McCulloch looking for a positive finish to Night Series

McCulloch looking for a positive finish to Night Series

Posted on February 26, 2016 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup play their final game of the QBE Night Series on Saturday evening, when they take on local rivals Sorrento in a Northern Derby at Percy Doyle Reserve (6.00pm)

 

Senior Coach Dale McCulloch said they will be going all out to end the series with a win and said the players are on notice, perform or watch from the stands.

“Saturday’s game is not just about the Night Series, it’s a bout cementing your spot in the opening league game of the season,” he explained. “So the players are on notice, perform or you won’t be in the side for the opening game of the season against Armadale away.”

McCulloch gave a number of the younger players in his squad a game last week and he said they performed well.

“Yes we gave some of younger players an opportunity last week, and to be fair they never let me down,” he said.

“Young Stefan Vranesevic was good, but he is still a work in progress at this level, but  I’m sure he will be better for the work out. But we’re only three weeks away from the start of the season (PS4 National Premier League WA) and we will have a few of our experienced players back this week as we look for a settled side.

“The Night Series is great for swapping and changing formations and players, and we’ve got a good squad, but know we have to start and get a bit of consistency into our game and starting line-up.”

Like The Jacks, Sorrento can’t qualify for the Semi-Finals but McCulloch said any games against the local rivals are tough. “Any game between the two sides the form goes out the window, and Saturday will be no different.  They (Sorrento) have got some quality in their side, and we have to make sure we pick a side that we think can compete with them on the night,” he said.

“They will play a little more direct and put our back four under a great deal of pressure, and that’s something I want. At times during the Night series are defence hasn’t been great, so to put them under pressure and see how they stand up after all the sessions we’ve been putting in over the past couple of weeks.”

New signing Henry Durr is cup-tied for the match, but McCulloch said his squad is a lot healthier than last week.

“We have a near full squad to pick from this week. We went from the bare bones last week to a full squad this week,” he said.

“So that’s a nice dilemma to have, we’re looking fresh and healthy and we now have to have the performances to start following it.”

Kick off on Saturday is 6.00pm at Percy Doyle Reserve, Warwick Road, Duncraig – Admission is $10