Tasmania has a new Round of 32 entrant for the third time in four years and they are ready to give the Westfield FFA Cup Final Rounds a shake. Find out more about Tassie’s 2017 representative here.
South Hobart were Tasmania’s qualifier in the first two years of the Cup, only to bow out at the Round of 32 stage on both occasions in penalty shootouts. Then last year it was Devonport Strikers who enjoyed two home matches, which were both played in torrential rain, defeating Lambton Jaffas from Northern NSW before going down to Bentleigh Greens in the last 16.
How will this year’s entrant fair? Obviously much will depend on who they draw but here’s a bit of background on the club that will compete on the national stage from Tasmania in 2017…
Olympia FC Warriors #OFC
League: PS4 NPL Tasmania
Home Venue: Warrior Park (15 Dampier Street, Warrane)
Head Coach: Kenny Weston
How they qualified
Olympia FC Warriors 7
Olympia FC Warriors 12 (Jakub Sklenar x6, Warren Wadawu)
Olympia FC Warriors 2
Hobart Jeep Zebras 0
Glenorchy Knights 2 (Ethan Engels (pen) x2)
Olympia FC Warriors 4 (Jake Vandermey, Jakub Sklenar x2, James Mccarthy)
Westfield FFA Cup history
First appearance in the Round of 32
Olympia FC Warriors' last appearance in a national competition came when they competed in the PS4 NPL 2015 Finals Series. Drawn to face South Melbourne away from home in the Elimination Finals, they stunned the Victorian heavyweights 2-1 in what will go down as one of the club’s greatest victories.
Now 18 months later they are in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 for the first time under the tutelage of coach Kenny Weston, who was previously Football Federation Tasmania’s National Development Centre coach. Weston was appointed on 4 May this year in somewhat controversial circumstances after his predecessor Ian Shaw was sacked seven rounds into the season despite the Warriors sitting on top of the table.
The new Warriors boss inherited a squad that many locals believe is the best in Tasmania. With that comes an expectation to succeed, of which qualifying for the Round of 32 was one such box predicted to be ticked off.
This task became somewhat less difficult after two of the other fancied contenders, Devonport Strikers and South Hobart, were knocked out in the earlier rounds. Olympia eliminated their other main challenger Hobart Zebras in Round 6 before coming up against the surprise packet and Cinderella story of the Preliminary Rounds, Glenorchy Knights, in the Round of 32 decider.
A 4-2 result ensued and now they have their sights set on the Round of 32.
Former Czech professional Jakub Sklenar is arguably one of the key men in a talented squad. Sklenar scored six goals in a 12-0 win over Nelson earlier in Olympia’s Cup campaign which included a hat-trick in the opening 20 minutes, and he will look forward to testing himself against much tougher opposition when the Round of 32 kicks off.
Olympia FC currently sit third on the PS4 NPL Tasmania table behind Devonport Strikers and South Hobart.