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State Leagues  

ACL: Wanderers book Champions League Final ticket

Within the opening minutes of the Asian Football Confederation Champions League Semi-Final, the Western Sydney Wanderers were on their way to cementing their place in Australian football history, as well as claiming an AFC Champions League Final position, with a 2-0 win over FC Seoul.

From a superb cross that was poorly defended by the Korean goalkeeper Yu Sanghun, the ball deflected into the feet of Western Sydney player Mateo Poljak, who had a clear shot and lobbed the ball into the net from long distance.


The Wanderers had pushed ahead early with the first goal etched into the memory of all the supporters, which was certainly a beautiful sight to behold.

The team from Western Sydney did not sit back following their goal, with Brendon Santalab receiving another opportunity to increase their lead soon after.

FC Seoul were gaining vast amounts of momentum as the game progressed, finding gaps in the Wanderers' defence to loop through which consequently earned Lee Woong-Hee the first yellow card of the game.

The 15th minute saw Santalab knocked down with the crowd erupting for a yellow card, but this was dismissed to continue the free-flowing vibe of the game.

The Semi-Final continued with heated passion with a late tackle by Wanderer Daniel Mullen, which was luckily not penalised by the referee and enabled a relatively successful corner from the Korean team.

The Wanderers continued their pursuit of increasing the score, with Mark Bridge making successful ground that was exploited on the counterattack led by FC Seoul’s strong attacking line.

Many of FC Seoul’s attempts on goal were perfectly on target, which enabled Ante Covic to shine in his role inside the goal.

The momentum before the conclusion of the first half certainly did not deteriorate, with a pinball-like scenario led by FC Seoul in the Wanderers' territory putting the entire stadium on edge until the Wanderers defence cleared the ball.

Kim Chi-Woo of FC Seoul must be acknowledged for his endless work in preventing Shannon Cole from getting the ball and agitating the entire crowd with his presence – certainly a standout from the Korean squad in the first half.

The second half saw Cha Du-Ri and Koh Myong-Jin try to drive the ball through the Wanderers solid defence from the onset, resulting in Molina Uribe receiving a yellow card for a very late tackle on Wanderers captain and crowd favourite Nikolai Topor-Stanley.

Labinot Haliti, who arguably had one of the best games in his career, created a miraculous cross that enabled Shannon Cole to head the ball in and raise the Wanderers' lead to 2-0.

Whilst the goal was spectacular, the post-goal celebration wasn’t. Shannon Cole’s back flip was certainly a fail and if anything, almost put his already injured wrist in danger once more.

But this was forgiven by the crowd who were in a moment of ecstasy, distracted by what the Wanderers could achieve in the Semi-Final.

The 2-0 lead by the Wanderers certainly sparked an energy that was missing by the Korean team with Molina Uribe making a momentous shot that just skimmed across the top of the crossbar; certainly a game changer if it went in.

However, the united Western Sydney Wanderers squad saw out the remainder of the game and once  again silenced their critics and achieved what was certainly perceived by the general media to be impossible.

The Wanderers proceed into the Asian Football Confederation’s Champions League Grand Final with their 2-0 victory over FC Seoul.

Ante Covic’s transformation during the off-season through examining his goalkeeping technique and turning into a modern day sweeper keeper was definitely shown, with some miraculous saves that showed that he was definitely in his best career-form yet.

Wanderers head coach Tony Popovic expressed his expected delight after all was said and done, running out of words for a side still in its preseason.

Popovic concluded that the final result is fantastic for Australian football, certainly cementing the Wanderers in Australian football history once again, a tremendous effort for Australia’s newest-oldest club.



Wanderers starting XI: Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (C), Shannon COLE, Labinot HALITI, Mateo POLJAK, Brendon SANTALAB, Brendan HAMILL, Iacopo LA ROCCA, Mark BRIDGE, Daniel MULLEN, Antony GOLEC and Ante COVIC (gk).

Wanderers Bench: Vitor SABA, Kwabena APPIAH, Yianni PERKATIS, Dean BOUZANIS, Jason TRIFIRO, Jaushau SOTIRIO and Daniel ALESSI.


FC Seoul starting XI: Kim JIN KYU (C), Lee WOONGHEE, Kim JUYOUNG, Cha DU RI, Kim CHIWOO, EVERTON Leandro Dos Santos Pinto, MOLINA Uribe, Park HEESEONG, Koh MYONGJIN, OSMAR Barba Ibanez and Yu SANGHUN.

FC Seoul bench: Kim YONGDAE, Cho HYOJIN, Go YOHAN, Kang SEUNGJO, Kim HYUNSUNG, Ko KWANG MIN, Lee SANGHYEOB.
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Bowles ready to Roar

After a two-year stint in Adelaide, Daniel Bowles is pumped to be back in Brisbane and playing under a familiar face for the reigning A-League champions.

The 22-year-old fullback has signed a two-year deal with the Brisbane Roar and is striving for a starting position alongside some of the A-League’s most established players.

Image provided by Brisbane Roar FC.
While a majority of the coaching staff has changed and several new players have been thrown into the mix since Bowles’ move to Adelaide, he said the current winning culture at the club is invaluable for the younger players.

“The Roar has always had a very strong culture and it’s been evident since I arrived back that it hasn’t changed,” Bowles said.

Brisbane’s recent success appears to be motivation for Bowles, who will set the bar high this season.

“I’d like to make my way into the first team and to do that I need to train hard and do all I can to impress the coaches."

Bowles’s excitement for the season ahead is clear as he looks to learn from some of his senior teammates.

“It’s great for myself and for any footballer to surround yourself with quality and experienced players,” he said.

“There’s so many good players at the club, Thomas Broich really is the best player in the A-League; I can’t wait to hopefully share the field with him.”

Bowles said his time in Adelaide attributed to his desire to continue to grow as a footballer.

“Moving away from home and away from friends and family you have to grow up a lot quicker, so I gave myself an opportunity to do that,” he said.

“You learn about the ups and downs of being a footballer and it makes you tougher and reinforces the reason you play.”

Bowles knows exactly what is expected of him, having played under head coach Mike Mulvey on several occasions throughout his football career, including time at the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) and soon after at Gold Coast United. Linking up with Mulvey yet again was a major factor in returning to the East Coast.

“Mike has coached me since I was young and I feel like we have a good relationship,” Bowles said.

“He can get the best out of me as a footballer and that was something that was a driving force for me coming back to Brisbane.”

The Roar will face Bowles' former club Adelaide United on October 12 as Bowles will be pushing for a first team spot in the club's season opener.
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Tara Andrews: The little things

We had our first away game in Round 3 and travelled up to the sunshine state to play Brisbane Roar. It’s always exciting playing away from home; you get to explore a new city and hang out with your mates before you play at an unfamiliar field in front of a not-so supportive crowd.

Game day was upon us and kick off was at 4pm this week. We had to check out of the hotel at 12pm so we had a couple of hours to kill. We all gathered in a meeting room, had some lunch, chilled out, talked tactics and watched some specific game footage from last week.


Our coach, Pete McGuinness, quickly showed us footage of when walked out onto the field, lined up and high fived each other, the smiles we had on our faces and also our huddle before kickoff when we were all laughing. We all had a bit of a laugh about the huddle because we were discussing whether to say ‘team’ or ‘Jets’ on the count of three so when we went to say, it half said ‘Jets’ and the others said ‘team'.  Kind of silly I know, but still funny.

We got to the field and checked out the pitch and heard all this cheering and chanting; naturally we thought it was all for us, but it wasn’t. We peaked over the hill to the field next to ours and realised it’s the Brisbane Roar’s men's team launch day. This was fuel for excitement and fire in the belly to beat them at their home field.

Back into the change rooms for our pregame talk and Pete mentioned the footage of our high fiving before the Melbourne game. He reminded us of the smiles on our faces while we performed the American tradition. Being reminded of having so much fun took me back to my early days of playing soccer when I had no worries, no pressure and you could just have fun playing a great sport with your best friends.

Sometimes as an elite athlete training all the time, constantly making sacrifices to achieve higher successes, you forget the initial motivation behind why you started playing and why you are still playing.

For me, it comes back to the passion, excitement and joy soccer brings me. When I have nights off training it hits me, I get bored and realise I really couldn’t live without playing soccer or sport in general. Some people don’t understand it but it is a lifestyle for all professional sports people and I’m sure nearly all would not choose a different lifestyle.

Off on a tangent but back to the all-important game against a team of players who have all played in or are currently squad members of the Matildas. The final whistle went and it was a 3-1 loss to us.

It was a good contest and we now know the level we have to be at to really make a mark in the W-League.


Tara Andrews is a long-time striker and current vice-captain for the Newcastle Jets, despite only being 20 years old, who recently spent time with the Colorado Pride and has represented Australia internationally with the Young Matildas. She holds the record for the most goals scored in a W-League match with four against Adelaide United. Keep up with Tara's weekly blogs throughout the 2014/15 Westfield W-League season here.
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W-League: Versatile Victory tames Canberra

Greater conviction in front of goal has seen the Melbourne Victory inflict on Canberra United the heaviest home loss in their history; the 4-2 loss is also United’s first of the season and moves the Victory above United on the W-League ladder.

In a 10 minute period that spanned the half-time break, the Melbourne Victory struck three goals to blow United out of the game. United bounced back to seize the momentum late in the game but ultimately fell short, as missed opportunities came back to hurt them.


With four different goal scorers, the match highlighted Melbourne’s attacking versatility.

The game turned the Victory’s way in the 38th minute when US import Christine Nairn was brought down in the penalty box by United defender Grace Field.

Lauren Barnes stepped up to the spot and finished with a perfect strike into the bottom right corner, giving Canberra keeper Chantel Jones no chance to save.

Captain Stephanie Catley doubled her side’s lead just five minutes later, getting onto the end of a Lisa De Vanna cross.

The Matildas striker then got herself onto the score card just minutes after the start of the second half as De Vanna got in behind the defence before catching Jones off her line with a delightful chip, leaving the home crowd in a state of shock.

Despite the three-goal deficit, United refused to give up, getting one goal back on the hour mark through American Lori Lindsey.

United could have easily had a second only two minutes later when Michelle Heyman had a one-on-one opportunity, electing to round Melbourne keeper Brianna Davey rather than shoot.
Heyman managed to evade Davey, but then lost control of the ball and saw it go harmlessly beyond the goal line for a goal kick.

That opportunity proved to be a perfect summary of United’s day, as Victory were far too clinical in front of goal finishing four of the five chances they had in the match.

Melbourne substitute Gema Simon scored her team’s fourth, knocking Ellie Brush off the ball before slotting her shot past Chantel Jones.

Canberra was rewarded for its never say die attitude with a goal in the final 10 minutes as Caitlin Munoz blasted home a finish from short range following a penalty area scuffle from a Lindsey corner.

However, the goal had little impact on the final result as the Victory ran away deserved winners.



CANBERRA UNITED: 1. Chantel Jones (GK), 5. Grace Field, 6. Caitlin Munoz, 7. Ellie Brush, 9. Grace Gill (3. Julia De Angelis 69’), 11. Michelle Heyman, 12. Sally Rojahn, 13. Nicole Begg, 14. Ashleigh Sykes, 16. Lori Lindsey, 22. Stephanie Ochs

Unused substitutes: 2. Catherine Brown, 18. Rebecca Kiting, 20. Melissa Maizels (GK)


MELBOURNE VICTORY: 1. Brianna Davey (GK), 2. Hannah Brewer, 5. Lauren Barnes, 7. Stephanie Catley, 8. Amy Jackson (17. Gulcan Koca 75’), 9. Racheal Quigley (6. Gema Simon 62’), 10. Christine Nairn, 11. Lisa De Vanna, 12. Ella Mastrantonio, 15. Emma Checker, 18. Elli Reed (Beatrice Goad 89’)

Unused substitutes: 20. Cassandra Dimovski (GK)
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W-League: Roar get first win of the season

After losses in the opening two rounds, Brisbane Roar flexed their muscle for the first time in 2014/15 to record a resounding 3-1 win over the Newcastle Jets in their Westfield W-League clash at Perry Park on Saturday.

Hayley Raso scored a classy double after Emily Gielnik had opened the scoring for the Roar while Rhali Dobson pulled a goal back for Newcastle in the second half.


The Roar took the lead when Gielnik, having received the ball from Kim Carroll, directed a looping shot into the top corner from just outside the D despite being closely marked and off-balance.

A slick left-sided move from Brisbane in the 21st minute resulted in a Gielnik cross which was met by Raso with a towering leap and dipping header that floated just over the crossbar.

A deep penetrating through ball soon after from Katrina Gorry sent Raso through and the pacey forward finished coolly under Claire Coelho to double the Roar’s advantage with 27 minutes gone.

In the 42nd minute Brisbane ‘keeper Nadine Angerer came out of her area and was rounded by The Football Sack’s Tara Andrews but the Jets’ striker was unable to direct her shot into the open net from a tight angle.

Raso nabbed an opportunistic second goal soon after the break when she was left alone at the back post to smash home a Gorry cross from the right.

Substitute Dobson turned on the afterburners to catch the Roar defence napping before placing her shot past Angerer to reduce the deficit.

Brisbane take on Canberra United away in their next match while Newcastle are away to Adelaide United.



Brisbane Roar: Nadine Angerer (gk), Laura Alleway, Clare Polkinghorne, Brooke Spence (Angela Beard 61’), Hayley Raso (Larissa Crummer 77’), Kim Carroll, Elise Kellond-Knight, Katrina Gorry, Vedrana Popovic (Ayesha Norrie 85’), Tameka Butt, Emily Gielnik

Unused Substitutes: Kate Stewart (gk)


Newcastle Jets: Claire Coehlo (gk), Georgia Yeoman-Dale, Hayley Crawford, Ashley Spina, Katherine Reynolds, Angela Salem, Tori Huster, Amber Neilson (Cassidy Davis 63’), Tara Andrews (Rhali Dobson 63’), Emily van Egmond, Grace McIntyre (Elizabeth Copus-Brown 81’)

Unused Substitutes: Renee Rudder (gk)
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W-League: Glory stay perfect with win over Lady Reds

Perth Glory maintained their 100% start to the Westfield W-League season with a convincing 3-1 win over Adelaide United.

A goal of the season contender from Elisa D'Ovidio set them on their way just before half time, with Matildas Sam Kerr and Kate Gill also finding the net and Lisa-Marie Woods scoring for the visitors.


It was an even opening to the game with the hosts looking to play out from the back through Alanna Kennedy and Shelina Zadorsky, while skipper Kristy Moore was her usual lively self for the Lady Reds.

The first real chance fell to Sam Kerr who cut in from the wing but her effort was wide of the near post.

Kerr was causing all sorts of problems down the left hand side before switching to the right where she latched on to a pass from Gill and rattled the post with a well struck shot.

Glory thought they had taken the lead in the 34th minute as Gill volleyed past Melissa Barbieri in the Adelaide goal, however she was deemed to be in an offside position.

Gill turned provider minutes later when she squared the ball to an unmarked Kerr six yards out but she somehow blazed over with the goal at her mercy.

At the other end, former Glory player Lisa-Marie Woods got her head up inside the penalty area and fired in a low shot that went wide of Mackenzie Arnold’s right hand post.

Right on half time, a strong one handed save from Barbieri denied D’Ovidio but from the resulting corner the Glory playmaker opened the scoring.

The ball was cleared just outside the area and D’Ovidio took one touch on her chest before unleashing a superb volley that flew into the top corner.

Within a minute of the restart, however, United drew level when Arnold was caught out by a long rang effort from Woods.

Whatever Ross Aloisi said to his players at half time seemed to work as the Lady Reds took the game to Glory in the opening stages of the second period.

However, they were rocked by another goal of real quality as Sarah Carroll whipped in a low cross from the right that was turned home by Kerr with a neat finish.

Glory's third goal arrived just before the hour mark in bizarre fashion as the ball struck Gill inside the six yard box and looped into the net, wrong footing Barbieri.

That moment of fortune took a lot of the sting out of the game and seemed to deflate the visitors, with Glory re-asserting their dominance and looking to add to their tally.

The attacking trio of Caitlin Foord, Gill and Kerr will cause problems for any defence in the W-League and it was Foord who almost added a fourth with a shot that was well parried by Barbieri.

A raking ball over the top of the Adelaide defence from Gill found the head of Kerr but Barbieri was equal to the effort.

United had a late chance to reduce their arrears, however Dylan Holmes' drive from outside the penalty area went harmlessly wide.

In the end, Glory were good value for the three points which keeps them level with Sydney FC at the top of the ladder.



Perth Glory: 1. Mackenzie ARNOLD, 2. Sarah CARROLL, 4. Bronwyn STUDMAN, 6. Alanna KENNEDY, 9. Caitlin FOORD, 12. Kathryn GILL, 13. Elisa D’OVIDIO, 14. Collette MCCALLUM, 15. Shelina ZADORSKY, 17. Marianna TABAIN, 20. Samantha KERR.


Subs: 5. Shannon MAY, 7. Gabrielle MARZANO, 8. Shawn BILLAM, 18. Gabrielle DAL BUSCO.

Adelaide United: 1. Melissa BARBIERI, 4. Lauren STEER, 6. Dylan HOLMES, 7. Katrine PEDERSEN, 8. Emily CONDON, 9. Lisa MARIE-WOODS, 11. Isabel HODGSON, 12. Daila-Tais BORG, 15. Jenna MCCORMICK, 16. Katie HOLTHAM, 23. Kristy MOORE.

Subs: 10. Alexandra CHIDIAC, 17. Tiarn POWELL, 18. Georgia CAMPAGNALE, 20. Sarah WILLACY.
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W-League: Sky Blues outclass Wanderers

The Sydney Derby is certainly one of the highlights of the W-League season as a outstanding crowd of 3084 people saw the Wanderers falling very short on making their mark on the game against their rivals from the east, going down 2-0 to Sydney FC.

The Sky Blues had early attempts at goal and held possession from the opening moments and set the tone for the remainder of the game.


Keelin Winters from the Wanderers must be credited for her extensive role in attempting to add to the Wanderer’s scoreboard, which saw a great opportunity to Hannah Beard to open the game with the Wanderers leading which sadly fell flat.

Despite such a great opportunity for the team from the west, Sydney FC was able to secure a goal in the 12th minute thanks to Jasmyne Spencer.

Shamiran Khamis, on her debut as goalkeeper for the Wanderers, was certainly struggling to get comfortable for a large-portion of the game, subsequently resulting a huge amount of pressure being placed on the Wanderers defensive line.

Defence was becoming an increasing issue for the Wanderers as the game progressed, with a serious improvement needed for their next game against Perth Glory.

This was seen explicitly by the large gap between the Wanderers midfielders and defenders that led to minor errors that Sydney FC were able to exploit.

This reliance placed on the Wanderers defence saw Linda O’Neill receive her first yellow card of the match after her attempt at stopping Chloe Logarzo went horribly wrong.

Winters once again provided a clear ball to Michelle Carney, which was once again short of changing the score.

Victoria Guzman, also on her starting debut for the Wanderers, shot right above the goalkeeper’s box from a ball from Jessica Seaman which saw a repeat of the Wanderers unable to convert opportunities to goals.

Sydney was evidently the more polished side throughout the first half, holding possession and providing minimal errors that left the Wanderers frantically searching for any opportunity to add to the scoreboard.

The second half saw Helen Petinos rise to the challenge of changing the score, which sat at 1-0, creating a plethora of opportunities for the Wanderers that reflected the fighting spirit of the W-League side to challenge their eastern rivals.

Sydney increase its lead to 2-0 thanks to Amy Harrison, who soon after has another attempt only to bounce off the very top of the net.

Substitutions were made soon after as the Wanderers had Lorena Budgen coming on for Demi Koulizakis while Sydney later took suit with Ellyse Perry coming on for Jasmyne Spencer.

The Wanderers continued to make efforts to attribute to the increasing scoreboard, but Sydney's stellar defence continue to prevent any opportunities from occurring.

Sydney became increasingly threatening as the game progressed, forcing the Wanderers to resort to unclean tactics that forced O’Neill to receive her second yellow card for tacking Logarzo once again, consequently rulling her out against Perth Glory in the Wanderers next game.

The Wanderers' inability to hold onto the ball and make clean passes, which could perhaps be attributed to the newly formed squads inability to communicate with each other on the field, lead to the squad lacking uniformity and cohesion.

Substitutions were made by both sides in the final moments with Rachael Soutar coming on for Helen Petinos whilst Sydney replace Nicola Bolgar with Olivia Price.

A desperate scramble by both sides to add to the final score was seen through the additional four minutes added onto the clock, with Sydney providing a decent chance which was just wide of further escalating the Sky Blues' lead.

The final score sat at 2-0, with questions being raised about the Wanderer’s side's three losses in a row suggesting that there needs to be colossal change or improvement in their defensive line-up with hopes that the experience given to those who debuted only attribute to their further growth and development in the W-League.

The Western Sydney Wanderers side will next take on Perth Glory on October 5 as they hope to end their current losing streak.



Western Sydney Wanderers FC starting line-up: Caitlin COOPER, Jessica SEAMAN, Helen PETINOS, Kendall JOHNSON, Keelin WINTERS, Michelle CARNEY, Hannah BEARD, Demi KOULIZAKIS, Linda O’NEILL, Victoria GUZMAN and Shamiran KHAMIS (GK).

Wanderers substitutes: Rachael SOUTAR, Lorena BUGDEN, Tia GAVIN and Trudy BURKE (GK).


Sydney FC starting line-up: Teresa POLIAS (C), Alesha CLIFFORD, Jasmyne SPENCER, Servet UZUNLAR, Nicola BOLGER, Amy HARRISON, Renee ROLLASON, Natalie TOBIN, Chloe LOGARZO, Samantha JOHNSON and Casey DUMONT (GK).

Sydney FC bench: Ellyse PERRY, Trudy CAMILLERI, Olivia PRICE and Alyssa HARRIS (GK).
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On-loan Mariner Vernes keen to prove himself

22-year-old Richárd Vernes seems to have stumbled upon the good life here in Australia.

Having landed on the Central Coast just over a month ago, the Hungarian midfielder is excited for the 2014/15 A-League season to begin and is determined to show Australian fans just what he's made of.


The former youth international is on a two-season loan from Hungarian outfit Budapest Honvéd, where he was averaging one goal every four games. Needless to say, Vernes is keen to keep the ball rolling into the back of the net for his new squad.

He says he'd like to see the Central Coast Mariners go all the way to the top of the A-League ladder and to the finals of the Asian Champions League.

“For the team, first, I want to win always; I heard that we have a good chance to win and we want to win the championship," Vernes said.

"I've never played in the Asian Champions League before, and want to end up at least in the first four."

His desire to win is mirrored by the rest of the young squad, of which Vernes says there is a lot of talent and dedication.

“We have a good team, good players and good staff. In Hungary, the quality is good but here everybody works harder, everybody gives 100 per cent."

The young squad will certainly be put through their paces in the 2014/15 season as they come up against more experienced players; however, Vernes says that morale is high and that he's started to bond with his teammates off-field, as well.

“We sometimes go for coffee, or play Xbox and Playstation and hang out together."

Coach Phil Moss has expressed how pleased he is with Vernes, both on and off the field, telling CCMariners.com.au: “Richi is a fantastic guy. Certainly from my point of view, he'll bring a lot of quality to our team.”

The feelings seem to be mutual, with Vernes saying that he hopes his stint with the Mariners will inspire other Hungarian players to come to Australia.

“All my former teammates text me or call me asking how I'm feeling here, and I always say positive things,” Vernes said.

“Some teammates want to come here as well because in Europe everyone has heard that Australia is the best country in the world. It's a good life and good football.

“Also, there are beautiful girls, too."

Despite a somewhat slow start to training, Vernes is excited about getting his boots dirty.

“I missed the first two weeks due to sickness and I was a little injured, so it was hard starting, but now I feel good."

It's certainly down to business for the Hungarian midfielder if he wants to secure himself a spot in Phil Moss' starting 11.

“I will try to be in the first 11, but right now we don't know, everyone is fighting for their place.

"I have some weaknesses like everybody else which I want to improve on."

Vernes is looking toward the future without any definite plans. Although his contract is for two A-League seasons, he says he doesn't know where the road will take him.

“Maybe if I play good here I can go to a higher level... but, if I feel good and everything is alright here and I'm given a good option, I'd like to stay.”

Richárd Vernes will be hoping to earn selection in the Mariners' opening game of the 2014/15 A-League season at home against the Newcastle Jets on October 11.
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W-League: Adelaide can become a force

The Westfield W-League is fast becoming one of the premier women’s football competitions on the planet, seemingly able to continuously bring over top level European footballers for Australia’s summer seasons.

Apart from their skill and understanding of football, W-League foreign imports raise the standard to which the game in played in Australia, and perhaps most importantly, provide young female footballers a wonderful tutelage in the art of the world game.


Enter the Lady Reds, Adelaide’s W-League outfit which, if you ask those on the inside, is on the way up in their quest for football glory and who are blessed with some wonderful European talent.

Kristy Moore, Adelaide’s experienced and highly-respected captain, has been capped 12 times by England and seven times by the Matildas.

She believes her team is one to watch out for this season, despite the fact that they are winless from their first two games.

“We knew it was going to be tough in the beginning because we didn’t have a big pre-season,” Moore said in a candid interview following her team’s loss to Canberra United on Sunday.

“But we’ve got players that are going to get better as the league goes on, with the younger ones making their debut, so there’s plenty of potential.

“Give us three or four weeks and we’ll show you what we can do."

For those who watched Adelaide play against Canberra United at Adelaide Shores on Sunday, the potential Moore speaks of is easy to spot.

The Lady Reds, for the first 20 minutes of the game were the team on top, and this was against a side that was expected to be crowned victors with ease. While things evened up during the middle stages of the game, the Reds' defence kept the scores deadlocked on zero at the break.

Adelaide has a supremely fit and versatile defender n Jemma McCormick who can go up front when needed. With Jessica Wharepouri running along the right flank, there is pace to burn to create chances.

But perhaps most exciting for Moore and Lady Reds fans is Emily Condon, who, at only 16, is the youngest to ever don the red strip and is already a W-League goalscorer.

Mix this in with Katie Holtham, Katrine Pedersen, both of whom are experienced international cap-winners,  it appears that the right mix is there from the outset.

With this in mind, one could be forgiven for asking why Adelaide has two losses after the first two rounds, but Moore says that calm heads are needed to reverse their fortunes.

“When we got back and watch the Sydney [loss in round 1], we can see that we had most of the possession," she explained.

"We were getting 15 passes together, but then we’d panic and wouldn’t take our chance.

“What we need is to play smarter football because we are a good side and we can win football matches.”

Whether Moore’s prediction that within a month Adelaide’s season will be on track is correct remains to be seen, but for those on the sideline, the Lady Reds are putting on airs and in professional sport, that’s half the battle won.
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W-League: Glory recruit Kennedy at home in defence

Perth Glory centre-back Alanna Kennedy would love nothing more than to reclaim a midfield role, but she knows her best chance of playing in next year’s World Cup lies in defence.

Kennedy started her professional career as a midfielder with Sydney FC in 2010 and earned her first Matildas cap less than two years later following some impressive performances for the Newcastle Jets.


Sydney-raised Kennedy returned to the Sky Blues for the 2012/13 season, but soon found herself in the unfamiliar role of marshalling the team’s defence from centre-back.

It is a position the 19-year-old has grown to love and call her own over the past three years, despite her desire to move up the ground and play a more attacking role.

“I’m just happy to be playing to be honest so I don’t mind too much what position it is, but if I had my way I’d love to be playing in the midfield,” Kennedy said.

“You’re on the ball all the time; it’s a very important position and I enjoy playing there, but I’ve been moved down back, which I’m happy with as well.

"I’m learning new things there and at the moment that’s probably the best position for me in terms of the national team and the W-League.”

Being confined to a defensive role didn’t stop Kennedy from sneaking forward and scoring a goal in Glory’s 2-1 win over Newcastle at Magic Park last Saturday.

It was Kennedy’s first goal in the Westfield W-League in almost two years and reminded her just how sweet it is for a defender to put the ball in the back of the net.

Kennedy’s partnership with Canadian international Shelina Zadorsky in central defence has been integral to Perth’s unbeaten start to the season after deciding to head west to play alongside good friends Sam Kerr, Caitlin Foord and Mackenzie Arnold.

The quartet’s arrival has placed high expectations on Glory this season, but Kennedy said it was not something she or her fellow Matildas were concerned about.

“Given the success we’ve had so far, that’s probably taken a little bit of the pressure off our shoulders rather than having the team talked up because of all the Matildas in the team,” Kennedy said.

“I think everyone in the team is an equal and I’ve told a few people in general conversation how well this team gets along so things like that don’t matter.

"There’s no difference myself and any of the local Perth players, except we try to share our experiences and knowledge with the girls who haven’t experienced as much as us.”

A win over Adelaide United at Ashfield Sports Club on Saturday will ensure the club’s best ever start to a W-League campaign, but Kennedy said coach Jamie Harnwell was continually reminding his players not to get complacent.

“We set a goal not to concede any goals on the weekend and unfortunately that didn’t happen,” Kennedy said.

“Jamie’s definitely trying to make sure we don’t get too ahead of ourselves. There’s lots of small things which he likes to hammer into us because he doesn’t want us lose concentrate and give other teams a sniff.”

Kennedy, who has 15 international caps to her name, said she was keen to join an overseas club during the off-season in the lead-up to next year’s World Cup in Canada to enhance her prospects of being included in new coach Alen Stajcic’s squad.

“I just think I need to get a little bit more exposure, especially with the World Cup coming up, just to get my name out there a little bit more,” she said.

“I’d love to travel the world with my football, whether that be in the US, Asia or Europe, so that’s definitely a goal of mine.”
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