Academy First Team all set for ECU examination


The PGFC Academy First Team are set to resume their NPL WA campaign on Saturday when ECU Joondalup will provide the opposition at E&D Litis Stadium (kick off at 3pm).

Richard Garcia’s side will be looking to bounce back from their loss at Sorrento last time out at the expense of the Jacks who are themselves desperate for points to move away from the wrong end of the table.

And it’s a game that goalkeeper Jackson Lee is looking forward to following what has been a significant period in his fledgling career.

The 17-year-old has been selected to participate in a Young Socceroos training camp later this month along with fellow-Academy players Bryce Bafford and Kristian Popovic.

The trio will be vying for spots in the 23-man-squad set to participate in next month’s 2019 AFF U-18 Championship in Vietnam and Lee can’t wait to press his selection claims.

“It’s always an awesome opportunity to be able to represent my country, so hopefully I’ll be able to do that again,” he said.

“It’s an honour for me and I feel it’s a great way to see how my teammates and I compare on an international scale, so I’m looking forward to it for sure.”

Not that Lee is allowing the prospect of donning the green and gold to distract him from his domestic duties in the NPL. 

“We’ve put together some good periods of play over the last couple of rounds but struggled to put together a complete performance,” he said, “so hopefully we can do that on the weekend.

“We’ve got the potential to be a great team; we just need to believe in what the coaches tell us and the way that they want us to play.

“ECU have quality and we know that, so we won’t be complacent in that sense.

“It’s always a challenge against them, so we’ll go out there looking to play the way we want to and focus on what we can control and hopefully we can come away with the three points.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Garcia who backed his young charges to get return to winning ways.

“We have some very talented players within the program and it’s great to see some of the younger lads come into the side and not look out of place,” he said.

“Small errors are costing us at the moment and yes, it is a learning curve.

“But I’m confident the more these boys play, the better they will get and it will be good for the program moving forward.

“They (ECU) are not used to being down the bottom of the table and we know they will be desperate for a win on Saturday, but so are we.

“We have been disappointed to have not won the last few games, but like I said, we’re confident that if we stick to our gameplan and win our individual battles, we will get a positive result.”

The First Team game gets underway at 3pm on Saturday, with the Under-18s in action at 11am and the Under-20s at 1pm.

Do get along and lend the lads your support if you can, but if you can’t make it to E&D Litis Stadium, the First Team game will be live streamed on the Football West Facebook page HERE.