The Westfield FFA Cup may only be three weeks old but has already thrown up some amazing moments and stories. Here’s five of the best so far.
1. Adelaide City knock over Western Sydney Wanderers
Last season’s Hyundai A-League grand finalists weren’t expected to have too much trouble against Damien Mori’s battlers from the Adelaide NPL.
But in easily the biggest shock of the competition so far, the Zebras sent the Wanderers packing with a gripping 1-0 win in front of more 2700 fans at Marden Sports Complex.
Teenager Thomas Love’s incredible individual goal proved the difference and has the former NSL club dreaming of a return to national glory.
2. South Springvale fairytale
They’ve been described as a pub team – by their own coach – and play in the third-tier of football in Victoria but it hasn’t stopped South Springvale from producing a fairytale Cup run.
Bill Lambropoulos’ bunch of carpenters, computer analysts and builders defied the odds just to make the opening round of the FFA Cup.
But after disposing of South Cardiff on penalties, this giant-killing side are into the last 16 and a potential battle with an A-League club.
3. Emergence of the young guns
A feature of the start of the competition has been the extraordinary young talent among the respective NPL clubs.
The youngsters seemed to have relished the chance to shine on the national stage and show they may be up to higher honours by starring for their clubs.
Names like Thomas Love, Jordan O’Doherty, Jake McLean, Michael Gaitatzis and David Stirton were relatively unknown up until the last few weeks but are now sure to be on the radar of Hyundai A-League clubs around the country.
4. Glory days returning for ex-NSL clubs
They may not be on the biggest stage in the country anymore but a number of former NSL clubs are relishing their return to the national spotlight.
NSW NPL club’s Sydney Olympic and Sydney United 58, Adelaide City and Brisbane Strikers were all successful during the old national league days and are back in the headlines again.
All four are through to the last 16 and dreaming of silverware after wins over Western Sydney (Adelaide City), Manly United (Sydney Olympic), FNQ Heat (Sydney United) and Broadmeadow Magic (Brisbane Strikers).
5. The birth of Melbourne City
While there is plenty of excitement and optimism about the rebranded club for the upcoming Hyundai A-League season, City finally made their competitive debut in a glamour FFA Cup tie with Sydney FC.
John van ‘t Schip’s side gave a glimpse into what they will offer in the new season but it wasn’t enough to topple the Sky Blues, going down 3-1.
But with Spanish star David Villa and marquee man Robert Koren still to join the line-up, there are sure to be some huge times ahead for the club.