Westfield FFA Cup: five new stars emerge

The Westfield FFA Cup round of 32 was amazing, wasn’t it? And it’s unearthed some future stars who could be playing for your Hyundai A-League club. Here are five who’ve shone brightly.

Thomas Love (Adelaide City)

A headline writer’s dream, Love’s superb solo goal to sink Western Sydney Wanderers FC is arguably the standout moment of the Cup so far.

The 18-year-old announced himself as a potential star of the future when he left four defenders in his wake before coolly slotting past Ante Covic to help pull off the first major shock of the Cup.

His moment of magic has already impressed Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau, who has offered the university student a trial with the Reds.

If Love can produce something similar in the next round, it might not be long before he is seen flying around the country in the Hyundai A-League.

Christopher Lucas (Palm Beach Sharks)

Proven goal-scorers are never easy to find but Lucas fits that bill. The 22-year-old has had a taste of the Hyundai A-League, making one appearance for Gold Coast United against Sydney FC in 2012, and may be ready for a return to that level.

Lucas has been a heavy scorer for the Sharks in the Queensland NPL, scoring 31 times in 20 appearances this season as they have cantered to the title.

If he can keep those numbers up Palm Beach could well go deep into the Westfield FFA Cup and it may just give the speedy striker another shot in the shot in the big time.

Rani Dowisha (South Springvale)

The charismatic young shot-stopper has put himself in the frame of Hyundai A-League clubs after playing a pivotal role as the Cup’s fairy-tale team made it through to the last 16.

Dowisha, a former Melbourne Victory youth team gloveman, was the hero as self-proclaimed “pub team” South Springvale stayed alive in the competition by beating South Cardiff on penalties.

The 22-year-old produced a sensational save to keep out a penalty and keep the Victorian minnows alive - and he may have just re-ignited his own chances of a professional contract.

It’s not just Dowisha’s shot stopping which is his strength but he is also clinical when it comes to dealing with crosses while he is a brilliant organiser of his defence.

Matt Thurtell (Brisbane Strikers)

Much like Palm Beach’s Lucas, Thurtell has been prolific in the Queensland NPL and must be banging down the door for higher honours.

The former Brisbane Roar Youth player has scored more than 100 goals for the Strikers in five seasons with the former NSL champions.

He showed his finishing ability with a powerful volley in the Strikers’ extra-time win over Broadmeadow Magic on the opening night of the FFA Cup last month.

At 21, Thurtell is maturing with every game and his ability to bring others into the game, his quick thinking and good first touch make this striker a candidate for the A-League.

Jordan O’Doherty (Melbourne Knights)

The Knights may have crashed out in the opening week but the performance of the livewire winger certainly caught the eye.

O’Doherty, who is just 16, caused havoc against Olympic FC and scored his side’s goal in the 3-1 defeat before he was sent off late on.

But his exciting display didn’t go unnoticed, especially by Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey who is believed to monitoring teen’s progress.

The former Adelaide United Youth team winger is the type of player that could light up the Hyundai A-League: quick, skilful and always willing to take on his opponent he’s shown in the Westfield FFA Cup he has that X-factor.

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