The Final of the Westfield FFA Cup 2015 will be played as a marquee fixture on a Saturday night, Football Federation Australia (FFA) announced today.
Speaking at today’s official launch of the Westfield FFA Cup 2015 at NSW grassroots club Earlwood Wanderers FC, FFA CEO David Gallop said the Cup Final was an instant classic that deserved major event status.
“The mid-week format worked brilliantly in the first year and we had impressive TV ratings and a sell out crowd for the Final in Adelaide on a Tuesday night,” said Gallop.
“Moving the Cup Final to a Saturday night in a standalone timeslot will give it even more exposure to fans across Australia.”
The Saturday night Final scheduled for 7 November is one of several innovations for the 2015 competition, including a condensed match schedule from the Round of 32 onwards and added coverage by the competition’s official broadcast partner FOX SPORTS.
The new innovations follow last November’s announcement that the Westfield FFA Cup would become a truly national competition in 2015 with a slot in the Round of 32 being allocated to the Northern Territory.
For the first time, this year’s Westfield FFA Cup will also incorporate the Preliminary Rounds, meaning every match played prior to the Round of 32 involving approximately 640 clubs falls under the Westfield FFA Cup umbrella.
The first Preliminary Round matches kicked off in Northern New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria last weekend with more matches scheduled across this weekend, including games in the Western Australian regional town of Geraldton.
After the high level of interest last year, FOX SPORTS has also committed to more coverage in 2015 with 11 matches from the Round of 32 to be broadcast LIVE in full while crosses and updates with single camera coverage of every other match will be provided ensuring fans do not miss any of the drama as it unfolds.
“To have tradesmen, teachers and office workers line-up and compete against the professionals from the Hyundai A-League is something unique to football and it is this uniqueness that captured the imagination of sports fans last year,” said Gallop.
“This year the Westfield FFA Cup will be even bigger with the inclusion of the Preliminary Rounds plus a reduced match window that will see the Quarter Finals completed prior to the start of the Hyundai A-League season.
“These changes will help Member Federation clubs by holding the majority of matches during their league season as well as assisting the Hyundai A-League clubs with organising competitive pre-season matches.
As the FFA Cup’s official naming rights partner, General Manager Communications, Product and Experience Scentre Group, Sarah Cleggett reiterated Westfield’s ongoing support for grassroots football and the competition.
"We are extremely proud to once again be the Major Partner of the Westfield FFA Cup,” said Cleggett.
“Just like the local clubs that participate in this competition, our Westfield Shopping Centres are very much part of their communities and we look forward to showing our continued support to all the teams taking part in the Cup's second season."
The Round of 32 is set to commence on 28 July 2015.