Higgins ready for the league leaders

Higgins ready for the league leaders

Posted on July 4, 2014 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup skipper Jon Higgins will be looking to knock Bayswater City off the top of the National Premier League –WA table for the first time this season, when they meet each other at the ECU Football Arena on Saturday.

Bayswater have let their big lead at the summit slip in recent weeks, while Joondalup regained some pride with a hard fought 1-1 draw at local rivals Sorrento last week.

Joondalup had to work hard last week in the local derby, but Higgins believes their defensive performance earned them a point. “Last week’s game was a cracker, and it was a great advert for the NPL-WA’s ‘Rivalry Round’,” he said. “After conceding four against Floreat Athena last week, the plan was to really tighten up at the back and be hard to beat.

“We know what to expect from Sorrento, they are big strong and well organised and have probably bullied us the last few meetings, so it was good to see the lads step up the intensity and produce a good performance.”

The 27-year-old midfielder knows the quality that Bayswater have in their squad, but after their dip in form, he is hoping Joondalup can continue that on Saturday. “Yes they hit a little dip in form recently, but they are still quality,” he said. “We have a few must win games coming up, that we need to take points in, to keep in touch with the teams at the top, so we know we need to be at our best.

“Dale (McCulloch) has worked us hard this week, and drilled into us that we need to be disciplined defensively and our players will be up for a huge game, and  I think we will make it extremely hard for them to walk away with the points.”

Higgins was close to signing for a couple of English clubs as a junior. He travelled back to the UK in 2002 and signed a three year contract with his home town club Birmingham City, and he also had a stint at Wolverhampton Wanderers, but he headed back down under when things didn’t work out. “It’s every players dream to head overseas and play, but I was only 16-years-old and England isn’t the place for me, so I headed back home after nine months,” he explained.

“I was asked back there when I was 19, and was close to deal at Molineux, but again I just couldn’t adapt to the lifestyle over there, it’s very cut throat and people who know me, I’m too laidback.”

In team news Charlie Comyn-Platt returns to the side after illness, and Higgins believes he is a huge part of the clubs defensive structure. “It’s great to have Charlie back this week,” he said.

“He was ill last week and we really missed him, has he has been one of our top players the last few games and is real important on the park with his leadership.

“We will miss Jake Benson-Cooper due to injury, but training has been intense this week, and the lads have been looking sharp and are buzzing for Saturday, hopefully it goes well for us and can take three more important points.”

NPL-WA games this weekend – Stirling Lions v Sorrento (Macedonia Park 3pm), ECU Joondalup v Bayswater City (ECU Football Arena 3pm), Inglewood United v Armadale (Intiga Stadium 3pm), Perth v Balcatta (Dorrien Gardens 3pm), Cockburn City v Perth Glory (Dalmatinac Park 3pm), Subiaco AFC v Floreat Athena (WA Athletics Stadium 3pm)