Pollard set for UK trials

Pollard set for UK trials

Posted on July 14, 2017 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup midfielder Sam Pollard heads off to the UK on Saturday evening, for trials at a number of clubs in Scotland and England.

The 18-year-old has been outstanding in the middle of the park for the Jacks this season, this after only making his first team debut against Cockburn City in round seven, and he has improved each game. “I have really enjoyed every minute of it, the season has been great,” he said.

“The team has suffered a lot of injuries and missing people but we managed to keep in range with the top four with two games in hand, and with the senior players coming back into the side we have a great chance to get something from the season.”

The engine room at the Jacks has a number of experienced players in Steven McGarry and Kevin Moon, and Pollard said training and working with the pair have helped improve his game. “Having Stevie and Mooners playing alongside me has definitely helped me settle into the team and my role in the side,” he explained.

“The pair have a vast experience in the game, and they have helped be develop me as a player, to be more calm on the ball and also smarter on the pitch, the whole team and coaches have also helped me so much to settle in and made me feel part of the team right away.”

The midfielder is looking forward to the trip and said he knows it will be difficult but he’s looking forward to the challenge. “This could be a great opportunity in being able to play football in Europe which I have wanted to do for a long time,” he explained.

“I’ll be going too are St Johnston, Livingston and Falkirk in Scotland, and then I also have opportunity to go down to England to have trials at Colchester. The trials were arranged by one of my junior coaches at the club, Ross Kelly, who developed my game as a youngster, and he got me in touch with a friend of his in the UK, who watched my videos and wanted me to come over for trials.”

Pollard learnt his trade in the UK before heading to Australia and has had some great coaches pushing him along the way. “As a junior in England I was with Blackburn Rovers and then moved to Burnley for a while, before we decided to come to Australia,” he said.

“My first season in Australia was with Heathridge, the season after I moved to ECU where I played for years, before Kenny Lowe asked me to join the NTC which then turned into Perth Glory, where I stayed until I moved back to ECU at the end of last year,” he explained.

“I’ve had some great coaches along the way, who have had all had a big influence on my football, John Brown, Ross and Willy Kelly as a junior, and Kenny Lowe and mainly Dale McCulloch as both a junior and a senior coach.”

Jacks Head Coach McCulloch said Pollard has fitted in well this season, on his return to the campus. “Sam has been great, his enthusiasm is infectious to the other players, and he has been an integral part of our midfield this season,” he said.

“Along with a number of young players, Sam returned to the club this season, and all of them have been terrific, and all have been given the opportunity to play in the first team, and they haven’t let me all the club down.”

McCulloch coached Pollard as a junior and a senior, and he said we was great to work with and he could at a young age he was a good players.’

“I coached Sam as a youngster, and he was one of these players who wanted to learn and you only had to tell him once and he did it, something other young players should take on board,” he said.

“He has the opportunity now to go overseas and get a professional contract, and we wish him all the best, and the Scottish lads have been given him some training in the local language – all the best Sam.”

Pollard said his parents have been there for him his entire football career and he hopes to repay them in time. “My parents have helped me with everything I do in football, both on and off the pitch, and have spent a lot of time and money on my football,” he said

“They come to every game and even flying to different countries or states to watch me play, if it wasn’t for my parents I wouldn’t be where I am today, and wouldn’t be able to be going on these trials, so I’m really grateful to them.” – Good luck Sam!!!!!!