Here we go! The Westfield FFA Cup 2015 officially starts tonight with the very first two matches around the country kicking off between clubs from Football Far North Coast (FFNC).
Following the buzz of last year’s inaugural Westfield FFA Cup, over 630 clubs are registered to compete in the competition in 2015.
This year every match from every State and Territory around the country in the Preliminary Rounds prior to the Round of 32 also falls under the Westfield FFA Cup banner.
At 7pm AEDT tonight Lennox Head will face Alstonville at Skennars Head 1 while at John Ryan Field in East Lismore it is Lismore Thistles up against Ballina.
“There has been a lot of excitement and anticipation of being in the FFA Cup competition and we’re delighted to be able to see six of the ten teams from our premier division entering,” General Manager Football Far North Coast, Steve Mackney said.
“Players have certainly got one eye on the opportunity to come up against a team of a higher standing and whilst they might only dream about playing against an A-League team at some point, anything is possible.
“One of our former local players from this area who was playing in Victoria last year, his team came up against one of the A-League teams so the buzz is there and we’re certainly very enthusiastic about supporting the FFA Cup concept.”
Being the first matches to kick off around the country is arguably deserving of special treatment, so having obtained some insider’s knowledge, here is a background on tonight’s four clubs…
Lennox Head are looking strong leading into this year. The club have got a lot of talented young guys which was evidenced as they won the Summer Youth League in the recent summer competition. Their opponents Alstonville also have high expectations in 2015 after making the local semi finals last year for the first time in their 40 year history.
Lismore Thistles are the most successful local side in FFNC having won more premierships than any other club. Runners up in recent years, they have also won pre season competitions and this is their first time in the Westfield FFA Cup after not participating last year. One of the stronger clubs in the region this year, the Thistles go into 2015 with high hopes. They face a Ballina team that are in the process of rebuilding having been in and out of the premier division over many years so they will view tonight’s Cup match as a fantastic chance to launch their 2015 campaign.
The other Westfield FFA Cup match from FFNC over the weekend is on Sunday at 4pm between former Socceroo Craig Foster’s old club Goonellabah and Lismore Workers at Weston Park 1. Both have made it through to quarter finals in what was the old state cup and Lismore Workers were FFNC’s most successful team in the Westfield FFA Cup last year, just missing out on a spot in the Round of 32.
The winner of this zone will subsequently play the winner of the North Coast Football Zone, with the winner from there to proceed to the quarter finals at the home of football at the Lake Macquarie football facility in June.
Westfield FFA Cup action also begins in Queensland tonight with three matches – Pine Hills v Greenbank (KO 8.15pm AEDT), Virginia United v Logan City Kings (KO 8.30pm AEDT), and Westside v Clairvaux (KO 9.30pm AEDT).
Action then turns to Victoria for the first time on Saturday with Rosebud Heart SC against Old Ivanhoe Grammarians SC the first in a strong of Round 1 matches being played on Valentines Day.
Westfield FFA Cup 2015 – First Preliminary Round Matches
FRIDAY 13th February 2015
Lennox Head v Alstonville
Skennars Head 1
Kick-Off: 7pm AEDT
Lismore Thistles v Ballina
John Ryan Field East Lismore
Kick-Off: 7pm AEDT
Image courtesy of FFNC