Having progressed to the FFA Cup Round of 16, Melbourne City FC will again face Victorian NPL opposition when they take on Hume City this Wednesday night.
Founded in 1979, Hume have a long and proud history as a club but are notably still on the rise. Beginning with a fourth promotion in just over a decade to reach the Victorian top-flight in 2007, Hume put its name on the national stage with a scintillating run to the FFA Cup Semi-Finals in 2015, getting knocked out by eventual winners Melbourne Victory. The run was nearly replicated again in 2018 when they made the Quarter Finals before the club’s defining achievement finally arrived in 2019. That year, Hume beat Melbourne Knights to win the Dockerty Cup, a state-wide knockout tournament, to secure their first piece of major silverware.
More recently however, Hume City was able to finish fourth from 14 teams in the 2021 NPL 1 Victoria season, which had to be cancelled prematurely due to the disruptions of COVID lockdowns. Hume netted 37 goals in that campaign, the second-highest tally in the league, whilst keeping things fairly tight at the back.
Hume’s current manager Nick Hegarty had been a player at the club since arriving in 2012, but stepped into a head coaching role in 2017, guiding his side to consistently respectable finishes in Victoria’s top-flight.
When it comes to notable players, there are many that fans of the A-League Men competition may recognise, as is the case with many top NPL teams around the country.
Josh Bingham, formerly of the Central Coast Mariners, starred for Hume last season, netting 13 goals and finishing second overall in the league’s goalscoring chart. Club captain Andy Brennan was also prolific for Hume in the 2021 season, contributing four goals and six assists. However, the ex-Newcastle Jets man did miss his side’s Round of 32 fixture.
Some of Hume’s other recognisable names include Brandon Lauton and Theodore Markelis (formerly of Melbourne Victory), Mark Ochieng (who scored against City for Adelaide in 2016/17) and Mitch Cooper (Gold Coast United).
Hume progressed to the Round of 16 by surviving a late scare from Port Melbourne Sharks in an intra-Victorian Round of 32 clash. Hume struck first through Ochieng, but their opposition was able to equalise with just over 10 minutes to go. Despite Port Melbourne looking the more likely to find a winner, it was Bingham who stood up for his side, netting in the 92nd minute, before teammate Nahuel Bonada sealed the deal a minute later.
After setting the precedent with a professional performance against South Melbourne, the City boys will be hoping to secure another positive result on Wednesday night and progress to the Quarter Finals.