Smith ready for Bayswater in QBE Night Series

Smith ready for Bayswater in QBE Night Series

Posted on January 27, 2017 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup will take on current QBE PS4NPLWA Night Series holders Bayswater City on Sunday afternoon, in the second round at the Inglewood Stadium (5.30pm) The Jacks beat Cockburn City 4-0 in the first round, and Gordon Smith returned with a bang scoring two penalties.

The former Hearts striker injured his knee late last season and missed the clubs Top Four Finals run, but he’s back to full fitness and said the win last week gives them confidence going forward.

“It was a great win for the boys, especially with the windy conditions, and it shows the hard work pre-season has paid off as we really upped our game second half,” he said. “Personally it was good to get back on the park and on the scoresheet after a long 4 1/2 months out, but on the night credit goes to Daryl Nicol for winning the penalties, and he’s been flying pre-season.”

Smith knows the quality Bayswater have in their squad, but said the club are looking forward to the game, but they need to maintain their focus and standard they set last week. “It’s a really good draw and one we are looking forward too,” he explained. “They (Bayswater) will be fit and well organised, so we have to maintain the standard we set against Cockburn into Sunday’s game and if we do that we will have a good chance of progressing.”

Assistant Coach David Tough said the win at Cockburn was good for the players, after they hadn’t had any lead up games. “We were delighted with the result on Sunday considering it was our first competitive game of the season,” he said. “We started the game with five players making their debuts which included three of the back four and our keeper Fraser Greenwood.

“So, it was pleasing to see us get a clean sheet. Especially playing against a strong wind and being under a lot of set piece pressure in the first half. Second half it clicked for us going forward and we played like we did in the second half of last season. We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves as were aware we have a lot of hard work to be done before our first NPL fixture.”

Tough said the squad will be the same for the Bayswater game, and he said it’s a big challenge but one their all looking forward too. “Sunday’s game is going to be a great test for us. They (Bayswater) started pre-season three or four weeks before us and from all reports looked very fit against Perth,” he explained.

“It will give us a great gauge of where we are fitness wise and how much work we have to do to peak for the start of the season.  We will again be missing a number of senior players but I think the Cockburn game showed the depth in the squad has improved greatly from last season.”

ECU Joondalup squad v Bayswater – GK Fraser Greenwood, GK Dave Keenan, GK Todd Hoyle, 2 Ben Johns, 3 Cian Hirrell, 4 Steven McGarry, 5 Nathan Diaz, 6 Logan McIsaac, 7 Danny Milne, 8 Kevin Moon, 9 Daryl Nicol, 10 Gordon Smith, 11 Paddy Doyle, 12 Coire McGuigan, 13 Tommy Amphlett, 14 Jayden Drummond, 15 Sam Pollard, 16 Declan Hughes; 17 Ethan Kerridge, 18 Jon Higgins, 19 James Owen, 22 Andy Higgins, 23 Rikki Smith