Kenny’s magic Cup memories
Thursday, 31 July 2014 - Aidan Ormond
If Perth Glory need inspiration for their own Westfield FFA Cup run starting next Tuesday night, coach Kenny Lowe has some special Cup memories of his own.
After a stunning opening night of the round of 32, a night where the romance of the Cup had Twitter and fans abuzz, the Westfield FFA Cup has got off to a spectacular start.
And next Tuesday night, Hyundai A-League clubs join the action.
At Magic Park in Newcastle, the Jets host Glory while Adelaide United and Wellington Phoenix clash in South Australia.
The part-timers from South Hobart host Tuggeranong United while Parramatta FC and St Albans Saints meet at Sydney’s Melita Stadium.
Lowe calls it the romance of the Cup. For the Middlesbrough-born coach, this romance includes his own memories as a player of walking out against a European powerhouse in an FA Cup tie in England - but also losing to a minnow.
“I had good experiences and bad experiences,” he told www.theffacup.com.au.
“I was at Birmingham City when we played Kidderminster, a non-league team. And we actually got beat at home at Birmingham – and Kidderminster were a local team.
“So I guess we never went out for three or four weeks till it died down,” he said with a smile.
“And another experience was playing Liverpool at Anfield.
“So I’ve seen the romance of the non-league Kidderminster and us playing a big side like Liverpool.
“Fantastic experiences… and when you walk down the tunnel and touch the Anfield sign is very special. You look back as a great day…
“I think bringing the Cup trophy into the Australian environment is a bit of romance.
“And I’m sure we’ll see some upsets. Just hopefully it’s not us at Newcastle.”
Glory have tuned up for the Cup with friendlies against Adelaide United and La Liga outfit Malaga. Winless in both (1-0 loss to the Reds and 1-1 draw with the Spaniards) Lowe is cautiously optimistic about how his remodelled squad is coming together.
“We’ve signed players who are not only good footballers, but good characters. Youssouf [Hersi] is a character.
“ [Ruben] Zadkovich, Andy Keogh… all the boys we’ve brought in have good experience but more than that, seem to be good people which is a big plus for us.”
Lowe noted that like Glory, numerous changes to the Jets squad and coaching staff would make Newcastle a slightly trickier opponent.
But admitted former Jet Zadkovich – who is set to miss the game due to injury - might have some insights into certain players.
Ultimately though Lowe has one eye on the Hyundai A-League too and knows final football is a must for a team that missed out on the six last season and has yet to taste any real success as we head towards season 10.
“You always hope when you start afresh and there’s always a lot of optimism. But we look at the players we’ve signed and the football department and the things off the pitch and hopefully that holistic approach will allow us to be better prepared; a different mindset, a different mentality.
“And I believe we will have a good year.”