The Westfield FFA Cup Preliminary Rounds in Canberra get underway tonight with the first of three matches to be played in Round 3 this week.
Brindabella Blues and Goulburn Strikers, both of State League 1, meet at Hawker Football Centre, and while neither side has played each other yet this season, all indications are there should be little to choose between the sides with the Blues sitting fourth and the Strikers seventh in their competition.
“We are seven points from four matches so far, but it’s only early on,” Brindabella Blues Head Coach Jason Warren-Smith commented. “It’s a fairly similar team to last year with just a few new faces from the side that won the State League 3 Grand Final. Damien Corey in the middle of the park has started the season well as has his brother Brennan at centre back. Stephen Clarke is also in ominous form at the moment, so watch for him.”
The Blues and Strikers are no strangers to the competition having eagerly entered the Qualifying process in 2015. In a quirk of fate this pairing was also the inaugural Round 3 fixture in 2015 with the Blues edging a tight match 2-1. James Fry had given the Strikers a sixth minute lead but an own goal four minutes into the second half and a Vince Russo winner seven minutes from time sent Brindabella into Round 4, where they were beaten 6-0 by PlayStation® 4 National Premier League giants Canberra Olympic ,who went onto record Grand Final glory in September.
“Playing the Westfield FFA Cup last year was the highlight of the season for us,” Warren-Smith said, “We’re an ambitious club and love testing ourselves against the best. So playing on a good field with quality opposition is a very attractive scenario. We are realistic about the competition. We’d love to at least equal our last year’s efforts where we won through to the fourth round.”
As with all other State League clubs who have entered into the Qualifying rounds it’s the prospect of earning a big tie with a PS4 NPL side and the chance to shine on the national stage that’s the drawcard to playing on a cold midweek night in Canberra.
“The Westfield FFA Cup gives all clubs, big and small, the chance to play on the big stage,” Warrens-Smith confirmed. “It’s fantastic for us as it gives our players and our members the opportunity to support us in a truly national competition.”
You can follow coverage of the match on our Facebook page, Capital Football – Official from 7:30pm this evening.
WESTFIELD FFA CUP PRELIMINARY ROUNDS
Tuesday 26th April
Brindabella Blues (SL1) v Goulburn Strikers (SL1)
(Hawker Football Centre, 19:30)