PGFC Academy Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich is backing the First Team’s emerging talents to keep impressing in Saturday’s NPL WA clash with ECU Joondalup at The Campus (kick-off at 3pm WST).
Glory will head to the norther suburbs looking to build upon a tally of four points from their last two games which came via an impressive win over Cockburn City and a hard-fought away draw with Gwelup Croatia.
And Zadkovich believes his younger stars can shine once again this weekend.
“A lot of guys, for me, have been doing well and not getting much attention,” he said.
“Joseph Forde and Chris Donnell, for example, have been outstanding.
“Some of the other boys have been around the traps long enough and played enough games that people know their quality, but the biggest positive for us as a club at the moment is that not only have we put a lot of young players into that A-League sphere this year, we’ve had a lot of young guys step up to the plate in the NPL space.
“Players like Forde, Donnell and Jacob Muir may have played NPL before, but they are now cementing themselves in the line-up and playing well within our structure.
“Lucas Rossi is another one who’s been outstanding when he’s come on.
“The environment and culture that we’ve set has created a platform for these young guys to go out there and back themselves under pressure playing at a pretty good level in NPL First Team football.”
With just one defeat so far this term, Kenny Lowe’s ECU will not be short of confidence ahead of the Round 6 fixture and Zadkovich is anticipating a tough, high-quality contest to unfold.
“Against ECU, it’s always a pretty good football game,” he said.
“I know Kenny well and he knows me well and he’s a little bit like me in that he’ll stick to the same principles in how he he likes to play.
“With my boys, I’ll be looking to get a continuation of that effort and mentality that I’m preaching about and trying to instil in them.
“I’ll be looking for a performance which reflects where the group’s at mentality-wise.
“So we want to be up and about and really positive with everything that we do.
“ECU are one of the best teams in the comp, if not the best and they play some really good football, so it’ll be a good challenge for our boys.
“It will be a difficult game purely based on some of the quality players and key threats that ECU have, so we’re going to have our hands full trying to keep them quiet, but I think it’ll be a really good game and I’m looking for a positive outcome.”
Having recorded one win, two draws and two defeats so far this season, the PGFC Academy Head Coach feels that there is plenty more to come from his charges.
“I still believe that we’re nowhere near our best in terms of where we want to be and the standard that we’re setting ourselves, but I think that the mentality is strong at the moment,” he said.
“We’ve had two or three games this year that we probably should have got a bit more out of had we been a little bit more clinical in front of goal and taken our chances when we had them.
“But the positive is that those chances are being created and it’s about the quality of the execution under pressure which is something at this level that always needs work.”
Ahead of the First Team fixture, the Under-18s could move into the top three if they win their game which gets underway at 11am and the table-topping Under-20s will be out to maintain their unbeaten start to the season from 1pm.
(picture courtesy of Tom McCarthy)