Falzon praises Perth squad after dramatic last day title triump
Report by Chris Caldwell
Perth SC coach Ramon Falzon was quick to praise his entire squad for their efforts throughout the Playstation 4 National Premier Leagues WA campaign, which culminated with a dramatic final day title triumph at Sorrento.
In what will go down in club history as a memorable finish to a forgettable match, Sorrento skipper Daryl Platten’s 73rd minute own goal was enough to seal top spot for the Dorrien Gardens outfit.
Saturday morning leaders Inglewood United suffered a 1-0 home defeat to ECU Joondalup to ensure it was Falzon’s men celebrating at the final whistle.
Having suffered a 2-0 reverse at home to Inglewood a week earlier, it looked as though Perth’s title hopes had all but gone.
But after grinding out a fortunate win at Percy Doyle Reserve to clinch the crown, Falzon was keen to give credit to all of his players, who helped end a long wait for the club.
“We felt like we’d given it away but after the disappointment of losing to Inglewood we needed a reaction and we got it today,” he said.
“Credit to the boys because we had a lot of players missing throughout the season. We never had our strongest eleven out there but whoever played always made sure to perform and I think that’s been the secret – 18 players just focused on doing their job.
“Personally, this means a lot. This is my first year at Perth and my ambition was always to win trophies and while it didn’t work out my first two years [while manager of Balcatta], it has worked out in the third year.
“It’s been a long wait for the club because it was five years ago they last won the top four or five, which was the most important trophy then. But the actual league, it’s been 11 years, so a long wait and from my side, this being my first year, it’s been worth the wait.”
Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell, meanwhile, was left disappointed by a season that promised much in phases but ultimately failed to deliver.
Sorrento dominated possession and created the better chances against a Perth side, who finished the game with 10 men after top scorer, Gustavo Catarcione was dismissed for two bookable offences.
However, a combination of visiting keeper, Francis Soale, poor finishing, Alex Morgan’s harshly ruled out 10th minute header and Platten’s unfortunate touch on Matthew Milenkovic’s cross left them without a place in the coveted top four.
“Overall we’re bitterly disappointed because one point in the end would have got us into the top four,” Harnwell said. “I felt we deserved all three but we didn’t take the chances when they came our way.
“We’re not in the finals, which is probably a little disappointing, but the start and finish we had to the season was first class. We just lost our way a bit in the middle and that’s what ultimately cost us.
“But we’ll rebuild because this is a club that wants to be successful and I have to make sure we achieve that.”
Perth SC 1 (OG 73min)
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Percy Doyle Reserve
Referee: Tom Glanavovic
Assistant referees: Gabriele Merlacco and Brian McDonald
Sorrento: 1. James MORGAN, 6. Daryl PLATTEN (Cpt), 7. Alan MORGAN, 8. Ryan PEARSON, 9. Sean CANHAM, 11. Tim HILL, 13. Steven MCDONALD, 14. Matthew SPARROW, 16. Niccolo SABATINI, 17. Reece VITTIGLIA, 20. Brad MCDONALD (5. Billy QUINNCROFT, 70).
Substitutes not used: 4. Sean KILKELLY, 18. Jordan BROWN, 27. Brody KENNEDY, 60. Sam HERBISON.
Yellow card: Sabatini, 63.
Red cards: Nil.
Perth SC: 1. Francis SOALE, 2. Alex SILLA, 4. Adrian MADASCHI (Cpt), 7. Aleksandar JOVIC, 9. Gustavo CATARCIONE, 10. Nicholas AMBROGIO, 11. Matthew MILENCOVIC, 12. Jordan DE LEO, 13. Rocco PIAZZATA, 14.Dino TOPCAGIC (17, Francesco FURFARO, 62), 15. Harley ORR.
Substitutes not used: 3. Vasco DA SILVA, 8. Paul ZIMMARINO, 16. Thomas JEBB, 23. Daniel PASSARELLI.
Yellow cards: Catarcione, 60 and 89.
Red cards: Catarcione, 89.