Jacks under 18’s set for Finals showdown

Jacks under 18’s set for Finals showdown

Posted on September 2, 2016 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup raced up the table in the second half of the season and this weekend they take on Subiaco in the West Australian under 18’s Top Four Cup at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday (10.45am).

We sat down during the week to have a chat to Coach Paul Welch, and said the new look squad took time to gel early but have performed really well over the second part of the season.

“The 18’s squad was made up of a mixture of players that I had been involved with from the 16/18 squad of 2015 and the 15’s squad of the same year that I had recommended to me and had also watched plus a couple from outside of the club, so pre-season was about getting everybody to get to know each other and a system of play so they gel for the season,” he explained. “We took a while to get going, resulting in us losing the first three games and for the 2nd year running being dumped out of the cup in the first round.

“But the second half of the season our goal was to make the top four and that was achieved with one game in hand.  The players take the credit for that doing their jobs as asked and becoming a very difficult team to beat because of the hard work that they put in and never say die attitude, plus a lot of talent. I’m extremely proud of the team for what they have achieved and let’s hope they can bring that 2nd half of the season into the top Four cup.”

By the half way stage the side had started to settle and were in 7th place, but only three points above the bottom club, but Welch said they turned it around. “They became a very difficult team to beat, because of the hard work that they put in and never say die attitude, plus a lot of talent. They turned poor first half stats (P11, W3, D 3, L5, F22, A25, GD-3, P12) into (P22, W10, D6, L6, F55, A44, GD+11, P36), that’s double the amount of points from the 1st half of the season and only losing 1 game on the final day, which was frustrating but understandable having already achieved our goal of a top 4 finish.”

Welch said Subiaco will be a tough opposition but he said the players are looking forward to the challenge. “Games between us are generally tight affairs and I expect nothing different this time around. I would not read too much into the fact that we both lost our last games of the season as both teams where already locked into their finals places,” he explained.

“The two games between the two sides were completely different, they beat us well at home, but we turned the table at Subiaco, which was more the team that represented the second half of the season. So if we bring those qualities to the game I see no reason why we cannot progress to the next round.”

The Coach said he didn’t want to pick out individuals for praise, he said it’s been a TEAM effort. “All the players need to perform to the maximum of their abilities in order for this team to function properly,” he explained. “It may well be an individual act of brilliance on the day that wins the game but it would be a team effort that gets us too that point, and as they say ‘There is no I in Team.” Good luck to Paul, John and the players.