Jacks bring Warland home

Jacks bring Warland home

Posted on June 19, 2020 in 'News'

ECU Joondalup Soccer Club have added talented defender Riley Warland to their squad for the 2020 NPLWA season.

The 17-year-old started his football at the Campus, in the clubs successful Youth Academy, before spells at Perth Glory and at English Championship side Fulham last season. He said when Jacks Head Coach Kenny Lowe contacted him the decision to return home was an easy one.

“My return back to the campus was an easy and positive move for my myself, due to the coach being Kenny Lowe, Warland explained.

“I have a great relationship with him, and obviously the club having such a great history with players coming up through the academy and going overseas and being successful I thought it was the right move for me at this time.”

Warland returned home from Fulham last season and played for the Glory in the NPL, but things didn’t work out with an A-League contract but he has no regrets.

“After I returned home, I did have a spell with the Glory A-League squad for pre-season, but I didn’t find myself getting enough game time, so ultimately I had to make an executive decision to leave the club for more game time,” he said.

“That decision has led me to enjoy my football a lot more, especially at such a great club like ECU who have made me feel really welcome, and I have a lot of history here as I played a lot of my junior career here.”

Jacks Head Coach Kenny Lowe said Warland is a great signing for the club. “Riley is great lad and he isn’t a bad footballer too,” he said.

“I worked with him at Glory when he was in Youth side and he was a talent, and he went to the Fulham Academy and didn’t look out of place.

“Unfortunately it didn’t work out for him over there, but he is an ECU lad and it’s great for the club to get him back and he hasn’t missed a beat since returning to the campus and he gives our squad a lift as we prepare for the re-started NPL season.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for clubs to get ready for the new season, but Warland said Lowe and his assistants David Butterfield and David Tough will have them ready.

“The virus has definitely thrown a spanner in the works, but that hasn’t stopped the boys from putting in the hard yards and really working hard for the first game of the season,” he said.

“I personally believe that this team could go really far, there’s a lot of talent and a lot of young boys coming through which is really positive to see for the future of the club. I’m really looking forward to see how we go in the first game of the season against Cockburn City, I think it’ll be a great game.”