Jacks snap up Lions duo

Jacks snap up Lions duo

Posted on November 24, 2017 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup would like to welcome midfielder Lukas De Lima and defender Shane Cassidy to the Campus, the duo joining from Stirling Lions for the 2018 NPLWA season.

The pair have hit the ground running at pre-season training, joining the rest of the squad this week as they prepare for the pre-season Night Series competition.

Head Coach Dale McCulloch said the pair will add quality to the squad. “We have worked extremely hard in off season to strengthen our squad with players we believe will fit into what the club are aiming for, and that’s success,” he said. “When we spoke to both Lukas and Shane, the coaching staff and I were delighted to hear their views and they matched what we are looking for.

“Lukas was here as a youngster and had a great season at Stirling last season, while Shane was a rock at the back for Stirling, and both have fitted in nicely into the team environment and have hit the ground running at preseason training this week as we prepare for the Night Series.”

It’s a return home for De Lima, the 18-year-old played at the Jacks academy as a junior, but he is delighted to come back home. “I’m really happy to be back at the club. I have always liked ECU and knew I wanted to come back at some stage,” he said. “So when Dale contacted me saying he was interested it was very tough to turn down.

“From what I’ve seen at training I feel we will have a great season, a lot of talented lads in the team and with some other signings made the team is looking stronger and I am excited to see what we can produce next season.”

The midfielder, who headed to the UK for trials at West Ham United earlier in his football, also played at Joondalup City and most recently two years at Stirling Lions. The decision to leave Macedonia Park was a difficult one, but he is sure he’s made the right decision. “I enjoyed my time at Stirling, my aim when I moved there was to push for a first team spot from the reserves,” he said.

“Halfway through my season I accomplished that, which lead to a contract with the first team in my second season there. I made great friends and had great coaches there that all played a part in developing me as a player, which did make it very hard decision to move on, but I think it was the right decision.”

Cassidy is happy to be on board and can’t wait to get stuck into preseason with his new team mates. “I’m really happy to be part of ECU for the new season and I’m looking forward to meeting all the lads and getting started,” he said. “I got a phone call from Dale last week to come up for a chat, and meet the management team and after speaking with them they were very ambitious about this season and I wanted to be part of it and hopefully I can do my bit to help the club achieve what they want.

“2018 looks very promising for the club, last year a lot of injuries and forced changes hurt the team in important games from moving further up the table, but looking at the group Dale has put together for this year and the players he has kept from last season. The squad looks very strong in every position and there should be enough depth to avoid that again.”

Cassidy played his early football in Ireland for Wicklow Rovers in the Leinster senior league, before heading to Australia and joining Shamrock Rovers, palying three seasons at the club helping them to the league title in 2014, before heading to Stirling. Like De Lima the decision to move on was hard, but he thought the time was right for a new challenge.

“I enjoyed my two seasons at Stirling, but unfortunately we couldn’t kick on in the second half of both seasons,” he explained. “I thought hard about the move, and it was a hard decision to move on, but I thought the time was right for a change and I wish Stirling all the best in the future.” Cassidy and De Lima join Adam Tong, Josh Whitmore, and Johnny Perkins as new faces at the Jacks for the new season – welcome aboard lads.