Another top-of-the-table tussle looms for Academy First Team


The PGFC Academy are set for another top-of-the-table home clash on Saturday as they take on landlords Floreat Athena at E&D Litis Stadium (Kick off at 3pm).

The youngsters produced a fine display to down high-flying Inglewood United last time out, much to the delight of Head Coach Richard Garcia. 

“Going into the game, Inglewood were the form team of the competition,” he said, “and we produced another good performance to come out winners.

“The lads were disappointed with the loss to Bayswater [in Round 10], which shows how ambitious this group of young men are and they showed great character and got their rewards for all the hard work they have put in in recent weeks.”

Glory will be without Daniel Stynes this weekend after the 20-year-old joined Victorian NPL club Bentleigh Greens and while quick to wish him well, Garcia also pointed out that the forward’s departure means an opportunity for someone else in the squad to take his spot.

“Stynesy has been a great prospect for the club for a number of seasons and pushing for a place in the A-League squad over the last couple seasons,” he said.

“Unfortunately, he got injured at crucial times and if he didn’t get those injuries, he might have had a chance to play in the A-League, but it wasn’t to be.

“We wish him all the best in his future endeavours and will keep an eye on his progress.

“But we have some talented players to take Daniel’s place, so we’ll see which way we go on Saturday.”

Garcia went on to confirm that he is expecting another tough test against an Athena side that ran out 2-1 winners when the two teams met in Round One.

“We know Floreat have some quality players,” he said, “but like every game we play, it’s all about us evolving and doing what we can do to perform well and get a positive result.

“We want to win the game and we want to perform like we know we can and reverse the result from the first round.”

One player who has been in particularly good form for the Academy First Team in recent weeks is defender Nicholas Walsh, twin brother of Daniel who has unfortunately been sidelined by injury.

Like Garcia, Walsh was pleased with the display against Inglewood and is relishing the prospect of facing Floreat in what is very much Saturday’s game of the day in the NPL WA.

“I thought it was a good performance from us last week,” he said.

“We had to sustain a large amount of pressure early on, but we slowly grew into the game and were able to gain the upper in the end.

“So overall it was good to get the three points against a tough opponent.

“Floreat have proven to be a tough opponent in the past couple of games against us and we saw that in Round One where we struggled to break them down.

“But we are playing well at the moment and fear no one. We’ve been working tirelessly on the training pitch in the week and are well equipped to get a positive result this time out.”

Ahead of the First Team game, the Under-18s get things underway at 11am, followed by the Under-20s at 1pm.

It’s shaping up to be another fantastic day of NPL football, so do get along and lend the lads your support if you can.


Picture courtesy of Tom McCarthy