Knowles heads for Glory

Knowles heads for Glory

Posted on October 28, 2013 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup Joe Knowles’ stellar first season in the northern suburbs first team has seen the 17-year-old sign for Perth Glory Youth team for 2013-4, and he hopes to impress.

“It’s always been my dream to become professional footballer, and being selected in the Youth side has now made me another step closer to where I want to be, which is playing for Perth Glory First team,” said Knowles.

The teenager was given the opportunity in Dale McCulloch’s side late in the season and he impressed, and scored some important goals, as the club ended the season with a seven game unbeaten run. “At first it was a struggle to find my feet in the big boy’s league, but after getting a few first team games under my belt I grew in confidence and started playing my own game, and not just playing to try to please all my team mates,” explained Knowles.

“I’ve scored a lot of goals for Joondalup over the nine years of playing there, but the last minute equaliser against Sorrento in round 20 is my favourite of the lot. I’ve never had such a buzz in my life because the point meant so much to the team and for Dale.”

The talented striker made his league debut as a 16-year-old, but began at the club as an eight-year-old in the ECU under 10’s academy side.  McCulloch has had a hand in the progress of the striker and he believes he can go a long way in the game. “I’ve coached Joe as an under 14’s player and now as a first team player, and this kid has developed into a really good footballer,” said McCulloch.

“He has the X factor which can’t be taught, he can turn a game on its head with a bit of brilliance. Last season he never looked out of place in the first team, he works very hard and just loves playing the game.

“Joe knows this is just a start and I’m hoping through the Glory and hard work, he can progress to become a professional footballer.”

Joondalup has a number of experienced players such as Charlie Comyn-Platt, Ryan Townsend, Jon Higgins and Tommy Amphlett, but they have also brought in some good young players to the squad this season, and Knowles believes the appointment of McCulloch has been fantastic for the club. “ECU have always had a strong core of youngsters ready to come through the ranks and Dale has opened that door of opportunity for the younger lads to show their talent and to learn from the experienced players,” said Knowles.

“Personally Dale is one of the best coaches I’ve ever had. He coached me as a junior and he always had faith in me and he showed this again this year when he was named coach. He started me in eight of the nine games since he took over, believing in me and actually giving me a chance to show what I can actually do when given the opportunity.”

Perth Glory Youth opened their season against Melbourne Heart at Intiga Stadium on Saturday, going down 1-0.