Armadale next up for in-form Academy side

The PGFC Academy First Team will make the long trip to Alfred Skeet Reserve for a crunch clash against Armadale on Saturday, with the game having been switched from Ashfield Arena.

John Gibson's side will be looking to continue their fine run of form which has seen them go 13 games unbeaten, but they will be wary of a potential backlash from their 'hosts' who were trounced at home by Floreat Athena last time out.

Glory did, of course, come from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 at Inglewood in their most recent outing and Bayley Brown-Montgomery, who has just returned to the side after recovering from injury, felt that that comeback illustrated the fighting spirit that exists in the squad.

“Last week I thought we showed how much the team has come on," he said. "Instead of rolling over and getting beaten 4 or 5-1, we came back and drew 3-3 in the last minute.

“Some people have said we are getting lucky, but we are making our own luck with all the hard work everyone, including the reserves, has been putting in at both training and in games.

“Personally, it’s good to be back playing. I was ruled out for half the season with a bad foot injury and I’m still working hard to get back to my full fitness.”

The striker, whose father Stuart Montgomery has won league titles with Sorrento and Western Knights during his career, said that despite appearing to be firmly on track to finish top of the ladder, the players are taking nothing for granted.

“We’ve worked hard to be in the position we are in," he said, "but we are mainly focusing on the up and coming games.

“We know what the reward is at the end of it and we know that winning a league doesn’t come round all the time. Some of us might never get that chance again and we are hoping to make the most of it.”

In terms of Saturday's game, Brown-Montgomery is expecting Armadale to provide a stern test.

“Armadale have had a very good year, beating a lot of the top teams and going to Cairns in the FFA Cup, which unfortunately ended in a defeat for them,” he said

“But that just shows how good of a team they are. It’ll be a tough game for us as they have a good togetherness and the best fans in the NPL who love to get behind their team, so this game is going to be extremely tough.”

Coach Gibson struck a similarly cautious note with his pre-match thoughts.

“This group have been on a long journey together after a strong end to the NYL and a positive NPL campaign," he said. It's super to see them grow as people and as a team.

“It's also great how some of the younger players have adapted to senior football. We’ve tested our depth this year and we will continue to do so; it's fantastic to see players move up and down our Academy structure.

“But we all know we haven’t achieved anything yet and still have 285 minutes to go, starting this Saturday against Armadale. So the players know they need to stay focused and keep to our structures which have got us into this position.”

The First Team game kicks off at 3pm, with the Under-18s in action at 11am and the Under-20s at 1pm, so do get along and lend the lads your support if you can.

#OneGlory