While Andy Keogh and Kate Gill make headlines in the A-League and W-League, there’s another Perth Glory sharp shooter also making headlines for all the right reasons.
Glory is the only club in Australia, sitting at the top of the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League, and at the summit of the Foxtel National Youth League.
Under the guidance of former WA Institute of Sport head coach, John Gibson, the youngsters have won five of thier opening six games.
One of the players who’s helped steer the team to repeated victories, is 18-year old striker Joe Knowles.
“I’m enjoying my football this season, and it’s good to be on the score sheet,” Knowles said.
“But the service from my team mates has been fantastic and I must credit them for the amount of chances they are giving me.”
“I think we have a really strong squad of 30 players this year all competing for places so the standard is really high.
“We are a lot fitter this year, so we are able to dominate games. The players that have been brought in are high quality and the boys get on so well with each other which make it easy to play with.”
The Glory youngsters came away from Brisbane last week, with a 2-0 win, and now sit clear at the top of the table.
Knowles believes that win showed just far the team has come.
“I thought we started off really well, and raced to a two goal lead, which put us in the box seat,” he said.
“We scrambled and defended really well with a strong back four, and a win away from home is what you want.”
London-born Knowles started his football career in the West Ham United junior set up and made his way into the Hammers academy, before heading down under and signing for ECU Joondalup.
But after joining the Glory’s NPL side he hasn’t looked back.
“I love my football at the moment and I’m basically living the life as a young footballer,” Knowles explained.
“Training 4-5 times a week with a game on the weekend and given the chance to fly all over Australia to play football you can’t ask for anymore.”
Knowles is first to acknowledge the work of head Coach Gibson, and former stars Jacob Burns and Steven McGarry who’ve helped shape the team’s development.
The coaches are great to work with, and Gibbo had a plan and a way of football he wanted us to play when he came here and after a couple of months of hard work we are finding the rewards of this system,” Knowles said.
“Burnsy and Stevie are also great to work with, two ex-professionals who could easily still be playing A-league football, and they are great to work with and learn from and become better
Glory Youth, entertain sixth placed Melbourne Victory this week at the Ashfield Sports Club on Sunday morning and Knowles believes they can continue their good form but is expecting another tough encounter.
“Melbourne Victory will always be a strong team so it’s going to be a tough game,” he said.
Kick-off is at 11 a.m.