The Wait Is Finally Over. Cup Football Is Back.

Finally, what we’ve all been waiting for; the FFA Cup preliminary rounds draw. Blink and you missed it.

With very little fanfare going into yesterdays draw (1 Facebook post the day before by FNSW), we what awaits the 121 clubs that have been entered into rounds 2 and 3 of the cup.

Keep in mind however, that only 4 sides (plus Wollongong Wolves) will qualify for the round of 32 and the chance to host A-League or interstate opposition. (Unless you’re Bonnyrigg and qualify, enjoy Manly United away again.)

There’s a lot to unpack so let’s get into it.

Round 2

How fitting is it that the first match features an Illawarra side? Dandaloo FC travel up north to face Wyoming FC with the winner to face either Lithgow Workmens or Holroyd Rangers in round 3.

Highlights for these matches also include former round 7 competitors Tarrawanna Blueys hosting Sans Souci FC, Coogee United hosting Emu Plains FC and an all Illawarra District League clash between Picton Rangers and Unanderra Hearts.

Western Condors have been drawn into round 2 against Gladesville Ravens and will be looking to prove to the state that they deserved to stay in the NPL competitions.

After narrowly failing to NPL 3 powerhouse Stanmore hawks in 2019, Illawarra community league powerhouses Ifs community wolves will be the favourites against fellow Illawarra club, district league cellar dwellers Kiama Quariers.

Other Illawarra sides in this round include Albion park White Eagles, Wollongong United, UOW and Wollongong Olympic. How many of these sides will progress to round 3?

Young Lions will be traveling around 4 hours to face Bankstown Sports Strikers whilst Bye is back for another go at the cup, this time against Redbacks FC.

Not to be outdone by Young, Yoogali FC will travel around 6 hours to face Wollongong Olympic in what appears to be the longest trip of the NSW qualifiers this year so far. Again, is there a need for regional play offs? Maybe, but this is the magic of the cup.

Fairfield Bulls will make the dash over to Mosman FC whilst Brookvale FC and North Sydney United will have a battle of the north.

Famous for signing Craig Foster for a cup appearance last year, Albion Park City will be hosting yet again this time against Five Dock FC. Will they sign another footballing celebrity for another charity fundraiser? We hope so!

Coledale Waves who became the first Illawarra Community League side to win a game in the cup last year travel to Ryde Saints United in what will be a tough fixture and St George Football powerhouses Banksia Tigers will host Balmain & Districts FC.

In the last few matches of round 2, Granville Waratahs host Auburn FC, Putney Rangers host Arat SC and Revesby Rovers will host Quakers Hill Juniors.

Round 3

As you may know, Round 3 is where the NPL 3 and 4 sides enter the competition for the first time, having the luxury of avoiding the dreaded round 2 “play offs”.

UNSW will face the winner of Revesby Rovers and Quakers Hill Juniors. WNSW will have to travel to either Bosco FC or Pendle Hill FC. Macarthur Rams will host Castle Hill RSL or Bomaderry.

Rydalmere Lions and Dulwich Hill get to face off in an all NPL 3 battle, and interestingly enough will also play in Round 2 of the NPL season.

South Coast Flame will be traveling to either Georges River Thistle or Hills Hawks whilst Bankstown City and Sydney Uni will face off in another all NPL 3 tie.

Canterbury Bankstown face the long trip to Budgewoi or the much shorter trip to the Eastern suburbs to play Phoenix FC (Nix in?) whilst Rage will be hosting either Marourbra United or Rouse Hill Rams and Inter will host either Putney Rangers or Arat SC.

In this lot of games Camden Tigers will be hosting Broulee Stingrays, which is around a 4 hour trip for the lads.

Parramatta FC will play either Sydney Rangers or Moorebank Sports whilst CCU will host Marrickville or Abbotsford Rangers.

Bankstown United will be taking on either the Lokomotiv Cove or Kariong United, with either game looking like a treat. Fellow NPL 3 side Gladesville Ryde Magic will either be making a trip to Terrigal or across to Scots and Stanmore hawks get to host either St Mary’s or Glenmore Park.

To finish off round 3, former round 7 entrants Bulli FC will be hosting either Glebe Wanderers or Bankstown Dragons, Fraser Park host Gunners FC, Prospect United take on NPL 3 side Dunbar Rovers, Hurstville FC get to prove why they deserved to stay in the NPL competition by hosting either Penrith Rovers or Port Kembla FC (both sides will be a test) and to finish us off Hawkesbury City get to host Nepean FC.

There are definitely some upsets on the cards in the opening 2 rounds of the competition. The NPL sides should be careful to not underestimate their opponents like in previous years.

We may also see a few of these sides throw the cup to the side and focus on gaining promotion back into the league from where they fell like clubs did last year to try and avoid relegation.

However, we hope that all clubs take the cup seriously and compete not only for one of the 4 qualifier positions, but also for the prestigious Waratah Cup.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.