It’s been a busy month for PGFC academy defender Riley Warland, and he will be back in Football West NPL action on Saturday afternoon, as we travel to Dorrien Gardens to take on Perth Soccer Club.
The Round 14 encounter is our home game, but with Ashfield Arena unavailable, it has been switched, so it will now be played away from home.
Warland has been a rock at the back for the senior academy side this season and was also the skipper when the under 16’s recently travelled to Singapore for the JSSL 7’s tournament.
The Glory youngsters went through the competition undefeated, but unfortunately lost in the final to Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds, but Warland said it was a great experience nevertheless.
“It was a huge honour to be named captain for the tournament, and it was a great trip away with some of the younger talent in the academy,” he explained.
“We did very well to get to the final, and it was really great to come up against some talented teams such a Liverpool, Manchester United and Fulham.”
After returning from the tournament, Warland was straight back into NPL action against Subiaco, and the defender said it was pleasing to get the win to keep their rich vein of form going.
“The win against Subiaco was good, we knew it would be hard coming up against a strong physical side, so we had to keep calm, just keep the ball and it worked,” he said.
“Everyone worked extremely hard for each other, and we’re on a good run of form, so hopefully we can keep it up.”
Warland said Saturday is another huge test against one of the biggest clubs in local football, but said the players are looking forward to the challenge and they don’t fear anyone at the moment.
“I believe we can get a positive result no matter where we play,” he said.
“The boys are really confident and in good spirits, so we will go into this game like we have every other game; fearless.”
Coach John Gibson said it had been a strong first half of the season, while stating last week’s cup break was handy and believes there is more improvement to come.
“We had a deserved break last weekend as we weren’t in cup action. It was a good moment to reflect, rejuvenate and regenerate for the next 14 rounds of the NPL,” he said.
“Halfway through the NPL Season we’ve achieved some of our objectives - set some new goals but the group is determined to work even harder at achieving our objectives - many challenges ahead but we will have an aggressive and tough mentality.
“That starts on Saturday against Perth, a game we’re all looking forward too.”
Perth Glory v Perth Soccer Club
Saturday May 26
Venue: Dorrein Gardens
Under 18’s – 11am, Under 20’s – 1pm – First Team 3pm
Glory members have free entry to the game – Get along and support the youngsters.