially embattled entrepreneur conceded Manchester City's $11 million takeover of Melbourne Heart – now Melbourne City – is the way of the future. "We're talking to a number of (English) Premier League clubs and European soccer clubs about getting involved there and have been for a little while," Tinkler told Sky Sports Radio on Friday. "I guess those negotiations have been going on in the background and I'd like to get those concluded so hence we've gone public with the decision to sell." Talking about the Melbourne City model he added: "I think (for) anybody who owns an A-League club or supports an A-League club, that's the future," he said. "We've got a lot of soccer talent in this country and (overseas ownership) is the best agreement, I think. "What it costs to run an A-League club is really just a (player) transfer fee for these guys at the end of the day. "If that can leave the Jets in a better spot by having an owner like that I think that's a win for the community and everyone involved." Back at Jets HQ it was business as normal according to CEO Robbie Middleby. “We have been in discussions with HSG for some time about bringing in additional investment in and this process will now be expedited," Middleby said in a statement. “Until the change of ownership is complete, we will continue to execute our plans in preparation for the 2014/15 season. “The club has been rebuilt since 2010 and we now have a solid foundation from which to grow. “We look forward to securing new owners and moving forward with this new chapter.”
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Adelaide United keen to lure Troisi home

Fri, 22/08/2014 - 13:33
The attacking midfielder impressed on loan at Melbourne Victory last season, earning a place in the Socceroos' World Cup squad. Linked with a temporary switch to Western Sydney Wanderers earlier in the off-season, the Reds claim they have not given up on luring the playmaker back to Australia. "We're still very interested if a deal can be worked out," Adelaide director of football Michael Petrillo told the Adelaide Advertiser. "We know he's gone back to sort out some issues with Juventus." In a separate interview with the publication, Troisi's father confirmed the Coopers Stadium club had made a firm approach but was unable to shed light on his son's likely destination. "They did offer James a contract but I don't know exactly how much it was because the offer went directly to (agent) Frank Trimboli and Juventus," Alby Troisi said. "Probably for Juve and Frank to knock it back means it probably wasn't what they were looking for. "But I think James probably wants to stay in Europe, but at the end of the day if he's got an opportunity to come back to the A-League, it depends on all the offers they put in front of him. "He's training but exactly where he is going next we don't know at the moment. "James went back to Italy last Friday, and at the moment Frank Trimboli and Juve are trying to work a few things out."
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Tinkler puts Newcastle Jets up for sale

Fri, 22/08/2014 - 12:47
Tinkler, who recently cut ties with his NRL outfit the Newcastle Knights, will continue to underwrite the Jets until the sale is complete. The Hunter club is the latest casualty of the entrepreneur’s dwindling sports empire as he prepares to relinquish his racehorse interests. A statement from the Jets on Friday said the club "continues to retain the full support of Football Federation Australia (FFA) as a key team in the Hyundai A-League and the fundamentals of the club are good with strong member, community and corporate support". Newcastle Jets CEO Robbie Middleby added: "We have been in discussions with HSG for some time about bringing in additional investment in and this process will now be expedited. “Until the change of ownership is complete, we will continue to execute our plans in preparation for the 2014/15 season. “The club has been rebuilt since 2010 and we now have a solid foundation from which to grow. “We look forward to securing new owners and moving forward with this new chapter.” It is not the first time Tinkler has tried to offload the club. Faced with mounting fnancial problems, he attempted to hand back the A-League licence in 2012. A looming stoush with football's governing body was eventually averted after face-to-face talks between Tinkler and FFA chairman Frank Lowry. Friday's 'business as usual' message comes as the club attempts to turnaround four disappointing seasons during which the club failed to reach the A-League playoffs. The FFA released a brief statement on Friday regarding the sale. “Football Federation Australia (FFA) has previously noted comments from Nathan Tinkler regarding the ownership of the Newcastle Jets,” an FFA spokesperson said. “FFA continues to have regular positive dialogue with the Newcastle Jets about operational and business matters. “FFA is comfortable with the Newcastle Jets’ plans for the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 season and beyond.”
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Youth trumps marquee as Wanderers sign Nigerian defender

Fri, 22/08/2014 - 11:20
After the headlines generated by Japan great Shinji Ono in the club's first two seasons, the Wanderers have opted for youth and versatility. The 22-year-old Adeleke has signed a one-year contract from Swiss club Biel-Bienne where he was on loan from Serie A club Lazio. “It is great to finalise our foreign player contingent with the signing of another young and versatile player,” Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas said. “We operate in a global marketplace and Adeleke’s signing indicates that we will look at all opportunities to improve our squad to truly reflect the region we live in. “Adeleke is young, has a strong football pedigree and will significantly add to our roster. We look forward to welcoming him to the Wanderers family.” The former Nigerian youth international will link up with the Wanderers in the coming weeks ahead of their campaign kick-off against Melbourne Victory on October 10.
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McGlincheys agent slams FFA

Thu, 21/08/2014 - 23:48
An independent arbitrator ruled on Thursday that McGlinchey remains contracted to the Mariners, stopping a planned moved to Wellington Phoenix. The Phoenix and the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) are seeking legal advice on the issue. James Hardy, the Kiwi international’s manager, told FourFourTwo he was “totally perplexed”. “Michael and I cannot see any logic or sense behind the decision,” Hardy said from Hong Kong. “Throughout the entire process we have and will continue to solely follow the direction and advice of the PFA, who have been great. “However today's decision just confirms that the dealings between the FFA and the Central Coast Mariners are blurred.” McGlinchey is currently in limbo after training with Wellington for several months after returning from his loan spell with Vegalta Sendai in Japan. The 27-year old joined the Mariners in 2009 and has made more than 120 appearances for the club. “I don't wish to get into a war of words but what I will say is the FFA should stop sitting on the fence and come out with some clarity,” Hardy said. “Michael has been let down by really poor governance and leadership by the FFA, which ultimately is putting players' welfare on the line through their negligence.”
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FFA Cup: Two-minute wrap

Thu, 21/08/2014 - 14:16
First half goals in each game set the tone as Palm Beach, Brisbane Roar, Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne Victory all prevailed. The winners will await this Friday’s draw while the losers can only contemplate what might have been. Hakoah 1 (Owusu 68’) Palm Beach Sharks 2 (Dragicevic 2', Rees 17') Hensley Athletic Field, Sydney Despite the icy weather, Palm Beach proved they were too hot to handle as they eased past lower league opposition in the form of Hakoah. An early goal from Daniel Dragicevic settled the Queensland team. They then took advantage of their ascendency by getting another goal in the 17th minute. Journeyman Lloyd Owusu – whose former life in the A-League grabbed most of the pre-match headlines – snaffled a goal in the second half, against the run of play, but it was not enough. Stirling Lions 0 Brisbane Roar 4 (Henrique 31’, Brown 55’, Smith 63’, Solorzano 68’) WA Athletics Stadium, Perth The A-League team were in no mood to join Western Sydney Wanderers as victims of a “giant-killing”. A 4-0 win takes Brisbane into the next round while Stirling Lions can be proud of their efforts. Despite matching their opponents in the first half, a well-taken goal from Henrique split the teams. In the second half, three goals in 13 minutes took the game beyond Stirling and ensured Mike Mulvey’s men are in the draw for the next round. South Coast Wolves 0 Central Coast Mariners 1 (Trifiro 13’) WIN Stadium, Wollongong Glen Trifiro’s 12th minute goal was enough for Central Coast. Despite putting on a competitive performance in front of over 6,000 fans, South Coast Wolves could not get parity after the early goal. Not for the want of trying, South Coast found attacking opportunities difficult while the Mariners remained a constant threat. Bayswater City 0 Melbourne Victory 2 (Barbarouses 23,’ Thompson 77’) WA Athletics Stadium, Perth In keeping with the pattern of the last tranche of matches, Bayswater City kept Melbourne Victory honest but the more illustrious opponents prevailed. A goal in each half was enough to seal victory for Victory. The triumvirate of Besart Berisha, Kosta Barbarouses and Archie Thompson showed why coach Kevin Muscat wanted their services. Barbarouses and Thompson scored the goals while Berisha was provider. Bayswater coach Chris Coyne will be pleased with the effort on show from his team. Final 16 draw The draw will take place on Friday at 5:15pm on Fox Sports. The 16 teams left, including fourth tier team South Springvale, will find out their fate then. The teams in the draw are: Adelaide City, Adelaide United, Bentleigh Greens, Brisbane Roar, Brisbane Strikers, Central Coast Mariners, Melbourne Victory, Olympic FC, Palm Beach Sharks, Perth Glory, South Springvale, St Albans Saints, Sydney FC, Sydney United 58 FC and Tuggeranong United. * MAIN PIC: Dejected Hakoah Sydney City players after the match. Pic by Brendon Thorne. Photos by Getty Images
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Livid Lippi lets rip over faking Saba

Thu, 21/08/2014 - 11:34
In a farcical end to the match, Lippi and members of his coaching staff stormed the field in stoppage time after Chinese international Gao Lin was dismissed. It came just minutes after Zhang Linpeng also saw red, leaving the Italian World Cup-winning mentor incensed. Lippi let rip in the post-match press conference, taking aim at the referee as well as Wanderers import Vitor Saba. “I’m little bit upset,” Lippi said through an interpreter. “I know I couldn’t go inside the field but you also watched the match and the last 10 minutes there were two red cards. “The second one was really close to me, I saw that and it wasn’t on purpose. I also saw that during the match, the opponent was trying (to get my players a second yellow card). I’m not sure why the referee didn’t see this. “…It’s not good in soccer to see like their number 10 (Saba) to be falling down and being so fake. It’s not good to see that sort of thing. For the good of the Asian Champions League we don’t want to see these type of things anymore.” CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE MATCH ACTION Lippi admitted he was wrong to enter the field and later tried to apologise to the referee, only to be turned away. “You know me quite well and I have participated in all the main events in my career, like the World Cup and Champions League,” Lippi said. “I know it was wrong to go on the field but I just wanted to ask the referee why he gave the second red card. “I didn’t understand why he chose this. And then when I got inside I also tried to apologise to him, but one of the people didn’t let me go inside. It’s disappointing. “Everyone that knows me knows I’m an educated person. At the end of the match I just wanted to apologise but they didn’t give me the chance. I don’t know why. “I’m not upset for the match that we lost 1-0. We have our home match in one week and I trust we can do a good performance at home and advance to the semi-final.” Wanderers boss Tony Popovic hit out at Lippi’s actions. “I don’t know what he was upset about,” Popovic said. “I’m sure if I went on the pitch I would be sent off. You can’t condone their coaches going on the pitch. “We all disagree with decisions referees make, we voice our opinion from the sideline. They ran onto the pitch and manhandled a player. That I can’t accept.”
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Muscat: Victory targeting new signings

Thu, 21/08/2014 - 04:44
Victory eased into the FFA Cup Round of 16 with a 2-0 win away to Bayswater City on Wednesday, which saw new recruits Besart Berisha, Carl Valeri and Mathieu Delpierre all make their competitive debuts. The trio have arrived to fill the voids left by James Troisi, Tom Rogic and Pablo Contreras respectively, while left-back Adama Traore has also departed. Muscat was relatively content with his side's performance on Wednesday, summing it up by saying they "just did enough". Victory still have one visa spot available and Muscat revealed post-match the club were far from settled on their squad with more than seven weeks still until the A-League kick-off. “We’re still active (in the transfer market),” Muscat said. “We still want to improve the squad. There’s opportunities to do so.” However, the 46-time Socceroos defender refused to be drawn on identifying the areas he was looking to strengthen, although he said international commitments during the 2014-15 season would affect the recruitment strategy. “Different things come up and we’ve highlighted a few areas in the team where we need to get some more competition in,” Muscat said. “We need to take into consideration the number of players going away on international duty throughout the year. “There’s a couple of areas but I don’t want to go into too much detail because things can change from time to time. “There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes trying to improve the squad.” Victory are likely to lose skipper Mark Milligan during the 2015 Asian Cup, as well as Socceroos' friendlies against UAE and Qatar in mid-October and a mooted friendly in November. Nathan Coe, Carl Valeri and Archie Thompson could also come under consideration. Teenage full-back Scott Galloway, who played a full game against Bayswater, is unlikely to be available throughout October, away with the Young Socceroos at the AFC Under-19 Championships in Myanmar. Kosta Barbarouses may also miss games due to New Zealand selection, with friendlies already scheduled against China and Malaysia in mid-November. Meanwhile, Muscat was pleased with the competitive debuts of all three of his new trio. “They’ve been improving,” he said. “Big Mathieu (Delpierre) wasn’t really challenged defensively but all of his work with the ball was clean and crisp. He’s slowly getting better. “Carl Valeri did a decent shift for us tonight. It’s good to have a meaningful competitive game during pre-season. “(Berisha) in the front third looked very dangerous. The two goals we scored were good goals.” Muscat also said Socceroos midfielder Milligan was well placed to be fully fit for the start of the A-League campaign after an interrupted off-season. Milligan suffered a hamstring injury at the 2014 World Cup and has undergone a delayed pre-season fitness regime as a result. “He’s exactly where we want to him to be at the moment,” Muscat said. “He’s got half an hour tonight under his belt so he’s coming along really good.” Muscat refused to nominate a preferred Round of 16 opponent, but with four Victorian clubs entering Friday’s draw, he hoped for a fixture without too much travel. “Hopefully we get drawn a little bit closer to home,” he said.
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WA football told: Start banging on parliaments door

Thu, 21/08/2014 - 04:01
Coyne’s side were forced to shift Wednesday’s 2-0 FFA Cup Round of 32 loss to Melbourne Victory away from home ground Frank Drago Reserve due to inadequate floodlights. The match was played at the WA Athletics Stadium in front of 1650 fans, who were at least 40 metres away from the action due to the running track around the field. Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey commented after Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Stirling Lions at the same venue, that the gap between the field and crowd eradicated the home ground advantage due to the lack of atmosphere and Coyne agreed. “Kudos to everyone who turned up tonight, they made a big effort,” Coyne said. “But Mike Mulvey made the comment last night as well, when they’re 40 metres away you can’t really hear it. “The atmosphere would’ve been better if it was at one of the smaller grounds with the stand on top of you. “We’re grateful for Venues West for putting it on but I don’t think it’s the right venue for the rectangular game.” In February last year, Football West launched the Home of Football campaign which aimed to garner political support for a central training and administration headquarters for the game in the state. So far the campaign, which wanted a $20 million funding pledge, hasn’t succeeded, but this week’s FFA Cup matches may have reignited the debate. Coyne added: “They’ve organised it well, but as a state we need to have a look at ourselves and try to get something. “Whether it’s a home of football or it’s in the northern suburbs or southern suburbs, I don’t know the answer, but we need to look at it and start banging on parliament’s door and getting things done so we’ve got floodlights and facilities. It’s imperative. “It’s not about us, it’s about the next generation and building the game in WA. “For whatever reason we’re behind the times. We’ve got to get with the program.” Victory coach Kevin Muscat refused to weigh into the argument, but surprisingly admitted he was pleased the game was played in Perth for the integrity of the FFA Cup. FourFourTwo revealed this week that Bayswater and Victory had tried to swap the venue for the game to Melbourne, but failed to receive FFA approval. “I’m grateful the game was played here,” Muscat said. “It would devalue it if home teams can move the games from state to state. It certainly would have set an awkward precedent. “It’s unfortunate it wasn’t at their home ground, but the safety of the players is paramount.”
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Pics: Wanderers v Guangzhou

Thu, 21/08/2014 - 01:52
Western Sydney Wanderers' AFC Champions League win over Chinese powerhouse, Guangzhou Evergrande, at Pirtek Stadium was a night to remember. The defending champions went into Wednesday night's first-leg quarter-final raging favourites and finished with nine men and 1-0 down. Click on the links below to see all the match action. Pics by Getty Images.
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Victory down gritty Bayswater in FFA Cup

Thu, 21/08/2014 - 00:30
Goals to Kosta Barbarouses and veteran hitman Archie Thompson booked Victory's place in the final 16. The A-League team had the better of the first-half with Kiwi international Barbarouses opening the scoring on 23 minutes. Socceroo Carl Valeri and Gui Finkler displayed some good interplay, while ex-Brisbane Roar striker Besart Berisha showed he was quickly finding his feet with the Melbourne outfit. Bayswater never looked like throwing in the towel, however, and the current WA NPL league leaders came out firing in the second-half as the lack of match fitness in the pre-season Victory legs began to tell. The home side were unlucky not to get on the scoreboard as they forced some sharp saves from goalkeeper Nathan Coe. But with just under 15 minutes left on the clock Thompson latched onto a ball from Berisha to kill off the tie. Bayswater City - 0 Melbourne Victory - 2 (Barbarouses 23', Thompson 77')
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Good Golec theyve done it! Wanderers stun Guangzhou Evergrande

Wed, 20/08/2014 - 20:26
In front of more than 17,000 at a rocking Parramatta Stadium, Antony Golec’s second half goal was the difference to stun the Chinese giants. A thrilling contest ended in plenty of drama as both Zhang Linpeng and Gao Lin were sent off in the dying minutes for lashing out at Wanderers players. It led to seething Guangzhou coach Marcelo Lippi storming the field in protest as the game ended in farcical fashion. CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE MATCH ACTION But all of that will not matter to Tony Popovic and has side who now have a huge chance to progress to the semi-finals in next week’s second leg in China. Despite facing a side with a huge budget and star-studded line-up, the Wanderers were good value for their epic win. The visitors were dealt a blow even before kick-off as they were forced to walk to the ground from their team hotel after their bus broke down. It didn’t seem to affect them early though as they flew out of the blocks with Chinese international Gao Lin going close twice inside the first 10 minutes. In an open start to the match, the Wanderers also had their chances and went close twice in the space of four minutes on the quarter-hour mark. First Labinot Haliti’s lob sailed just wide of the post before Mark Bridge was denied by a smothering save by Guangzhou ‘keeper Zeng Cheng after Tomi Juric’s scuffed shot found its way into his path. Guangzhou dominated possession and territory for the rest of the half but it was still the home side who should have taken a lead to the break. Haliti did brilliantly down the left before crossing to an unmarked Shannon Cole at the far post but he somehow headed wide of the mark from just six yards out. Unlike the first half, it was the Wanderers who gained the ascendancy on the resumption and they got the reward on the hour from an unlikely source. Golec was giving too much space down the left, cutting back inside onto his right foot and rolling in a cross which beat everyone and nestled in the far corner. New Brazilian recruit Vitor Saba came on soon after for his Wanderers debut and showed glimpses of what he will offer in the upcoming Hyundai A-League season. The visitors’ frustrations boiled over late on as both Linpeng and Gao were sent off, ruling them out of next week’s second leg. Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Golec 60) Guangzhou Evergrande 0
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Duff predicts Chelsea success, worried for Fulham

Wed, 20/08/2014 - 17:36
The 35-year-old former Republic of Ireland international left Fulham at the end of last season after the clubs relegation from the Premier League. Duff signed a one-year deal with Melbourne City, who are majority owned by the City Football Group, in the A-League in June. Speaking to Perform on Tuesday, he said Chelsea where he played from 2003-06 deserved to be heavy favourites to claim the Premier League title. Obviously Chelsea are firm favourites, Duff said, speaking after featuring in a 5-0 pre-season friendly win for City. If [Jose] Mourinho doesnt win it in the first year, he always wins it in the second year. I dont think you can really look beyond them. They obviously had a good, strong win [against Burnley]. Duff was less positive about Fulham, who let go of several senior players including John Heitinga, John Arne Riise, Steve Sidwell and Giorgos Karagounis at the end of last season. Felix Magaths men have made a disappointing start to the Championship campaign, losing their opening two games. Its sad to see really whats happened there, Duff, who featured in Fulhams 2010 UEFA Europa League final loss to Atletico Madrid, said. From where the club was at four or five years ago, Id be worried for them. Even in the latter stages of his career, Duff remains hungry to succeed in Australia, where he will be joined for 10 games by Spains all-time leading goalscorer and New York City signing David Villa. Also joining Duff in Melbourne is Robert Koren, who has made the move as a marquee player after spells with West Brom and Hull City in the Premier League. Koren made his first appearance for Melbourne City on Tuesday, playing a half in their 5-0 win over state league team Hume City. Duff is delighted to have the former Slovenia captain alongside him in John van t Schips squad. Its great. Obviously been training with him for the past couple of weeks and I know him from the Premier League so hes a good player, and a great addition to the squad, he said. Hes a good guy.
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Duff talks up good guy Koren after Citys 5-0 romp

Wed, 20/08/2014 - 15:14
Koren, 33, was sharp and impressive during the first half of Melbourne City's 5-0 thrashing of Hume City in a pre-season friendly at Broadmeadows Valley Park. David Williams and Patrick Kisnorbo scored first-half goals for John van 't Schip's side before Marc Marino, Stefan Mauk and trialist Stefan Zinni added efforts after the break. Duff, who played just over a half, is delighted to have former Hull City and Slovenia midfielder Koren alongside him in Melbourne. "It's great,” former Chelsea and Fulham winger Duff told Sportalpost-game “Obviously I've been training with him for the past couple of weeks and I know him from the Premier League. "He's a good player and a great addition to the squad. He's a good guy." Duff switched flanks throughout a high-tempo first half and twice went close to scoring, including being denied by goalkeeper Chris Oldfield in a one-on-one. Koren, playing in a number 10 role, had some nice touches and linked well with Duff. The former West Brom man looked fit and quick despite having had fewer than three weeks of pre-season training. It was Williams, the club's top goalscorer last season and starting up front, who opened the scoring. A long pass from Rob Wielaert created the chance before Williams bravely headed past an onrushing Oldfield, who crashed into him late. Kisnorbo, who ended the half as a striker, produced a finish fitting of a number nine in a one-on-one with Oldfield in the 43rd minute. A flurry of half-time changes, including Koren coming off, led to the match losing some intensity as the youngsters added some polish to the scoreline. Duff said the match practice was most important, with the A-League season still over seven weeks away. "I suppose you're expected to win so it's always funny like that," he said. "Obviously it wasn't the greatest of pitches or the light or what have you. "It's a good workout for the lads. It's all about getting minutes under your belt at this stage of the season. "It's a long pre-season so I'm sure we'll be fit by the start. It's a good workout and it's always nice to get goals and a win."
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Roar embraces prospect of 40-game season

Wed, 20/08/2014 - 02:51
The Roar could play up to 40 competitive games during the 2014-15 campaign, given their AFC Champions League and FFA Cup commitments alongside the A-League season. The figure is normal in Europe but a significant step-up for A-League clubs, given the size of squads in Australia and fitness programs undertaken. Brisbane won last season’s A-League premiership and championship while their closest opponents had to juggle ACL commitments. However, the Roar could face up to 11 extra matches this term (six in the ACL and five in the FFA Cup), if they go on a cup run, forcing a balancing act. Mulvey insisted the club was prepared and excited by the prospect of a hectic schedule, although he conceded playing his side’s first FFA Cup on the opposite side of the country wasn’t ideal. “I’d love a home game (next), I think we’ve done our travelling,” Mulvey said. “We couldn’t have come any further in Australia. “But the teams that are not in the Champions League would swap places with us in a heartbeat. We’ve embraced it. “We know how many games potentially we could play this year and we’ve planned accordingly.” Mulvey said Brisbane were hopeful of adding a couple of players “in the next couple of weeks” as part of their preparations for an extended campaign. The Roar’s major departures in the off-season have been Besart Berisha and Ivan Franjic. Macedonian hitman Mensur Kurtisi, who is seen as Berisha’s direct replacement, didn’t travel to Perth after an interrupted pre-season. Kurtisi linked up with the Roar in mid-July for a fortnight, but has only recently returned to training after getting married in his homeland and enjoying his honeymoon. Mulvey said Kurtisi, along with Matt McKay, Luke Brattan and Liam Miller who all didn’t travel, would be part of the 25-man squad to travel to Townsville on Friday for the four-team competition against Sydney FC, Newcastle Jets and Northern Fury. Jean Carlos Solorzano, who is competing with Kurtisi for a starting spot up front, came off the bench to make it three goals in two games with a strike against Stirling and Mulvey was pleased with his form. New signing Daniel Bowles stepped in for Franjic against Stirling and Mulvey said he did well after a slow start. Meanwhile, Mulvey also added he felt the change of venue had helped his side. Stirling were forced to play the match at the Western Australia Athletics Stadium not their home ground Macedonia Park, due to inadequate floodlights. “We were helped by the fact the fans were about 40 metres from the ground so they couldn’t affect the atmosphere which negated the home ground advantage,” Mulvey said. Bayswater City will take on Melbourne Victory at the same venue on Wednesday, after the floodlights at their home ground, Frank Drago Reserve, were also deemed inadequate.
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Stirling work but Roar prove too good

Wed, 20/08/2014 - 00:25
A first half goal to Henrique, and second half strikes to Corey Brown, Matt Smith and Jean Carlos Solorzano made it an easy night for the reigning A-League champions. The Lions came close to snatching an early lead when Hayden Doyle hit the woodwork on 10 minutes. Roar took until the half-hour mark to unlock the Lions' stubborn defence when Henrique cleared a goalmouth scramble with a delightful overhead kick. It was a bright start for the home side, but after the break the floodgates opened as two-time Johnny Warren medallist Thomas Broich imposed himself on the game. Corey Brown doubled Brisbane's lead on 55 minutes before skipper, Smith, headed home off a pinpoint cross from Broich just after the hour. On 68 minutes a free kick by Dimi Petratos bounced back off the post and fell straight to substitute Solorzano who had a simple tap in to bring up Roar's fourth. Moses Kalau looked lively for the WA lads and came close to snatching a late consolation goal. Stirling Lions - 0 Brisbane Roar - 4 (Henrique 30' Brown 55' Smith 62' Solorzano 68')
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Brisbane Roar unveil new home kit

Tue, 19/08/2014 - 16:48
The reigning A-League champions have gone for a traditional look, with a simple design, clean lines and in Roar’s trademark orange. Home state Queensland gets a nod with the state featured on the jersey’s side, while the new crest is badged on the front and sleeve. The club recently announced a new deal with iconic football kit manufacturer, Umbro, for the next four A-League seasons. Umbro will provide playing and training kits for Roar’s A-League, W-League and National Youth League teams. Brisbane’s Managing Director Sean Dobson spoke highly of partnership. “Umbro has a strong heritage in our sport and it’s fitting that on the 10 year anniversary of the club’s inception that we partner with such an iconic football brand,” Dobson said. Umbro Australia Brand Manager Ryan Pittaway said the partnership marks a special milestone in the brand’s history. “Umbro celebrates our 90th birthday this year, so to partner with the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions in their tenth anniversary year definitely adds to the excitement of the occasion,” Pittaway said.
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