Charles drives Jacks 18’s to top four

Charles drives Jacks 18’s to top four

Posted on August 6, 2016 in 'News'

The Jacks under 18’s have raced up the table and are on course to represent the club in the end of season PS4NPLWA 18’s Top Four finals. Ryan Charles’ performance this season has helped the youngsters lift, this after a poor start to the 2016 campaign.

The 17-year-old said they are starting to hit their straps and need to perform with the top of the table so tight. “The start of the season was not great, as we dropped points because we could not finish of games due to failing to convert our chances “However we have bounced back and are playing some good football as we push for a top four finish,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed another good season this year even after the teams slow start. With the teams recent good form I have been able to play closer to my best. Hopefully I am able to score a few more goals in the rest of the season.”

Charles has played for a number of clubs in his junior football but said ECU was the place he wanted to be. “I have played for many different teams at a junior level (Sorrento, Whitfords, Hamersley but have spent most of my recent years at ECU, with a short stint at Glory,” he explained. “But ECU has been a very important club in my football development since U’13’s. The club are well known for producing young talent with many playing in England. I think this is due to the great coaches and club environment at the club.”

The midfielder was part of the 2012 ECU under12’s academy team that represented Australia in the Volkswagen Junior World Junior Masters competition in Poland and he said it was a great experience for him and the rest of the players. “The Volkswagen tournament was a great experience to play other teams from around the world and see what it is like to play professionally,” he said. “It was a great trip and the players really enjoyed it and we performed well.”

Under 18’s Coach Paul Welch said Charles impressed early when playing for another club. “The first time I saw Ryan play was at the Glory about three seasons ago, I didn’t know him like John Brown, but what struck me that day was his movement around the pitch and way he was listening to his coach. He only had to be told once and he got it. I thought this kid is light years ahead of his team mates mentally,” he said.

“The following year he returned to ECU and I have had the pleasure of working with him, especially this year and it was like when I watched him two years earlier. Tell him once and he gets it and retains it for the future. He reads the game well and very much links the back to the front of the team like all good mid-fielders do. His energy is endless and only suffers when it is really hot having a very fair skin tone.”

“He rises and heads the ball superbly and it looks like he is finally having a growth spurt which can only help. He had a run out for the first team in a friendly the other week and performed well which was rewarded with training with the 1st team last week. If he continues in this way he will be a 1st team player in the not too distant future. As a foot note, I mentioned that he had only scored one goal in the first half of the season and that he might like to contribute a few more. He now has six, say know more.”

The diminutive midfielder said he has been lucky to have some excellent coaches help his development, and has all the attributes to play first team football for the club, and play at a higher level, but he has his feet firmly on the ground. “At the moment I am not thinking too far ahead and am happy playing at ECU, however if the opportunity to play at a higher level arose I would definitely take it,” he said. “I’ve been fortunate to have some good coaches over my football career, and have been important in teaching me different aspects to the game. The coaches at Football West during State and HPC training’s in my early career were very important in developing my skills and control of the ball.”

On Saturday the young Jacks take on league leaders Perth Glory, and will try and continue their seven games without defeat. “This week’s game will be a tough challenge against the one of the best teams in the competition,” he explained. “Glory is always a team that is very technically good and great at retaining possession. It is a good opportunity to show how much we have improved over the season.”