Marconi Stallions forward Marko Jesic is one of a triumvirate of big names the NPL 2 club hope will fire their dream of an FFA Cup fairytale at ABD Stadium.
Marconi, a former NSL powerhouse, splashed the cash on three forwards with top-level experience.
The western Sydney outfit acquired the 26-year-old former Newcastle Jets striker Jesic, plus forward Sean Rooney (ex Sydney FC and Indian Premier League) and former Wellington Phoenix striker Mirjan Pavlovic.
It’s a statement of intent from a PS4 NPL 2 club who have completely re-shaped their squad and have ambitions of retaining their NPL 1 status and grabbing back some of the national spotlight.
An FFA Cup run would be just reward for this ambition.
In the Round of 32 opening night (July 27), Marconi fly to Melbourne to meet a team that shone ever so brightly last year.
Hume City, the 2015 Westfield FFA Cup semi finalists, is the team standing in Marconi’s way at their boutique ABD Stadium.
“For us to come across a team that’s done really well it’s something we’re looking forward to,” Jesic told www.theffacup.com.au.
“Hopefully we can produce our own shock result in the FFA Cup down there.”
Jesic himself knows all about the Cup having scored in Rockdale’s thrilling 3-2 loss to Melbourne Victory in the Round of 16 in 2015.
And last weekend, the Stallions showed plenty of ticker to come back from three goals down to secure an incredible 4-4 draw with Bankstown Berries, with Pavlovic netting a double for the hosts.
Jesic added the group were excited at the prospect of travelling interstate and he’s confident the club’s professional approach and new faces will give them an edge.
“It’s a whole new team this year at Marconi. It’s been built from scratch. Big turnover but people may know Sean Rooney, Pavlovic and myself.
“Then there’s Peter Markovic and Manny Giannaros and captain Chris Nunes, who’s been at the club for a while.
“That’s the core but there are some young guys coming through. We play more of a possession-based football and make other teams run.”
The club trains three times a week at their western Sydney base and have already racked up almost 25 games this season.
So, in terms of being match ready, there'll be no problems for this NPL 2 side.
Jesic added: “For the league we’re in we’re a huge club. The way they treat their players, in some ways it’s more professional than certain A-League clubs, based on my experiences.
“I was pleasantly surprised but it’s what you expect from Marconi. We have ice baths for recovery which you wouldn't expect it from a semi professional team and the facilities, some A-League clubs would love to have."
A dream home game against Western Sydney Wanderers in the FFA Cup would be a fabulous occasion, said Jesic.
But for now, the task of travelling to Hume looms for the Marconi boys as their Cup journey takes an exciting turn.
"Who doesn’t love a trip away! Especially to Melbourne," added Jesic with a smile.