Higgins back and enjoying his football

Higgins back and enjoying his football

Posted on April 8, 2016 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup thought they had lost Andy Higgins when he quit the game last season. But the defender took six months away from the game to re-charge his batteries, and after a chat to ECU Coach Dale McCulloch the former Portsmouth Youth player has returned to the club fully charged and impressed in his first league game in the 5-2 win against Subiaco.

The 22-year old said it was good to be back but the pre-season training hit him hard. “The first session was tough and the legs were a bit sore after the first week,” Higgins explained.  “But I’ve worked hard when I wasn’t playing, and kept my fitness levels up so the return wasn’t has been as I had thought.”

Higgins slotted into the left back role against Subiaco, and the club have some good young players pushing him for a spot, with Josh Tucker and Coire McGuigan playing in the position in the Night Series. The backline has a number of new faces in it and the defender said they are forming a good partnership.

“We have a young backline and there are a number of new faces,” he said. “Dave Keenan has come in goal while Joseph Jones has added some experience at right back, while Shane Pickering and the skipper Ryan Lowry are working well together in the middle. We are gelling well as a unit, but we know is we don’t play well we have other players chopping at the bit to get our spot.”

The club has brought in some quality to add to the youngsters they had last season and Higgins said they are playing some good football. “It’s defiantly a new look team, and Dale (McCulloch) has brought in some good visa players who have settled in really well with the ECU crowd,” he said. “The club have big ambitions this season and the players they have brought in have really strengthened the squad, and with injuries and players being unavailable we struggled last season, but we are far better side now and we are showing it on the pitch.”

ECU assistant Coach David Tough said they are delighted to have the defender back at the club and focused on his football. “To get Andy back fit and focused is a massive plus for the club,” he said. “We’ve got a number of players who we’ve tried at left back in the Night series and they all have shown us they can play at this level, but we believe Andy is one of the best left sided players in the league, and he’s showed glimpse of it in his first league game back last week. His set pieces causes problems, and once he gets his match fitness back he will take some stopping.”

Higgins played for the Perth Glory youth side before heading to the UK and a football scholarship at Portsmouth FC, where he moved through the ranks and made his senior debut in the English League Cup against Plymouth Argyle. He made his league debut back at the Jacks in the big 5-2 win against Subiaco, but as a defender he was disappointed to have let the two goals in. “The lads were disappointed to have let a couple of goals in, but we were in control of the game, so it’s easy to lose concentration and be punished for it. On whole though I thought we dominated and played some football.”

This week league leaders Perth SC head to the ECU Football Stadium and Higgins says the players are really looking forward to the challenge, and they will see where they are at. “I defiantly fancy our chances this weekend, and if we play like we know we can we can beat any team in the league,’ he said. “We know they (Perth) are a strong side but there is high confidence in the squad and training has been a high tempo this week and we are really up for this one, as we look to maintain our undefeated home record in the league this season.”