The first Westfield FFA Cup 2017 Preliminary Round match takes place in Queensland with Narangba United taking on Pine Rivers United at the Narangba Sporting Complex in the northern suburbs of Brisbane.
Victoria, whose Preliminary Round matches kick off this weekend, has had to implement an additional round of matches after boasting a record 217 entrants, up from 203 last year.
There are also a record number in Northern NSW with 83 clubs entering.
The early signs suggest there is a strong chance of eclipsing the 700 clubs (which included the ten Hyundai A-League clubs) who competed in last year’s Westfield FFA Cup.
“The momentum the Westfield FFA Cup has gathered since the competition began in 2014 has been incredible and highlights the competition’s appeal to everyone in Australian football,” said FFA CEO David Gallop.
“By incorporating all levels of the game, from the grass roots up to the professionals in the Hyundai A-League, it illustrates the Westfield FFA Cup’s uniqueness and why it resonates with all sports fans. It really is a competition that is one of a kind in this country.”
“Last year we saw a couple of big upsets with two Hyundai A-League clubs being bundled out by lower ranked opposition, and even going down further to the Preliminary Rounds, it gives smaller clubs the chance to dream of playing against more fancied opponents and creating their own piece of Cup magic.”
“This year promises to provide more of the same Cup drama and I wish all of the clubs competing the best of luck as the Westfield FFA Cup begins its fourth year.”
Clubs competing in the Westfield FFA Cup Preliminary Rounds range from the minnows of the grassroots lower leagues up to the second tier of Australian football, the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues.
Registrations are still open in a number the State/Territory Member Federations.
One new element of this year’s Westfield FFA Cup is the announcement of leading sports equipment brand Mitre® as the ‘Official Ball Supplier’ of the competition for the next three years.
To celebrate the announcement, Mitre® gave fans the chance to vote on the colour scheme of the new Delta Hyperseam ball, which similarly to last year will feature the names of every club who competed in the Westfield FFA Cup the previous year.
“It is a great privilege to have Mitre as the official ball supplier to the FFA Cup of Australia,” said Greg Cowan, Mitre Head of International Business Development.
“As the Head of International Business Development for the brand and a proud Australian, I am delighted that we are exporting the best balls to this fantastic tournament.”
Slot allocations for the Westfield FFA Cup 2017 Round of 32 will remain unchanged with Football NSW receiving five (5) slots, Football Queensland and Football Federation Victoria four (4), Northern NSW Football and Football West two (2), and Football Federation South Australia, Football Federation Tasmania, Capital Football (ACT) and Football Federation Northern Territory each getting one slot.
The remaining Member Federation slot will be taken by Sydney United 58 FC, who received automatic entry into the Round of 32 after being crowned PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Champions of Australia in 2016.
The final number of registered clubs plus draws and match dates for the Preliminary Rounds in all States and Territories will be confirmed in due course.