Canberra Olympic are basking in the buzz of the Westfield FFA Cup ahead of Wednesday night's semi final against in-form Hyundai A-League powerhouse Sydney FC.
As preparations ramp up for what the club is calling the biggest night in their history, the team had an open training session on Saturday in the nation's capital as fans got up close with their heroes.
Almost 400 fans turned up and cheered the team on at Deakin Stadium as they went through a light session, even bringing some younger fans onto the pitch to test their skills against local treble winners.
“We’re thrilled to share this moment with Canberra and hope to give our supporters something cheer about versus Sydney FC, we’ll be doing our best against arguably the form side in the A-League at the moment,” said Canberra Olympic’s coach Frank Cachia.
“We’re being very realistic about not only what is ahead on Wednesday night but also what we’ve achieved so far to actually get here.”
The open training session was arranged knowing that it may be a long time before a Canberra team gets another chance to play in a game of such significance.
“We always wanted to share our journey with the Canberra footballing public and have them come along for the ride with us. Hopefully it might inspire the next generation of Canberra football players to even better things,” said Cachia.
Canberra Olympic’s captain and goal scoring goal keeper Angelo Konstantinou, shared Cachia’s opinion.
Konstantinou has become a social media hero scoring two penalties so far in Olympic’s campaign including the match winner in injury time versus Green Gully in the Quarter Final.
But Konstantinou has also kept three clean sheets since the club made the round of 32, a record only matched by upcoming opponents Sydney FC.
“Even in games where we’ve had less possession than the opposition, our back four and midfield have been exceptional, but we know this is another level again," the keeper said.
Canberra Olympic’s preparation has been limited to friendlies along with their regular training sessions since qualifying for the FFA Cup semi final.
Centre back Nicholas Bobolas added preparation has been as good as it can be in the circumstances.
"We’ve prepared as best we can for the game, incorporating training sessions, tactical sessions and games, so we won’t be using not playing competitive matches as an excuse if we don’t perform on the night”.
An expected crowd of around 6000 is tipped to turn up at Viking Park on Wednesday night to see if one of the biggest upsets in Cup history can be made.
In the second semi final of the Westfield FFA Cup, it's a blockbuster as Tim Cahill's Melbourne City meet Melbourne Victory on Tuesday October 25 for a place in the final next month.