NPL Preview: Walmsley praises youngsters ahead of Cockburn clash

PGFC Academy First Team Head Coach is pleased with the progress his side is making as they prepare to return to NPL WA action by taking on Cockburn City at Lark Hill on Saturday (kick-off at 3pm).

The youngsters have collected seven points from their opening five games of the campaign, in which a total of 26 goals have been scored and the Head Coach has been impressed by the way they have gone about their business.

“I think the positives would be that we’re a good team to watch and we’re really exciting going forward, whether that’s in open play when we have to break down a block, or hitting teams in transition,” he said.

“The young kids that have come in are 06s and 07s, but you wouldn’t know it as they’ve played without fear and just gone out and done the job.

“Because they’re really good kids, they take on the information that they need from a defensive point of view and what they need to do for the team.

“So my job is more about making sure they play the way they need to in order to show how good they are, so it’s a case of maximizing that and not restricting them too much, while also giving them the detail and structure positionally to hold the balance of the team.

“They’ve been brilliant.”

Walmsley is also aware, however, that there is definitely still plenty of room for improvement.

“Things we need to get better at, especially with young players,” he said, “is controlling the momentum of the match, making the most of certain moments when we’re on top and if there’s a spell when the other team comes into it, we need to deal with that a bit more.

“We also need to manage the restarts, especially in this league where it’s quite physical and direct.

“Things like throw-ins, goal-kicks and corners, all the restarts, they’re important as teams can be really effective on those.”

The First Team will be up against a Cockburn City side which climbed to fifth in the table off the back of an impressive away win over Olympic Kingsway last time out and Walmsley is not underestimating the size of the task that awaits his charges at Lark Hill.

“I think Cockburn will give us some challenges,” he said.

“They’re quite direct and good on restarts.

“So we’ve got to make sure that we’re ready to deal with that side of the game.

“They’re quite disciplined from a defensive point of view, so breaking that down will be important too.

“But as always, it’s about us performing the way we need to regardless of the opposition and focusing on our strengths.

“If we do that, we’ll have a good chance of winning the match.”

He went on to confirm that Glory’s cause could be helped by the return of at least two key players.

“We’ll have a few more options across the pitch on Saturday, especially in defence,” he said.

“The boys who have been playing since the start of the year have been performing really well, but it’s good that we have that competition for places now.

“Kaelan Majekodunmi is coming back from injury and so is Shade Stewart.”

Ahead of the First Team game, the Under-18s will be out to maintain their 100% start to the season when they get the day underway at 11am and the Under-20s will then be in action at 1pm aiming to keep the pressure on early pace-setters, Perth SC.

Do get along and support the lads if you can!