Baker Salutes Club’s Special Cup Journey

Oct 03, 2019 by

Brisbane Strikers coach Owen Baker has praised his side following their history-making FFA Cup run.

On Tuesday night, Brisbane Strikers bowed out of the competition at the Semi Final stage after falling to Hyundai A-League outfit Melbourne City 5-1 at Perry Park in front of a club-record FFA Cup crowd of over 3,700 spectators.

Brisbane Strikers stunned the visitors early after Andy Pengelly opened accounts just minutes into the contest before City rallied to level terms before the break.

However, Brisbane Strikers were outrun in the second stanza as their full-time opponents netted four more goals to secure a spot in the FFA Cup Final later this month.

Despite the end of their FFA Cup run, Brisbane Strikers’ heroics in this year’s competition saw them become the first Queensland-based club to reach the FFA Cup’s penultimate stage.

Coach Owen Baker said the players could feel justly proud of their achievements – which saw them eliminate high-flying clubs from Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and New Zealand.

“It was a special moment to go ahead in front of a big crowd at Perry Park,” Baker said.

“The lads deserved to be there on that stage and there would’ve been a lot of players and coaches who were watching on enviously of our team.”

“I think in the coming days and weeks the lads will really recognise what a fantastic achievement is has been.”

“It’s been a special journey for our club and I have no doubt it is something that will be remembered for years to come.”

Baker explained that the competitive nature of the team and the club meant the post-match reaction was subdued.

“We rose to the occasion well and I don’t think the scoreline was a reflection of how the lads performed at all,” he said.

“We didn’t let the nerves get to us and the boys played some excellent football but the first goal of the second half killed us and we lost some confidence after that.”

“Everybody was hurting after the game because of the results but that is a testament to how far they have come this year and how much they wanted to win and truly believed they could win.”

And, while acknowledging his players’ performances and resilience this season, Baker cited the contributions of the entire club towards the special night.

“The club rallied together to make the event as big as possible and think it reflected well on all the people at Brisbane Strikers.”

“My support staff have done an amazing job to keep the players fit and prepared and ready to play and then you have a pitch in fantastic condition thanks for John, our groundsman.”

“Of course, you also have the bar staff and the management and everyone else doing their bit to bring it all together.”

“It is really great to see the club come together like that and share in what has been a great journey in the FFA Cup,” he concluded.

Brisbane Strikers have reached the national stages of the FFA Cup on four occasions in six seasons – the best return of any Queensland club outside of the Hyundai A-League.

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