Jacks head home to take on Cockburn

Jacks head home to take on Cockburn

Posted on July 8, 2017 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup know nothing more than three points will suffice if their top four hopes are to stay alive, when they entertain Cockburn City at the ECU Football Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Back-to-back defeats have left the Jacks in eighth place on the PS4 NPLWA table, ten points out of the top four finals spots, but they do have two games in hand, but they will have to rely on results elsewhere going their way, if they don’t collect all three points on Saturday.

The Jacks were beaten at home by Floreat Athena last time out and assistant coach and midfielder Steven McGarry said it was a disappointing performance, and out of character for the side. “I think we were all disappointed with not only the result against Floreat but how we performed,” he said. “We changed the shape of the team and the players adapted well to an extent, but the lack of chances created especially as they went down to 10 men for most of the game was a concern.”

McGarry said the squad are determined to hit back on Saturday against a good Cockburn side. “We do have enormous belief in this squad, and as we have proved before we can compete with anyone in the league on our day. The next month is going to be a massive challenge with some big games coming up along with our two catch up games, but our immediate focus is a very tricky game against Cockburn on Saturday,” he explained.

“Cockburn have been inconsistent this year but again very dangerous on their day. Scott Miller is a man I have the highest respect for and has his team playing some very good football, so it’s a game we will need to be at our best to get the result we need.”

Daryl Nicol, Ross Millard and Gordon Smith have all been selected in the WA State League squad, but the trio know how important Saturday’s game is, especially after slipping off the pace in recent weeks, and Nicol said they desperately need three points on Saturday. “I think the games in hand don’t really mean anything at the moment as we haven’t proved this season that any game is a certainty, so all we can do is focus on getting the 3 points on Saturday against Cockburn,” he explained.

“We need every single player playing close to their maximum on Saturday which we haven’t had too often this season, but if we get that I’m confident we get the three points.”

Defender Millard said It is a must win game. “We’ve hit a patchy bit of form lately and we can’t afford any more slip ups. It’s getting to the pointy end of the season now and every game counts so we must go out there on Saturday and get the 3 points,” he explained.

“Our games in hand help us out a bit however no game is easy in this league so we need to be at the top of our game for the rest of the year. Cockburn are a decent side who have given a lot of team problems this year and I’m sure this week will be no different. We’re really looking forward to the game.

Smith is back in training but will probably miss another week and he is well aware the side can’t afford to drop many more points. “We know it won’t be an easy game against Cockburn, recent results count for nothing as most teams on their day in this league can beat anyone,” he said. “The top four is still there for us as we have two games in hand, we need to stay focused and hopefully we can have an end to the season like last season.”

The day starts with the under 18’s at 11am, the under 20’s at 1pm and the first team at 3pm