For Hume City star Nick Hegarty, the club’s miraculous Westfield FFA Cup run has been a blessing but also a curse. Yet thanks to a cheeky tweet to Flight Centre, he now can't lose when he plays in the semi finals.
To explain, Hegarty’s Hume face Melbourne Victory in a Westfield FFA Cup semi final on October 28 at AAMI Park.
For part-timers Hume from the PS4 NPL Victoria it’s their chance to shine in the national spotlight, capping off an extraordinary Cup run.
But it’s a run Hume players could not have foreseen.
For winter footballers like Hegarty, October is for post-season trips away with the team and time with family and friends.
In Hegarty’s case, girlfriend Zoe had a wedding in England to attend and the pair also wanted to celebrate their engagement back home with their families.
October 16 was the date booked months ago. That was until the FFA Cup got in the way...
Hume City went on their Cup run through the round of 32 in August, then round of 16 and quarter-finals in September and now a semi final in two weeks time.
“As the Cup run kept going we spoke after every game, we waited and waited as the October 16 date came closer and closer,” Hegarty told www.theffacup.com.au
“Our chances of going back to England for the wedding and our engagement were getting slimmer and slimmer.
“So although there were tears of joy after we beat Oakleigh in the quarter finals, Zoe was also devastated she’d have to forsake her friend’s wedding and our engagement party, which saw us fly out on October 16.”
Nick and Zoe were forced to change their travel plans – or for the Hume star to miss the biggest game in the club’s short history.
Football won out.
But thanks to a cheeky tweet to Flight Centre, the 29-year-old midfielder's difficult decision on his flight plans had a nice twist to it.
“After I tweeted them, Flight Centre got back to me within 10-15 minutes and offered to waive the $400 fee for changing my flight plans,” a delighted Hegarty said.
“I can’t thank them enough. Now the flights have been changed to the 30th of October. I’ll make sure Felix and the team at Flight Centre get tickets to see our semi final. They’ve been fantastic."
However, the FFA Cup final is on the 7th of November. And that poses another problem.
What if the incredible happens and Hume defeat Aussie football’s behemoth?
“I’ll win either way!” says Hegarty. “I’ll either be off to England or playing in an FFA Cup final after the biggest cup upset in Aussie football history. You could say there’ll be tears either way!”
Hegarty added he plans to marry his fiancé in Thailand next year in October. Though how she’ll react to another FFA Cup run and a delayed flight out is a moot point.
“Hopefully it doesn’t come to that... I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Meantime I’ve a semi final to think about,” said Hegarty.