ECU Joondalup under 16’s beat Subiaco to win Top Four Cup

ECU Joondalup under 16’s beat Subiaco to win Top Four Cup

Posted on September 16, 2016 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup under 16’s became the third Jacks side to win the Top Four Cup after a hard fought 2-1 win against Subiaco AFC at the E&D Litis Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

ECU took the lead from good link up play down the right side, the ball was slipped to Ben Meier who drove past two players into the area and finished well across the keeper. Subiaco pulled one back early in the second half after ECU failed to deal with a corner, but they were back in front from a corner of their own.  A quality in-swinging corner from Zach Welch evaded all in the area to find the far corner of the net. The Jacks pressed for a third with Luke Salmon, George Lomax, Joe Bibby and Louie Robinson all going close. The last five minutes of the game Subiaco threw the proverbial kitchen sink, but the defence and keeper Owen Fisher stood resolute and closed out the game.

Coach Howard Tweats said it was a great team performance. “It was a fitting end to the season for the group who from the last game of the regular season raised their application, embraced and adapted to a new game plan focused at making the play off final. Through their determination and execution went one further and actually came out winners,” he said. “The whole squad of 16 deserved praise for both performances in training and match days, and after two convincing victories before the final to add the performance they did in the final was commendable.

“Despite all the preparation we worked on in training, Subiaco brought a physical, direct and repeated long ball approach to the game. The group were subjected to relentless pressure from long balls, long throws into the area but showed a character and resilience we had not had to show through the season. All the players met the challenges head on, stayed focused and committed. With the intensity of the game, we did not show as much of our composed ball retaining style of play as we would have wished, but we showed enough quality to open up our opponents to create numerous scoring opportunities.”

Skipper Zachary Welch said after an in-different start the side gelled well. “Our season has been anything but easy. Our team started with several new players and like many other teams it took us time to become the team we are today,” he explained. “Obviously we had our ups and downs, but it was our downs where we were able to find focus points and improve on areas that needed fixing. It’s a great feeling to know we put in the countless hours in order to achieve what we did.

“We knew from the outset the Finals were always going to be a challenge. Drawing against these competitive teams was always nerve-wracking, as previous encounters weren’t always in our favour. However my team and I had full confidence that we would be able to go out onto the pitch and demonstrate who we were, and that we were capable of winning the competition.”

Welch, who joined the Jacks from Quinns FC in 2005, said they always knew the final would be tough, but the defender said to lift the Cup as skipper was a great feeling. “The Grand Final was never going to be a walk in the park, Subiaco are a competitive side both physically and mentally, so to be able to win was an achievement for every one of us,” he said. “It’s a great feeling to lead my team to victory and lift the cup after a long season, as every moment has built up to this final game. The win never came from individual effort; each player out there had an equally important role in securing the win.”

The skipper said the coaches have worked tirelessly to improve the side and thanked them for all their hard work. “Both Howard and Mike have put in an extensive amount of hours into improving us both individually and collectively. Without their efforts our team wouldn’t be what we are,” he said. “When I decided to join ECU I knew it was the most competitive level of Football available to me, and with the guidance of the coaches here I believe I can reach my potential as a Footballer. So in the final it was good to know that our win came from our coaches’ efforts, as they constantly worked to improve us as players, and that’s why I joined the club.”