FOOTBALL West has named its Gold Fields WA State Senior Men’s Dream Team – and it is a line-up of some very special talent, including two former Australian team captains.
The ultimate team has been selected after Football West had called for the football public to make submissions regarding their picks on the best players to have pulled on WA shirts in a period spanning 1902 to 2020.
The idea was to celebrate the achievements of the outstanding players and coaches who have represented Western Australia over the past 118 years.
In all, Football West had requested the public input in four teams: Gold Fields Male State Senior Team; Gold Fields Female State Senior Team; Gold Fields Male State Junior Team; Gold Fields Female State Junior Team, along with coaches for each selection. (The Female senior side will be revealed shortly).
The men’s senior team selection (4-3-3) is:
Ron Adair, Robbie Dunn, Shaun Murphy, Scott Miller;
Gareth Naven, Gary Marocchi, Stan Lazaridis;
Len Dundo, John McInroy, Bobby Despotovaksi.
The coach is Alan Vest.
Robbie Zabica is WA’s most decorated goalkeeper, having made 42 appearances for Australia and having captained the State team in memorable victories over English visitors West Ham United and Nottingham Forest in 1995.
Ron Adair twice captained Australia (making 13 appearances all up) and was WA skipper in 11 out of 23 games for the State. He won three successive Fairest and Best medals in the WA state league.
Robbie Dunn played 44 times for Australia, including the 1988 Olympic Games, and played in the NSL with the likes of Melbourne Croatia after starting his senior career locally with Kwinana. He played for WA in 1989.
Shaun Murphy gained 20 Socceroo caps (including the 1992 Olympic Games). He starred locally with Perth Italia, carved out a fine career in England with, among others, Sheffield United and West Braom and made eight appearances for WA.
Scott Miller was a left wing-back icon with Perth Glory, winning two NSL titles. He earned two Socceroos caps, played 11 times for WA and starred at club level with Perth Italia and Spearwood Dalmatinac.
Gareth Naven captained Perth Glory for six seasons, played at local club level with Perth Italia, represented Australia in the World Under-16 Cup in China. He pulled on a WA shirt 20 times.
Gary Marocchi captained Australia in a series against Greece in 1978, had success in the NSL with Adelaide City and also with Perth Azzurri. He played 22 times for WA, and later coached the State side as well as the Perth Kangaroos and Perth Glory.
Stan Lazaridis is WA’s most capped international, making 72 appearances for the Socceroos. Was an influential left flanker as a youngster with Kingsway Olympic, Stirling Macedonia and Floreat Athena. Moved to England, playing for West Ham and Birmingham before ending his career with Perth Glory. Made 10 State team appearances.
Len Dundo is an iconic goalscorer, excelling at club level with the likes of Swan Athletic, Inglewood Kiev and Kingsway Olympic. He was the State League’s top scorer in 1972, 73 and 74 – and again in 1976, 77, 78 and 1980. He played 18 times for WA.
John McInroy was WA’s hottest scorer in the 1960s, being leading marksman five times. His total of 48 goals in 1963 is still the highest in WA senior league football. Played numerous times for WA through the late 1950s and 1960s, and got a hat-trick against Northern NSW in 1963.
Bobby Despotovski had 10 seasons with Perth Glory, winning two NSL titles. He amassed amassed 123 NSL goals in 264 appearances, returned five goals in four games for Australia and bagged eight in eight for the State.
Coach Alan Vest was in charge of WA when they beat Glasgow Rangers (1975) and twice won the international Marah Halim Cup in Indonesia (1975 and 1976).
**Footnote: Six of those selected are members of the Football Hall of Fame WA’s Hall of Legends – Zabica, Adair, Dunn, Marocchi, McInroy and Vest. All other players have been inducted into the Hall of Champions.