ECU Joondalup v Sorrento – ‘Rivalry Round Preview’

ECU Joondalup v Sorrento – ‘Rivalry Round Preview’

Posted on July 18, 2015 in 'News'

This weekend is the PS4 National Premier League WA ‘Rivalry Round’ and ECU Joondalup entertain local rivals Sorrento at the ECU Football Stadium in the northern derby. (3pm)

ECU Coach Dale McCulloch returns to the dugout this week, and he will be looking to kick start their season against their near neighbours. “We have been playing well for the last month, but haven’t got the rewards on the scoreboard,” he said.

“The last seven games we have been in all the games and lost by the odd goal, but we turned that around last week and worked really hard to earn a point at Balcatta.

“I can’t have a go at the players’ effort and commitment, but we have been punished for small errors, and that’s something we have to improve on.”

McCulloch wishes he was playing this week against local rivals Sorrento, and said the game is always hard fought. “I’ve played many games against Sorrento for ECU, and loved every one of them, pity I’m not playing this week,” he said.

“The players from both sides know the importance of the game for the supporters, and I’m sure there will be a big crowd on Saturday, and we will be doing our best to get the three points.

“The Rivalry Round is great for the competition, and it seems the crowd figures rise for these games, and it is a huge game for us, but we now if we play our best we will take the three points, and it will kick start our season.”

In team news keeper Jamie Serra and midfielder Paul Miller are suspended for the game, but Andy Higgins is back in the squad.

Sorrento also have the FFA Cup tie against A-League side Sydney FC in the back of their minds, but defender Steve McDonald said that Saturday’s game is the one they need to concentrate on. “It’s a great time to be around the club, with a massive game against Sydney to be played at NIB stadium in the FFA cup, the intensity at training has been tremendous,” he said.

“We have been on a decent run in the league, and it’s important that we keep that going, leading up to that cup game. Winning is a good habit, but we can’t look to far ahead of ourselves, and just take it one week at a time and concentrate on finishing as high up the league as we can.”

The big defender is looking forward the local derby, and he hopes they can get a better result from the first time they played this season. “Games are always tough against Joondalup, especially at their ground,” he said.

“They left our place with the points and bragging rights early in the first half of the season, so it will be up to us to take the game to them and hopefully come away with the points.”