Skilful Western Pride footballer Joe Duckworth
Skilful Western Pride footballer Joe Duckworth Chris Simpson

‘Smart’ Pride striker given extended role with Roar Youth

WESTERN Pride attacker Joe Duckworth has secured a full-time training agreement with Brisbane Roar Youth for the remainder of the National Premier Leagues season.

The arrangement was announced after the two clubs played out a 2-2 draw at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex on Saturday night.

The agreement allows the 19-year old to further his development within the Roar system with the aim of securing a contract for this summer's National Youth League.

As the deadline for transfers between NPL clubs has passed, Duckworth will continue to play for Pride on weekends.

Pride coach Graham Harvey expected Duckworth to flourish in a full-time environment.

"He's desperate to be a professional footballer and he has got that drive I think you need to be a professional footballer,'' Harvey said.

"He's improved massively since I've been at the club in terms of his work ethic for the side and has taken a lot more chances than he did last year in terms of his goal-scoring."

Harvey said Duckworth's thirst for knowledge was second-to-none.

"I think the big thing for his development is to continue to listen to the coaching advice he is going to get (at Roar) and to then carry that out," Harvey said.

"That's one of his strengths for us so it needs to be one of his strengths there."

Roar Youth coach Josh McCloughan said Duckworth was one of a number of boys who impressed him from the Ipswich area.

"He's a smart player who finds good spots of space, is a good dribbler of the football and is always looking to play a killer pass or get himself on goal," McCloughan said.

"Western Pride are a really good club at not only giving young players a chance but to produce players and put that polish on them."

Duckworth is the third Pride player to join Roar Youth in the last 12 months after Harrison Sawyer and Hayden Mchenery.

The former Ipswich Grammar School student came up through the ranks of the University of Queensland before joining Pride at the start of the 2015 season.

Duckworth is Pride's leading scorer this year with nine goals in 17 appearances.

In a twist of fate, Duckworth made a telling contribution in Saturday's draw between Pride and Roar Youth, producing a stinging cross which allowed Mitchell Bird to pull a goal back for the home side.

Bonventure Thomas-Remijo, who is also on trial with Roar Youth, did his chances of following Duckworth no harm by scoring Pride's late equaliser.

Garry McKenzie

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