NPLWA Match Preview: “The boys are right on the cusp of achieving something” – Zadkovich

NPL 2021 - Glory v Armadale - Charlie Leech on the ball

PGFC Academy Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich believes his in-form First Team are in a good place ahead of Saturday’s high-stakes NPL WA clash with ECU Joondalup at Crazy Domains Stadium at Hartfield Park (kick-off at 3pm, admission FREE for Glory Members).

The two sides head into the game separated by just a single point and a single place, with the Glory youngsters in fifth and the northern suburbs side sitting fourth as the race for a top-four finish hots up.

And while ECU claimed the points from the corresponding fixture back in May, the Academy First Team have suffered just one defeat in their last ten games and Zadkovich is quietly confident that they can extend that impressive run.

“It’ll be a good game,” he said.

“It was a good game the last time we played them and fairly even as well.

“We had a couple of defensive lapses, gave them some cheap goals and they have some good quality players who can hurt you, especially if you give them those chances.

“We were nowhere near at our best in that game, but in recent times, our boys have displayed the right kind of character and mentality that I’ve been pushing for, so I’m pretty confident that it’ll be a better performance from us than last time.

“They [the PGFC Academy First Team] are right on the cusp of going on an and achieving something from the year.

“It’s really about them delivering on the day, going about their business and trying to implement the different structures, patterns and styles we’ve tried to give them.

“To be fair to the group, for a while now they’ve been very resolute, very strong and hard-nosed and tactically quite aware and flexible.

“You could see last week that we changed it when it wasn’t going so well for us and they came back into the game and showed huge amounts of character.

“On our home pitch, the boys will be up and about and I’m expecting a really good game from them.”

Saturday will see Zadkovich going head to head with Kenny Lowe, the man who signed him for Glory during his playing days and he’s looking forward to catching up with his former coach.

“It [coaching against Kenny Lowe] is always a good laugh,” he said.

“We’ll get stuck into each other while the game’s on and then have a laugh about it afterwards.

“It’s nice to coach against guys like Kenny.

“He’s someone who I played for at A-League level and he’s a guy who is experienced in the game, so it’s good as a young coach to pit yourself against those kind of guys.

“But it’s certainly not about him or me; that just adds a bit of side spice and some friendly banter.

“It’s all about the boys, the journey they’re on and how hard they’ve worked to get themselves into the position that they’re in as a team.”

Ahead of the First Team game, the Under-18s are in action at 11am, followed by the Under-20s at 1pm, with both sides very much in title contention.

Do get along to support all three of our senior PGFC Academy teams if you can!

(picture courtesy of Tom McCarthy)