Brisbane Strikers coach Kevin A’herne-Evans believes Darwin Football Stadium’s pitch will benefit his side in their Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 tie against Rovers Darwin FC, with a crowd of over 2000 tipped for tonight's clash.
Strikers had their first look at the venue on Tuesday during a training run ahead of the elimination clash against the Norzone Premier Men’s side.
A’herne-Evans said should the tie go against his side – which currently sit second in PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland - it won’t be the pitch to blame.
“It’s second to none, to be honest,” crowed A’herne-Evans.
“It’s a terrific facility. It’s just built to play attractive football on a surface like that.”
“You can see that it’s a big pitch with plenty of width. We’ll obviously look to utilise all of that and it’s just set up for proactive football, which is exactly what we thrive on.”
“I’d go as far as to say it’s probably going to be the best surface we’ll play on all year.”
Rovers are a relative unknown to Queensland football fans and only moved into the Northern Territory’s top tier this season, however A’herne-Evans said he has done plenty of homework on his opponents.
“They’ve only been in existence for a short period of time and are in the final 32 of the Westfield FFA Cup and giving the local league a bit of a shake-up.
“We know the powerhouses here are predominantly Olympic and Hellenic, but all of a sudden there’s a new club in town and they’ve done really well.”
“They’ve got a good mix of expats and Australian players, so we know that their togetherness and their unity will be very strong. They’ve got a good goalscorer and are very strong from set plays.”
Local interest in the match is strong, with a crowd in excess of 2000 expected to provide Rovers with home ground advantage.
“It’s going to be exciting to play in front of a good crowd. [Rovers] will be well supported and the local league will get behind them so we are expecting quite a hostile atmosphere and that first 25 or 30 minutes, as always, is going to be crucial”.
A'herne-Evans added that Strikers have no injury concerns and expect to field a full-strength side.