NPLWA Preview - Upbeat Zadkovich expecting progress to continue against Cockburn

PGFC Academy Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich is expecting to see further development from his First Team in Saturday's home clash with Cockburn City (kick-off at 7pm, admission FREE for Glory Members).

The youngsters were edged out by Bayswater City in their most recent outing, having opened their campaign with a draw against Perth SC and a defeat at the hands of current league leaders Floreat Athena.

But while acknowledging that his side are still a work in progress, Zadkovich has seen enough to remain confident that there is major improvement to come.

"I said before the start of the season that I was happy with the players' effort and other than a lapse against Floreat, I've been happy with the effort and attitude overall," he said.

"I'm still not happy with the football, but there are so many positives because there are young kids getting opportunities and learning and developing and that's the main focus for us.

"Even at A-League level, a lot of players have been promoted out of the program and made their senior debuts and that's a huge positive for the club during a tricky period when results haven't been what we want.

"That is a massive achievement, to get those guys to progress and they need to learn quickly.

"It's similar with our Academy First Team; we need these guys to learn quickly and they're not far off.

"There are a few little pieces of the puzzle that aren't quite fitting together just yet, but the focus has been sticking to the process."

Zadkovich went on to point out that Glory have also had to face three of the expected front-runners in the league in their opening three games.

"We've had a difficult start to the year when you look at the fixtures," he said.

"We played well against Perth and probably should have won and then against Bayswater, we defended well for long periods and conceded late.

"Bayswater are a good team, Perth are a good team and Floreat are a really good team.

"We learned a lot from those tough games and I expect us to continue learning, stick to the process and and slowly but surely, it'll start to come together.

"We're still just going through the process of how we want to play and how we want to defend.

"We've conceded seven goals in three games and the Floreat performance was really poor, but even in the good performance against Perth, we still conceded two goals.

"So we're still focusing a lot on the defensive principles.

"We have to have variation in our game and a good level of understanding.

"It's about trying to pull those defensive and attacking principles out, isolate them and work on them."

In terms of Saturday's meeting with Cockburn, meanwhile, the former Glory midfielder is expecting an entertaining encounter.

"Cockburn are a good side who like to play and have some really good footballers," he said.

"They can be unpredictable at times and they mix up their game.

"We try not to focus too much on the opposition, but we've had a look at what they do and they have some key players and key threats and are a well coached outfit.

"It should be a good game of football and that's a big positive for us, them and everyone who comes along to watch."

Ahead of the First Team game, the Under-18s will be in action at 3pm and the unbeaten Under-20s are next up at 5pm.

With Glory's A-League team not in action again until Tuesday (away at Newcastle Jets), it would be fantastic to see as many Members and fans as possible heading along to Forrestfield to support the youngsters.

(picture courtesy of Tom McCarthy)

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