Double hat-trick from ECU youngster

Double hat-trick from ECU youngster

Posted on July 8, 2016 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup under 20’s travelled to Dorrien Gardens last weekend, in what was supposed to be a tight encounter, but the Jacks youngster ran riot winning 7-0, with teenage striker James Owen bagging six goals.

The 17-year-old said it was a good performance and said it’s always nice to score and get the three points to move then up the table. “It’s always good to bag a couple and especially against Perth who played us off the park earlier this year,” Owen said. “It’s good to keep in touch with the league leaders, and the big win is only going to make us harder to beat as our confidence is sky high at the moment. We’ve had some real lows and some real highs throughout the season so far but in all, I think we’ve started to show in recent weeks just how good we are and the guts shown by the boys in our cup run was something else.”

Owen said he has improved as a player this season and his form in the under 20’s has seen him added to the first team squad for recent games. “I’ve sat on the bench a couple of times for Dale (McCulloch) and to be in and around the squad has really opened my eyes and given me a goal for myself to reach,” he explained. “The season for myself started off slow but I believe with the help of the ECU coaching staff I’ve really improved my fitness and my sharpness which has shown in recent weeks with the goals and my performance.”

Owen started playing football for Swan IC as a five-year-old, but headed to ECU in the under 12’s, and has also represented WA in the State side in 2013 “I decided to move to ECU when John brown asked me to play in the u12s team. I then had a year away from the club and played for Perth Glory u16s but things didn’t work out and came back to ECU the following year,” he said. “I played for the under 14’s state team and got the chance to travel to Coffs Harbour in 2013 and play other states. I had a fairly good tournament bagging a few goals and we ended up winning the competition.”

ECU under 20’s coach Howard Tweets said Owen has improved over the season and he is a vital member of the squad. “When I took over the under 20’s job this season James stepped from the 18’s team and after a slow start he worked hard on what we wanted to implement, and he’s never looked back and has been on a constant up curve,” he said. “We now see him put the hard yards in closing players along the top line, fighting to secure the ball and link up, intelligent runs in behind and of course become more clinical in front of goal.”

Tweets said his performance last week was outstanding and to score six goals in any game is good but against a quality side like Perth is even better. “There was no more fitting overdue reward for James at Perth SC on Saturday netting a double hat-trick, I was as delighted for him as I am aware of the hard work he puts in when there’s no goal reward, the work that often goes unnoticed and un praised,” he explained. “I think James compliments the players we now have and if the group continue to build experience and mature their game, and we hope he will be adding to his tally before the season closes.”

Owen said the clubs academy is second to none and he said he’s seen what has happened to some of the players that have come through there and said it would be nice to do the same. “Everyone involved in WA football knows how good the ECU junior academy is and the type of players that have come through the club and the junior coaches I had really progressed me as a footballer,” he said. “The success of some of the players to move to Europe or A-League drives me on, and of course it’s every footballers dream to play professional and if it’s to happen for myself I would be over the moon, but it won’t come easy I have to earn it.”