It’s the competition that’s captured the imagination of the Australian football public since its inception in 2014 and this year it will see the return of a famous name in the domestic game to its ranks.
The FFA Cup is Australia’s version of other famous Cup competitions such as the FA Cup in England. Over 700 Clubs across the country have been involved in regional qualifying rounds to determine the 32 sides (10 A-League teams and 22 from the various state and territory leagues) who will enter the final, national knockout stages. In 2019 one of those 32 Clubs will be Brisbane Strikers.
Brisbane Strikers is a Club familiar to most football followers throughout the country. Their greatest achievement being crowned National Soccer League Grand Final Champions in 1997. That game was played in front of over 40,000 spectators at Suncorp Stadium. It was a defining moment not only for the Club but for the sport in Australia. Since the National Soccer League was wound up in 2004 the Strikers has played in local and state league football and enjoyed additional success in that time.
The Strikers reached the 2019 FFA Cup “Round of 32” after a stunning 5-1 victory against Gold Coast Knights in the last Queensland qualification round. It was a special result, especially coming against a powerhouse of the Queensland state league on their own turf. Despite conceding an early goal, the visitors eventually found their rhythm and equalised to take the game into the half-time break at 1-1. What followed in the second half however was a breathtaking display of attacking football from Brisbane Strikers as they overwhelmed their more fancied opponents in wet conditions to complete a 5-1 win. The Strikers certainly earned their spot in the prestigious Round of 32 with a run of incredible results during their qualifying campaign.
A Club record 10-1 win in their first game against Souths United was followed by an extremely tough assignment – away from home against Lions FC. The current state league Premiers and Grand Final Champions, Lions FC were favoured to defeat the Strikers but a gutsy display saw an upset 3-1 victory to the team from Perry Park. Another difficult task followed as Strikers were once more drawn to play away from home against state league opposition but again they rose to the challenge to progress to the final stage of qualifying after a 4-1 success at Eastern Suburbs. The outstanding result in that last tie at Gold Coast Knights capped off a remarkable run of performances. After playing in the FFA Cup in 2014, 2015 and 2016 the Brisbane Strikers will return to the national stage.
The draw for the FFA Cup Round of 32 will be televised live on the Fox Sports news channel on June 26 with the do-or-die knockout matches to commence July 23. Who will Brisbane Strikers face in their FFA Cup return? Will they be drawn against a team from an interstate league or will it be a glamour fixture against a high profile A-League outfit? Either way it will be a proud moment for Brisbane Strikers Football Club to once again be the focus of football fans around Australia.