Melbourne City FC’s Westfield FFA Cup campaign commences on Tuesday night when they travel to Newcastle to take on Edgeworth Eagles FC in the Round of 32 at Magic Park.
John van’t Schip’s side will have a point to prove in this year’s edition of the tournament after succumbing 3-1 in extra-time at the Round of 32 stage last season, against Sydney FC.
City face an Edgeworth Eagles side on the brink of securing the Northern NSW Premier League title, with a 2-0 victory over South Cardiff FC leaving Damian Zane’s men three points clear at the top of the table with just two games remaining.
With the Eagles flying high in the league, van’t Schip is wary of complacency and says his side will have to be at their best to avoid becoming the competition’s first A-League scalp.
“There’s a good vibe in the club [at Edgeworth] at the moment of course knowing they are playing in the FFA Cup against us,” van’t Schip said.
“It’s a game we have to prepare for very seriously because from experience we know there can always be a surprise, and we have to make sure we aren’t one of them.”
The match will provide an opportunity for several of the Club’s National Premier League (NPL) players to stake their claim ahead of the upcoming Hyundai A-League season, with the likes of Phil Petreski, Yaren Sozer, Ali Eyigun and Stefan Zinni all making the trip to Newcastle.
Striker Wade Dekker is set to feature for the first time since his elevation to the senior list, and van’t Schip says the experience of playing in a high pressure match will prove valuable for the younger members of the squad.
“It’s a great opportunity for them to show what they already have done in the last few weeks in training and against Manchester City,” van’t Schip said. “Those players are all getting an opportunity to show their qualities and they have been doing very well.”
“A lot of them will get playing time, so it is good to analyse them in circumstances that are difficult and important and see how they deal with the pressure.”
“That is why it is good that they have been with us for a few weeks. They know the boys and how we want to play and it is good to look forward to.”
After securing a Semi-Final berth in last year’s A-League season, van’t Schip believes that achieving consistency is the key to going a step further this campaign.
“It’s very clear that we want to make the next step and that’s what we are going to do for sure. It’s what the club is heading for and it starts with this year,” van’t Schip said.
“If you talk about where we can have the progress it is during the regular season, we need to have more consistent performances. We know the play offs is something different again but I think the biggest goal is having a more consistent season, getting in the play-offs and then reaching as high as possible.”
Tuesday, 4 August 2015
Magic Park, Broadmeadow (VIC)
Kick-off: 7.30pm local (7:30pm AEST)
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referee 1: Ryan Gallagher
Assistant Referee 2: Glen Peterkin
Fourth Official: Trent Nash
Online Broadcast: Streamed online at www.foxsports.com.au/football/ffa-cup/ffacupondemand and Apple TV via FOX SPORTS Now
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #EDGvMCY
Edgeworth FC squad: 1.Jim FOGARTY (gk), 2.Cameron HUGHES, 3.Aaron MCLOUGHLIN, 4.Ayden BRICE, 5.Patrick WHEELER, 6.Luke WALKER, 7.Bren ABBOT-HAMMEL, 8.Josh EVANS, 9.Brody TAYLOR, 10.Keanu MOORE, 11.Dylan HOLZ, 12.Brenton OLZOMER, 13.Lachlan PASQUALE, 14.Justin TANNOCK, 15.Domenico BIZZARI, 16.Aaron PRITCHARD, 17.Liam SPURWAY, 18.Bray SMITH, 19.Josh CARROLL, 20.Ben SMITH (gk), 21.Samuel MAXWELL, 22.Jake FAIRHALL (gk), 23.Brady CARR, 24.Jordan JACKSON, 25.Beau WILKINS
Melbourne City FC squad: 2.Mahmut Ali EYIGUN, 3.Aaron HUGHES, 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Erik PAARTALU, 8.Aaron MOOY, 9.Harry NOVILLO, 10.Robert KOREN, 11.Michael ZULLO, 13.Jonatan GERMANO, 15.Stefan ZINNI, 17.Wade DEKKER, 18.Paulo RETRE, 19.Philip PETRESKI, 20.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 21.Stefan MAUK, 22.Jack CLISBY, 24.Patrick KISNORBO, 26.Marc MARINO, 27.Luka PRELEVIC, 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI, 40.Yaren SOZER (gk)
Home side Northern NSW NPL leaders Edgeworth FC are at Magic Park for a daunting clash against Melbourne City FC. The Hyundai A-League club warmed up for this with a friendly behind closed doors against the Young Socceroos. Prior to that a friendly with ‘sister’ club Manchester City where they more than matched the EPL giants in a 1-0 loss on the Gold Coast. But the Eagles have shown an eye for goal in their domestic competition where they are sitting on top of the ladder (and are yet to draw this season). This should be another fascinating David v Goliath battle as NNSW meets Victoria for a spot in the last 16.
WHAT THEY SAY
Damien Zane (Edgeworth FC coach): “We’re pretty solid defensively. That’s where we see we can stay in the game. We’re quite quick and positive going forward. We have some dangerous guys in the front third. I think we suit this type of game. I’m confident we can stay in it for a fair chunk of the match and hopefully frustrate them a little bit. Who knows, maybe we can grab something that we can defend.”
John van ‘t Schip (Melbourne City FC Head coach): “The game against Man City was great, a great experience, but it was a friendly. The game against Edgeworth is an official game and for us it can mean we can play more and go for a prize. Every game counts but this game will count more as we prepare for the season…for us, [Edgeworth] is more important.”
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
· League: PS4 NPL Northern NSW
· Current ladder position: 1 st – won 12/ drawn 0 / lost 4
· Latest result: Defeated South Cardiff 2-0
· Who to watch out for: Brenton Olzomer
· Official site: www.edgeworthfc.com.au
MELBOURNE CITY FC
· League: Hyundai A-League
· Current ladder position: Finished fifth last season
· Latest result: Lost 1-0 to Manchester City in a friendly
· Who to watch out for: Harry Novillo
· Official site: www.melbournecityfc.com.au