The FFA Cup provides an opportunity unlike any other in Australian sport and two Illawarra Premier League heavyweights don’t plan on wasting their shot at glory this week.
On Wednesday night, Kemblawarra Fury and Bulli will attempt to become the first IPL clubs in history to qualify for the Cup’s round-of-32.
Bulli play host to NSW NPL Men’s 1 giant Blacktown City at Balls Paddock while the Fury travel to Russell Reserve to battle NSW NPL Men’s 2 outfit Hills Brumbies.
The winners seal their passage into the main draw where they could face-off against an A-League club and are provided with a unique chance to step out to the national stage. Fury winger Fabian Iacovelli was excited by the prospect of progressing, but was under no illusions about the challenge in front of his side to make it a reality.
“We are pretty much the underdogs coming into these kind of competitions,” he said.
“It is a big opportunity for most of us who haven’t got to play at such high levels, while others have. It’s a good experience for everyone.
“Hills have been hammering a lot of teams coming into this competition but it comes down to the end of the night. Being mid-week, preparation will be a big thing for us. We just have to take as it comes.”
Kemblawarra progressed to preliminary round seven with wins over Coogee United, Gosford City, Camden Tigers and Fraser Park. Bulli beat Sydney CBD, Macarthur Rams, North Epping Rangers and Nepean, but face their toughest test to date against a Blacktown City team who have lost just once this NSW NPL season.
“The biggest thing is that this is an opportunity,” Bulli defender Corey Horner said of the encounter.
“I think we are all excited about it and a little bit nervous but the opportunity that presents itself is definitely exciting. We are definitely need to be at our best and hopefully they might be a little bit off so we can get the win.
“Defensively as a unit we are going to need to play the best game we have all year.”
Bulli will raise funds for the Cancer Council on the night through gold coin donations.