Academy side aiming to topple league leaders


Ahead of Glory’s huge Hyundai A-League clash with Melbourne Victory at HBF Park on Saturday evening, the PGFC Academy First Team will be in action against early NPL WA pace-setters Armadale at Alfred Skeet Reserve (Kick off at 3pm).

The youngsters kick-started their season with a Round Two win against Balcatta last weekend and Head Coach Richard Garcia was pleased with his charges’ display, especially from a defensive perspective.

“We were delighted to get the win,” he said, “and it topped a good performance from the team.

“We were better in front of goal than we had been the week before and defended better as a team. The lads at the back kept us on track in the second half and were outstanding.

“I thought some of our approach work was much-improved and it was a great reward for the lads who  had also played well against Floreat the previous week, but come away with nothing.”

Striker Gabriel Popovic also felt that the youngsters were good value for their opening win of the campaign.

“It was a very good team performance from the boys last week,” he said, “and the result reflected how well we played. It was great to get the three points and a clean sheet topped it off.

“We have a lot of great players this year throughout all ages and the boys who have come into the first team are doing really well and have added to the depth of the squad, which is good news going forward.”

The striker went on to praise the influence that former professional players Richard Garcia and Steven McGarry have brought to bear in their coaching roles within the Academy set-up.

“Being coached by two ex-A-League players is great for me and the other squad members,” he said.

“They have a lot of knowledge and experience in the game at a high level and it has helped all the boys improve. The intensity in training is high and also very enjoyable, which helps boost the squad’s confidence leading into matches.”

In terms of Saturday’s fixture, meanwhile, Popovic is expecting Armadale to provide a stern test at what is traditionally one of the competition’s toughest away venues.

“We know it will be a very physical game,” he said, “and we will need to be up for the challenge.

“Coming into the game after a 3-0 win has the boys feeling confident, but we are also aware that Armadale have won their first two games.

“As always, though, it’s all about us. We always go into games looking for three points and it will be no different on Saturday. We’re looking forward to it.”

The Under-18s (11am) and Under-20s (1pm) will also be in action at Alfred Skeet Reserve on Saturday, while on Sunday, the Under-13s (8.30am), Under-14s (9.45am), Under-15s (11am) and Under-16s (12.30pm) face Murdoch University Melville FC at the Murdoch University Playing Grounds.

Do get along to support the youngsters if you possibly can and good luck to everyone involved!


Picture courtesy of Tom McCarthy