NPL WA Match Preview: Zadkovich backs youngsters to show further improvement

PGFC Academy Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich is backing his First Team to show further improvement as they look to maintain their impressive run of form against top-four rivals Sorrento FC at Percy Doyle Reserve on Saturday (kick-off at 3pm).

The youngsters have lost just one of their last 11 games and will replace Sorrento in third spot if they manage to get the better of the Gulls in what is shaping up to be a pivotal clash in the northern suburbs.

But despite their string of eye-catching recent results, Zadkovich is adamant that the best is still very much to come from his charges.

"We're still not anywhere near the finished article," he said.

"There are still areas where we will improve not only in the next few weeks, but in the next year or so.

"We know now that there are no excuses, no matter what the opposition throws at  us.

"We won't take a backward step against anyone.

"We embrace every battle and every challenge as a group together.

"The mentality from our group is that we are really humble and are just working hard and focusing upon the process and improving."

Glory produced one of their most complete performances of the season last time out in defeating ECU Joondalup 3-0 and the Head Coach was understandably pleased with what he saw.

"I was really proud of the boys for the way they stuck to the team plan and really controlled the game in every aspect," he said.

"We made it very hard for ECU to create too much... and on the flip side we hit the bar three times, missed one-on-ones and could have won by six or seven in the end."

So what kind of challenge is Zadkovich expecting Jamie Harnwell's side to present on Saturday?

"The message to the lads this week has been to take this game on its own merits," he said.

"Away at Sorrento is not an easy game; they've only lost three times all season and that tells you plenty about the way they go about their business.

"They're very hard to beat, very resilient and the way they set up makes them a very tough wall to break down.

"So we have to be patient and play the game that suits us and not them.

"We have to work hard to again stay focused on the game plan and not get caught up in the battle."

The Academy First Team will be out to secure a double over the Gulls having secured a 1-0 victory when the two sides met at Geraldton's Wonthella Oval back in May.

Saturday's hosts have lost just twice since then, but squandered a two-goal lead against Balcatta last time out and were ultimately forced to settle for a share of the spoils.

Ahead of the First Team, the PGFC Academy Under-18s are in action at 11am, followed by the Under-20s at 1pm.

Please do get along and support the lads if you can!

#OneGlory

(picture courtesy of Tom McCarthy)