'FFA Cup losses drive City,' says ex-A-League striker

Joey Gibbs says his Blacktown City teammates are still stinging from past Westfield FFA Cup failures and says it’s time a PS4 NPL club replicated the success of Victorian sides.

Blacktown are in the Wesfield FFA Cup Round of 32 for the third straight year. 

City will host NSW rivals Sydney United 58 at Lily’s Football Centre on the opening night on July 27 in a western Sydney NPL derby to savour. 

One of the powerhouses of the PS4 NPL NSW, Blacktown hasn’t been able to translate their domestic success to the national stage, eliminated at home in the last 32 for the last two years.

Mark Crittenden’s City lost 2-1 to South Australia’s MetroStars last season, while it was giant-killers Bentleigh Greens that knocked them out 1-0 in the inaugural FFA Cup in 2014.

But Gibbs, an ex-Hyundai A-League players with Sydney FC, Wanderers and Newcastle Jets, hopes it will be third time lucky for Blacktown in 2016.

Joey Gibbs.

“The losses we’ve had the last two years stings us big time. The two defeats are probably the worst two in my time here,” Gibbs told www.theffacup.com.au.

“We’ve had a pretty successful couple of years but unfortunately we haven’t translated that into the FFA Cup and lost in the round of 32 each time.

“It’s something we’ve talked about and definitely want to improve upon this year. It’s great for the club to play another home game, in front of our fans and show off our nice stadium and our function centre.

"The club has put a lot of money into football and it would be good if we could do our bit for them on this type of stage.”

Blacktown and Sydney United are the top two sides in NSW and have split their two previous meetings in the NPL this season.

It promises to be a cracking clash between two sides who believe they can be this year’s fairytale story and godeep in the competition.

Federation clubs from Victoria’s PS4 NPL have been the dominant force over the last two seasons but Gibbs believes it’s NSW’s turn in 2016.

“I’ve never experienced the Victorian competition but from what I have heard the NSW one is just as strong,” the striker said.

“It’s probably time some of us NSW clubs pushed on and had a bit of success. Hopefully it’s Blacktown this year.

“We’ve got a very talented squad and we’re very mobile in the front third.

“We are pretty strong on the counter attack, we have some very dangerous individuals in our team I think. On our day we back ourselves against anyone.”

Still just 24, Gibbs says he hasn’t given up hope of potentially making a return to the Hyundai A-League.

He is enjoying his football immensely in Sydney’s west and knows a long run in the FFA Cup will only boost his hopes of getting another shot in the A-League.

“You never close that door and it’s still an ambition of mine definitely,” Gibbs admitted.

“It’s the same with a lot of the players in our squad. I’m 24 and we have other players who are around that age group.

“We’re all sort of nearing the peaks of our careers so I think it would be open for quite a few players to show themselves this FFA Cup and not only individually get something from it but hopefully that translates into us doing something as a team as well.”