Higgins back and in the zone

Higgins back and in the zone

Posted on July 1, 2016 in 'News'

Last season it looked like ECU Joondalup had lost Andy Higgins, after a season where he wasn’t enjoying his football and he decided to pull up stumps.

The decision wasn’t taken lightly, but the 22-year-old said it was the best thing he’s done, but after a break from the game the defender headed back to the club after recharging his batteries, and has put the hard yards in and is getting the rewards. “It was good to have the time off, and I really needed it,” he explained.

“I’ve been playing the game non-stop since I was about 5 years old, so having the break really recharged me. At first I was enjoying the time off, but after a while I had too much time on my hands and started to miss being around a team environment, and when I contacted Dale to head back it was like a new start for me, and I’m really enjoying it.”

The Jacks have recruited well this season and Higgins said it like being back home, but he said he needs a translator with some of the new signing. “When I first headed back it was like ‘Little Scotland’ with all the new players,” he joked.

“We have brand new squad and Dale has brought in some experienced players that can also play, which is good as we had a very young squad at the start of the season.”

Higgins played for Portsmouth in the UK for two years, before heading back to play for Perth Glory Youth side, before joining the Jacks, and he said life in the UK was good early but it wasn’t for him. “My time at Pompey was good early, but then it stop being a hobby and turned into a job,” he said.

“It was a crazy environment and you constantly had to impress and in the end it just wasn’t for me. I played in the FA Youth cup against Manchester United, playing against the likes of Paul Pogba, and it was great night when I made my first team debut for Portsmouth against Plymouth in the Capital One Cup.”

Higgins is also enjoying being back in the same side as his brother Jon, who also re-joined the club this season, and Andy said it was a big surprise. “It was surprisingly actually he seemed like he had put it all behind him but I think he had the same feelings as me and just really missed being in a team environment,” he explained.

“It’s good we have played together quite a lot although we tend to argue a lot on the pitch, but that’s what brother do all the time isn’t it, but we’re both enjoying our football now which is great.”

The defender put in another strong performance last week in the 3-0 win at Subiaco, and he said it was good to also keep another clean sheet. “It was a comfortable win for the lads which was good because in games like that you can lose concentration and let teams get the better of you,” he said.

“They are fighting for their lives at the foot of the table so we knew they would be up for it, but were strong and were hard to play against, and to make it four clean sheets on the bounce, shows we are improving with each game.”

Jacks head Coach Dale McCulloch said to have a fresh Andy Higgins back is a massive boost for the club. “The return of Andy is like a new signing for us, he’s got his old swagger back and is playing well at the moment,” he said.

“We thought we had lost him after last season, but I was always in contact with him and we’re delighted he had a change of heart and returned to the club.

“His set pieces are excellent and he is a huge part of the clubs success this season so far, and hopefully there is more to come.”

On Saturday the Jacks travel to Perth SC, who have been the benchmark in WA football for a number of years, but Higgins said they fear no one. “We go into this week with a heap of confidence knowing we can get the three points,” he said.

“They (Perth) always put out a strong side and can be very hard to beat, but like I said we are playing with confidence and head into the game looking to come home with a result.”