McCulloch takes positive from NPL season

McCulloch takes positive from NPL season

Posted on September 6, 2014 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup finished the inaugural National Premier League WA season in eighth spot and coach Dale McCulloch says he has taken positives from the season, but knows they need to improve.

“I was positive with the season that has just passed, as we had seven more points than last year and I felt we were very competitive come the second half of the year especially against the top four,” he said.

“We gave the opportunity to some of the younger players this season and they really held their own and proved they are capable of playing at this level. In saying that though they must understand the hard work has only started and they must not drop their standards and keep listening and working hard, and believe as a group we must keep heading in the right direction.”

The coach paid tribute to retiring keeper Andy Banks, but he believes Jamie Serra is a perfect replacement. “Banksy has been great for our club, and we wish him well in retirement on the pitch, but he will stay involved as a coach,” McCulloch said,

“Jamie has been great and was unlucky not to play this year, but Banksy was very good and Jamie will get his chance, then the rest will be up to him.”

McCulloch is planning for next season already, and knows they need to step it up and said that is across the board. “I’m really looking forward to next season, and a strong pre-season. I expect more out of myself and my team, we haven’t achieved anything yet and until we do there will be no rest from me,” he said.

When asked about his biggest disappointment of the season, the coach was quick to respond. “The way we got knocked out of the cup against Stirling,” he said. “It was a massive game but we lost our discipline and that isn’t good enough. It was a huge prize for the club and to lose on our patch the way we need was really disappointing.”

So it’s on to 2015 and McCulloch has a few spots up for grabs in his squad and he will be working hard to build a stronger squad. “The lads were great this season but we need to strengthen the squad to challenge in 2015,” he said.

“We have players we are targeting from here and overseas and we’ll see how we go. I’d like to thank my team manager Craig Stevenson for his help this season, and to the committee thanks for their support, we’re all in this together.”