FNQ FC Heat skipper Tamas Maffey-Stumpe says his teammates can extend Queensland’s perfect record in the Westfield FFA Cup tonight against Sydney United 58.
NPL Queensland clubs Brisbane Strikers and Olympic FC won their ties on the opening night of the competition a fortnight ago, and Maffey-Stumpe believes Heat can continue that form against in a chilly Sydney tonight.
Despite the challenge of playing on the national stage for the first time against the 2013 National Premier Leagues Champions, Maffey-Stumpe said his teammates will draw on the confidence built through their breakthrough NPL Queensland season.
“We have a lot of self-belief in our team and we know what we are capable of,” he said.
“This game is going to be very competitive and we’re going to be out there to compete and take it right to them.”
“I imagine the crowd is going to be pretty loud. A few of the boys might not be used to that but a few of us have played in front of bigger crowds and are going to be ready for that.”
Maffey-Stumpe is one of those players with experience in front of fiery opposition fans, spending four years playing for St Francis University in Pennsylvania in the United States’ parochial NCAA Division 1 college competition.
“I played in front of crowds that like taunting you. They will have a go at you but they are actually pretty funny. I think most of our boys will thrive off it.”
Born and raised in Queensland’s far north, Maffey-Stumpe said he will proudly lead the team onto the pitch at Sydney United Sports Centre.
“I went to school in Mossman and grew up in a little town called Julatten, which is about half an hour from Mossman. I played for Douglas United and played for Mareeba, which used to be the old FNQ Bulls in the state league,” he explained.
“So captaining the team is an absolute honour and it’s also something for a lot of young players in far north Queensland to look to. Just to have this opportunity and be able to play this level.”
Hyundai A-League coaches have expressed interest in players that have shined in the opening weeks of the competition and Maffey-Stumpe admits he and his teammates are eager to demonstrate their wares to any scouts watching.
“I think every player is aware of the exposure they might be getting from this game and, personally, I wouldn’t be playing at this level if I didn’t think I could go on,” he said.
“You have your opportunities and you see what you do with them, but I am definitely very excited for the opportunity.”
While not wanting to get too far ahead of himself, he did admit the lure of securing a home tie in the next round would serve as further motivation for the predominantly home grown team.
“Cairns would love a home game and the city would really get behind that,” he added.
Image courtesy: Sam Wood