Joe's fabulous five, now it's a shot at finals
AFTER scoring an NPL best five goals, popular Western Pride footballer Joe Duckworth was as calm and focused as ever.
While thrilled with his individual milestone, he wasted little time sharing what he really wants.
"It's part one done,'' Duckworth said after last night's comprehensive 8-0 state league victory over Northern Fury at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex.
"That was our goal at the start of the season - to make top four.
"We'll enjoy this (making the finals for the first time) but the job's not done yet.''
The former Ipswich Grammar School student was a prolific goal scorer for teams in the past.
However, last night's superb effort rewarded Pride's most capped senior player (65 NPL games) for his loyalty and hard work.
During recent NPL matches where other players stole the goal-scoring glory, Duckworth remained one of the team's best attacking workers, creating countless chances.
In Pride's latest demolition job, he was the sharpshooter on the spot to dominate, starting with a 12th minute penalty.
Duckworth's second and fifth goals were sheer class, chipping the ball over the Fury goalkeeper's head.
He brought up his hat-trick in the second half to take Pride to a 5-0 advantage.
The classy striker saluted the crowd after his fifth goal completed the whitewash.
Having played every game this season, Duckworth praised former A-League teammate Harry Sawyer for giving his team a boost mid-season. Sawyer scored a series of hat-tricks before being recruited to a professional club in The Philippines.
Pride's attack has lifted to a new level on their unbeaten run since June.
"We've always been in games but we haven't been able to score,'' Duckworth said. "But ever since Sawyer was back, it's had a contagious effect on the group and thankfully we've been able to send out our last home game of the year with everyone happy.''
With a shot at the finals on offer, Duckworth typified his closeknit team's approach.
"We're all excited,'' he said. "Another good week at training and we'll focus on the finals.''