Byrne hoping for 'bumper crowd' against Mariners

Olympic FC are set for another historic night in the Westfield FFA Cup after drawing Hyundai A-League club Central Coast Mariners in the Round of 16.

Olympic captain Danny Byrne believes his side is capable of causing a major surprise against one of Australia’s most successful teams.

Mariners have previously won two Hyundai A-League Premierships and a Grand Final, as well as competing in this year’s AFC Champions League.

“If the boys perform to the best of their ability I’d like to think we can at least give them a decent game and hopefully be one of the teams that causes an upset,” Byrne said.

“They’re one of the better A-League sides too so it’s a game I’m looking forward to and if all of us play to our potential it will give us a chance to progress.”

Olympic produced a stunning 3-1 win over Melbourne Knights in the Round of 32, and Byrne said he was again excited to perform in front of a national audience.

“There’s another Queensland team who have gotten a draw I would have preferred but the most important thing was for the club to get a home draw,” the skipper said.

“We got a good crowd in the last game against Melbourne Knights and I’m pretty certain if we play during the school holidays there will be even more interest from youngsters at the club.”

“The boys will definitely want another bumper crowd and hopefully Central Coast will bring that professionalism and everything it entails with them.”

There is an extra layer of personal intrigue to the match for the former Liverpool FC youth player after he spent time at the Gosford club between arriving in Australia in 2006 and joining Olympic FC the following year.

“When I first came to Australia I had two weeks, before I broke my wrist, down at Central Coast,” Byrne said.

“I played in their feeder team so I’ve trained a bit with Central Coast and played against them on a couple of occasions for the feeder team so it’s definitely a game I’m looking forward to.”

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