Saturday, 28 June 2014 - Michael Flynn, Football Queensland
Olympic FC will not be overawed by powerhouse opponent Melbourne Knights after drawing a home Westfield FFA Cup tie against the high-profile Victorian club.
The defending NPL Queensland Champions were earlier today pitted against the Melbourne outfit as the 32 FFA Cup qualifiers from across Australia discovered their upcoming opponents in a nationally televised live draw.
Olympic Technical Director Gabor Ganczer said his side would benefit from last year’s NPL Finals Series experience, but conceded there remained an element of the unknown in the new competition.
“I wouldn’t say we are used to it although we were on the national stage last year after we won the premiership and played against Sydney United,” he explained.
“You never get used to the exciting moments but I think it is a big opportunity for the club to get exposure on the national level and since it is the first year of FFA Cup a lot more will follow it.”
“I think Melbourne Knights as an opponent are a massive club, former National Soccer League participants, and we can’t wish for anything better than playing against a big Melbourne club.”
Ganczer added that the match-up will give Olympic’s players a much sought after chance to shine before a national audience.
“There are huge opportunities for the club, the players and the sponsors as well as a few games will be televised,” he said.
“I do believe our junior players are coming up and I would say we have two or three players that should end up in A-League or boost us to a good place in national competitions like the FFA Cup or the NPL Finals.”
He also speculated that the inaugural FFA Cup was only the beginning of the game’s rise in Australia and that Olympic’s goal was to compete at the highest possible level of competition.
“I think it is our biggest aim to promote the club to higher and higher positions in the nation,” he said assuredly.
“I do think things are happening in football now days, and I wouldn’t be surprised if in five to ten years there will be a professional second tier competition and I do hope, along with a few other Queensland clubs, we are on the right track to be recognised for that level of football.”
Melbourne Knights are one of the former National Soccer League’s most successful clubs – playing in five NSL Grand Finals in the 1990’s, winning twice.
They were the last club to qualify for the FFA Cup Round of 32 following a dramatic 2-0 win over traditional rivals South Melbourne.