Millard ready for ECU test


Perth Glory will be looking for back-to-back wins in the PS4 National Premier League WA when the youngsters travel to the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday

Glory defender Ross Millard was a valuable contributor last week against Perth after all three teams (18s, 20s and seniors) won their respective matches.

Millard said it was the team’s best 90 minutes of football all season.

“We controlled the game and got it on our terms right from the first whistle and were probably unlucky not to get a few more goals. Our defence was solid whilst our attack created a lot of chances, and we need to bring the same resolve on Saturday.

“Games against ECU are always a tough, intense games. They’re a real physical side who also have a lot of quality which has shown with their recent form.

“Both teams want to get a result for different reasons with them pushing for top four and us looking to pull away from the bottom three, so it’s going to be a great contest which we’re really looking forward to.”

Millard’s form in the Foxtel National Youth League and the NPL saw him selected for a training camp for the young National side, something he found humbling.

“Yes it was nice to be rewarded for my good form by being called up to the Young Socceroos Camp, it came as a surprise for me but one I was really excited to be a part of,” he explained.

“I enjoyed the experience and hopefully if I keep working hard, and I hope I’ll be involved in more in the future.”

Last week’s win for the Glory youngsters against second placed Perth SC, has given them a massive lift and stand-in coach Jacob Burns said it was a good performance.

“I thought the win was fully deserved, and anyone who was watching could see we dominated most aspects of the game, and they (Perth) are a good side, and it was a real opportunity for the boys to test themselves,” he said.

“Their keeper (Francis Soale) made some great saves on the day and we could have won by more, but to keep a clean sheet was vital, and the position we are sitting on the table at the moment the pressure is on us, but the lads showed great resolve to get the result.

“I was really happy the way the boys applied themselves, we had worked hard all week to prepare for the game, and the players got their just rewards, which hasn’t been the case all the time this season. We have a very young side, and to be fair sometimes they are punching well above their weight, but it was good for them to get the win and celebrate”

Burns said he will be looking for a similar performance this week, against a side that are on a good run of form.

“They (ECU) are coming off eight games without defeat, and will have some confidence heading into the game, but we go up there also with a lot of belief and confidence after turning over Perth,” he said.

“We know in our position every point is valuable, and as long as we apply ourselves the same way and stick to our processes, everything else will take care of itself.” 

Burns was happy with the young team’s effort on Saturday, and praised striker Joe Knowles, whose goal gave them the win against Perth, but he said they must start bring consistency to their game.

“Joe has been great for us, and he has probably taken his form from the Philippines tour with the Hyundai A-League side, where he had some good minutes and scored against their national team,” he said.

“With these young guys we want to see consistency, and that will be the message from me, the test is can they back it up from the Perth game, and start to perform at that level week in and week out.

“When you go into any game you need everyone at the same race, you can’t be carrying any players, especially when you play against good opposition, and as long as they stick to the game plan, the result will take care of itself.”   

It will be a huge day of football on Saturday, with Callum Salmon’s Under 18’s kicking off at 11am and aiming to retain top spot, Bobby Despotovski’s under 20’s kick-off at 1pm.

All the first team action starts at 3pm.