The Aussie FFA Cup is a huge success.

The FFA Cup has finally made its debut in Australia

 

Having spent most of my childhood days watching football matches from various parts of the world (mainly English football matches, as I’m getting on a bit, and back then we didn’t have the luxury of Sky/Fox Sports)

 

The highlight of my week would be Saturday night. My parents would let me stay up late just so that I could watch my favourite programme “Match Of The Day”

The opening sound track will live with me forever. “Duh duh du dah du du du du….yeah, I’ll just stop now!” and every time I heard it on a Saturday night me and my dad would sit close together with his arm around me, and we would watch in anticipation, waiting for the goals, the misses and the results from the fixtures that day.

 

Back then before the Premier League started, and all the TV money came into the game, the most famous and cherished prize in English football was the FA Cup.

facup

 

The FA Cup was a unique competition, allowing the smallest clubs in English football to have a crack at taking on the big guns.  For the first time, the possibilities were opened wide up, and their cup run fixture list is in their own hands. Success throughout the knock out rounds would give them the opportunity to face the biggest and most successful teams in England, and give them a chance of lifting this prestigious trophy.

The thought of my local town team Whitley Bay F.C being able to play against teams like Man Utd and Liverpool was unimaginable, but the FA Cup allowed this to happen and made every player and fan dream of what ‘could be’ as opposed to ‘could never be’.

Over the years we have witnessed many major upsets in the FA Cup. It has also drawn nationwide attention to many previously unknown clubs, and through their successes has put them permanently on the footballing map.  Another point to make about the advantages of the FA cup is that it is a shop window for the players. A worldy performance on the pitch against the bigger teams has led to amateur footballers signing contracts for big teams, and joining into the professional game.

All fairy tales and dreams but the FA Cup make these fairly tales and dreams come true for some clubs and players.

Over the years the FA Cup has lost its prestige due to the Champions League and all the money surrounding a top 4 finish in the Premier League. We have seen teams like Arsenal and Chelsea play reserve grade players in the early rounds, which is understandable but is also disrespectful (in  my opinion) to the competition and to the lower teams. This then has a knock on effect, ‘no longer does David take on Golliath’ so to speak .  The appeal of The Giant Killings has some what been lost along the way.

However, The FA Cup still allows any club in England to be able to put their name on the Trophy which still makes the FA Cup a great competition.

 

So, you can imagine my joy that after 4 years of living in Australia and playing A-League football………… Westfields and the FFA (Football Federation Australia) finally decide that they would start a cup competition which would allow State League clubs to compete with A-League clubs for the FFA Cup. What a great way to bring all the footballing communities from around Australia together to compete on level playing field.

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All my childhood days came flooding back to me and I know that this will be a great comp, not only for the parents who have witnessed first hand the excitement of watching the English FA Cup, but also for all the kids at grass roots level, knowing that they now have an opportunity to make a name for their local clubs and themselves on national TV, a chance to showcase their talents against the best clubs and players in Australia.

 

Now, last night I got home from coaching and got myself ready for the 1st live FFA Cup match on Fox Sports 3, which saw Broadmeadow Magic play Brisbane Strikers.

broadmeadow-magic-v-brisbane-strikers_1vfwir1wt82y51s1sulq1x987vimage thanks to FFAcup.com.au

Feet up, beer in hand, a few mates and I got ready for the match. The only thing missing was having my boy cuddling up to me like I used to do with my dad but he had crashed and burned and was sound asleep tucked up in bed, (next time little man)

And so it commenced!……..

Yet again the atmosphere, joy and controversy which has surrounded the FA Cup for years was apparent in the FFA Cup in it 1st outing.

After 90 minutes the match finished 1-1 which brought on extra time.

We witnessed a dodgy penalty decision which was saved and justice prevailed, 2 red cards and a goal in extra time which gave Brisbane Strikers their victory and saw them progress to the next round.

 

But the fairy tale of the night had to be the 3rd tier club from Melbourne, South Springdale who managed to see off South Cardiff on penalties, yes penalties. Now it is time to sit back and watch the celebrations from the South Springdale lads, and to see them going crazy and jumping on each other in amazement made me realise that this FFA Cup comp was here to stay, and will capture the hearts of so many football fans (and a few of the none football fans) because of these unexpected results.

Well done to the FFA and Westfields for pulling off a master stroke and developing the FFA Cup, so all levels of the footballing community feels like they have a place in the Australian game.

History was made and long my it continue…….

Which club will be the 1st to have their names engraved on the FFA Cup ??????

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Ah, saturday night memories. That opening music on MOTD, was like an alarm clock to you if you were asleep in bed!!!!!!

  2. Joe bridges says:

    Those were realy happy days together , glad you can remember them, but it is so nice to know that you are now doing the same thing in Australia with Riley.love you all loads . dad.

    • How could I forget Dad.
      Mam would try and pretend it had been cancelled that night so I would go to bed in the huff and then you would turn it up full belt so I would hear upstairs haha
      I did not even touch the stairs on the way down as I jumped from top to bottom with excitement.
      Love ya Miss ya

  3. Michael Office says:

    Mate Geordie born & bred…….MOTD….was the highlight for all us lads….no touch screen phones or PS3’s…….Mam would call you from the bk garden (if you were posh enough to have one) & what had you been doing ….playing Footy with ya Mates till you couldn’t see the baall….
    Happy Days…..
    Michael.

    • Haha
      Not a truer word spoken mate.
      No floodlights in the gardens so we would move into the street and find the brightest lamp to play under.
      Dinner then into PJ’s and wait for the Music to arrive MOTD…..
      Great days and football ruled my world

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