Last Night Perth Glory defeated the WA NPL team, know as the WA State team, 1-0 in the Heritage Cup. This has become an annual fixture and is an ideal warm up game for the Perth Glory. Although some coaches have been concerned that some of the semi-professional players may try and prove a point and end up injuring a key player for the Glory.
The issue as to whether the team should be given the name State team has been questioned in the past, with many former state team players quick to point out that the old eligibility criteria, – a player must be a permanent resident of Australia – has been thrown out of the window. There are others who argue that the team is now selected purely from players playing in the NPL, when with the points system in place in this competition better players are playing in the State League Division One. For example UWA’s Alexander Kretowicz has scored 21 goals this season in 17 games, which is better than a goal a game. Some may say he deserved to be considered for such a game.
The one thing about Football is people always have opinions, and again this year Football West went away from appointing a coach not involved with a team. That upset some and was applauded by others.
The selection of Bayswater City’s Chris Coyne as coach, once they had decided to appoint a coach currently active in the game, is one that is virtually impossible to argue against. After all Coyne was the recipient of the NPL WA First Team Ron Tindall award for Coach of the Year in 2015. So it is a deserved honour for the recipient of the Coach of the Year award to coach the State or NPL Team.
What maybe should be considered in the future is that the winner of the All Flags State League Division One Coach of the Year award be rewarded as well and given the assistant coach’s role. In 2015 Doug Hesketh from Mandurah City took out that award. He would be well aware of the stand out players in Division One and therefore would know which players to invite into a training squad. Then the two coaches can see whether players from Division One are indeed a better option than some of the NPL players. The the team can rightly be called a State team.
As anyone who follows football knows, young talented players have to start somewhere, and frequently it is not at the top fashionable clubs. So why should players, who often simply because they have not been spotted, or live in a different area and therefore play a lower division side, not be considered for the State team?
Ange Postecoglou has been picking players to represent Australia from the A-League. No longer do you have to be an overseas-based player playing in a European league to enhance your chances of selection; OK some people will say Australia’s talent pool is not what it used to be so he has no other option. There is also the case of Wolverhampton Wanderers Steve Bull playing for England in the 1980’s. In fact Bull was first selected to play for England when he was three tiers below the top flight. Admittedly he is the last player in England to be selected for international honours from outside the Premier League, and that record could stand for a while. However the point is sometimes there are talented players who for a myriad of reasons not playing in the top flight, but who are clearly good enough to do so.
Those who went to the game last night should take a bow as the weather conditions would have harmed the gate, along with the distinct lack of promotion. One thing that would help attendance is if this team was a true State Team and not just a NPL all star team. Certainly if this is to be a true representative State Team, and not just an NPL team then the net needs to be widened when it comes to selection, and the easiest way to be able to do that is to reward the Division One coach of the Year with the assistant coach’s role.