They are turning into the Westfield FFA Cup’s penalty-shootout kings, keeping their shot at national glory alive via football’s version of Russian roulette.
North Coast Premier League outfit Coffs City United have come through two preliminary rounds of the competition so far, both via a dreaded shootout.
Their success is thanks in no small part to their experienced ‘keeper Ian Davie, who was the hero in their opening round win over Northern Storm Thunder a fortnight ago making two superb saves in the shootout.
The 32-year-old gloveman then followed it up on the weekend, producing a superb diving stop to oust rivals Uranga Raiders 7-6 on penalties.
How’s that for the tension, drama and romance of the Westfield FFA Cup?
“I don’t always want to play my part like that but I do the job that I’ve got to do,” Davie told www.theffacup.com.au.
“The boys have done great to get us to penalties and if I happen to make the save, I just make the save I suppose.”
So what’s his secret?
Well Davie admits he’s happy to engage in a few mind games – a bit like Dutch ‘keeper Tim Krul at last year’s World Cup – but his success is pretty simple.
“It’s all confidence. The first game against [Northern] Storm I had a bit of time to think about it. I spent the last 10 minutes of the game to focus and I picked the right way on all of them.
“I think that put them on halfway under a lot of pressure, thinking ‘he’s always going the right way’.
“This time around I probably only picked two out of seven but you have to keep going and be confident with every keep. I tell young keepers ‘if you choose one way make sure you go the whole way. Don’t do it half-hearted and get beaten at the post’.
“That’s what I did and tipped it around the post. There’s always a bit of fun and getting and trying to get in each other’s heads though as well.”
Whatever he’s doing its working and now the proud club with a long and rich history is dreaming of a big Cup run.
The Mike Smith-coached Coffs City are certainly no strangers to success, having been involved in 10 of the last 11 North Coast Premier League grand finals and taking out last season’s minor premiership.
“We’ve got a good mix in the squad. Our oldest player is probably 37 or 38 and we have guys right down to their mid-20’s and even a few teenagers,” Davie said.
“And we’ve got a couple of players that if they weren’t living in country NSW they could go a long way.
“They’ve probably made the decision for family or work but we’ve got players that can definitely play at a decent level and still could.”
And they are daring to dream of getting a chance to show that on the national stage.
“We always make a little comment at training we might come up against a Brisbane Roar or something like that,” Davie said.
“We’ve still got a long way to go obviously but there’s a good feeling around the club.
“I think it takes seven rounds to get to the round of 32 and we’re only two in so we’re not looking too far ahead…but the FFA Cup has just lifted the profile of everything.
“We used to have a State Cup [competition] which now filters into this [Westfield FFA Cup] competition so we’re now looking at the bigger picture.”
Preliminary rounds for the 2015 edition of the Westfield FFA Cup are in full swing right around the country.
A host of lower tier clubs are looking to cause a few shocks and qualify for the Round of 32 which kicks off in late July when Hyundai A-League clubs join the draw.For more information on the Westfield FFA Cup news plus videos and results, head to www.theffacup.com.au