After arriving during the off-season from the Wellington Phoenix, 25-year old defender Dylan Fox has established himself as a mainstay of Alen Stajcic’s backline through the FFA Cup and opening rounds of the Hyundai A-League.
Fox has formed a formidable partnership with Kye Rowles at the back, with the two cleaning up almost everything against the Wanderers and the Jets and he said that the focus from Stajcic on a defensive identity has been clear from the outset.
“I think Staj has built a strong foundation,” Fox said.
“We want to be a team that doesn’t concede many goals, and we are held accountable for set pieces.”
“The first couple of games we’ve conceded off penalties and a corner, those little moments have cost us but we haven’t copped a goal in open play so we have been working hard and it’s looking good so far.”
“I would say Staj has definitely worked on being a team that is going to be tough to beat and if we fix up those little moments that have cost us then we are looking really good.”
The partnership with Rowles has been one that fans have taken notice of and Fox said while there is plenty of growing to do, they have a clear goal in mind.
“We’ve been feeling good, Rowlesy has played real well the last couple of weeks and we want to be the strongest backline in the league,” he said.
“Him and I played a couple of games together in pre-season, he’s learning every week and I’m still learning myself.”
“I’ve played with some older players at Wellington and learnt a lot from them so hopefully the experience I’ve picked up I can feed to Kye as well, and I still have plenty to learn myself and plenty of growing to do as a defender.”
With the squad headed to Perth and then Melbourne following the bye weekend, the vibe remains upbeat amongst a squad that has impressed Fox with its togetherness this season.
“Everyone has been really upbeat,” he said.
“Those two games we all know that we should have got results so everyone is really positive and knows those results are coming.”
“We’ve been putting the hard work in at training, executing Staj’s instructions and working on those little moments and everyone knows we can match the teams.”
“Kye and I get along well off the pitch and every player in the team I could say the same about, so me and him playing centre-half has been good.”
“Everyone [in the team] gets along well regardless of position and the group has been top notch which is something I’ve really enjoyed.
Staj and the group will head to Perth this weekend to take on the Glory at HBF Park, kicking off at 3pm local time and 6pm AEDT.