President forces QF into backdown over play-off
CALOUNDRA football club president Nic Basile has forced Queensland Football to reschedule its upcoming FFA Cup match to give his club a fighting chance of upsetting NPL heavyweight Palm Beach.
The game was originally scheduled for tonight making it impossible for Caloundra to field a full- strength side.
That is no longer the case with the game set to take place on Saturday, June 21 allowing Caloundra's best players to take the field.
Football Queensland finally buckled when Basile said his team would have to forfeit if it were forced to play in tonight's match.
"In my usual hot-headedness and passion I sent Football Queensland an email stating our boys were not going to be able to play because of work commitments," Basile said.
"I said we were not going there with half a team from reserves and half a team from first division.
"It wouldn't be good for Palm Beach or the competition, for us to go down there and lose by 10 or 12 goals."
Caloundra had originally conceded to tonight's formerly scheduled match due to broadcast arrangements with Fox Sports.
But TV deal or not, Basile said he was not going to let "the powers that be" dictate his team's chances. He continued to dig his heels in, and to the delight of his players and its supporters, he got the desired result.
"I only answer to my members and I look after my club and I don't care what anyone tells me - I will do the best thing by my club," he said.
"They dragged their feet before coming back late Friday to say they had managed to get a reschedule for Saturday June 21 on the back of an extension.
"Where there is a will there is a way."
The winner of the match will join 21 other teams, including the 10 A-League sides, in the round of 32.
Caloundra progressed to round six following last month's sensational 4-2 extra-time win over local state league side the Sunshine Coast Fire.
But beating NPL competition leader Palm Beach will be another thing altogether.
The Sharks have been the most devastating team in the NPL this season having scored 39 goals and conceding only eight.
"Palm Beach are undefeated and are on top of the NPL and it is going to be extremely hard regardless of when and where it is played," Basile said.
"But now we can go down at full strength with a few buses of supporters to pack their stadium (and have) a great atmosphere just like it was against the Fire."