Scoring on debut in the FFA Cup
On Saturday the Senior Men’s team travelled to Grange Reserve in Hoppers Crossing to take on Werribee City FC in the clubs first qualifying round for the 2021 FFA Cup
Coach Esteban Quintas provided a number of players with their competitive debut in the Senior Men’s team. Sasha Murphy and James Burgess both started on the pitch in the FFA cup qualifier and featured heavily throughout the fixture. A solid performance over the ninety minutes saw a robust defensive effort resulting in a cleansheet, Burgess being unbeaten in goal. Up front it was an attacking foray with constant attacks into the final third. Six times the ball found the net with Zac Bates leading the charge. Bates would score twice securing his brace and he was backed up by Henry Hore, Freddie Sey and skipper Brad Norton.
Off the bench, 17 year old young gun Yianni Panakos was the third player making his debut and he was thrown straight into the mix by Coach Quintas and Captain Norton. With the referee having blown the whistle for a penalty, Panakos was handed the responsiblity and honour of taking the spot kick. He slid the ball into the bottom right of the net and in doing so recorded name in the record books as having scored on debut for the Senior team.
Senior Team Manager Kris Peladrinos spoke to Panakos after the match, asking him to share his thoughts on the experience. “There’s no better feeling really than scoring a goal. Pre-seaon I got my first one in a friendly and now to get one in a competitive game really hits the heart. The instructions from Esteban prior to coming on to the pitch were just to be myself. Do my thing in the final third but also work hard defensively” he said.
Peladrinos also reflect on Panakos’ journey at the club indicating that he joined the club almost a decade ago. He started with the Under 9s and having been a consistent performer throughout the years in the NPL Youth program culminating as a member of the 2019 Championship winning Under 20s squad.
The 0-6 win over Werribee City FC in the FFA Cup qualifier progresses the club through to the next round. A mid-week fixture between April 26 and May 7 will be the next opportunity to share the ‘Magic of the Cup’. Football Victoria has not yet announced the date of the FFA Cup draw for Round 5 however it is expected to occur on Monday 12th April.