With the draw for the 2015 edition of the Westfield FFA Cup to be held on Wednesday, we take a look at the 22 regional clubs taking part in the competition.
Australian Capital Territory
Gungahlin United: Twitter: @GUFC1997, Website: gungahlinunitedfc.org.au
First time qualifiers, booked their spot after beating Belconnen United 1-0 in the ACT’s Federation Cup final. Will be hoping to emulate last year’s ACT entrant Tuggeranong United who made the last 16 of the competition. Are currently sixth on the ladder in their first year back in Capital Football’s PS4 NPL competition.
New South Wales
Balmain Tigers: Twitter: @balmaintigersfc Website: www.balmainsoccerclub.com
Following in the footsteps of South Springvale in 2014, the Tigers are already a fairytale story of this year’s competition, making the last 32 from the third tier in NSW. Currently sitting seventh in Football NSW’s State League 1 competition.
Blacktown City: Twitter: @BlacktownCityFC, Website: www.bcfc.com.au
Blacktown will be out to make an impact on the big stage this time around, having fallen to giant-killers Bentleigh Greens in the round of 32 last year. Not out of the question with a squad that boasts ex-Hyundai A-League players like Travis Major, Mitch Mallia and Yianni Perkatis. Are the league-leaders in the PS4 NSW NPL1.
Rockdale City Suns: Twitter: @rockdalecitysfc, Website: www.rockdalecitysunsfc.com.au
Are making their debut in the competition after cruising past Sutherland Sharks 3-0 in NSW’s final round of qualifying. Play at the imposing Illenden Sports Centre which will make it a tough road trip for any club forced to visit there. The Suns, who recently signed ex-Sydney FC shot-stopper Ivan Necevski, are currently eighth in NSW’s PS4 NPL1 competition.
Sydney Olympic: Twitter: @sydneyolympic, Website: sydneyolympicfc.com.au
The two-time NSL champions are back in the round of 32 for a second straight year. Made the last 16 in 2014, knocked out by giant-killers Bentleigh Greens. They are in good form too, sitting fourth in the PS4 NSW NPL1.
Sydney United 58 FC: Twitter: @SydUtd58FC, Website: www.sydneyunited58fc.com
Who could forget the incredible night in Sydney’s west last year when Mark Rudan’s United 58 hosted Sydney FC in the last 16. Will be hoping to get to at least the same stage this year, with a talent-laden squad. Qualified after thrashing Prospect United 5-0 and currently fifth in NSW’s top-flight.
Broadmeadow Magic FC: Twitter: @BMagicFC, Website: www.magicfc.com
The Magic were part of history last year, playing in the first televised FFA Cup match against Brisbane Strikers, going down in extra-time. Booked their spot after demolishing West Wallsend 13-0 in the last round of qualifying. Sitting fifth in the Northern NSW PS4 NPL.
Edgeworth FC: Website: www.facebook.com/pages/Edgeworth-Eagles-FC
First-timers in the FFA Cup last 32, the Eagles stormed into the competition in resounding fashion with a 3-0 drubbing of Adamstown Rosebud. Edgeworth are flying high in the Northern NSW PS4 NPL, sitting in second just one point off top spot.
Darwin Olympic SC: Twitter: @DarwinOlympicSC, Website: www.darwinolympic.com
What a story the top end club are, making history becoming the competition’s first representative from the Northern Territory. Were free-scorers in qualifying, including a 5-0 thrashing of Alice Springs outfit Celtic FC in the top end’s decider. Currently in second spot in the NorZone Premier League competition.
Brisbane Strikers: Twitter: @BneStrikers, Website: www.brisbanestrikers.com.au
Another ex-NSL club relishing their return to the national spotlight. Made the last 16 of last year’s competition before going down to Adelaide City. Booked their second straight appearance in the competition with a thrilling 4-3 win over Redlands United FC. Occupying second position in PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland.
Far North Queensland Heat: Twitter: @FNQHeat, Website: www.fnqfc.com.au
Crushed Frenchville SC 7-1 in the last qualifying round to enter the draw and would love a crack at an Hyundai A-League side. Ex-Phoenix midfielder Alex Smith is a genuine match-winner and a real player to watch. A part of PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland, Heat is currently in eighth spot on the ladder.
Lions FC: Twitter: @LionsFC1 Website: qldlionsfc.com.au
Lions are making their first appearance on the national stage after surviving five rounds of qualifying in Queensland. Strong defensively, they only conceded once on the way, smashing Pine Rivers 5-0 in their last round. Are the only representatives from the Brisbane Premier League, where they are currently on top of the table.
Palm Beach SC: Twitter: @PalmBeachSC, Website: palmbeachfc.com.au
The Sharks were one of the feel-good stories of the 2014 edition as they went all the way through to the quarter-finals. Are a powerful club having won the PlayStation 4 NPL Queensland last season and know what it takes to win tight, sudden-death matches. Definitely a darkhorse again to pull off a shock or two again.
Croydon Kings: Twitter: @CroydonKingsFC, Website: www.croydonkings.com.au
Another debutant in the competition, Croydon eliminated last year’s giant-killers Adelaide City in qualifying to secure their spot in the last 32. Ex-Brisbane Roar midfielder Rocky Visconte is their star man, alongside goal-scoring hero Andreas Wiens. Are fourth on the ladder in the SA PS4 NPL1
MetroStars: Twitter: @metrostarssc, Website: www.metrostars.com.au
Became the first team to qualify for the round of 32 by winning the 2014 Australian NPL title. Would love to follow the lead of Adelaide City by becoming the second SA regional club to take down Hyundai A-League opposition. Sitting fifth at present in the SA PS4 NPL1.
South Hobart FC: Twitter: @SouthHobartFC, Website: www.southhobartfc.com
Will be out to make amends for last year where the club was bundled out in the round of 32 on a penalty shootout. One of Tasmania’s most powerful clubs, South eased through qualifying and ensured their spot on the big stage for a second straight year with a 4-0 drubbing of Kingborough Lions. Striker Brayden Mann is the one to watch, having netted 15 times in 13 games this season.
South Melbourne FC: Twitter: @smfc, Website: www.smfc.com.au
Falling at the final hurdle of qualifying last year, South Melbourne are back in the big time and in the national spotlight for the first time since the old NSL. As defending champions of the PS4 Victorian NPL – and highest ranked of the state’s regional clubs – Chris Taylor’s side will feel they can make as big an impact as Bentleigh Greens did in 2014. Scored a ton of goals in qualifying, including a 6-1 annihilation of Frankston Pines in the final round.
Heidelberg United FC: Twitter: @HUFCWARRIOR, Website: www.hufc.com.au
Yet another ex-national league club hoping to revive former glories by taking a few big scalps in the competition. Heidelberg, who sits in third spot in the Vic PS4 NPL1, scored at least five goals in each of their last four qualifying matches to make the last 32.
Hume City FC: Twitter: @FCHumeCity, Website: humecityfc.com
A top-five club in the Victorian PS4 NPL, Hume qualified for the main draw with a last round 2-0 win over Kingston City. Former Melbourne Victory players Theo Markelis, who scored a spectacular double in that last win, and Petar Franjic add some extra class to a strong line-up.
Oakleigh Cannons FC: Twitter: @oakcannonsfc, Website: www.oakleighcannonsfc.com.au
The Cannons are making their first appearance in the FFA Cup, securing their spot after ending the run of last year’s fairytale story South Springvale in the last round. Currently in eighth position in Vic’s PS4 NPL1, can draw on some Hyundai A-League experience with the likes of Steve Pantelidis and Kofi Danning in their squad.
Perth SC: Twitter: @PerthSoccerClub, Website: perthsc.com.au
Perth are first-timers in the Westfield FFA Cup and are enjoying a fine season in the WA PS4 NPL. They qualified in fine fashion, including a thrilling 4-3 win over Gwelup despite playing much of the clash with just 10 men. WA’s regional sides were both eliminated in the first round last year but Perth look a strong chance to end that record.
Sorrento FC: Twitter: @Sorrento_FC, Website: www.sorrentofc.com.au
The Jamie Harnwell-coached Sorrento survived a gripping penalty shootout to claim the final WA spot in the competition, edging past last year’s round of 32 representatives Bayswater City. They have a few promising youngsters who will be out to make a statement for the club on the national stage.