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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 02 November 2019
SPORT 26 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 2 NOVEMBER 2019 Greens farewell talisman Tyson Reigning NPL Champions Bentleigh Greens will prepare for season 2020 without its talented number 10, Tyson Holmes. After five successful seasons together, the club announced earlier this week that it was releasing its talismanic midfielder who turns 32 next week. Holmes joined the Greens for the 2015 season from rivals South Melbourne after playing 58 games for the Lakesiders in two seasons and helping them win the 2014 NPL Championship. Championship success seems to follow Holmes everywhere he goes. Prior to coming to Victoria, the Queenslander was a key player at Sunshine Coast Fire helping it to three Queensland Premier League titles. He repeated that feat in his five seasons at the Greens, serving the club with distinction and helping it win three NPL Championships, a minor Premiership and two Dockerty Cups. His talent was recognised with the 2018 NPL Gold Medal award for the league's best player. With his superior technique, intelligent play, and his high work rate, Holmes stood out and was an integral part of the Greens' possession based game style. An on-field leader, who was also a positive role model for younger players, the number 10 shirt will be hard to fill at Kingston Heath. No doubt there will be a number of NPL clubs chasing his services. News of his departure, overshadowed to some extent the announcement of the latest two additions to coach Nick Tolios' Bentleigh Greens squad for 2020. Former Bentleigh player, winger Kieran Dover returns to Kingston Heath following stints at fellow NPL clubs Green Gully and more recently, Dandenong Thun- DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Melbourne A-League derby headlines Round 4 GEORGE STOGIANNOU Last weekend's round of ALeague matches produced close matches across the breadth of the round, with just single goal winning margins in each of the five games, indicating an evenness in the competition. Adelaide United has the bye this round which starts with the Friday night fixture between Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets. Tyson Holmes with one of the many Championship Trophies he has helped his teams win. PHOTO: FOOTBALL VICTORIA der. Dover joins another new arrival at the Heath, 20-year-old Queensland forward Finn Beakhurst, who played on the wing for Port Melbourne Sharks in season 2019. Meanwhile, the new signings continue at Lakeside where South announced the return of former championship player Luke Pavlou. The 23-year-old defensive midfielder originally joined the club from Queensland playing 39 matches under Chris Taylor in season 201718, before departing for Oakleigh Cannons where he re-united with coach Taylor. Now he returns to anchor the South Melbourne midfield. Also announced this week, is the arrival in December of overseas import Stephen Folan. The 27-year-old Irish central defender joins after several seasons with Irish Premier League outfit Dundalk FC. As a youth player, Folan spent some time at EPL club Newcastle United, playing for its reserves team. Another central defender on the move, is Ajdin Fetahagic, aged 22. The former South Melbourne youth player, will be a Heidelberg United player next season, having signed with the Bergers after spending last season at Kingston City. Saturday's matches kick off in West Sydney. WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS V BRISBANE ROAR 5.00 PM, SATURDAY 2 NOVEMBER, BANKWEST STADIUM The Wanderers are the only team with a perfect record after the first three rounds which has them sitting on top of the table. A lot of the build-up ahead of Roar's visit centres around the two coaches, Markus Babbel and Robbie Fowler both former team mates at Liverpool FC. Last week, the Wanderers treated their fanatical fans to a long awaited derby win over Sydney FC. Although a little fortunate not to concede, they defended strongly against a strong Sydney team, and one expects them to go on the front foot a lot more against the Roar. Mitch Duke is the main goal scoring avenue for the Wanderers so far this season, but he can expect strong support from Bundesliga recruit Nicolai Muller who looks set to Perth Glory’s Chris Ikonomidis (R) continued his goal scoring form against Phoenix last week and celebrated with team mate Bruno Fornaroli. PHOTO: AAP make his Wanderers debut off the bench. Tip: Wanderers win MELBOURNE VICTORY V WESTERN UNITED, 7.30 PM, SATURDAY 2 NOVEMBER, MARVEL STADIUM This could be the match of the round with Western United featuring in its second Melbourne derby against the team with the biggest membership in the land. A lot of the prematch publicity centres around Western United striker Beshart Berisha's playing against his former club. If he scores, one imagines he'll keep the celebrations mute. United comes up against a Victory side which despite picking up its first win of the season last week, suffered an injury blow to its attacking stocks with the loss of goal scorer Andrew Nabbout to a hamstring injury. South Sudanese international and former Heidelberg United star striker, King Kenny Athiu could start the game in Nabbout's place. For Western United, defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis receives a recall to the match day squad. Tip: Low score draw MELBOURNE CITY V WELLINGTON PHOENIX, 4.00 PM, SUNDAY 4 NOVEMBER, AAMI PARK City bounced back from its midweek FFA Cup Final drub- bing to win the derby against Western United last week, but suffered a huge blow with the loss of star striker Jamie MacLaren to a hamstring tear. Although the visitors Phoenix, are currently at the opposite end of the table, without a point this season, they showed in their match against Perth Glory last week, they were competitive. English import Craig Hooper could have his first start for Phoenix after a short appearance off the bench last week. With MacLaren's absence, City coach Eric Mombaerts may start Lachlan Wales or Craig Noon as the central striker with youngster Ramy Najjarine on the wing. Tip: City win PERTH GLORY V CENTRAL COAST MARINERS, 6.00 PM, SUNDAY 3 NOVEMBER, HBF PARK Perth's first win of the season last week, coincided with striker Bruno Fornaroli's first league goal for his new club. He also provided the assist for Chris Ikonomidis's second goal of the season. This week, Perth hosts the Mariners who are fresh off a bye. Their leading scorer is playmaker Milan Duric. This will be a big test for the Mariners who will be hoping that striker Jordan Murray and Matt Simon can put the Glory back three under pressure. Mariners' young forward Samuel Silvera has been impressive since joining from the Wanderers. Tip: Perth Glory win Glory reaches out for star striker The striker with the most recognisable man bun on his head, could be headed down under for a stint in the ALeague if a bold bid to sign him as a guest player is successful. Perth Glory has confirmed it has approached superstar striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic's management in a bid to sign the brash striker as a guest player. Perth Glory CEO Tony Pignata confirmed his club has approached Ibrahimovic's agent Mino Raiola. "An approach has been made to his agent. We've asked the question firstly about his availability and second of his interest," Pignata said. At present there is no news as to the player's response to Glory's expression of interest. However, a midweek Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring for his latest club LA Galaxy. PHOTO: US SPORTS TODAY post on Ibrahimovic's Instagram suggested he was heading back to Spain. "Hola Espana, guess what? I am coming back," he wrote. The 38-year-old has scored over 500 goals in his professional career which includes fabled clubs such as Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Paris St Germain and Manchester United, as well as the Swedish national team where he is the all-time highest goal scorer with 62 goals in 112 appearances. Despite his veteran status, Ibrahimovic has demonstrated he has lost little of his striker's instincts netting 52 goals in 59 games for his latest club Los Angeles Galaxy since joining in 2018. After Galaxy's recent loss in the MLS Finals play-offs, Ibrahimovic is believed to be fielding offers for a return to European football from clubs such as Napoli, Bologna and Atletico Madrid. But Glory are hoping he might accept an offer for a short stint in the A-League as a guest player between late-mid November and late January prior to the opening of the European transfer window.
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