FFA Cup Match Preview: Edge Hill United vs Gold Coast Knights

FFA Cup action heads north to Cairns on Wednesday night, as the only community club in the Round of 32 looks to continue its fairytale adventure. 

Barlow Park will play host to Edge Hill United's time in the sun, as the Far North Queensland-based side welcomes NPL Queensland's Gold Coast Knights for an eye-catching encounter. 

After conquering their local region, Edge Hill sealed passage to the Final Rounds of the competition with a 3-1 upset victory over second-tier side Magpies Crusaders back in June. 


While it may be the club's first appearance in the Round of 32, their player-coach Crios O'Hare and his strike partner (and assistant coach) Josh Taylor are among a handful of their squad members with considerable Cup experience. 

Back in 2018, O'Hare and Taylor both found the back of the net in a 4-0 over Western Australia's Armadale FC, which sealed Cairns FC a memorable Round of 16 meeting with Sydney FC. 

"We certainly have a bit of experience at this stage, and we're going to need to draw on that experience for our younger guys," O'Hare said, looking forward to Tuesday's encounter.  

"We've got a good mix of youth and experience, and that's what we need to come through on Wednesday night." 

O'Hare FFA Cup Cairns
Edge Hill player-coach O'Hare in 2018 FFA Cup action against Sydney FC

While the odds may be stacked against them, O'Hare is treasuring the chance for his side to test themselves on the national stage - not only representing Edge Hill, but all of Cairns and Far North Queensland in the process. 

"It's going to be really tough, and it's a great challenge for us that we're looking forward to," he enforced. 

"We've dominated in Far North Queensland for a couple of years and have been waiting for a really good challenge like this.

"I don't think there's a lot of pressure on us to go and win the game, but we're just going do what we can and certainly give it our best shot and see what happens." 

Sep 14 start date

In the opposite corner on Wednesday night will be a Gold Coast Knights side determined to make their mark in the Cup.

The tight-knit club of Croatian heritage has gone from strength to strength in recent times.

They possess a strong squad, headlined by a familiar name for A-League fans in former Socceroo Mitch Nichols and have plenty of talent at their disposal, including former Joey Nicholas Panetta - a player originating from the Far North Queensland region.   

The Knights have once previously reached the Round of 32, in 2018, when they pushed A-League outfit Newcastle Jets all the way in a tight 1-0 defeat. 

Gold Coast Knights
The Gold Coast Knights' last FFA Cup Final Rounds appearance came back in 2018

Drawing from that experience, their captain Roman Hofmann is determined to help his side overcome Edge Hill and amount a charge that places Gold Coast in the national spotlight. 

 "We expect them to be strong and no easy-beats, but we definitely do back ourselves going into this," he said. 

"For the club, we want to see it go as far as it can on the national stage. We're going to go as far as we can, being confident going into every game, and hopefully, we can make a statement."

The Knights currently sit fourth in the NPL Queensland and are preparing for a vital clash with league leader Peninsula Power - who are also in FFA Cup action next week - on Saturday. 

Then, the squad will make the long trip north to go toe-to-toe with a side living out the dreams of amateur clubs across the country. 

All considered, it is sure to be an entertaining night of FFA Cup action as the competition returns in style after its lengthy absence.