Knowles rewarded with A-League contract

Knowles rewarded with A-League contract

Posted on February 3, 2017 in 'News'

Former ECU Joondalup striker Joe Knowles has signed his first professional contract after signing for Perth Glory for the 2017/18 A-League season.  The 20-year old impressed strongly during the club’s pre-season tour of the Philippines and in the recent Youth League campaign.

He thanked ECU for giving him the start on his football journey. “I think if it wasn’t for ECU I wouldn’t be where I am today,” he said. “I am really happy to be offered such a great opportunity and to play at home is what I have always dreamt of.”

Knowles, who has made five Hyundai A-League appearances to date, the most recent was in this season’s Round One opener against Central Coast, but he knows the hard work starts now as he looks to impress the coaching staff. “Yes the hard work starts now I just need to work my socks off, keep improving and getting better and hopefully I can start pushing into the squad,” he explained. “Having a taste of A-League and FFA cup makes me want more, so I’ll be doing everything I can to be playing as soon as possible.”

ECU Coach Dale McCulloch gave Knowles his first team debut, and he said he know he had talent. “Were delighted for Joe to sign a professional contract at the Glory, but he would look better in an ECU shirt,” he joked. “We could see the talent he had as a junior and I never had a problem putting him in the first team here, and he never let me or the club down and he scored his first goal in the local derby against Sorrento.”

The chance to train alongside the like of Diego Castro, Adam Taggart, Chris Harold and Andy Keogh has improved Knowles game and he hopes it continues. “It’s great to train and play with the likes of those names, and many more big names in the squad because you learn so much from them,” he said. “They have all really helped in making me and the other young boy’s better players.” Glory Coach Kenny Lowe said he was happy for Knowles. “It’s great for Joe, he’s been in our system for a while now and he’s worked ever so hard to earn this opportunity.” he said.

The Coaches at the club – Kenny Lowe, Andrew Ord, John Gibson, Richard Garcia and Jacob Burns have all had influence on his football, but he had a special mention for one of them. “I think highly of all these coaches and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the guidance of these guys,” he said. “Gibbo has had to put up with my moaning for the past three years, so I think it’s only fair he gets a mention. He has changed me as a player, and also as a person in everyday life, so for that I’ll be forever thankful.”