By Jack Cotsanis and James Shomos
The reigning champions of The Capital Football league have had a taste of the Magic of the Cup, after Coach Frank Cachia and Captain Angelo Konstantinou lead them to Semi-finals of the 2016 FFA Cup vs A-league heavyweight Sydney FC. After a 3-0 loss to the A-league champions, Olympic are keen to go one step further and prove why they are the best team in Canberra. Canberra striker Stephen Domenici is determined to continue his form with already 18 goals to his name this season. The Olympic forward has been a highlight in a great season for the Capital League side winning both league and cup and booking their place in the FFA Cup for 2017 by beating Tuggeranong United 2-0 in the cup Final.
The South Australian side guaranteed their 2017 FFA Cup spot after defeating NPLSA league leaders Adelaide City 2-0 to contain the FFSA Cup for the second year in a row. A team with numerous former A-league players, the Stars are looking to use that to improve their FFA Cup record, only winning 1 out of 3 cup ties which was against Blacktown City in 2015. Club captain Michael D’aloisio, who has played over 300 games for the Stars will lead the team to look to ignite their cup run with a winning start alongside former Adelaide United duo Fabian Barberio and Adam Van Dommele.
South Melbourne FC
After a thrilling Dockerty Cup tie against Dandenong City at Lakeside Stadium, South pulled through to beat Dandenong City 5-4 after conceding 4 goals, they looked down and out, then a Milos Lujic penalty and red card to City defender Enes Sivic reignited South to score four goals in the last 13 minutes and book their place in the Round of 32. South Star Milos Lujic and 4 time Victorian Golden Boot winner is eager to bring his goal scoring form into the cup run to make up for their early cup exit in 2015. Former Melbourne City players Stefan Zinni and Matthew Millar will be keen to show their ability against the countries best teams.
Heidelberg United FC
While smashing their way through the FFA Cup qualifying rounds, Heidelberg are ready to make another mark on Australia’s top football competition. Sitting equal first with rivals South Melbourne, Heidelberg have recently dropped in form, but a resurgent 5-0 drubbing over Hume City in the Dockerty Cup showed why Heidelberg are in the Dockerty Cup final. Coming up against reigning cup holders Bentleigh Greens, it will be a tough task for the Bergers. Star striker Ken Athiu is setting his sights on leading the line for the Berger’s. Can the Bergers go one better than their 2015 campaign?
Hume always love a bit of FFA Cup football by setting a high standard for the NPL and State league teams. With a fantastic 2015/16 Cup campaign, Hume are ready to make more cup history in 2017. With a change of manager, City have dropped in form sitting in 7th place in NPLVIC table and also being thrashed by Heidelberg United 5-0 in the Dockerty Cup Semi-Final. Facing NPL 1 side Moreland City in tie that would book them a spot in the FFA Cup, Moreland put up a hard fought battle, but Hume City walked past Moreland with a 4-0 win at ADB Stadium guaranteeing their place in the 2017 FFA Cup. After last year’s individual brilliance against A-League outfit Central Coast Mariners, Former Green Gully star, Liam Bolland is ready to bring his flare and goal scoring ability to Hume’s Cup run.
Qualifying for the third time, Bentleigh will look to continue their impressive FFA Cup form. After reaching the semi-final against Perth Glory and going down 3-0 in the first year of the cup and reaching the quarter-final losing to 3 time A-League champions Melbourne Victory in the 2016 campaign. After signings of former Newcastle Jets winger Andy Brennan and former Brisbane Roar and Wellington Phoenix attacking-midfielder Ben Liftin, the Greens will be looking to showcase their quality.
After a very poor season for the South Australian side, Adelaide will be looking to put the 2016/17 season behind them by starting fresh with their new manager Marco Kurz. With United being crowned the inaugural FFA Cup champions in 2014/15, Adelaide will be hoping to replicate the 2014/15 cup run. With Fan favourite and Club Captain Eugene Galekovic leaving for Melbourne City, New signing and former Red Paul Izzo will have massive shoes to fill.
After shattering lose to Melbourne Victory in last seasons Semi-Final, Aloisi’s men are out to prove their doubters wrong by becoming Australia’s top team again. With Star striker Jamie Maclaren heading off to German Second Division side Darmstadt SV, Brisbane have quickly snatched up out of contracted Mlebourne Victory Star Forward Fahid Ben Khalfallah, with other key players gone such as Brandon Borello, Tommy Oar and Roar legend Thomas Broich leaving Aloisi’s squad.
With Paul Okon’s developing young squad, there were some glimpses of brilliant football but weren’t as consistent as they would like. With Central Coast getting busy in the transfer window with Roy O’Donovan leaving, Okon has looked for experience and talent to baluster his squad for the upcoming season, with the likes of former Victory defender Alan Baro, Young Socceroos Daniel De Silva and Andrew Hoole and Dutch Midfield Tom Hiarej from Dutch club FC Groningen. After losing to Green Gully in the first round last year, the Mariners will be looking to make up for their early exit.
After winning the cup last year against A-league champions Sydney to receive their first piece of silverware in their short history, City will be looking to win the cup once again but this time with new manager Warren Joyce. With most of the 2016/17 squad still remaining at the club, City have added former Adelaide stalwart Eugene Galekovic and the re-signing of Anthony Cacares from Manchester City on loan. It will be a tough task for Joyce’s squad to retain the FFA Cup in Melbourne.
Despite losing to Sydney FC in the A-league Grand Final 4-2 on penalties, Kevin Muscat’s men are ready to put that behind them and start the 2017/18 season on a high with a good start to the FFA Cup. With Fahid Ben Khalfallah signing with A-League rivals Brisbane Roar and Midfield Maestro James Troisi seemed to be heading to Europe, Victory have brought. back Fan favourite and New Zealand International Kosta Barbarouses. With a star studded forward line, Rojas, Berisha and Barbarouses will be aiming to fire Victory to FFA Cup Glory.
With experienced coach Ernie Merrick taking the helm at Newcastle, signings Glen Moss and Roy O’Donovan will add experience and quality to the Jets. Signing from Central Coast after an impressive season scoring 11 goals in 26 games, O’Donovan will be keen to continue his goal scoring form at his new club. Not having won silverware for over 9 years, the Jets will want to start the season on a good note with FFA Cup glory.
After a controversial semi-final loss to Sydney FC in the A-League, Perth Glory are fired up and raring to go for the 2017/18 season. With Kenny Lowe keeping key players such as Diego Castro and Andy Keogh, Lowe is ready to find some silverware after an 18 year drought for the Western Australian side. Kenny has made a huge statement with the signing of Mitch Nichols to build on last season. With two FFA Cup final berths and no wins, Glory is looking to fight their way back to final.
Following an impressive season only losing 1 game out of 29 and becoming A-league champions for the first time since 2011, beating Melbourne Victory 4-2 on penalties. Coach Graham Arnold will be looking to reach the final for the second year in a row after losing to FFA Cup winners Melbourne City 1-0. The re-signings of star players Milos Ninkovic, Bobô and captain Alex Brosque will help add stability and quality to the squad to look for their first FFA Cup trophy.
Being the only non-Australian team, the Phoenix are looking to pick up their first piece of silverware in their history. While not having the best record in FFA Cup in previous years, Wellington are looking to start the year off bright and get through the first rounds of the FFA Cup. After losing key players in Kosta Barbarouses, Roly Bonavacia, Glen Moss and Alex Rodriguez, it will give less experienced players the chance to show their talent and impress new coach Rado Vidošić.
Western Sydney Wanderers
The three time A-League runners up have had a good off season after an up and down year finishing 6th. The signings of dynamic midfielder Roly Bonavacia and Socceroo right-back Josh Risdon will give the Wanderers experience to a fresh faced squad. With the last 3 FFA Cup campaigns being underwhelming, Popovic’s men will look to kick start their season by winning the FFA Cup for the first time in the clubs history.
Darwin Rovers FC
The Northern Territory side are the youngest team in the FFA Cup only being founded in 2014. The Rovers have only played one FFA Cup game in which they lost 6-0 to Brisbane Strikers in 2016. After beating Hellenic Athletic 1-0, it was confirmed they would be qualifying for the second time in their short history, Darwin are considered the underdogs of the competition and will be looking to get further than the round of 32.
Having qualified for the first time, the NSW side will be looking to continue their winning ways after beating SD Raiders 2-1 in Extra time to book their spot into the FFA Cup. APIA Top goal scorer Jordan Murray is looking to add to his goal tally of 6 and fire past Australia’s best as he looks to help APIA go past the Round of 32.
It will be the first appearance in the FFA Cup for NSW side Bankstown Berries, after beating NPLNSW power house Sydney Olympic 1-0 in the qualifying stages. Berries Captain Liam McKenna is ready to lead his boys into the clubs first FFA Cup match and create history.
After beating Rockdale City Suns 3-1 away from home, the NSW side booked their place in to the FFA Cup Round of 32 for the first time. Gavin Rae’s men will be looking to continue their perfect cup run and hope to replicate their winning form in the Round of 32. After scoring two of the three goals against Rockdale City in the last round, 20 year old Hakoah midfielder Andre De Jong will be looking to show his quality on the national stage.
With a narrow 1-0 win against Maitland, the Northern NSW side have booked their place into the FFA Cup for the third year running. While getting beaten by Western Sydney 5-1 in 2015/16 and reigning FFA Cup Champions Melbourne City 2-1 in last year’s competition, The Edgeworth boys are ready to step up against any A-league outfit. Star player Keigo Moriyasu is hoping to bring his NPL goal form into the cup to help out the Eagles.
Moreton Bay United
A six goal thriller against Olympic FC in Round 7 of the Football Queensland FFA Cup qualifying round, Moreton Bay reserved their spot in the 2017 FFA Cup Round of 32. Moreton bay a hoping for striker Riley Campbell to keep is goal scoring form as he has kicked 12 goals in 15 NPL games.
The Western Australian side have qualified for The FFA Cup for the second time and will be looking to improve on their last campaign. The Gulls went down to Sydney FC 2-0 in the 2015-16 FFA Cup and were disappointed by the early exit. Former Perth Glory stalwart and now Sorrento coach Jamie Harnwell will be eyeing up the chance to potentially face the top clubs in Australian Football. After his side knocked out State League side Dianella White Eagles to qualify for the FFA Cup, it also put the Gulls into the final of the Football West Cup against Western Knights. Former Notts County and Exeter City striker Sean Canham will be looking to lead line and fire Sorrento on to the National stages of Australian football.
Gold Coast City
The Queensland side formerly known as Palm Beach Sharks, have been setting the goal scoring standard for the up and coming FFA Cup with Jarrod Kyle putting 4 past the Colundra Defence in a 5-1 demolition in the Qualifying stages. Jarrod Kyle also scored in the previous round against SWQ Thunder FC to add his goal tally of now 5. The Gold Coast forward will be looking to fire City past the Round of 32, which the club has only done once.
With a 4-2 win against Glenorchy Knights, to qualify. The only Tasmanian Team in the competition, the Warriors are ready to go head to head with the countries best as they are one of the underdogs for the 2017 FFA Cup. Warriors Captain and Defender Jake Vandermay is ready to lead his boys in one of Olympia’s most important game of the season.
After qualifying for the 3rd time in 4 years, Broadmeadows Magic are use to the Magic of the Cup. A big 3-1 win vs Coffs City FC sealed the FFA Cup qualification and Magic are ready to go further than they did in 2014 and 2015. James Virgili looks like the man who can bring some goals for the Magic, as he has scored 4 goals in the qualifying rounds and 2 goals in his last game.
With a 3-0 win against Bulli FC, Blacktown City are raring to start the cup competition. Former star player Danny Choi moved on to Adelaide united after his stunning 70 metre goal in the 2016 FFA Cup tie against Sydney United 58, but his time at Adelaide didn’t work out and returned to Blacktown. Now that he is back, he is focused prove his doubters wrong. The question that everyone will be asking is, Can Danny Choi score another screamer in this year’s cup?
Four qualifications out of four. After a massive 6-1 win against Magpies FC, the Queensland side are ready for 2017 FFA Cup. Former U’18 Japanese Ehime FC Forward Shigeki Ono is the man to look out for. With top flight experience at University level, the heat have brought him in for their title charge and FFA Cup run.
Sydney United 58
4 years of consecutive FFA Cup qualification, United are looking to put an early win on the board in the FFA Cup. Last time out, a 6-2 extra time loss to Blacktown City knocked out the reigning NPL NSW Champions last year in the FFA Cup. With the luxury of not having to play a minute in the NSW FFA Cup preliminary rounds, Coach Mark Rudan wants his team to go past the Round of 16, which they have never done before.
The second team in the cup from Western Australia, had stunning build up to tournament, scoring 25 goals and only conceding 3 in 4 games. New comers Western Knights left it late to book their first ever FFA Cup berth with a big 2-1 win over NPL West side Bayswater City SC with a penalty in the 90th minute, which Knights skipper Paul Lloyd converted. Being the only State League side in the completion, The Knights are looking forward to the new adventure in the cup.
First time in the cup for the Brisbane Premier League side, Peninsula Power secured qualification for the 2017 FFA Cup after a 3-0 win over Grange Thistle. 2 goals from Dean Briggs, the striker looks like the man that can bring potential glory for the Power in their first cup campaign.
1 of the 7 teams that is making their debut in the FFA Cup. The New South Wales side had an impressive 5-2 win with four different goal scorers against Kemblawarra Fury FC on May 31st to secure qualification for the Cup. With four different goal scores, it’s hard to tell who will step up and become a hero for Hills Brumbies.