Perkins ready for season opener

Perkins ready for season opener

Posted on March 19, 2021 in 'News'

On the eve of the 2021 NPLWA season opener against Gwelup Croatia, we sat down with Jacks’ skipper Johnny Perkins for a chat, as we look to defend our title.

We started by asking the keeper if the club had more pressure on them after winning the title last season and teams would want to beat the Champions, but Perkins was quick to respond saying all games in the league are tough. (Photo by Fotoenzo)

“That might be the case but I don’t think there are any ‘easy’ games in this league. Last season was great for everyone involved at the club, but that’s over and done with,” he explained.

“Now we focus forward. We have seen lots of teams have strengthened and it feels like it will be very tight again if the Night Series is anything to go by.”

The Jacks finished the Night Series with a solid 4-1 win against Armadale to take third place in the preseason competition, but Perkins said the loss in the semi-final against Perth hurt, but to get minutes into players legs was important.

“Third place doesn’t satisfy anyone, we let our standards drop in the semi and were punished by a strong Perth team. However overall, we got what we needed out of the night series from a minutes and sharpness perspective,” he said.

“Our new boys gelled in quickly and the young lads that have stepped up and played have been excellent so there are positives to take into the new season.”

Head Coach Kenny Lowe has brought in some talent into the squad in preseason and Perkins believes the squad has depth and competition for places is strong.

“We have added real quality, but its only as a collective that we can challenge again. Injuries, suspensions are part and parcel of football and it’s the 18+ in the squad that win you anything,” he said.

“No one is guaranteed their place, and the gaffer puts in players on merit regardless of age / experience, so there is real competition for places which is great for intensity.”

The season was officially launched at Bayswater City on Wednesday evening, with Perkins, Lowe and Technical Director Mark Scanlan in attendance. Now it’s on to Sunday and the season opener against Gwelup Croatia, and the skipper said the players can’t wait to get started.

“Gwelup were a solid outfit last year and have strengthened to push for it again this year, so it will be a tough game on a tight pitch,” he said.

“Training has been great and everyone is champing at the bit to get started, bring it on.”