Stirling Lions have been handed the toughest draw possible in the new FFA Cup but are committed to attacking their heavyweight opponents Brisbane Roar.
The West Australian National Premier League side will take on last season’s Premier’s Plate and Grand Final winners Brisbane at Western Australia Athletics Stadium on August 19.
Don Evans, Stirling’s Football Operations Manager, is hoping the visit will attract a big attendance.
“Brisbane Roar are our nation’s champions and will be received with football respect from a Stirling community that loves and enjoys technical, attacking football,” Evans said.
“Once the whistle blows it will be all about the Stirling Lions though, respect ends once they enter the change rooms, then the battle begins.
“The last time we had a massive crowd was when we played Adelaide City as Stirling Macedonia in 1986 in the Nanda Cup, we had a full house at 5,000 people."
Stirling Lions have lost home ground advantage after the fixture was moved from Macedonia Park last week, but Evans is hoping for a big turnout.
“We expect them to be hanging from the rafters," he said.
The Lions, which were founded in 1958, have had former Socceroos such as Robbie Zablica, Stan Lazarides and Troy Halpin play for the club in the past.
Recent juniors Stirling have produced include Dylan Tombides and Daniel de Silva.
Evans said the club is honoured to be hosting the Roar in their home state.
“The football fans in the Stirling region appreciate the skill and quality of the Brisbane side and I know the fans of technical football will come to ... enjoy a real Cup contest,” he said.
“We are just so proud to be a part of creating Australian football history. It's like winning the lottery for our humble but ambitious club, we could not have wished for a better opponent to host.
“Our coaches and players understand the mountain that needs to be climbed, but we are a club that thrives on challenge and opportunity.”
Stirling currently sits in sixth place in WA’s National Premier League. In 2013 the Lions won the regular season title but lost the grand final 2-1 to Bayswater City.
The club boasts a number of former A-League and National Youth League players in its squad, including Aleks Vrteski, David Micevski, Dean Evans, Hayden Doyle, Moses Kalau, Clayton Arnez and Ali Ghoulami.
Stirling prides itself on its multicultural roots, with no less than 28 nationalities within their junior and senior playing staff.
“The team is laced with skilful ball players who will want to show themselves on the big stage,” he said. “I expect an attacking game."