PERTH Soccer Club has been crowned 2018 NPL WA champions after a 2-0 win against Joondalup United on Saturday afternoon.
Perth Glory looked set to take the crown for the first time since the NPL WA’s inception, needing only to draw or win to earn the title, but a stoic Subiaco was able to eke out a 1-0 win to topple them.
With both the Perth SC/Joondalup United and Perth Glory/Subiaco games run at the same time, Perth SC players had to wait five agonising minutes after their match ended to find out they were 2018 champions.
It was Perth SC’s second title in three years, which coach Ramon Falzon said was a “brilliant” feeling.
“The boys worked hard all season; we were always chasing, chasing behind all season but we kept believing and pushing,” he said.
“Credit to all the boys. I’m very proud of them and it’s good to see them rewarded for the hard work they have put in.”
A Football West spokesman said it had been an “extremely competitive and unpredictable” season and predicted good things for 2019.
“With the champions again decided on the last day, and with three teams battling to secure their safety, it has been a very interesting year,” he said.
“The NPL WA will return to 12 teams next season and a leaner competition should result in a stronger competition with even more closely-fought games.”
Glory’s success in this year’s competition will mean an extra financial windfall for those clubs that finished third to fifth on the ladder.
The competition’s top four are awarded prize money of $12,000, $4000, $2000 and $1000 respectively, but with Perth Glory unable to win any money due to being a professional club, Football West redistributed the winnings to include the fifth-placed finisher.
A similar system will be in place if Glory wins the Top Four Cup, a competition that will also include Perth SC, Cockburn City and Bayswater City.
A Football West spokesman said the organisation wanted to thank all involved for a great year of WA soccer.
“We would just like to stress our gratitude to the clubs, officials, coaches, players, referees and assistants, volunteers and especially club members and supporters without whom the NPL wouldn’t happen,” he said.
“Thank you for supporting the local game every week and your local club.
“We hope that the NPL has kept you entertained this year and we look forward to seeing you next season.”
The Top Four Cup will begin this weekend.
Final 2018 NPL WA ladder
1. Perth SC
2. Perth Glory
3. Cockburn City
4. Bayswater City
5. Inglewood United
6. ECU Joondalup
7. Floreat Athena
9. Stirling Lions
13. Forrestfield United
14. Joondalup United