Bromance of the Cup: the Bouzanis Derby!

Last week we witnessed Queensland’s Bromance of the Cup with the “Piddick Derby". This week, it's the “Bouzanis Derby” in Sydney.

Moreton Bay and Gold Coast City battled it out with the Piddick brothers meeting across the dugouts (Grae taking bragging rights over brother Adam at Moreton Bay). 

This week, the Bromance of the Cup part two sees the “Bouzanis Derby” in Sydney. 

Hakoah Sydney City East keeper Anthony Bouzanis will be between the sticks for the NPL outfit, while at the other end of the park older brother by five years Dean is set to be in goals for Hyundai A-League big guns Melbourne City.

It's one of four Round of 16 games in the Westfield FFA Cup, with another intriguing sub-plot to this David and Goliath clash. 

And according to the lads themselves, around 35-40 of the extended Bouzanis clan will descend on Leichhardt Oval as the Round of 16 in the FFA Cup concludes with MD 2 on Tuesday night.

And just to add even more intrigue, Anthony has confirmed he’ll be one of the first five penalty takers should it go to a shootout.

The brothers Bouzanis spoke to editor Aidan Ormond...


Anthony, a quick banter update...

Of course there’s been banter between me and my brother whether it’s football or other things. We’re always bantering each other.

But we’ve been giving to each other, the usual talk about penalty shootouts and things like that.

Just the normal stuff.”

So, it’s 11-10 in the penalty shootout, would you step up and take the crucial pen against your brother?

I’d love to take it!

If it goes to a shootout I’ll be in the five [first takers]. I was in the five throughout the FFA Cup when we had a few shootouts and I did step up and take them.

Anthony Bouzanis

If it goes to a penalty shootout I’ve always got my hand up and I’m ready to take one.

I can’t turn down an opportunity to score against my brother in front of everyone.

Growing up though, Dean must’ve been one of your heroes? After all, he was on Liverpool’s books as a young keeper...

No doubt. And he still is today. I’m always seeking advice from him. Dean’s someone I’ve looked up to all my life.

In fact, Dean was referred to by then Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez as one of the best young keepers in the world at his age when the Spaniard signed him for the Reds as a teenager a decade ago. Do you recall that?

I do and I don’t. I remember reading articles. I guess I was about 10 but it was a thrill and now reading those articles again and hearing that it is a wonderful thing to hear someone of his calibre say that about my brother.

As for tomorrow night, Bruno Fornaroli and Co at Leichhardt Oval. Not an easy night for any opposition keeper?

Yes, they are one of the best teams in the league but I’m sure our boys will be up for it. We’ll not be scared.

Hakoah Sydney City downed Hills United 6-3 to progress to the Round of 16.

Having player-coach Gavin Rae in front of you would help though, given his experience in FA Cup finals, the Scottish national team and his long career in the UK.

Absolutely. It’s an advantage for us. When he’s on the pitch [Rae] the boys step up and when he hasn’t played we’ve been kinda flat. But when he’s on the pitch we’re all ready.

What a season for the Hakoah boys, too...

Yeah, we’ve definitely exceeded everyone’s expectations. We were tipped to be relegated this year.

So to win the NSW Waratah Cup, finish mid table and have this FFA Cup run not too many people can say that.

It’s a great thing for the club.


Does Anthony have similar qualities to you?

I think we're different goalkeepers.

He's got his qualities and I've got mine.

Anthony is taller than me and he's a very good shot-stopper and commands his area very well.

I'm good with my feet and I'm a high-line goalkeeper and I like to sweep behind my back-four.

How excited are you to play against your brother?

I'm very excited because the chance doesn't come around very often.

To play against my brother in a competitive fixture means a lot to me and him and the family.

It's something we can't wait to be a part of.

Dean Bouzanis

Who will the family be supporting?

I think they just want both of us to play well.

Dad said he wants it to go to a penalty shoot-out and may the best man win.

At the end of the day we're playing against each other as brothers but we're both there to win.

It's a different rivalry that we haven't been a part of before.

Hopefully we both play well and do our family proud.

Head here for City's official website

Anthony's qualities as a keeper?

He's got a good physique and a lot of potential. For him to decide to drop out of the A-League system so he could play games and show what he's about is a credit to him.

He's come to a team that has excelled this year and he's excelled himself.

He's done really well and Tuesday night is an unbelievable opportunity for him to showcase what he can do.

Clearly though, Hakoah are underdogs...

That's what the Cup brings.

It's a chance for underdogs to do something special.

Melbourne City star Bruno Fornaroli on the ball against Peninsula Power.

He'll be focused on his own performance and won't be looking at who he's coming up against.

We know that they are a good team with a lot of strengths and we're definitely not taking them lightly because they're having such a good Cup run.

Will you wish Anthony good luck?

Of course I'll wish him all the best.

He's my brother and we are very close.

But come game-day, it's professionalism and he's going to do his job and I'm going to do my job.

I'm there for City to win and he's there for Hakoah to win.

I hope he has a great game but I want to win and so does he, so hopefully we can both put on a good performance for our family and friends.