They haven’t been in this position in two decades and are up against a South Australian powerhouse but Port Adelaide Pirates are ready to make the most of their shot at national glory in the Westfield FFA Cup.
The Pirates meet last year’s giant-killers Adelaide City in a huge SA preliminary round semi-final at Adelaide Shores Football Centre on Tuesday night.
It’s been a huge effort for Derek Hall’s side to get this far but he says they are ready to claim another big scalp against the SA Cup holders and 17-time winners City.
The Pirates last made a domestic Cup final way back in 1995.
“We are up against a good side led by one of the best coaches in Australia, but we played well in the League game against City and will go in confident,” Hall said.
“We have not been here in 20 years. It’s very important for us, we are taking this Cup seriously. Should we reach the final it would be a fantastic day for our club.
“We are playing one of the benchmark clubs of the League. [City coach] Damian [Mori] has answered criticism of him from earlier in the season. We won’t change our style. We’ll attack and hopefully as a team work to keep City at bay.”
It’s been a roller-coaster season so far for City – who sit seventh in the PSA SA NPL but have experience in the Westfield FFA Cup following their run to last year’s quarter-finals.
City star Nick Bucco is wary of the Pirates but is confident his side will deliver when it matters.
“We are happy with how we are going at the moment. Pirates are a good side, they play the ball well and are very open, which could suit us,” he said.
“We go into this game confident. Our experience could be a factor, we’ve been here before, we know what to expect and are excited for the game.”
The winner of this clash will take on the winner of Wednesday night’s second semi-final between White City and Croydon Kings for South Australia’s spot in the FFA Cup round of 32.
There are also two games in the ACT on Tuesday night with ANU taking on Belconnen United, while the Monaro Panthers and Tuggeranong United square off for the other remaining place in the last four.
Kawana and Sunshine Coast Fire also do battle in the last of the round five fixtures in Queensland.
Click here for all the Westfield FFA Cup fixtures and results.