Our Westfield FFA Cup title defence continues on Tuesday night as we face Hakoah Sydney City East in the Round of 16. We look back at their journey
The story so far
A club with a proud history and a healthy trophy cabinet, our upcoming FFA cup opponents Hakoah Sydney City East have closed their 2017 campaign on a disappointing note.
A 1-0 defeat at home against a strong Manly United outfit saw the home side finish their season in eighth position on the Playstation 4 National Premier League NSW table.
In only their second consecutive season in the state’s top competition, they have showed promising signs with the emergence of numerous talented youngsters but their recent rise is only the beginning of their story.
Founded in 1939 as Sydney Hakoah, the Club was formed by members of the Jewish community in Sydney and is one of the most successful sides in New South Wales.
Hakoah were a foundation member of the National Soccer League and produced some of the country’s best talent, seeing the club claim its famous 3-peat between 1980 and 1982.
With the likes of Ray Baartz, Craig Johnson, Eddie Thomson and John Kosmina playing for the club in the past, Hakoah departed the NSL in 1987 before working their way through the New South Wales State League to find themselves in the State’s top flight today.
A player to watch is classy 20-year-old attacking midfielder, Andrew De Jong. Born in New Zealand, De Jong had a stellar debut season for Hakoah Sydney City East, finding the back of the net 6 times and taking out the clubs golden boot award. The crafty Kiwi is one to watch on Tuesday.
The name ‘Bouzanis’ will be called from the famous FFA Cup commentary scaffolds more than usual in this fixture. City’s own Dean Bouzanis will be coming face to face – albeit on the other side of the pitch – to his younger brother Anthony. Both keepers will be looking forward to taking on each other for the first time.
Although Gavin Rae’s side haven’t produced the desired on field success they would have liked this season, City won’t be taking things too lightly.
Hakoah made the history books with their 6-3 Round of 32 win, with nine goals scored between them and Hills Brumbies, the most in one FFA Cup match.
The NPL side are no stranger to the term ‘Underdog’ and their form in cup competitions this season has been exemplary, taking out the New South Wales Warratah Cup (knockout competition) this year.
Hakoah have worked their way from the lower divisions and now discover themselves back in the national limelight where their star shone brightest in the past.
This looks set to be a massive clash with a big crowd expected at Leichhardt Oval to watch what will be another magical night of FFA Cup football.