July 02, 2015 11:38:39 UK
Last season’s double winners Melbourne Victory have been drawn against a team three levels below them in the FFA Cup.
In a David v Goliath match-up, Sydney’s Balmain Tigers will take on Kevin Muscat’s side in the Round of 32.
Balmain are currently seventh in Football NSW’s Men’s Division 1 and have had to come through three qualifying rounds to get to this stage.
The part-timers will at least have home advantage in their favour when they come up against the likes of Victory’s international players Besart Berisha, Kosta Barbarouses and Fahid Ben Khalfallah.
An experience like this will be once in a lifetime.
Joe Di Giulio
Tigers coach Joe Di Giulio said: “An experience like this will be once in a lifetime.
“For the players, the excitement of playing Melbourne Victory, how many players at our level get the chance, not many.”
The Tigers do have one player with a previous taste of playing against an A-League side in the competition – goalkeeper Anthony Costa played last year for Sydney United against Sydney FC.
Di Giulio says he currently only has 14 fit players, but is sure the squad will all be desperate to be involved against the Victory, who are 3.75 to win the A-League Grand Final.
Meanwhile, Western Sydney’s Shannon Cole says Wanderers are determined not to fall at the first hurdle again.
The 2012-13 Premiers have been drawn at home to Brisbane Roar, who won the double the following season.
Wanderers were beaten by South Australian NPL side Adelaide City at the same stage last year.
“It’s very exciting for us as players to have such a big game so early on,” said Cole. “If you want to win trophies you have to beat anyone and everyone, regardless of it being the first game or the final.”
Western Sydney are 2.37 to win their opening A-League clash against Brisbane, who are 2.75 with the draw 3.25.
The match-up is one of three clashes between A-League teams, with Newcastle Jets hosting Perth Glory and Central Coast drawn at home to Wellington Phoenix.
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