They may be overwhelming favourites going into their Westfield FFA Cup Round of 16 encounter against Tuggeranong United but Melbourne Victory midfielder Connor Pain is not getting caught up by any such notions.
The Victory will head to the nation’s capital to take on the NPL Capital Football club at Vikings Park on the first of two nights in the last 16 of the Cup.
‘Tuggies’ as they are affectionately known reached the Round of 16 after eliminating South Hobart in a dramatic penalty shootout. Now they face a match against a Hyundai A-League giant in the biggest game the club has played in its history.
While much of the focus and romance has been around Tuggeranong welcoming one of Australia’s biggest football clubs to its territory, for Melbourne Victory it is another Cup game against a Member Federation club that they are expected to win.
Pain played in the 2-0 Round of 32 triumph over Western Australian NPL Premiers Bayswater City after ensuring they did the necessary preparation, and Pain says they will not be taking anything to chance against Tuggeranong.
The matchup screams of a classic David and Goliath showdown but one thing in the Canberra based club’s favour according to Pain is the fact that the Victory have little to go by of the way Tuggies play.
“Obviously we’ve got Tuggies coming up in the next round of the Cup and I think the main issue for the A-League clubs is trying to find out a bit about these teams,” Pain said.
“We sent our Assistant Coach across to Perth to see Bayswater play and I think he came back with a lot of knowledge that helped us in preparing for that game, and I imagine we’ll be doing something similar for the next.”
There has been huge interest in the match in the Canberra region and Pain is excited about the opportunity to run out in front of an expected bumper crowd.
“I was a state league player myself and whenever you play these big games everyone is up for it,” Pain said.
“I don’t know much about Tuggies. Carl Valeri was telling us because he was a former player there as a boy that they’re a pretty strong side in the capital so I think it will be an interesting clash.”Click here to purchase tickets. The match will also be shown LIVE and exclusive on Fox Sports.