Brisbane Strikers Welcome Wellington Phoenix Challenge

Jun 27, 2019 by

Brisbane Strikers have heartily welcomed the challenge of hosting Hyundai A-League club Wellington Phoenix in the FFA Cup Round of 32.

Brisbane Strikers discovered their first national stage opponents of this year’s FFA Cup on Wednesday night during a live draw on Fox Sports.

While the match date will be finalised in coming days for the tie, drawing a Hyundai A-League club ensures Brisbane Strikers will act as hosts for the match.

The clash with Wellington Phoenix will be just the second time Brisbane Strikers have hosted an FFA Cup tie on the national stage and their second clash against Hyundai A-League opposition in the competition.

Brisbane Strikers coach Owen Baker said he and his charges will relish the challenge of a Wellington Phoenix team that finished the most recent Hyundai A-League season in sixth position.

“We were hoping for a big game at Perry Park against an Hyundai A-League opponent and that is exactly what we got,” Baker explained.

Brisbane Strikers netted an incredible 22 goals in four matches to qualify for this year’s FFA Cup Round of 32 as they dispatched Football Queensland Premier League outfit Souths United and National Premier Leagues Queensland rivals Lions FC, Eastern Suburbs FC and Gold Coast Knights to secure their place on the national stage.

“We respect that Wellington Phoenix are an Hyundai A-League team and know it will be a tough game but we are definitely going to go out there aiming to win,” Baker said.

“We have a great opportunity to make an occasion of this game and our aim is definitely to make it through to the next round.”

“We will play our football on our home ground and show them what Brisbane Strikers is all about.”

Brisbane Strikers captain Jake McLean, who was part of the team that tackled a Tim Cahill led Melbourne City in the FFA Cup in 2016, said he is looking forward to leading the team onto the pitch in front of a pulsating Perry Park.

“The boys are buzzing to have Wellington Phoenix come over here and to again test ourselves against Hyundai A-League players,” McLean explained.

“We are looking forward to a big crowd with lots of atmosphere and a lot of family and friends coming down to support the players.”

“For the young boys that want to kick on with professional careers it is a real opportunity to find their level against players that are already playing professionally.”

McLean also expects a tough contest but also noted his side’s opponents will face their own challenges with new coach Ufuk Talay rebuilding their squad after the off-season departure of key players– including 2019 Johnny Warren Medal winner Roy Krishna.

“Wellington are just starting their pre-season and because of that the Round of 32 is a good time to get a Hyundai A-League club,” McLean said.

This year’s competition marks the fourth year that Brisbane Strikers have qualified for the national stage of the FFA Cup in its six-year history, with the club twice reaching the Round of 16 in 2014 and 2016.

Final details for the match will be announced once confirmed by Football Federation Australia.


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