Jacks set for Armadale Challenge

Jacks set for Armadale Challenge

Posted on June 2, 2017 in 'News'

After back-to-back home games ECU Joondalup hit the road in Week 15 of the PS4 National Premier League WA, with a trip to Alfred Skeet Reserve to take on Armadale.

A loss and a draw in the two previous games, against Perth SC and Joondalup United respectively, isn’t what they were looking for, but skipper Gordon Smith said the point in the Joondalup Derby was just rewards, but they did have chances to win it. “The Joondalup clash was a tough game and they are dangerous from set pieces which obviously was the difference on the day,” he said. “We created a few chances second half and could have possibly won it but fair play to them for keeping us out.”

Smith, who scored the winner last time the Jacks played at Alfred Skeet Reserve, said they are expecting another tight affair on Saturday, and will be looking to make emends from the home game round two loss against Armadale. “Away to Armadale will be another tough game – they beat us in round 2 so we know it won’t be an easy game,” he said. “We played well to the conditions last season and it’s going to be the same on Saturday, and we will need to be up for the fight and hopefully our quality can get us the three points.”

Jacks Head Coach Dale McCulloch said last week’s draw against Joondalup was a good point especially after coming from behind twice. “Yes it was a good point in the end, but our second half was outstanding, and I thought we could have scored a couple more,” he said. “We knew going into the game set-pieces would be dangerous, and it proved to be, but we need to learn from that. I was really pleased how the new lads settled in and Jack and Graham worked well together and will only get better the more they play.”

Armadale beat the Jacks in the first meeting at the Campus, and McCulloch said they are a dangerous side, if you let them play. “It was a smash and grab win for them in round two, but we let them play their game, and we can’t afford to do that on Saturday or they will punish us again,” he said. “The boys are determined to go on a run like last season, and they are working extremely hard to do that, and we head to Armadale looking for a positive result.”

In team news Tommy Amphlett, Jon Higgins, Ryan McDarby and Rikki Smith are still unavailable, but McCulloch said the squad is strong and positions are up for grabs. “We’ve played some of our younger players this season, and they haven’t let me or the club down,” he said. “Training has been intense, the best it’s been all season, and these young lads are pushing the others and it gives me a few selection headaches.”