Elrich reflects on Adelaide United’s 2014 Westfield FFA Cup triumph
They won the first ever Westfield FFA Cup in 2014 and Adelaide United have the chance to add a second title when they face Sydney FC in the 2017 final on November 21.
Defender Tarek Elrich was part of the Reds team which took out the inaugural title and remembers fondly the 1-0 win over Perth Glory thanks to Sergio Cirio’s goal.
While recovery from a knee injury means Elrich won’t play in the decider at Allianz Stadium later this month, memories of winning that 2014 final come flooding back as this year’s decider approaches.
A NIGHT TO REMEMBER
“When the FFA Cup started, we didn't know how big or how good it was going to be,” Elrich told www.theffacup.com.au
“To play that game in front of a packed home stadium against Perth was massive for us and especially for Josep [Gombau].
“He was talking about how important it was to win silverware. When you're playing at a high level it's very difficult to come across that.
“When I was 10 or 11, you'd win a grand final – or something – almost every year.
“As you get older and play a bit more professionally, unfortunately it's not as easy as it used to be!
“Because I'm still playing, I probably don't reflect on these moments as much as I should, but once I retire I'm sure I'll look back and say that I was a part of the first FFA Cup-winning team.
“The celebration with our fans afterwards was fun too,” he laughed.
SKY BLUES NOT INSURMOUNTABLE
Adelaide United meet defending Hyundai A-League champions Sydney FC in the final at Allianz Stadium.
The Sky Blues are undefeated through five games in the new campaign, but Elrich says his side will be undaunted by the challenge.
“They boast a lot of quality so we're wary of that,” he said.
“We've just got to go at them and match them.
“But it's a Cup final and form goes out the window – it’s a one-off game.
“We'll go into the game with plenty of confidence.
“But knowing Graham Arnold, he'll make sure his boys are up to the task as well.”
TAREK ON TRACK FOR PLAYING RETURN
While Elrich won't be fit in time to join his team-mates for the Cup final, he remains on track for a return early in 2018.
“It's pretty full-on at the moment,” he said of his rehab from a knee reconstruction.
“I'm doing a lot of running, a lot of change of direction stuff and a lot of jumping.
“This is the main bit where you get your conditioning done and in the New Year I'll be back with the boys.
“I'm looking to train with them in January and hopefully be up for selection in February,” Elrich said.