Bite-sized news for you to chew over - Glory finish tour of South Africa on a high, Popovic denies Wanderers signings and much more
Perth Glory have finished their three-match tour of South Africa on a high, defeating Premier Soccer League outfit Bidvest Wits 2-0 on Tuesday. Goals from Dean Heffernan and Billy Mehmet did the job for Ian Ferguson's team, ensuring Glory ended their tour with two wins and a loss. Ferguson was pleased with his men's showing at Mbombela Stadium, and believes the tour has proved crucial for Perth's preparations for the 2012-13 campaign. "We dominated the first 35 minutes, played some good stuff and scored two cracking goals that I was really pleased with. Then, in the second-half they put a lot more pressure on us, we made a lot of changes and lost our fluency a bit, but although they had a lot of possession, they hardly penetrated us until right at the end when Danny [Vukovic, goalkeeper] made a great save. Apart from that I was very happy with the fitness levels we showed bearing in mind we have had these three games in a short space of time. With the new players coming in, it was also important to build camaraderie and we’ve done that as well."
Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic has denied the club has signed Adam D'Apuzzo and Jason Trifiro, and has stressed he will not be rushed into adding to his squad. Ahead of their second trial match on Wednesday, against Blacktown Spartans, Popovic has just nine contracted players, despite reports former Newcastle Jets defensive utility D'Apuzzo and South Melbourne midfielder Trifiro - both among a host of trialists - had been added to the squad. But Popovic shot down those claims: "They haven't signed," he told Four Four Two Australia. "No one has signed, we're still on the same nine players. Those boys are back for another game because they did well last week and decisions will be made on them on Thursday or Friday." The Daily Mail, meanwhile, have linked the A-League's newest club with a move for experienced striker Dino Kresinger, who scored five goals in 24 appearances in the 2011-12 Croatian top-flight with HNK Cibalia.
Brisbane Roar striker Besart Berisha tasted success in his first season in the A-League - and now he wants more. The charismatic Albanian's league-leading 21 goals helped Roar take out the 2011-12 A-League title, and the 27-year-old wants more of the same when the new campaign kicks off in October. "I had a good season last year but now I want to reach the next level," he told The World Game. "I'd love our fans to see the best Besart Berisha and by this I mean I want to be more successful… I will not rest for one single second in a game. To win a grand final and scoring twice was something special because I'm not so good in finals. I was very happy and I can say that it was my biggest memory so far. But I want more success now."
The player in Brisbane Roar's goal in season 2012-13 will be the same but the name has changed, with Michael Theoklitos revealing he has shortened his surname via deed poll to 'Theo'. The former Melbourne Victory shot-stopper and three-time A-League goalkeeper of the year said :"Around the football traps, I've always been known as Michael Theo so I just thought, why not make it official? It's no big deal, I haven't changed my name completely, just shortened it. I've been thinking about it for a while and it was a decision I made on my own, it's really not so hard to do on deed poll. My signature has altered, slightly changed but that's pretty much it."