It has been a tough first two rounds for the Perth Glory Youth team, but they will be looking to put that behind them when they travel to Foxtel Y-League leaders Melbourne City FC on Saturday (kick off 10am WST).
They have suffered narrow defeats in both home games against Adelaide United and Brisbane Roar respectively and teenage goalkeeper Jackson Lee is hoping they can get back on track at MCY Academy, La Trobe University, Bundoora.
“Two tough defeats isn’t how you want to start the season at all,” said the 16-year-old, “but the games are dependent on us and silly mistakes in bad areas cost us.
“I think things need to be tightened up at both ends of the field and we need to be clinical in front of goals, but more importantly we can't be conceding cheap goals at the back.”
Lee is well aware of the talent City have in their squad and that the hosts are coming off a big win in the Melbourne Derby last week, but like the rest of the squad, he is looking forward to the challenge.
“We know City are a quality side but we won’t be intimidated by them,” he said.
“We're confident in each other and the football we play, so we'll definitely be taking up the challenge and hopefully we can take something away from the game.”
The former Perth Soccer Club custodian, who first represented Glory at Under-12 level, feels that the players owe one to Head Coach John Gibson.
“Gibbo has given us all the tools, fundamentals and the plans to win games, so it’s up to us to implement them,” he said.
“I think we just need to have confidence in ourselves and believe that we can win games, especially against these big teams.
“And the errors will fade as our confidence grows.”
Gibson himself, meanwhile, believes that the group can't wait to return to action.
“It’s our first away game and a brand new experience for a majority of the squad,” he said.
“It’s exciting and enjoyable at the same time and we are really looking forward to it.
“We’ve been pleased with certain aspects of our game, but we’ve let ourselves down by not maintaining our consistency for extended periods of the game.
“Our fundamentals need to be better.
“This player group are new to the league, but we have high standards and high expectations of ourselves; we strive to attain our goals.”
Gibson went on to point out that the players are working extremely hard and that he has been pleased to see several of them rewarded with selection in the Hyundai A-League squad.
“There’s great character amongst the group, they push each other every day and they’ve created a super environment,” he said.
“It’s nice to see several players like Yaks [Yagoub Mustafa], Cal [Callum Timmins], Jakey [Jacob Italiano] and other players getting the opportunity to step up to be involved with the HAL Team.”