Brisbane Strikers skipper Jonti Richter expects a frantic start to their Westfield FFA Cup round of 32 clash against Broadmeadow Magic – and who knows, if they win the Strikers could land a Queensland derby.
The Strikers travel to Newcastle to face Broadmeadow Magic at Wanderers Oval in the first round of 32 clash next Tuesday night.
Magic and Strikers will be live on Fox Sports 3 from 7pm. Fox Sports will be crossing live and have all the goals, and interviews from around the other three matches that night.
The other opening round matches next Tuesday night are Manly United v Sydney Olympic, Olympic FC v Melbourne Knights and South Springvale v South Cardiff FC.
Unlike many of his young team-mates, Richter has experience on the national scene, having played for Brisbane Roar and (the now defunct) New Zealand Knights in the early years of the Hyundai A-League.
He will call on that experience to pass on to the rest of the Strikers squad this week in the lead-up to their battle with the Magic, who he admits they know very little about.
“Like anything we’ve just tried to watch a few videos. Even then it’s tough to say without seeing them in person. It’s a bit of the unknown but that’s part of the beauty of the Cup,” Richter told www.theffacup.com.au.
“I think in a lot of respects the first 10-15 minutes will be quite frantic because both sets of players will be excited and nervous about the game.
“Depending on whether there’s an early goal it might be cagey from there.
“I just hope both teams go out to play good football and we can have a great game. We want to win but we hope it’s a great game for people to watch as well.”
For Richter, the prospect of the Strikers playing on the national scene again is something he’s dreamed about for many years.
“Growing up in Brisbane, the Strikers were the only team for us up here,” the 31-year-old explained.
“There was no Fox Sports back then so you either went and watched the Strikers live or you didn’t see much soccer.
“In some ways it’s a dream for me to play for the club I grew up supporting in the Brisbane Strikers.
“The boys are talking about it a fair bit. We believe we have a chance to beat Broadmeadow and then you could pull an A-League club.”
While he knows they have their work cut out getting past the Magic, Richter concedes he’s dared to dream about the prospect of lining up against A-League champions Roar later on in the tournament.
“It sounds crazy but imagine the Brisbane Strikers getting to play at Suncorp Stadium again against the Brisbane Roar where both clubs have won national championships,” he said.
“It would be an amazing experience for everyone involved. I’m sure we’d get a packed house whether we win or lose.”
Unfortunately for Richter, a long-standing foot injury means he is no certainty to face the Magic on Tuesday night.
He rates himself a 50-50 chance to play and admits he’s been easing off “climbing up and down the ladder” of late in his job as a painter and decorator to try and get himself right for the match.
Richter says the Strikers possess some good young talent – including the likes of striker Matt Thurtell, Scot Coulson and Alex Schiavo – he hopes can make an impression though coach Chay Hews will be overseas next week.