WFFA Cup Preview: Croydon Kings v Lions FC
Croydon v Lions FC
Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32
When: Wednesday, August 5th. Kick-off 8pm
Where: Elite Systems Football Centre, Cowan Street, ANGLE PARK
Croydon: 1.Nicholas MUNRO (GK), 2.John PANAGARIS, 4.Michael DOYLE, 5.Luke KLIMEK, 6.Nathan FARRELL, 7.Shaun MCGREEVY, 8.Rocco VISCONTE, 9.Andreas WIENS, 10.Christopher PEPE, 11.Frank VIOLI, 12.Dion GAZETTAS, 13.Jordon FIGNERA, 14.Steven PEPPER, 15.Joseph PUNTURIERI, 16.Peter MERCURIO, 17.Allan WELSH, 18.Jarrod BRAZZALE, 25.Costa ZACHAROPOULOS (GK)
Lions FC: 2.Michael BUTTERS, 3.Jason TOBIN, 4.Matija SIMIC, 6.Warren MOON, 7.Andrew BUTLER, 8.Cody LOVELL, 9.Andre BONOTTO, 10.Kado AOCI, 11.Nathan REARDON, 12.Shaun CARLOS, 13.Danyon MOLLEE, 14.Alex JANOVSKY, 15.Alex SCHIAVO, 16.Josh BRINDELL-SOUTH, 18.Timothy MORGAN, 19.Shoheel KHAN, 20.Declan MURPHY (GK), 99.Phillip ZABAKS (GK)
Croydon: W W D
Round 22: Croydon 2-0 Adelaide City, Polonia Reserve
Round 23: Croydon 4-1 White City, Polonia Reserve
Round 24: Croydon 1-1 South Adelaide, Polonia Reserve
Lions FC: W W W
Round 18: UQ FC 1-6 Lions FC, University of QLD
Round 19: Lions FC 1-0 Mitchelton, Lions Stadium
Round 20: Wolves FC 3-4 Lions FC, Carmichael Park
The excitement is building as Croydon and Lions FC prepare for their Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 clash at Elite Systems Football Centre on Wednesday.
Croydon approaches the fixture in impressive form, having lost just once since April. It stumbled on the weekend in drawing with South Adelaide, but can defend its crown in the upcoming finals series.
Coach Mark Brazzale notes the squad has kept a lid on the excitement surrounding the big game.
“The last few weeks have been good, we’ve picked up some good wins, but I wasn’t happy against Raiders,” he said.
“Our aim was to take it a game at a time. The atmosphere around the club had been buzzing as we got closer, but the playing group did not really speak about the game until after our last League fixture.”
Reigning South Australian champions, the Kings advanced to the national stage thanks to a victory in the Final of Westfield FFA Cup Qualifying against Adelaide City – the club which enjoyed a fantastic run in the competition last season.
However, Brazzale remains wary of Lions.
“It will be difficult. They are a big club in Queensland, an ex-National Soccer League outfit. This is a big test for us, we know their form is good.
“We are not favourites. We may be at home, but we are a smaller club and they are top of their league.
“It’s a game that both want to win and I believe it will mainly depend on what we do and how we turn up on the day.”
Lions sit top of the Trophy Superstore Premier League, enjoying a comfortable nine-point advantage as it closes in on another finals series. It has lost a solitary game all season.
Yet coach Warren Moon says recent injuries have had an impact ahead of the match.
“We are going ok. We’ve been patchy, but still getting results. Injuries have had an effect on the squad,” he stated.
“It has been a focus in recent weeks. We have rotated the team and so will have our strongest squad possible.”
Lions triumphed in the 1981 NSL Cup and last competed in the League in 1988. It won four matches to reach the national stage and is looking forward to the opportunity both on and off the pitch.
Moon believes his team has nothing to lose.
“It’s a big club in Brisbane with National League history and it wants to get back on the national stage. This gives us exposure.
“We know Croydon are champions and a good side. I’ve watched some games and have a sense of how they will play. Not knowing about them won’t be a factor.
“We are a third tier club and feel we have nothing to lose. The guys are relaxed. We are not used to travelling, so it will be a challenge. We’ve prepared as best we can and will enjoy it.”
Article by: Luca Cetta