Bangalow catches Westfield FFA Cup fever

Bangalow will host the first 2016 FFA Cup game this Friday night, and the Bluedogs will have even extra motivation for putting one over local rivals Lennox Head.

Former Bluedogs junior Joshua Wallen recently injured his ACL while playing at English club QPR U-21s.

The Aussie midfielder remains a source of pride for the club and Bangalow will want to do it for the 20-year-old who'd only just joined the London club via Palm Beach on the Gold Coast.

All roads will lead to Jeff Schneider Field for the 6pm kick-off this Friday night, the first of two games at the venue with Ballina meeting Suffolk Park at 8pm.

“The interest in this game up here has been huge. With all the TV and Fox Sports coverage of the FFA Cup in the last two years, it’s really opened up the eyes of clubs likes ours how big the FFA Cup is,” Bluedogs president and assistant coach Paul Hanigan told

“Our rivals [Lennox Head] have had the upper-hand in recent times but for us, our whole pre-season has been focused on this game.”

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Bangalow SC

The Bluedogs are based in the picturesque riverside and hinterland town close to Byron Bay.

Coach Neil Fuller’s side play in Football Far North Coast (FFNC) competitions, an area which covers from Woodburn in the south to Pottsville in the north and west to Kyogle and Casino, as well as in the larger townships of Lismore, Ballina and Byron Bay.

And his side has a new look to it this year. Watch out for Joel Rudgley who’s back in the fold, ironically, after a spell with Lennox Head.

Rudgey has history on his side with his grandfather one of the men who formed the Bluedogs back in 1970.

And keep an eye on impressive keeper Josh Tidswell, who is a former trialist with Manchester City – though that was some 20 years ago – and a one-time Futsalroos keeper.

Bangalow SC

As for Lennox Head, they can boast Liverpool’s Socceroo Brad Smith as one of their former juniors.

A record number of more than 650 clubs are set to compete in the Preliminary Rounds of the Westfield FFA Cup 2016, meaning the Cup is on track to surpass the 2015 number of 638 clubs.

“We can’t wait,” added Hanigan.

“Like all clubs who play in the lower divisions, our aim is to make the Round of 32.”

Images courtesy of Marilyn Hanigan, Bangalow SC