Strikers return to the national stage
Saturday, 28 June 2014 - nic kerber
Brisbane Strikers will play their first competitive match in Newcastle since the demise of the National Soccer League after being drawn against Broadmeadow Magic in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32.
The former NSL Champions were pitted against the Northern New South Wales powerhouse as the 32 qualifiers from across Australia discovered their upcoming opponents.
Strikers Director of Coaching David Large watched the draw with fellow Queensland representatives in Brisbane and said the competition offered his club the chance to once again excel on the national stage.
“I think the club is really looking forward to this. It’s something that is new, it’s something that we want to do well in and, irrespective of the opposition, we’re at a stage now where we hope we can advance to bigger and better things,” he said.
Strikers were overlooked for Queensland’s sole Hyundai A-League license in 2004 and have since witnessed the rise of nearby Brisbane Roar as football continues to grow in popularity.
Large agreed that the Westfield FFA Cup competition offered Strikers a chance to remind the Australian football public that the game in Brisbane is bigger than just one club.
“It’s something that this club deserves and we’re in the process of trying to move forward. We’ve been stuck in the backdrop for too long now and we’re striving hard to get on the bigger stage,” he said.
“This gives us an opportunity for us to see where we are at this level and we look forward to the challenge.”
Despite acknowledging the opportunities that a successful cup campaign might deliver, Large was adamant Strikers would not alter their philosophy of technically and tactically astute football just to earn a win.
“We will never change our philosophy. We will do everything we can to win but we will do it the Strikers’ way,” he explained.
The club’s last visit to Newcastle was in January 2004 when they were defeated 1-0 by Newcastle United at Hunter Stadium.
While Broadmeadow Magic never competed in the former national league, they boast a proud local history and have won the past three Northern New South Wales top tier Grand Finals.
They currently sit seventh in the first season of NPL Northern NSW and are one of two representatives from the region in the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32.