With Melbourne City FC set to kick off their 2015 Westfield FFA Cup campaign against Edgeworth Eagles, here are five things you should know ahead of Tuesday night’s clash in Newcastle.
Edgeworth Eagles are the in-form NSW team
After becoming the first team from Northern New South Wales to qualify for the Round of 32 with a 3-0 win over Adamstown Rosebuds, the Eagles head into the clash against Melbourne City FC on the back of excellent league form.
Flying high at the top of the Northern NSW Premier League, Damian Zane’s men are on the brink of securing the championship, sitting three points clear of Hamilton Olympic FC at the with just two games remaining.
The Eagles have been the dominant side of the competition with an overall record of 12 wins and four losses, and continued their march towards the title with a determined 2-0 victory over South Cardiff in their previous league fixture.
Former South Cardiff striker Brenton Olzomer will be the one to watch up front for the Eagles, top scoring for the club with 5 goals from 14 appearances.
Magic Park a happy hunting ground for Melbourne City FC
With the lighting at Edgeworth’s home ground considered insufficient for broadcast standards, the match will be played at Magic Park – the home of the Eagles' arch rivals Broadmeadow Magic.
Only a stone’s throw away from Hunter Stadium - the home of the Newcastle Jets - the venue played host to Hume City’s thrilling 4-3 victory over the Magic last weekend, with the Jets set to face Western Sydney Wanderers in their cup clash there next week.
Magic Park has proved to be a happy hunting ground for Melbourne City FC in the past, with the Club’s Foxtel National Youth League team securing the championship in dramatic fashion at the stadium last season.
Where can you watch it?
For fans who are not making the trip down to Magic Park, you can catch all the action of Melbourne City FC’s FFA Cup opener LIVE from 7:30pm on the official FOX SPORTS website http://www.foxsports.com.au/football/ffa-cup
FOX SPORTS will stream 20 non-broadcast matches live on the official website as well as on Apple TV via FOX SPORTS Now.
Fans can purchase a FOX SPORTS digital subscription to watch the streamed matches, or you can access the live stream FREE through your existing Foxtel or News Corp Masthead + subscription.
The Magic of the Cup
The maiden edition of the FFA Cup was a raging success for Australian football, with Adelaide United crowned as the inaugural winners after defeating Perth Glory 1-0 in last year’s final.
With cup football returning to Australia for the first time since 1968, last season's FFA Cup produced an array of stunning goals, created new rivalries, witnessed fairy-tale victories and the resurgence of fallen giants which is set to make the FFA Cup an integral part of the footballing calendar.
Former NSL giants Melbourne Knights, Sydney Olympic and Brisbane Strikers were given an opportunity to recapture past glories on the biggest stage once again, while minnow clubs South Springvale and Bentleigh Greens won the hearts of Australian football fans with giant-killing runs.
The first clash between an A-League and semi-professional side proved to be an historical occasion, when a wonder goal from 18-year-old Thomas Love led three time NSL winners Adelaide City to a 1-0 ‘cupset’ victory over Western Sydney Wanderers.
With plenty of drama, controversy and entertainment provided, the FFA Cup certainly didn’t disappoint and that magic is set to continue in 2015.
Time for City to make their mark
Melbourne City FC’s inaugural FFA campaign was brought to a premature end last season, following a 3-1 extra time defeat to a Corey Gameiro inspired Sydney FC.
As reward for making the Semi-Finals of the Hyundai A-League last season, City enter this year’s edition of the tournament as a seeded team, thus avoiding facing A-League opposition in the first round of the competition.
Considered heavy favourites to progress to the next round, the clash will also provide Melbourne City FC with a first taste of competitive action against a match-fit Edgeworth side who are determined to create another magical FFA Cup upset.
With the match also providing an opportunity for young players and new signings to prove themselves ahead of the Hyundai A-League season, John van’t Schip will hope his side can make a bigger impact and progress deeper into this year’s tournament.