South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

FFA Cup Preview – SMFC vs Whittlesea United

FFA Cup Preview – SMFC vs Whittlesea United

South Melbourne FC face State League 3 North West side Whittlesea United tomorrow in the Fourth Round of the 2015 Dockerty Cup / Westfield FFA Cup qualifying. In order to qualify for the FFA Cup Round of 32, South needs to win four matches against a variety of NPL and State League clubs, beginning with Whittlesea United tomorrow.

Last year saw South knocked out at the final stage of FFA Cup qualifying (the quarter final stage of the Dockerty Cup), following a 0-2 home loss against the Melbourne Knights. Chris Taylor’s men will be eager to ensure there is no complacency this weekend against a side that competes in the fifth tier of Victorian football.

Whittlesea United are captained by former South Melbourne player Tansel Baser, who is a member of the South Melbourne Hall of Fame and played a total of 106 matches across seven seasons for the Club. He played in the Club’s 1998 National Soccer League Championship as well as the 2006 Victorian Premier League Championship. His current side qualified to play against South on the back of a sensational 3-2 upset against FC Clifton Hill last Saturday.

South are coming off a bruising encounter with Werribee City last Sunday and will likely be forced into a number of changes for tomorrow’s match. Despite recording a 1-2 victory, there were injuries to Tim Mala (rolled ankle), Kristian Konstantinidis (ankle) and Nick Epifano (a minor knock), whilst 16 year old Andy Kecojevic succumbed to severe cramp late in the game with no substitutions left. Mala and Konstantinidis will miss this weekend’s match, whilst Epifano is likely to feature as a substitute.

Captain Michael Eagar could slot back into defence as he did last weekend, however there is the possibility that Ioannis Avramidis could be promoted from the Under 20s to fill in at the centre-half position. Kecojevic was tremendous in the first half against Werribee, delighting the South fans with several classy touches and a brilliant pass in the lead up to Epifano’s goal. The youngster could also feature in midfield if he is fit.

Saturday’s match kicks off at 3pm at Thomas Street Reserve in Thomastown. Those unable to make the game can follow it with live updates on the South Melbourne FC Facebook page and on the Club’s official Twitter @smfc with the hashtag #FFACUP.

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