Leading up to the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 16, just how are each of the Member Federation clubs tracking in their league campaigns?
The Round of 16 begins in just over a fortnight and the 10 remaining Member Federation clubs in contention are experiencing varying fortunes in their respective leagues. But as history has shown, league form does not necessarily correlate to Cup form, and for some of the clubs they will be hoping this continues to ring true while for others they also have finals to contend with.
So just over a fortnight out from the start of the Round of 16, we take a look at how the ten local clubs are going and what they have coming up in the countdown to the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 16.
League position: Finished 6th – 6 wins and 10 losses
Previous match: Played their final match of the NPL Capital Football season last Sunday in a 4-3 loss to the FFA Centre of Excellence. After coming from 2-0 down, Zac Munster had Tuggies ahead 3-2 with just over half an hour to play after Matt Menser and Muad Zwed both scored in the first half. But Jamie Dimitroff equalised and then Jackson Bandiera converted from the penalty spot in the 86th minute to condemn Tuggeranong to a loss to end the season.
Coming up: With their season over, coach Steve Foreshaw has outlined the club’s plans to play a number of trial matches against second division Capital Football clubs in the lead up to their Round of 16 match, while also increasing their training load.
Round of 16 fixture: Tuesday 16 September v Melbourne Victory at Vikings Park
League position: Finished 4th after minor round – 10 wins, 5 draws and 7 losses
Previous match: Defeated Rockdale City Suns 2-1 in last weekend’s Elimination Final. Ryan Keir and Troy Danaskos gave the Blues a 2-0 buffer at half time but Marko Jesic pulled one back for Rockdale to set up a tense finale. Veteran goalkeeper Paul Henderson then did his bit late on to ensure Olympic lived to fight another day.
Coming up: Another cutthroat final, this time against Blacktown Spartans at Lambert Park, awaits Sydney Olympic on Sunday afternoon. Should they get past Spartans, the Blues will then face the loser of Bonnyrigg White Eagles and Blacktown City in the Preliminary Final.
Round of 16 fixture: Tuesday 16 September v Bentleigh Greens at Belmore Sports Ground
Sydney United 58 FC
Ladder position: Finished 9th – 6 wins, 6 draws, 10 losses
Previous match: Ended the season with an entertaining 3-3 draw against Sutherland Sharks. In the final game for retiring United stalwart Luka Glavas, Sutherland took the lead courtesy of an Anthony Tomelic own goal before Alec Urosevski equalised in the 27th minute. Four second half goals, two to each side including one for Glavas, saw the points shared.
Coming up: Make no doubt, with a chance to topple the Sky Blues, coach Mark Rudan will have his charges prime and in the best possible condition to cause another Cup upset.
Round of 16 fixture: Tuesday 23 September v Sydney FC (venue TBC)
Ladder position: Currently 4th – 42 points from 25 games
Previous match: Defeated Brisbane Roar NYL 2-0 on August 25, Matt Thurtell netting a goal in each half to extend his season’s tally to 16 goals in 21 appearances.
Coming up: Away to Moreton Bay Jets on Saturday night to complete the minor round needing a draw or better to ensure a finals berth.
Round of 16 fixture: Tuesday 16 September v Adelaide City at Marden Sports Complex
Ladder position: Currently 3rd – 43 points from 24 matches with a game in hand over Brisbane Strikers in 4th
Previous match: Secured a place in the finals thanks to a 2-2 draw with Harimau Muda ‘A’ but they had to do it the hard way coming back from a two goal deficit, Reuben Way’s brace within the space of eight second half minutes giving them the valuable point.
Coming up: At home to Northern Fury on Sunday afternoon before encompassing on their finals campaign.
Round of 16 fixture: Tuesday 16 September v Central Coast Mariners at QSAC
Palm Beach Sharks
Ladder position: 1st – The recently crowned NPL Queensland Premiers wrapped up first spot with a 1-0 win over Moreton Bay United last weekend. Currently sit nine points clear with a tally of 54 points from 24 games.
Previous match: After securing the Premiership, the Sharks rested a number of first choice players as they went down 1-0 to Brisbane Roar NYL mid week, an 8th minute goal from Costa Psaros proving the difference.
Coming up: Face Redlands United away on Sunday in the final round before the finals kick off.
Round of 16 fixture: Tuesday 23 September v South Springvale (venue TBC)
Ladder position: Finished 6th – 13 wins, 3 draws and 10 losses
Previous match: Their NPL South Australia championship ambitions came to a grinding halt last weekend after suffering a 4-0 loss to Croydon Kings in the Elimination Final.
Coming up: With their season over, Damian Mori’s team have scheduled a match against Adelaide United’s Youth Team on Tuesday night followed by a game against fellow NPL outfit Raiders a week later to give them some quality time on the pitch before their Cup encounter.
Round of 16 fixture: Tuesday 16 September v Brisbane Strikers at Marden Sports Complex
Ladder position: Currently 4th – two points behind third placed Heidelberg with a game in hand.
Previous match: Beaten 4-1 by Oakleigh Cannons last weekend.
Coming up: Face Ballarat Red Devils in a catch up round tomorrow. Their final two league games are a home encounter against Hume City on Friday night before an away clash against Melbourne Knights to end the season on September 14, two nights before their Cup match.
Round of 16 fixture: Tuesday 16 September v Sydney Olympic at Belmore Sports Ground
Ladder position: Currently 5th – 17 points behind top after 19 games
Previous match: Drew 1-1 with Mornington last Saturday.
Coming up: The Victorian minnows are preparing for the highly anticipated Dockerty Cup Final against Melbourne Knights on Sunday afternoon at Lakeside Stadium. Coach Bill Lambropoulos has not hidden the fact he has had a number of injury concerns and has been resting a number of his key players for the club’s huge games in the Dockerty Cup and the Westfield FFA Cup.
South Springvale’s remaining league fixtures before heading up to the Gold Coast are as follows: Away to Morwell Pegasus on September 6, Home to Langwarrin on September 13, Away to Malvern City on September 20
Round of 16 fixture: Tuesday 23 September v Palm Beach Sharks (venue TBC)
St Albans Saints
Ladder position: 3rd – 40 points after 22 games and 11 points off top
Previous match: Enjoyed a 2-1 away win over Brunswick City last Saturday, Barry Devlin and Sean McIlroy doing the damage.
Coming up: The Saints face Richmond at home on Sunday 7 September, are away to second placed North Geelong Warriors on Saturday the 13th and then tackle Dandenong City at home on the 21st before the Glory come to town.
Round of 16 fixture: Tuesday 23 September v Perth Glory (venue TBC)