Competitive football is back as Western United prepares to take on Edgeworth Eagles in the Round of 32 of the Australia Cup.
Australia Cup Round of 32
Edgeworth Eagles vs Western United
Wednesday, 9 August
Kick-off: 7:30pm AEST
Jack McLaughlin Oval, Edgeworth
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live and free on 10Play
Being the first line-up of the new season, there will be much intrigue surrounding Western United’s team with a number of debutants set to be given the chance to impress.
New signings including Angus Thurgate, Riku Danzaki and James Donachie will be aiming for a place in the starting line-up alongside United’s existing core.
A number of Western United Academy stars have been part of pre-season training so far, and John Aloisi could hand some debuts to some of the Club’s youngsters in this fixture.
Western United’s history in the Australia Cup
Western United is still writing its history in the Australia Cup, with this tie set to kick off the Club’s third campaign in the competition.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, United had to wait two years to place its first cup match, defeating Newcastle Jets in a play-off in November 2021.
The Green and Black followed that up with an appearance in the Round of 16 last year after beating Melbourne Victory in the Round of 32.
Aloisi and his staff will be eager to pick up another Australia Cup victory to kick off a tilt towards the trophy ahead of the Isuzu UTE A-League Men season.
Edgeworth Eagles have been one of the leading clubs in NPL Northern New South Wales for some time and along with great success in league play, the club has also enjoyed some big moments in the Australia Cup.
The side first reached the Round of 32 of the then-named FFA Cup in 2015, very nearly pulling off a mighty upset against Melbourne City.
After taking the lead from the penalty spot in the first half, Edgeworth were undone by two Aaron Mooy free-kicks, the second of which gave City the win in injury time.
The Eagles were last in the competition’s main draw in 2019, defeating Darwin Olympic 3-0 before being knocked out by Newcastle Jets in the next round.
Currently, Edgeworth is set for a second consecutive sixth-placed finish in NPL NNSW, with the final match of their league season taking place this weekend.
With almost 400 appearances between them, former Isuzu UTE A-League player Joshua Rose and Jacob Pepper run out for Edgeworth and will looking to help their side to victory.
Players to Watch
For Western United fans, all eyes will be on the new signings and young players that will be hoping to put their best foot forward in front of Aloisi and his staff.
Thurgate has immediately shown his quality in pre-season and, in returning close to home in New South Wales, the midfielder will be eager to perform in his first competitive outing in the Green and Black.
Limited to just one appearance for the Club so far, Ramy Najjarine will hope to make an impact to set himself up for a successful season.
The 23-year-old has returned to fitness and demonstrated his talent in pre-season sessions as he looks to become a regular among United’s stacked attacking options.
Noah Botic will hope to take his game up another level after his breakout season last time out, while potential debutant Jake Najdovski has the skill and eye for goal to catch the eye.