Confident youngsters all set for ECU examination


After last week’s hugely-impressive performance against Armadale, the PGFC Academy First Team face another stern test this Saturday when they travel to the ECU Football Stadium to take on ECU Joondalup in Week Four of the Football West NPL.

Their victory at Alfred Skeet Reserve last time out moved the youngsters to second on the table and Head Coach Richard Garcia has called upon his charges to maintain that high level of performance week-in, week-out.

“Whenever you win 5-0 away from home you have to pleased, but the manner of the performance was also a huge positive,” he said.

“The players need to take a great deal of credit for their hard work and determination and they are all focused on performing well this season.

“But we are aware that we need maintain the standards we set for ourselves and continue on playing like we did last week.”

In terms of this weekend’s game, meanwhile, Garcia feels that ECU Joondalup’s sluggish start to the campaign is not a true reflection of the quality in their squad.

“Yes, ECU haven’t won a game,” he said, “but they have some good players that can hurt you, none more so than former Glory striker Joe Knowles.

“But we have prepared well at training this week and are all looking forward to a good contest.

“It’s still the early stages of the season and if you don’t turn up and perform you will be beaten by anyone in the league.

“The players need consistency and that’s what we’re looking for on Saturday.”

It’s not just the PGFC Academy First Team performing well in the NPL, with the Under-18s and Under-20s having both made unbeaten starts to the season.

Michael Garcia’s Under-20s sit on top of the table, ahead of Saturday’s opponents on goal-difference, while the Under-18s are three points in front of ECU, so all three games on are shaping up to be tight affairs.

Saturday will also mark a return to ECU for Glory NPL Technical Director and Under-18s coach, Steven McGarry.

The Scotsman played at the northern suburbs club as recently as last season and is relishing the prospect of seeing some familiar faces.

“Yes, I enjoyed three excellent seasons at the club in various roles and have made some lifelong friends in that time, so I’m looking forward to catching up with everyone on Saturday,” he said.

“Our boys have had an excellent start to the season and the challenge for them is to consistently perform.

“It would be great for some of them to progress to the 20s and First Team like some of them have done already during the early part of the season.

“ECU Joondalup have assembled a very good squad this year with some excellent individuals in the side and will no doubt be challenging for the title, so it will be an excellent challenge for our young squad.”

The Under-18s will get things underway at 11am, followed by the Under-20s at 1pm and then the First Team at 3pm, but if you can’t make it along in person, the great news is that the Under-20s and First Team games are set to be streamed live by Football West.

Please see below for full livestream details:

ECU Joondalup Vs Perth Glory
ECU Football Stadium
Available via Football West Facebook page or via Youtube (links below)
NPL WA Under 20’s here: http://bit.ly/2CWJk74 at 1pm AWST
NPL WA First team here: http://bit.ly/2CVwxkY at 3pm AWST