Former Jacks Youngster finds a new home in UK

Former Jacks Youngster finds a new home in UK

Posted on August 12, 2016 in 'News'

Former Jacks keeper Joel Driscoll has found a new home in the UK, and starred on his debut to help Southern League Division One Central side Farnborough FC to their first silverware of the season, winning the four-team Hendon Invitational Cup last month.

Farnborough boss Spencer Day reckons he’s landed a major coup in goalkeeper Driscoll, and has let the current keeper leave. The 19-year-old, who had two spells with the Jacks and played in the academy sides and the under 18’s, was scouted by Arsenal in 2013 after emerging as one of the A-League’s most promising young keepers with Perth Glory Youth side.

The coach said bringing a player of such quality was simply a no-brainer. “An opportunity came to me and I just had to take it,” Day admitted. “The other keeper has done absolutely nothing wrong but Joel is a quality goalkeeper of excellent pedigree and I can’t look a gift horse in the mouth. “I don’t know how long we will have him for because he could well get snapped up by a Premier League team once he gets a few games under his belt. His agent sold a goalkeeper of similar quality to Derby County for £150,000 so to land him a contract for next to no money is a real coup for the club and potentially very exciting.”

Driscoll worked with ECU goalkeeping Coach Andy Petterson at the club and he knew he had the attributes to succeed. “Joel always had the potential and attitude to play at a decent level,” he said. “He is the perfect height and looks the part between the sticks, and this move could prove to be fantastic for him, and the club wish him all the best.”

After receiving international clearance, the young Aussie is ready to kick start his career by taking the gloves for Boro in the opening game of the season. “Thankfully we managed to get the international clearance through the week before our first league game against Bedford,” he said. “The game itself was a good test, we got off to an unbelievable start and managed to come through the game 3-2 winners, and there’s nothing better than getting a win first game of the season.”

The teenage said the time at Arsenal was amazing and he learned a great deal. “Trialling at Arsenal back in 2013 with my brother Liam was an experience like no other, being in and around all the Arsenal players is a dream of many young footballers,” he explained. “They (Arsenal) treated my brother and I just like they do their first team players it really was something special.”

The keeper said working with Petterson at ECU was good and he said he has had a number of good coaches in his short football career. “Andy (Petterson) is a great coach, and has the experience of playing over in the UK, so I was lucky to get a full year of training with him whilst I was at ECU and this helped me out a lot,” he explained. “I’ve had many coaches who have helped me along the way, as everyone has different opinions and helps you with all different aspects of my game. I spent five years working with Glenn Giudici at Perth as well as multiple years with Dave Whalley, all have helped my development.”

The one regret Driscoll does have is leaving Perth Glory, but that was totally out of hands, and in hindsight it was for the best. “When I was told to leave the club after a question from my father about the lack of coaching for the junior keeper upset certain people at the club, I decided I wanted a change and was lucky enough to have accommodation just outside of Reading,” he explained. “My agent contacted a few clubs within travelling distance and luckily was able to get a trial at Farnborough.

“Then after a few weeks pre-season, including multiple games I did well enough to secure a spot as the number one keeper. I believe the UK is the place to be for players who have big dreams, due to the volume of games you play in a season as well as the training available over here, it’s just too hard to find in Perth. We have a friendly game against Crystal Palace 1st team on Monday night, as well as another league game away Tuesday night, and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”