Melbourne Knights captain Marijan Cvitkovic hopes a win against Olympic FC in the Westfield FFA Cup will mark his club’s return to national prominence.
As one of the powerhouses of the former National Soccer League, Knights won back-to-back Grand Finals in 1995 and 1996, as well as amassing four Premierships between 1991 and 1995.
Cvitkovic,27, says the Westfield FFA Cup offered the opportunity for Knights to remind football supporters outside of Victoria of the club’s rich history.
“It’s fair to say that the majority of football enthusiasts in this country know the legacy that Melbourne Knights have created not only in terms of the championships but the players the club has produced,” he explained.
“Finally having that opportunity with this playing group to continue that legacy on the national stage, the boys know the importance and are thrilled to be part of it.”
“We don’t want to go out in the first round, we want to continue that winning mentality that the club has produced in the past,” Cvitkovic added confidently.
The Knights currently sit in 8th place in NPL Victoria and are coming into Tuesday’s match after drawing 1-1 with Goulburn Valley Suns in Shepparton on Saturday.
That match was only Cvitkovic’s sixth of the season after the attacking midfielder overcame a fractured foot sustained in training earlier this year.
He explained the injury setback will make skippering the side on Tuesday extra special in the absence of regular captain Ben Surey, who will miss the match.
“With my Croatian background it is a privilege to take the captain’s armband in the NPL Victoria and, when I realised I would have it in Brisbane, well it’s a massive honour.”
Asked what his side knew about Olympic FC, Cvitkovic conceded he wasn’t quite sure what to expect from the defending NPL Queensland Champions.
“They were a team of unknowns to us when we got the draw, so there was a bit of intrigue as to who they are and where their strengths and weaknesses are.”
“It’s hard to rely on a couple of snippets of highlights and footage here and there, but we know they are good going forward.”
“They score a number of goals but they also concede a lot of goals, so we know we got to be defensively structured and organised but hopefully if we can exploit their defensive weaknesses we can get the win.”
Cvtikovic said while the trip to Brisbane was a first for many of Knights’ squad, he didn’t think it would affect the team’s performance.
“Usually we’re just used to the western and south-eastern suburbs of Victoria, so they are a bit excited to get an interstate trip, but they will take it in their stride.”
Cvitkovic said despite it being an away game he expects a significant portion of the crowd to be barracking for Knights, who have traditionally drawn support from Australia’s Croatian communities.
“The Croatian community is obviously well aware of the history Melbourne Knights has in the old NSL, regardless of where we travel there is always strong Croatian contingent there to support the club.”
“It will be fantastic for the players to see we have that support on Tuesday,” he concluded.
Highlights and updates of Tuesday's night match can be seen on Fox Sports 3.