Academy sides head to Inglewood to round off regular season

Saturday sees the final round of the regular NPL WA season and the PGFC Academy sides will be making the trip to Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium to take on Inglewood United.

It's been another outstanding campaign for the Academy, with the older age-group NPL teams impressing and the more junior sides also developing extremely well. 

The Under-20s won the league title with three games remaining, having previously retained the Belt-Up State League Reserves Cup, while the Under-18s can win the league with a win or draw on Saturday.

The First Team have performed well against some of the best and most experienced players in the state and the new-look squad will secure a sixth-place finish if they manage to claim all three points against Inglewood.

In terms of the juniors, the Under-13s and Under-16s both lifted the Football West Smarting Than Smoking Junior Cup in their respective age brackets and a host of Glory players have received international recognition at various levels.

NPL Technical Director Football Steven McGarry feels that the youngsters deserve a great deal of the credit for their successful season.

"It’s been my first season in the club’s Academy program and all the coaches and I have been delighted with the progress the players have made," he said.

"We have seen some fantastic football from all teams this season, with the Cup Final wins being the cherry on top of the cake.

"Everyone at the club is delighted for the players and I’m sure they will take away some great memories from the day.

"It was great to see the Head Coach, Tony Popovic, come down and show his support and he was delighted with how the players conducted themselves."

Academy Head Coach Richard Garcia, meanwhile, also felt that the First Team have made great strides forward this term.

"We have given a number of players the opportunity to play senior football for the first time this season and they will be better for it both next year and in the upcoming Foxtel Y-League," he said.

"It’s been a big learning curve for them, but every player who has come into the First Team from the 18s and 20s has had a taste of men’s football and improved.

"It shows the strength of the development we have at the club and we are pleased with the attitude and dedication of each and every one of them."

In terms of Saturday's game, Garcia is expecting a stern test, especially with several of his regular players currently away on the Hyundai A-League squad's pre-season trip to the Gold Coast.

"It’s great to see Luke Bodnar, Gabriel Popovic and Ethan Brooks getting the opportunity to travel with the A-League side and be around the squad," he said, "and if they get the opportunity to play, I wish them all the best.

"The rest of the squad are looking forward to Saturday’s game at Inglewood and finishing the season with a win.

"It’s another chance for them to test themselves and continue to grow as players with the mindset of winning the game."

The Under-18s get things underway at 11am on Saturday, followed by the Under-20s at 1pm and the First Team at 3pm.

If you can't make it along to Perth Plasterboard Centre Stadium, however, Football West will be live-streaming the Under-20 and First Team games HERE.

#OneGlory