ECU drawn in Group B for 2015 Night Series

ECU drawn in Group B for 2015 Night Series

Posted on January 25, 2015 in 'News'

The National Premier Leagues WA Night Series will be played at five venues across the metropolitan area in 2015, with ECU Joondalup drawn in Group B alongside Armadale, Cockburn City, Inglewood United, Sorrento and Perth SC.

The draw was made last week with Dorrien Gardens, Macedonia Park, E&D Litis Stadium and Dalmatinac Park all hosting group games with Percy Doyle Reserve selected as the host of finals matches. The competition will consist of two groups of six NPL clubs playing a round robin competition that will kick-off early February.

ECU Coach Dale McCulloch is looking forward to the Night Series and the chance to have a look at his new chargers and some fringe players. “The pre-season Night Series competition gives us a chance to test our squad and reserves and under 18’s players who have impressed us in the early training sessions,” McCulloch said. “As a club we are proud of the players we have produced from our talented academy and last season we brought forward some of them into the first team side and they never let us down.”

On the Night Series games McCulloch, who enters his third season as senior Coach at the club, believes all clubs will be testing their squads and formations. But anyone who knows the former tough midfielder knows he will want to win it. “Like I’ve said the competition is great for clubs to see where they are at, but it’s a game of football and I want to win all the time, and the players know I expect that,” he said. “We’ve worked really hard in pre-season and the new players have fitted in really well, and to see some of the younger lads stepping up has given David (Annall) and I some selection headaches, and that will be great not only for the Night Series but the NPL season ahead.”

ECU begins the competition against Cockburn City on Sunday 8 February 8 at Dorrien Gardens (5pm). The next game is against local rivals Sorrento, also at Dorrien Gardens on Friday February  13 (6.30pm), followed by Perth SC on Sunday  February 22, again at Dorrien Gardens (7pm). Then they take on Armadale at Dorrien Gardens on Sunday  March 1 (6pm), while the final group game is at the E&D Litis Stadium against Inglewood United on Sunday  March 8 (7pm).

NPL WA Manager Chris Beech expected another hotly contested tournament. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for clubs to stake their claim for the first trophy of the season,” Beech said. “The Night Series is always great for players to get an early feel for the competition but it’s also great for fans to take in some top quality football during the summer months. “I’m sure we’ll see some new talent and youth players out there to give fans a snapshot of what to expect in the season proper.”

Group A consists of 2014 NPL WA Champions Bayswater City, who are joined by Balcatta, Stirling Lions, Floreat Athena, Subiaco and last season’s State League Division One champions Shamrock Rovers. Shamrock has been invited to join the NPL Night Series in place of Perth Glory, whose NPL side will be competing in the National Youth League during this period.