They didn’t get the trip away but Melbourne Knights are set to “bring the glory days back” when the FFA Cup spotlight shines on Somers St this Wednesday night.
Coach and club legend Andrew Marth told www.theffacup.com.au that their Round of 32 clash with Cockburn City will be a special night for the club and its fans.
And although Marth’s players rather fancied a trip away to sunnier climes, Marth will have them up for the challenge of facing Scott Miller’s City.
“I think the glory days will come back. Our fans are very patriotic as you know and we have a strong support group week in week out.
“We’ve been one of the best teams going around in Australia’s history. And to come back on the national stage is huge,” Marth said.
“The league means a certain amount to us but the FFA Cup is huge and exposure to our young kids at a high level... even though the boys wanted me to bring back a trip away to Darwin, Perth or Cairns."
Marth however has visited WA to scout their FFA Cup opponents.
And Knights played Melbourne City in a friendly in late July to add to their preparations outside of their league games in the PS4 NPL Victoria.
Knights' defence is relatively youthful but they’ll be well organised, promised Marth, himself a key defender from the club's glory days in the 1990s.
“We try to play attacking football. We have a young squad with a defence average age of around 19," he said.
In captain Stipo Andrijasevic they have an A-League player of the future. The youngster has come back from a bad knee injury and was at Melbourne City some time ago. The Cup could be his platform for a relaunch into the A-League.
Nick Glavan is a former Victory youth player and another teen to keep an eye on, tipped Marth.
Marth also stressed the importance the club put on re-investing money into Knights Stadium, one he said was one of the best set ups in the NPLs.
“We own our own facility and ground. The club has put all their finances back into that which means we don’t spend as much [on buying players] as other clubs do.
"We’re doing okay. And this should be a huge night for our club."