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Melbourne Victory head into FFA Cup quarterfinal without Michael Essien

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat
Kevin Muscat's Melbourne Victory tried to sign former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien.

Melbourne Victory head to Bentleigh Greens for an FFA Cup quarterfinal without Michael Essien but Kevin Muscat is confident his squad has enough firepower to see off the state league premiers and challenge for higher honours.

Ghanaian midfielder Essien, a two-time English Premier League winner with Chelsea, turned down the chance to become Victory's marquee guest player last week.

Coach Muscat said he was disappointed the move didn't come to fruition but wasn't scrambling to find a last-gasp signing.

"It...

Wellington Phoenix cap fine preseason with win over Central Coast Mariners

Ernie Merrick
Ernie Merrick has been quietly satisfied with the Phoenix's preseason preparations.

Wellington have made it four straight A-League preseason victories, with Roy Krishna's second-half strike securing a 2-1 win over Central Coast on Saturday in Nelson.

Kosta Barbarouses scored from the spot in the 22nd minute to put the Phoenix ahead, but the Mariners drew level through Connor Pain on the half-hour.

Central Coast went down to 10 men before the break when Jacques Faty was given a straight red for bringing down Krishna, who was through on goal.

The Fijian striker's header early in...

Off-field issues won't affect Brisbane Roar players - Brandon Borrello

Brisbane Roar forward Brandon Borrello
Brandon Borrello is confident that the Brisbane Roar will have a successful A-League season.

Brisbane Roar are a team that "can't be written off" in the A-League this season, according to young attacker Brandon Borrello.

Confidence is sky high at the Roar on the back of their 4-0 friendly win over Perth Glory earlier this week, a result that has affirmed the internal belief they're poised to contend for silverware in coach John Aloisi's second season.

That's despite suggestions they may struggle as a result of the club's well-established off-field problems.

"It goes without saying, a lot...

Newcastle Jets appoint Mark Jones as head coach for new A-League season

Newcastle Jets coach Mark Jones
Newcastle Jets will kick off the new A-League season with Mark Jones at the helm.

Former Newcastle Jets assistant Mark Jones will return to the A-League club as head coach after signing a two-year deal.

Jones, 50, takes the role following the shock sacking earlier this month of Scott Miller.

Fellow Novocastrian Clayton Zane, who had been overseeing the team since Miller's departure, has been named as Jones' assistant.

Jones was an assistant coach at the Jets when they won the championship in 2008 and played for Newcastle in the 1980s and '90s, while Zane had also held an assistant's...

Australia's W-League footballers pay to play the game they love

Matildas celebrate
The Australian women's football team participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

A report has laid bare the woeful pay and conditions for W-League players as expectations ramp up on Football Federation Australia (FFA) to improve the situation before the new season.

The Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) report, which surveyed almost two-thirds of W-League players last season, suggests players could walk away from the game because of the financial strain.

Nine out of 10 players said they would consider leaving the sport early to pursue more lucrative opportunities.

That's...