A Hat-Trick for Jay

A Hat-Trick for Jay

Posted on September 11, 2020 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup youngster Jay Patel has made it a hat-trick after being selected in the The Gold Fields Boys WA State squad for the third consecutive season.

The central defender has been outstanding in the Jacks Academy and was rewarded, with not only a spot in the state team, but he has also been elevated to the State League under 18’s squad.

“I am thrilled to be chosen once again for the state team, it’s always an honour to be out there doing what you love, representing your state,” he explained. “I’m lucky enough to have played in previous state teams for the last few years, three for Football West and one for state school boys.

“I feel that the sessions at the club have really built me as a player and have helped me improve a lot. Many other kids trialled just like me, but to be accepted and offered a spot in the state team is something to be proud of.

“I feel I have put in a lot of work this season which has definitely helped me become a better footballer.”

Patel said like all players he couldn’t be playing football without his parents. “My family has always been proud of my footballing achievements ever since I was young,” he said.

“I can’t thank them enough for all their hard work and dedication to transport me to and from training grounds or match days.”

The step up to under 18’s has been a challenge, but one the youngster is relishing. “There is definitely a huge step up from junior football to senior football, the game speed is so much faster and the expectation level to match the opposition is a lot higher,” he said.

“I have to admit my first few minutes for the 18’s was a bit nerve wracking, but Mark Scanlan and the team made me feel comfortable and I feel I am adapting well to the new surroundings.”

The youngster started playing in the UK for his local team Thurrock, before heading down under and joined Quinns. He was at Gumblossom Park for one season, before he adventured to the Jacks Academy, and he has been here for six-years.

Jacks under 18’s coach Mark Scanlan said Patel is improving with every game. “I’ve worked with Jay with the state team in 2019 so I’ve got a good insight into what he’s like as a player and as a person,” he explained.

“I’ve had no qualms about bringing him into the 18’s because of his reading of the game and his competitiveness and desire to win. He also has a knack of scoring a goal or two which always helps.”

The defender was one of 17 academy players to be selected in state teams this year, and he said the club continue to bring quality players through their academy.

“I think the club has done well to build a good academy system and for 17 players to be selected for the state teams is something they should be congratulated for,” Patel said.

“They have put in lot of hard work week in week out to create an environment where juniors can express themselves and take risks when playing football, and this definitely builds confidence in a player.”

Good luck in the state games Jay!!!