Steven McGarry on board for ECU in 2016

Steven McGarry on board for ECU in 2016

Posted on November 12, 2015 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup have signed former Perth Glory midfielder Steven McGarry for the 2016 PS4 National Premier League WA season.

The 36-year-old, who retired from the A-League in 2014, before taking a role at the club in the coaching department, and continued playing for Sunday Amateur Premier League side Gwelup Croatia last season, is looking forward to the season ahead. “I’m really looking forward to the new challenge and have been really impressed with the clubs ambition,” McGarry said. “The dual role of first team coach/player was a big reason why I came to the club, but the club is looking to make big strides forwards in different areas. It’s going to be a massive challenge but one Dale (McCulloch), David (Tough) and myself and the rest of the staff are ready for.”

ECU Coach Dale McCulloch said the signing of the Scotsman is vital for the club going forward, and he is looking forward to working with him. “We have lost a lot of experienced players from last season and the signing of Steven will give our squad a major boost,” he said. “We played a number of our younger players last season, but at times we lacked the experience, and with Steven coming in he will no doubt give us a lift, but he will also lead these youngsters on and off the pitch during the season, and Steven will also be part of the first team coaching line-up.”

McGarry had a successful season at Gwelup, and said it was a very difficult decision to leave to the amateur club. “Yes it was tough to leave, especially as there’s so some fantastic people at the club. Juri and Mike have done a great job and are very ambitious so I’m sure they will move into State League sooner rather than later,” he said. “What a fantastic season, to go 21 wins on the bounce and to score the amount of goals we did was something special. Winning the league, and also having a fantastic FFA cup run where we nearly made the last 38, only going down to Perth SC 4-3 was a massive achievement and also put Gwelup Croatia on the map.”

McCulloch said last year was difficult for the club and they have a number of players on their radar as they look to rebuild, this after underperforming last season, but the coach believes that isn’t the case in his eyes. “Many thought we underperformed, but I see it different,” McCulloch explained. “We blooded a number of teenage players and they never let me or the club down, and they will be better for it. We have spoken to a number of players regarding next season and we hope to reveal them in the coming weeks, including a player from overseas who we have been chasing for a while.”

McGarry, who holds a UEFA B Coaching license and coached Perth Glory Under 20’s to the league title last season with Bobby Despotovski, will also use his experience to nurture some of the talented youngster coming through the clubs successful academy. “The ECU Academy is one of the best in the state and these kids will be the future of the club,” he said. “It’s important to show the kids a pathway of progression within the club and also help nurture and develop them into good footballers to play in the ECU first team, and that’s something the first team coaches will oversee, and hopefully onto a higher level which would be the most pleasing aspect.”