Perth Glory are back in PS4 National Premier League WA action this weekend, when they entertain Balcatta at Inglewood Stadium on Saturday.
Both sides are coming off 1-4 defeats, the Glory losing to newly crowned Champions Bayswater, while Balcatta were beaten at home by Sorrento.
Michael McDougall is relishing the opportunity to play first team football, and is looking forward to taking on his former club this week; he has also had spells at Kingsway, Wanneroo, Inglewood, Perth and the NTC.
He knows they face another huge challenge against a Balcatta side smarting from a heavy defeat last week. “I believe it will be a very good opportunity for the boys as we have been working hard in training this week, working on some tactics that we can take into the game to try and get the right result,” he said.
“Balcatta are a good side and it won't be easy so we'll certainly be up for the challenge and we'll want to make sure that we end our final games of the season on a high.”
The 17-year-old was on target last week against Bayswater, and said the game was a huge challenge for the Glory youngsters. “I thought our team was outstanding as we were going toe to toe with the best team in the league and standing our own,” he said.
“It shows that the hard work that we put into training really pays off as were able to compete and really threaten the champions.
“I was extremely pleased with my goal as it means I was able to contribute to the team, and it was a reward for all the hard work that we've been doing in training and throughout that match.
“The game proved that we still have some work to do as we need to keep up the intensity that we showed in the first 65 minutes for the entire game in order to get good results in the future.”
Glory Coach John Gibson said he will be looking for his young chargers to bounce back from last week’s fade out. “We matched it with Bayswater for over an hour last week, but we lost our way towards the backend of the match, and you can’t do that in this league,” he said.
“But again we take great delight with the way the young players performed against the benchmark side in the competition and they showed a great deal of composure on the ball and defensively we were pretty difficult to breakdown, but we were overrun and we will learn from it.”
With NPL players Stefan Valentini, Jacob Collard and Slobodan Vulin all still involved in the A-League set up, Gibson said the players who have come in continue to impress. “For the coaching staff to see players stepping up and competing in this physical competition and holding their own is very pleasing,” he said.
“We’ve struggled last season with the physicality of the league, but we haven’t taken a step backwards this season and despite the results we are now seriously competing and our performances are consistently improving.
“We will be looking for another solid performance on Saturday against a good Balcatta side, and we go into the game with the same mindset and determination we do each week, and we’ll be doing all we can to get better at our processes.”
The under 18’s kick off at 11am, the under 20’s at 1pm, while the First Team kicks off at 3pm