Pickering returns home for 2016

Pickering returns home for 2016

Posted on November 12, 2015 in 'News'

Former ECU Joondalup defender Shane Pickering has returned to the club from fellow NPLWA side Inglewood United for season 2016.

The 21-year-old has spent three seasons at United, but said he is delighted to return and help ECU back up the table. “It’s really exciting to come back to a club I was so fond of when I was with them four or five years ago. I feel like with new signings, new coaching staff and a new direction the club are heading in the right direction to become a strong side in the NPL. I believe the club has the quality both on and off the pitch to implement new techniques and strategies to create a side worthy of challenging higher up the table than previous seasons,” he said. “I have strong views on sports science within football so the appointment of having a high performance coach involved in the setup for 2016 is going to be highly beneficial in my eyes. It’s not going to be easy and everyone at the club knows that but I believe everyone is going to be backing one another to produce something exciting here at ECU, so I’m anxious to get going.”

The defender, who was selected for the WA State team this season, said he thought long and hard about the return but is happy with his decision. “I had been at Inglewood for three years. I felt like it was the right time for me to move on and find a new start at a new club and Joondalup was the ideal move in my eyes. I’m excited to get underway with training and kick start a new era at ECU,” Pickering said.  “I had a great time playing under David Tough when I was last at Joondalup and I believe he brought a lot out of me and developed me into a better footballer so I’m happy to be back playing under his guidance. I also know how highly valued Dale (McCulloch) is and obviously with his experience in the game I’m sure he can bring in the right quality and develop a strong side in the coming season.”

McCulloch said he’s happy with the return of the defender who made his state league first team debut for the club. “Shane was a promising defender when he was at the club and was rewarded with a first team debut and he never looked out of place,” he said. “He joined Inglewood and developed his football, but after talking to him he was keen to come back home and we’re delighted he has returned. The boy can play, and that showed this season when he was picked in the WA State side, he will add to our defensive stocks and he can also pop up with a goal or two, and I remember his screamer in the Cup Final for the Reserves side when they won it in 2011, so a couple more of them would be nice next season.”

Pickering looked on last season as ECU struggled in the league, and injuries and players leaving affected the side, but he believes that will change next season. “Joondalup have always had a side that are never easy to beat. You might be 2-0 up but the game is never secure because they’ve always got that fighting spirit right until the last minute,” he said. “They had good young quality in the side last year and with the addition of a few new signings including the high calibre of Steven McGarry I believe that the side is going to have that extra depth to challenge further up the table. There is going to be a real sense of professionalism about Joondalup going into 2016 and I know the professionalism and structure both on and off the field will benefit the club enormously.”