Roar training adds to Joe’s NPL quality
ANYONE who has watched or spoken to Joe Duckworth knows he's a quality person on and off the field.
So it's fitting the former Ipswich Grammar School student has been one of Western Pride's standout players in this season's National Premier Leagues state competition.
However, those who have met Duckworth can also understand how ambitious he is in football.
That's why the rising footballer is thriving on his latest opportunity with the Brisbane Roar Youth squad.
Although still committed to Western Pride in the NPL, Duckworth has been training regularly in recent weeks with the Roar squad being groomed for future A-League careers.
While Duckworth is cautious about expecting too much, he's appreciative of the support he's receiving from Pride head coach Graham Harvey and Roar Youth team mentor Josh McCloughan.
"I've got the best of both worlds,'' Duckworth, 19, said.
"Josh and Graham speak a lot. They have sorted a plan out for me to train with both.''
That strategy is to expose Duckworth to higher level training while allowing him to continue playing for Pride this season.
"Both (Harvey and McCloughan) are looking after me. It's been good so far,'' the Pride striker said.
Duckworth has scored nine goals from 15 NPL matches this year.
However, it's his speed, tenacity and skills up front that have attracted most attention.
Duckworth showed how serious he was about football by spending his Christmas break training with Accrington Stanley Football Club in Lancashire.
"It was a professional club and I trained there most days and learnt a lot,'' he said of his six-week English experience.
Now, Duckworth is being assisted by key people in south east Queensland, backing his immense potential.
"I love it,'' he said of training with Roar.
"It's an awesome experience to train with that quality every day.
"Josh is a great coach and their players are all quality players.
"With that sort of quality, it definitely helps my game.''
Despite the cooler weather of late, Duckworth has needed little extra motivation to attend football training.
However, Duckworth is happy to have a short rest from study to fresh up mentally.
"The break has come at a good time,'' the second year sports science student said.
As he continues working with the Roar Youth squad, Duckworth is keen to keep playing for Pride when needed.
Pride tackle Brisbane City at Newmarket on Saturday night.
Although Pride have endured some mixed results in recent weeks and lost some key players, Duckworth is positive about the Ipswich-based team.
"It has been disruptive but that's no excuse,'' he said.
"We've always been competitive in games.''
He said each player needed to take more responsibility to turn close results into victory.
Pride's next home match is ironically against Brisbane Roar Youth's team on July 9, giving Duckworth another chance to showcase his skills.