Western United to make FFA Cup debut in Geelong

Western United will finally make its first appearance in the FFA Cup with the play-off match against Newcastle Jets confirmed.

The match will be played on Saturday November 13 at GMHBA Stadium, a week before the A-League Men season opener at the same venue. The cup fixture will kick off at 7.45pm AEDT.

The long-awaited fixture has been delayed for some time due to the coronavirus pandemic and will mark United’s first opportunity to take place in Australia’s premier cup tournament.

Western United assistant coach John Anastasiadis is looking ahead to seeing the team compete in the competition with the chance for silverware on the line.

“It’s very exciting to be taking part in the FFA Cup, as it’s another piece of silverware that our club will be competing for,” he said.

“No doubt it’s extremely important for our club, which is only three years old, to start to add to its silverware cabinet – and the FFA Cup provides that.

“Furthermore, it’s also good to get games as part of our preparation for this year’s championship.”

Anastasiadis has a strong history in this competition, taking NPL side Bentleigh Greens to the semi-final stage on two occasions.

Ryan Scott was his goalkeeper at Bentleigh and is one of many players in the current United squad that have lots of experience in the FFA Cup.

Neil Kilkenny and Connor Pain have both won the cup with Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory respectively, while Lachie Wales, Ben Garuccio and Josh Risdon have all played in the final.

Anastasiadis said this experience within the squad will prove invaluable, with the leaders in the dressing room able to push the group on towards the trophy.

“Every game will be difficult, and you want to be at your best as much as possible,” he said.

“Having some of our squad winning the FFA Cup or going deep into the finals is an experience I am sure will keep us in good stead for this campaign.”

If United is able to get past Newcastle in the play-off, Wellington Phoenix will be waiting in the Round of 32.

We are working closely with Kardinia Park Trust to have fans in the stadium to cheer on the Green and Black. More details to follow.