NPL: ECU Joondalup v Perth Glory FC

Perth Glory head North on Saturday in Week five of the PS4 National Premier League WA, when they take on ECU Joondalup at the ECU Sports Stadium.

The Glory youngsters go into the game full of confidence, after the come from behind draw against Floreat Athena on Anzac Day, with former ECU midfielder Henry Durr’s late goal earned John Gibson’s side a point.

“What a great performance from the lads last week,” Gibson said. “They are a good side so to go there and take home a point is fantastic effort.”

The Glory were coming off a disappointing result at Subiaco, and Gibson said the youngsters responded well. “We competed really well, and the whole squad was quality,” he said. “We kept possession well and really tested them, and for large periods of the game we controlled the tempo, and showed again what character we have in our squad, to fight back and won a well-earned point.”

Another former ECU player is Joe Knowles. The striker is second on the NPL top goal scorers list and he is looking forward to the trip, although he will have to pass a late fitness test with a foot injury.  “We picked up a great point last week against a side who hasn’t lost a single point this year so it shows we can match these top teams which is good from such a young squad,” Knowles said.

“The whole squad work for each other which is great, and it showed in the Foxtel National Youth League, when our backs were against the wall we fought it out, which shows the confidence Gibbo and Jacob Burns has installed in us, and shows what we can do our day and I believe we will give ECU a good game this week.”

Midfielder Slobodan Vulin has been a regular starter in the side this season, and he said the trip to ECU is tough but the Glory showed last week they can’t be taken lightly this season. “We were very pleased with the result and our performance against Athena who are a really good side,” he said. “The boys are in a good mental state and now it’s up to us to keep driving our standard forward, and we know ECU will be a tough game this weekend.”

The side showed great character to fight back for a point last week and it showed how much the side has improved since last season’s NPL, and Vulin said they are continuing to improve. “We have developed more experience in this league and are now ready to compete. Consistency and being street-smart is something we must continue to keep bringing home the good performances and results.”

In team news, Knowles, Durr, Dejan Spaseski and Sean Troup will need to shake off injuries to take their place in the Glory squad, while ECU Joondalup will be without Danny Dixon, who has left the club to join Bayswater City, but they will have skipper Jon Higgins back from injury.