Five hidden gems set to light up the FFA Cup Round of 32

The FFA Cup Round of 32 is fast approaching and with it comes an exciting cast of stars ready to shine on the national stage.

Intriguing talents both young and old, new and known will have the chance to lead their clubs to unforeseen heights in the nationwide knockout tournament.

With the draw now confirmed, which potential showstoppers should you be keeping a keen eye on?

Here are just five who could grab the headlines when the Final Rounds commence on Wednesday, July 25.

REVEALED: 2018 FFA Cup Round of 32 draw

READ: The 4 big match-ups of the FFA Cup Round of 32

Jez Lofthouse (Olympic FC – Queensland)

Few players in Queensland are turning heads quite like 18-year-old Jez Lofthouse.

The skilful and speedy winger has wasted no time in making a big impression in his first season with Olympic FC.

His tidy haul of 10 goals is the best of any player at the NPL Queensland ladder leaders with a series of top-corner stunners making waves on social media.

Lethal cutting inside from the left, Lofthouse looks set to win a few more admirers as Olympic attempt to improve on the Round of 16 appearance they achieved in 2014.

Helio Carvalho (Hellenic Athletic Club – Northern Territory)

He's no teenage sensation but that hasn't stopped Hellenic Athletic Club's Helio Carvalho from making this year's FFA Cup his own. 

The 48-year-old has already defied the passage of time to completely dominate the Preliminary Rounds, netting seven times as the NorZone Premier League table-toppers breezed through their four qualifiers by a combined 20-0 scoreline.

The evergreen striker will need to maintain that form if Hellenic are to make history in Darwin by upsetting Western Sydney Wanderers in the Round of 32.

Carvalho's vast experience will come in handy for the hosts.

Kofi Danning (Canberra FC – ACT)

The FFA Cup is as much about redemption stories as it is new heroes and one man who could make the most of a return to the limelight is Kofi Danning.

Back home at boyhood club Canberra FC, the 27-year-old speedster has teamed up with key striker Thomas James to fine effect, the pair combining to lead the NPL Capital Football powerhouse into the FFA Cup Round of 32.

Danning, who has had spells with Sydney FC, Brisbane Roar and CS Vise of Belgium, has voiced his hope to break back into the Hyundai A-League.

A date with Broadmeadow Magic might just be the perfect launching pad to reigniting a career.

Kofi Danning (Image: Capital Football)
Image: Capital Football

Chris Jackson (Armadale SC – Western Australia)

In a testing trip to face Cairns FC, hotshot striker Chris Jackson could be the man to keep alive Armadale SC's ambitions of an unexpected run into the latter stages.

The English striker has been in top form this term with 14 goals in NPL WA, a strong return for a side that sits in mid-table.

But it's the four he scored in FFA Cup qualifying that have proved most precious for Armadale as they advanced to the Final Rounds for their first time in their history.

Jackson arrived in Perth with a nose for goal forged in English non-league football and he could now be about to truly announce himself to Australian audiences.

Anthony Frangie (Hakoah Sydney City East - New South Wales)

Still only 21, Frangie has elevated his game to a new level this season as evidenced by a superb tally of nine goals in 14 games in NPL New South Wales.

The attacking midfielder's valuable end product has made him a shining light for Hakoah Sydney City and could yet capture the attention of Hyundai A-League clubs.

If he fires Hakoah past Bonnyrigg White Eagles and into the Round of 16 for the first second time, there could be plenty of interest in a player with room still left for improvement.