NPL WA: Stirling and Balcatta soccer clubs ready for 2019 kick-off

NPL WA: Stirling and Balcatta soccer clubs ready for 2019 kick-off

BALCATTA and Stirling are fielding new-look teams for the 2019 National Premier Leagues WA season.

Both clubs are seeking to improve on last year’s results when the season kicks off this weekend.

Stirling Lions coach Keegan Ashley said there had been a host of forced and unforced line-up changes over the off-season resulting in the signing of 10 fresh faces.

“We’ve brought in some exciting attacking players which in theory should make us stronger and give our supporters plenty of memorable moments,” he said.

“We have some great young talent also pushing hard for first team football and have signed Mile Petkovski, a former professional footballer from Macedonia.”

Ashley said fast attacking player Moses Kalua would be one to watch this season, along with captain Dean Cummings and Noah Shamaki, who he described as “blessed with fantastic balance and poise on the ball”.

Stirling Lions coach Keegan Ashley (centre) with players Andrew Maranta, Dean Cumming, Michael Wantee, Josh Anasmo, Alex Suleski and Ben Wantee.

Balcatta president Peter Carlino said the majority of its players had played together for three years but it had added seven young recruits to provide “quick attacking flair”.

He listed additions Alex Castielo and brothers Alex and Michael Zimarino as players to look out for, along with the always exciting Shub Mokala.

Mr Carlino said Balcatta supporters had endured two years of close calls.

“We now need consistency and a winning drive to see us challenge for a top four finish,” he said.

Stirling has a proud and successful soccer history and despite an “average” 2018 season, Ashley believed the team would be able to improve on last year’s performance and “take the next step” this season.

Balcatta’s season kicks off against Rockingham City at Grindleford Reserve on Saturday at 3pm, while Stirling hosts Armadale at Macedonia Park from 3pm.