ECU Joondalup head to Perth in season opener

ECU Joondalup head to Perth in season opener

Posted on March 25, 2015 in 'News'

The 2015 PS4 National Premier League kicks off this weekend with ECU Joondalup travelling to Dorrien Gardens on Saturday afternoon to take on Perth SC (3pm)

Skipper Jon Higgins, who missed most of the pre-season, due to his wedding day and honeymoon, said the new players have fitted in really well. “The pre-season was good, even early on the lads all turned up to pre-season fit and ready, which made it quicker getting the balls out and having a kick early on,” he said.

“We have added some top players, and I’m not sure if it’s me getting slower (think it is!), but the training has been hectic, the pace and intensity is the best I’ve seen down here since I started.”

“Young Josh Tucker is a top signing, while Guy McDonald is one of the best passers I’ve seen and it’s always good signing a solid lefty in Rowdy Yates. We also have a few quality young lads are coming into the side, but the main difference I think is the core of the boys from last year are really stepping up and into their own.”

The midfielder believes Perth will be there or there about come the end of the season, so Saturday will be a good first up test. “They (Perth) have signed some quality players, so it always good to have a tough game first up and see where we are at,” he said.

“We played them in the Night Series and it was a close game so we know what to expect. Then looking forward we’ve got Bayswater next week, so I’m sure all the questions should have been answered by then.”

The skipper believes it will be tight in the league this season, but he believes the squad Dale has built is looking good. “The teams looking good, with a lot of pace this year, and our keeper Jamie Serra has been in great form, which is a major key in any successful team,” he explained.

“All over the pitch there’s a lot of quality, Tommy Amphlett, Danny Dixon, and the younger brother Andy Higgins are all looking sharp and linking up well, and Scott Bushby even scored a hat trick the other night against Subiaco.”

McCulloch knows it will be a tough opener, but believes his side, on the day, can beat anyone in the league. “Last season we weren’t consistent enough, but we have worked hard in the pre-season to improve that, and all the signs look good,” he said.

“Perth beat us in the Night series, but it was a close contest and I expect it to be the same on Saturday.”

Another difference from last season is the depth in the squad, something McCulloch believes will make team selection for him and his assistant David Annall a tough one. “We’ve pinpointed some positions we needed cover for and brought in some good signings, and David and I have been pleased with the attitude of all the players at training,” he said.

“Yes there is competition for places, which is healthy, and you can tell at training the intensity has lifted which is only going to be good for us this season. We have a couple of tough opening games, Perth this week and Bayswater next, and if we can play well, I’m confident we can results in both of them.”

Get along and support the lads at Dorrien Gardens – The under 18’s kick off at 11pm, the under 20’s at 1pm and the first team at 3pm – Admission is $10 and there is plenty of parking around the ground.