NPL Match Preview - Academy side ready for ECU challenge

The PGFC Academy side return to action on Saturday afternoon when they host ECU Joondalup at Ashfield Arena.

Both sides go into the game undefeated, although ECU have drawn three of their four games, while John Gibson’s charges are absolutely flying, currently sitting second on the league table off the back of a big win at Forrestfield United last week.

The platform for that result was a solid defensive display in which Riley Warland was a prominent figure.

The 15-year-old has enjoyed a huge year in which he has featured on the bench for the Hyundai A-League side having trained regularly with the senior squad and also received more international honours with the Joeys.

“It’s been a massive journey over the last 12 months," he said. "I’ve been given some opportunities that you could only dream of at such a young age.

“Gibbo (John Gibson) and Cal (Callum Salmon) have really worked hard together into making us better players. They really try their hardest to make us the best players we can be and now all that hard work is starting to pay off as you can see from our previous games.”

Turning his focus to the weekend, the talented defender confirmed that Glory are quietly confident of continuing their impressive start to the campaign.  

“It’s going to be a tough game against ECU," he said. "They are a good side, but we’ve proven that we can beat anyone if we play at our best.

“We beat Perth SC, one of the biggest clubs in the NPL in the first round and we are playing very well at the moment, so we are confident we can get another win on Saturday.”

Gibson, meanwhile, was keen to stress that as far as he is concerned, the hard work starts now.

“It’s been a pleasing start to the season for all of our young NPL squads and we were happy with the senior group and the win last week against Forrestfield,” he said. "But the challenge now is to build on that pleasing start.

“We come up against ECU this week, a side we are yet to be beat in the NPL. They are a good side with some talented players, but as normal it’s all about us. We know it will be a great challenge and it's one we’re all looking forward too.”

Don't forget that if you can't get along to Ashfield on Saturday, we will be streaming the first team game live on our Glory Facebook page. 

Click HERE to view.

Match Details

Football West NPLWA

Saturday 24 March 2018

Perth Glory v ECU Joondalup

Ashfield Arena

Under-18s – 11am

Under-20s – 1pm

First Team – 3pm

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