Jacks skipper signs for Wellington Phoenix

Jacks skipper signs for Wellington Phoenix

Posted on September 30, 2016 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup skipper Ryan Lowry has signed for Hyundai A-League side Wellington Phoenix for the 2016-17 season.

The defender had an outstanding season in the PS4 NPLWA, and had been watched by the Phoenix scout, who was also watching on-loan keeper Lewis Italiano, and his report back to head coach Ernie Merrick was impressive, and Lowry was invited for a trial and travelled to Townsville for the Phoenix training camp earlier this month, and the club have offered him a contract.

The 22-year-old said the training camp was enjoyable and is delighted to be given the opportunity and is looking forward to the challenge ahead. “Obviously I’m very happy to be given the opportunity to play at an A-League club, and it’s always been my ambition to play football as my job, so it’s a dream come true for me,” he said. “I really enjoyed my time with the players, and I enjoyed my football too whilst I was over there, and just to be given that opportunity to train amongst some of the high calibre players they have was rewarding in itself.”

Lowry was on the books of Perth Glory and played two seasons in the National Youth League side, but wasn’t offered a contract, but he said that’s football and he looking forward to working with Phoenix Coach Ernie Merrick. “It’s a huge learning curve for me, but I’m looking forward to work with Ernie, who has a lot of football experience in football,” he explained. “He’s a fair and approachable manager which makes it an easier transition, and I’m looking forward to learning and developing my game under him.”

Lowry was outstanding in Jacks season and Coach Dale McCulloch said he deserves the opportunity at the A-League. “I’m really happy for Paddy (Lowry’s nickname at the club), he was outstanding last season, and was vital in our good run during the season,” McCulloch said. “To be honest we all knew he would be picked up by an A-League club, he reads the game so well, and he’s good on the floor and in the air and he plays like he trains and that’s putting in 100%. He will leave a huge hole in our backline, but the club would like to wish him all the best in the future. ECU Joondalup have a great tradition in developing players, and we pride ourselves on giving them the best opportunity to play at the highest level, and we will continue to do that.”

The Semi-Final loss was a huge disappointment for Lowry but he said the club will big strong again next season. “I was shattered to lose the Semi-Final in the penalty shoot-out, but that’s football,” he said. “To leave this season without any silverware was really disappointing, and I thought we deserved it after our great run of form. But the future is bright for the club and the plyers we have in the squad I can see them pushing for the league next year.”

The defender said he’s had some good coaches in his development, and said McCulloch has helped him to become a better player in the last two years. “My last couple of season at ECU working with Dale has been very rewarding for me,” he explained. Without him believing and trusting me I wouldn’t have this opportunity today. I have no doubt he will continue the clubs success, because that’s the type of guy he is.”