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Port overrun Bergers in pre-season hit-out

A strong second half saw Port Melbourne record a confidence boosting 2-1 win over Heidelberg United in Epping on Sunday.

Both teams fielded strong sides, as they battled hard in trying conditions.

Heidelberg struck first, courtesy of some neat interplay in the front third.

Shaun Kelly went close to responding almost immediately with a confident run down the middle of the park.

Port side came out on the front foot in the second interval and had a number of opportunities to reduce the deficit, via the head of Adrian Zahra and the boot of James Riccobene.

Eric Vassiliadis opted to provide some of his younger players with some game time midway through the half and they soon repaid his faith.

It was Zahra though who leveled proceedings with a free kick that bypassed everyone in the wall 15 minutes from time. A clumsy foul by Kenny Athiu in the area then gave David Stirton a chance to step up from the penalty spot and fire home to confirm the result.

The win maintains Port’s 100% record in its pre-season matches to date.

Heidelberg United 1-2 Port Melbourne 

Starting XI: Gal, Karvelis, Riccobene, Kelly, Krommidas, Kearney, Mulcahy, Honos, Oppermann, Goodwin, Yalaz

Lambros Honos joins Port Melbourne, Kelly signs on

Port Melbourne is pleased to announce that it has added Lambros Honos to its roster for the 2016 season.

Honos, 32, returns to the JL Murphy Reserve after spending 2013 and 2014 at the club.

The former Port Melbourne junior was a key cog in ensuring the Sharks’ survival in the state’s top tier in 2014.

He then went on to join Oakleigh Cannons the next year, where he featured in the FFA Cup.

The gifted right-footed midfielder has played professionally in Greece for over a decade and his return comes to the delight of Port Melbourne Head coach Eric Vassiliadis.

“He returns and brings great creativity, composure and an X factor to the group,” Vassiliadis told portmelbournesc.com.au.

“He knows the environment and the expectations and is excited to be part of the group.”

In other news, Eric Vassiliadis’ side will retain the services of Shaun Kelly after the captain penned a new deal.

The Englishman joins Alan Mulcahy, Michael Stark, Stjepan Gal, Alex Goodwin, Ryan Oppermann, Erhan Yalaz, Andrew Viola, James Riccobene, Alan Kearney and George Krommidas who have all committed to the club in the leadup to the new season.

Port Melbourne signs David Stirton

Port Melbourne Soccer Club is delighted to announce that it has signed David Stirton for the 2016 National Premier League season.

Stirton, 24, comes to the JL Murphy from South Melbourne, having been a part of its premiership winning squad.

The former Melbourne Victory youth player had previously played for Southern Stars and Bentleigh Greens and has featured for both South Melbourne and the latter in their respective FFA Cup campaigns.

A left-footer, Stirton will be a valuable asset for the Sharks going forward.

“David is a proven goalscorer that is keen to get back to playing the consistent and high quality football we know he can,” Vassiliadis said to portmelbournesc.com.au.

“We have faith and trust his ability to make next year his best yet.”

Zahra signs on for 2016

Port Melbourne Soccer Club can announce that Adrian Zahra will play on at the JL Murphy Reserve in 2016.

The 25-year-old penned a new deal with the club last week and says he is looking forward to helping Port go a step further next season.

“What inspired me was the way we ended our season,” Zahra said to portmelbournesc.com.au.

“We all wanted more and knew that we left our run too late. The coaching staff and boys wanted more and that made the decision to stay easier.”

Formerly of Valletta, Perth Glory and Melbourne Heart, Zahra joined the Sharks in mid-way through 2015 from the Melbourne Knights.

Zahra joins the likes of Jamie de Abreu and Alan Kearney who have inked deals with the Sharks thus far this pre-season.

Port Melbourne signs Jamie de Abreu

Port Melbourne is delighted to announce the signing of midfielder Jamie de Abreu for the 2016 season. 

de Abreu comes to the JL Murphy Reserve as an NPL championship winning player from the Bentleigh Greens and will bolster Eric Vassiliadis’ side in the final third of the park.

The Perth native, who played for Western Australian side Stirling Lions between 2007 and 2012 prior to his move to Victoria says he is buoyed by the club’s ambition and potential.

“After meeting with Eric, the Vice President and a board member, I really appreciated the direction the club is heading towards and how I will fit into that,” de Abreu said to portmelbournesc.com.au.

“Port have a very good squad and I think with the inclusion of a few more players, we can really be pushing for not only finals but those top few places.”

de Abreu, 24, is an adept signing, according to Port Melbourne head coach Eric Vassiliadis, who is looking forward to seeing the lively winger’s influence from the get-go.

“Jamie brings a unique explosiveness and comes with a background of success,” said Vassiliadis.

“He is someone that can hep drive the group.”

In other transfer news, the club can confirm that Alan Kearney will stay on for another season.

The Irishman was a standout performer for the Sharks in 2015, with the confirmation delighting Vassiliadis.

“Alan is a cornerstone for the group and someone who can lead and push the team both on and off the park.”

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