Pollard shines in the UK

Pollard shines in the UK

Posted on November 2, 2019 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup Soccer Club keeper Joseph Pollard headed to the UK last month for trials at a number of clubs in the UK, and the 14-year-old has impressed.

The youngster rose from junior football to the senior set up at the club last season playing NPL 18’s and 20’s and he also sat on the bench for the first team, and he said the club have been great to improve his game, especially extra sessions with goalkeeping coach Willie McNally, 15’s coach Ronald Rixer and NPL Technical Director of Football Mark Scanlan.

“Yes, it’s been what I’ve wanted to do since I was young, go overseas and try my luck in the UK, and I’ve prepared very hard for it,” he explained. “I’ve been doing extra fitness training set up by Mark Scanlan and sports scientists at ECU, extra one on one keeper training with Willie McNally and still training with my under 15’s squad with Ronald Rixer and senior training throughout the year. As I’ve been invited back, I’ll be working more specifically and harder on what I need to improve on.”

First up the youngster headed to English Premier League side Aston Villa. “I trained with the under 15’s and 16’s, the set up and facilities there were unreal,” he said. “I trained four days a week with three-night sessions and one full day which consisted of two training sessions, education, analysis, gym and lunch. The sessions where mainly with the outfielders which gave me a chance to show my feet and gave me positive feedback on that. They gave me very positive feedback and things to work on and have invited me back to a longer trial next year.”

He then went another English Premier League side in Bournemouth. “I trained with the under 18’s there and the set up and way it was run was very good again. We trained four times a week again all single sessions two with analysis and three with gym and education,” Pollard explained. “All of my sessions where very goalkeeping based with very good goalkeepers and good coaches which gave me good opportunities to express myself. They gave me very positive feedback and things to work on and have invited me back to a longer trial next year.”

In the third week he went to English Championship side Blackburn Rovers. “I trained with the under 15’s, unfortunately due to games and very bad weather there was two training sessions cancelled,” he said. “But I still trained a night session with the first team goalkeeper coach and a day session which consisted of the same things at Villa, besides the cancelled training sessions was still a great experience.”

Pollard started at the Jacks in 2012 to 2014 with under 9’s,10’s and 11’s, before moving to Perth Glory from 2015-2017 for under 12’s, 13’s and half of 14’s before he moved back to ECU to now. The 14- years-old keeper said the work he did with Jacks goalkeeping coach was vital and he thanked McNally for his time. “The work Willie has really important for my trip,” he said “He drilled me on technique as well as keeping me at a good fitness level also helping by when I played for the under 18’s squad he would give pointers before, during and after the game for things I could’ve done better and decision making during the game.”