Boardman hails new FFA Cup competition

FOOTBALL

Sutton United upsetting Coventry City in 1989, Wrexham beating Arsenal in 1992 - Port Kembla toppling Western Sydney Wanderers in 2014?

The launch of the FFA Cup this week catapulted football into exciting territory.

Grassroots clubs from around the country will have the chance to take it to the nation's premier sides, as is the case in England's FA Cup.

By qualifying through NSW's Waratah Cup competition, teams in the Illawarra could potentially set-up an unlikely date with an A-League club.

It's an prospect which thrills Illawarra Premier League coach Norm Boardman.

"Everyone, but in particular, the top-five or six sides in the Illawarra, would be busting to get a go at any of the NSW Premier League sides at any time.

"But if they got to play a national league side that would be just incredible," Boardman said.

"It is not beyond realms of possibility that in a one-off situation, we have proven our sides can match it with the [NSW] Premier League sides."

The experienced gaffer guided Dapto Dandaloo Fury to the semi-finals of the Waratah Cup two seasons ago - a result which would now qualify the club for the main draw.

Wollongong United made a similar charge last season, bowing out in the quarter-finals to St George.

For Boardman, future Waratah Cup campaigns will have an added incentive.

"That is the beauty of a FFA Cup. That is why it was invented in the first place - to connect with the grassroots and to give everyone that feeling of being part of it," Boardman said.

"I am really looking forward to seeing not only our side, but also other sides, do really well in the Cup. That showcases the Illawarra region," he said.

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