Skipper ready to lead the Jacks forward

Skipper ready to lead the Jacks forward

Posted on March 10, 2017 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup take on Inglewood United on Saturday and they will be led out be skipper Jon Higgins, who has fought back from injury to lead the side into battle on Saturday.

The veteran midfielder played his first game back for over a year against Armadale in round two and he said it’s good to back. “It’s really good to be back, and it’s funny you don’t realise how big of a part of your life the club is until you take some time away,” he said. “Watch from the stands wasn’t the best, so to get back on the pitch and be given the captaincy is special, because we have a great bunch of lads at the club.”

After 70 minutes under his belt against Armadale the midfielder said there is no problem with the injury, which saw him miss most of last season, but he was left disappointed with the loss. “I had small tear in my Achilles, but I probably came back a little too quickly, and the body wasn’t ready for it, I’m not sure if it will ever get 100% again unless I have a some time off, which I don’t really enjoy doing,” he explained. “It was obviously a disappointing result against Armadale, but at half time I thought we were going to go out and really enjoy ourselves, score goals and walk away with three points, but football can be nasty sometimes and the game just didn’t go our way.

The Jacks have given a number of youngsters the opportunity in the first team over the past, and Higgins said their academy is probably the best in Australian football. “We have been producing kids for years, to play overseas or the A-League, I’ve never seen a club like it, Perth glory must love us,” he joked. “At club level though we have got some absolute cracking players coming through, keep your eye on young Keylun Pollard and Declan Hughes. Both have pace to burn and good with both feet, and they are absolute grafters, and an eye for goal. I’m expecting big things from these two over the next year or two, our reserve side is by far the best I’ve ever seen down here, with a lot of talent which I hope to be watching in the future.”

Jacks assistant Coach David Tough said the return of the skipper has been a timely boost. “It’s a massive boost to the club getting Jon back after his year out, he is so influential on the pitch and off it,” he said. “In my opinion on his day he’s one of the best players in the state. He’s got excellent leadership qualities and drives the boys in training and in the matches, and we are a better team with him in the line-up.”

Higgins is expecting another tough game against Inglewood, but he said the players are up for this one to get their season up and running. “Inglewood are always a tough game for us, I don’t know as many of the players now as I used to (someone told me I’m getting old),” he said. “They do have some talented players which can hurt you, if you let them, it’s our plan not to let that happen on Saturday. Our mindset must be on from the START – it’s very easy turning up during the week and weekends when your winning, and everything is going your way but when you have one point from six with high expectations, this is where true characters come out, nothing less than three points on the weekend.”