The State League Division Two will be tight in 2017, with a strong recruitment drive set to bring entertaining football to WA.
Balga finished third on the league ladder last season and will be looking to go one step further in 2017, but a disappointing Night Series and an early exit from the FFA Cup has given them cause for concern. Anton De Francesch will be important up front and Mile Petkovski at the back, but coach Bobby Taneski will be hoping the entire squad can find the form they had last season.
Quinns FC made a late charge up the table last season to finish fourth and new Coach Danny Hill will look to the experience of former Sorrento defender Danny Cain, who will skipper the side, and keeper Adam Bowers to guide his side.
Swan United has been on the decline since dropping from the Premier League in 2012, but Matt Debarro believes he has a side that can start their return in 2017. Striker John Monterosso and midfielder Aaron Colli will be vital for the Swan Valley Club.
Former Perth SC Coach Graham Normanton returns to WA football as the new coach at Kingsway Olympic. Kingsway were one of the strongest sides in WA in the late 70’s early 80’s, winning the Premier League title in 1978 and 1980. Normanton’s experience has attracted some talented players to the club, as they look to consolidate this season after a disappointing eighth place finish last season.
Another club looking to bounce back is Morley Windmills. The Wotton Reserve side won the Premier League in 1961 and 1973, but they have drifted since being relegated in 1979. Coach John Castrilli is trying to guide the club back and improve on last season’s seventh place finish, with former Armadale defender Mitch Castrilli back from injury.
Melville City begin their sixth season in the division, and last season’s fifth place was their best finish. Coach Gavin Brown has moulded an experienced squad with key forwards Simon El Charmi and Christian Long, while former Inglewood United defender David McNally is vital at the back.
The Kelmscott Roos were the big improvers last season. After two season’s finishing bottom of the table, coach Chris Bates turned their fortunes around and they finished a creditable ninth. Darren Kingston has joined the team this season, while Owen Curtis is another key player the coach will rely on.
Wanneroo dropped from fourth in 2015 to 11th last season, but the appointment of coach Tim Kanter half way through last season saw an improvement in results. A good night series has given them confidence going forward. Meanwhile, Curtin University have finished 10th on the table for the last two seasons and they are hoping new coaching staff will help them improve this year.
2016 was a season to forget for the Shamrock Rovers, and they finished bottom of the table but due to the restructure of the league they were given a lifeline. They won the First Division title in 2014 and new coach Rob Richards will be looking for an improvement from his side in 2017.
Newly-promoted Gwelup Croatia will play in the State League for the first time after winning the Sunday Amateur league title last season. New coach Aleks Vrteski has assembled a strong squad of players, including many who have played at NPL level, and they will be strong contenders this season.
First round Fixtures:
Saturday April 8
Melville City v Morley Windmills – John O’Connell Reserve, 3pm
Balga v Shamrock Rovers – Princess Road Reserve, 3pm
Swan United v Kelmscott Roos – Swan Italian Club, 3pm
Wanneroo City v Curtin University – Wanneroo Reserve, 3pm
Quinns v Gwelup Croatia – Gumblossom Park, 3pm