Sunday, January 31, 2010

Perth Glory reach A-League finals for the first time

Perth Glory reached the finals of the A-League competition by beating the visiting Central Coast Mariners 3-1 at ME Bank Stadium in Perth this evening.

It was the first time a side from the west of the continent has reached the A-League finals.

Glory rocked the Mariners with a goal in the opening minute by Daniel McBreen, who ran on to a long ball out of defence and beat defender Chris Doig before shooting home.

In the 13th minute, McBreen struck again after great work down the right by Scott Neville, who beat Andrew Clark on the byline and set up his team-mate for a tap-in.

In the first minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half, Andrija Jukic glanced home a shot by Andy Todd to make it 3-0 at the break.

Substitute Adam Kwasnik pulled a goal back for the visitors four minutes after the resumption.

Nik Mrdja headed a right-wing cross down at the far post and Kwasnik netted with his first touch of the match.

“We set ourselves the task of reaching sixth and we got fourth,” said Glory’s captain, Chris Coyne.

“It was a great start, with big Danny working his socks off.

“He’s been such a welcome addition since he’s come here with his work ethic and being a target man.

“A great start.

“We just want to climb up now.

“We’ve got in the six, but we’ve not achieved anything yet.

“We’re just starting to get on a good roll and we’ve got to continue that.”

It was the tenth game without a win for the Central Coast Mariners, who are in eight place and unable to make the top-six.

“We’re pretty disappointed as it’s another one that probably got away,” said Mariners captain Alex Wilkinson.

“Conceding a goal so early doesn’t help.

“And then the second goal, as well pretty early, put us on the back foot big time.

“Apart from that, I thought we knocked the ball around pretty well, especially in the second half.

“They were kept pretty much in their own half for much of the time and catching us on the break a bit.

“We had a few chances to maybe draw level, but it wasn’t to be.”

Perth Glory were not at full strength with goalkeeper Tando Velaphi and captain Jacob Burns and Mile Sterjovski amongst the absentees.

Clarence and Zebras victors in friendlies

Clarence United beat Taroona 1-0 with a late goal by Ben Hamlett at Rokeby High School today in a pre-season friendly refereed by Dirk Gadd.

In the Reserves, refereed by John Meehan, Clarence ran out 8-1 winners.

“We were happy to have a hit-out,” said Clarence United coach, Andrew Brown.

“We did the same thing last year with Taroona. A great club and lovely people.

“Conditions weren’t the best, but both sides tried to play football, which was good.

“It was a really good chance to have a look at some of the fringe players.

“We had quite a few out, so it was great to give people an extended run.

“We thought it was beneficial anyway, and we were lucky enough to get Dirk Gadd to referee and he did a really good job.

“I don’t know how many players Taroona will get back in, but it’s only pre-season.”

In another friendly, Tilford Zebras beat Hobart United 8-1 at Sandown Park in a match refereed by Sean Collins.

Josh Thorpe hit a hat-trick for the Zebras, who conceded a soft goal to the Division One outfit.

Metro have a good record for youth development initiatives

Photos (Top to Bottom): Dominic Longo of Marconi at North Chigwell; Domenic Long at metro's coaching clinic at North Chigwell; The South Melbourne Hellas side at KGV Park; Vaughan Coveny, the South Melbourne striker and New Zealand international; Vaughan Coveny puts some youngsters through their paces at North Chigwell; Youngsters enjoy the tuition from Vaughan Coveny [PlessPix]

Metro are a club that have done more than their fair share of work in promoting juniors over the years.

For some reason, this has rarely been reflected in the club’s senior performances at the top level since the 1970s.

In the 1940s and 1950s, Metro were a force in southern soccer.

The club even had an Australian international goalkeeper in the late Harry Wise.

Metro have a huge catchment area for juniors, stretching north to Bridgewater and beyond, and to New Norfolk in the west.

The club have had some very good sides since their founding in 1942, but once the migrant clubs came to the fore in the 1960s, Metro moved into the shadows.

The club have always been a good second-tier outfit, but whenever they have been in the top flight, success has eluded them.

There have been the occasional upset wins over bigger rivals in the top flight, and there have been some trophy wins at second-tier level, but overall, Metro have usually just fallen short of the mark.

Former president and club stalwart Jim Mackinnon has tried to bring greatness to the club over the years with junior initiatives and by bringing imports from Scotland.

Some of the junior initiatives have been very successful, with interstate junior teams visiting North Chigwell for matches and Metro sending teams to Victoria.

Metro youngsters have also participated in Victorian tours overseas to places such as Singapore.

Coaching clinics have been conducted at North Chigwell by such luminaries as Dominic Longo, David Clarkson and Kiwi international Vaughan Coveny.

Metro even brought over South Melbourne Hellas one year for a match against a southern Tasmanian side at KGV Park.

The club has had many excellent players who went on to better things with more fashionable big-name clubs.

Metro remain a sleeping giant and their many supporters hope that success in the top flight will come one day.

What the neutrals must remember is that the club is doing its bit for the game in Tasmania, without necessarily receiving the same fanfare as some of the bigger names.

Short memories and a lack of appreciation of history can be a curse.


While on the topic of the development of the game in southern Tasmania, I would like to quote some statistics.

From 2006-2009, the number of male and female players between the ages of 20 and 24 has decreased by 2.7 per cent.

For the age group 35 to 45 years in this same period, there has been an increase in numbers of 10.6 per cent.

For players in the 26 to 30 years age group, the decline in numbers has been 12 per cent (321 down to 288).

For the age group 26 to 35, there has been a 12 per cent decrease (560 to 494).

The player registration fees in this period have increased by 35.6 per cent.

In addition, there are team nomination fees, payments to referees and ground fees that clubs have to meet, so life must be tough for club administrators.

Let’s look at what an average club may be up for in the Premier League if they are to field senior, reserve and under-19 sides, and employ a coach for each.

If the three coaches were to be paid $6,000 altogether, which is a reasonable amount, the total cost for the club when one factors in player registration fees and team nomination fees comes to $16,065.

That is $357 per player based on a squad of 45 players.

This does not include referees’ fees, ground hire and equipment costs.

Between 2006 and 2010, the cost of team nominations (Premier League, Premier League Reserves and Under-19s) has increased by 31.4 per cent (from $3626 to $4765).

Make what you will of the above statistics and decide for yourself about the health of the game.

South Hobart do double over Eagles

South Hobart did the double over New Town Eagles in two friendlies at Wellesley Park this afternoon.

In the reserves, South Hobart beat Eagles 6-0.

Jim Pennicott netted twice, as did Felix, while Andy King and Jai David grabbed a goal apiece.

In the seniors, South Hobart won 7-0 after leading 5-0 at the break.

Jonathon Lo scored twice and David Abbott, Kostas Kanakaris, Hugh Ludford, Colin Wain and Andy King once each.

New Town Eagles coach George Krambousanos said he had several key players missing, including Nathan Pitchford, Nick Ferrall and Jacob Malakoff.

But, Krambousanos was making no excuses.

“At least we played another Premier League side and the champions at that,” said Krambousanos.

“It was a good learning experience for us and South fielded virtually their strongest side.”

South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, said he was pleased with his team’s performance.

“Eagles had 30 players and they showed potential and I think they’ll improve on last season,” Morton said.