FFA Cup Preview: ‘This is the start of it’ – Popa


Glory Head Coach Tony Popovic is relishing the prospect the club getting its 2019/20 campaign underway in Wednesday evening’s FFA Cup Round of 32 clash with Western Sydney Wanderers.


The men in purple have enjoyed a successful pre-season to date, winning three of their fixtures and suffering just one defeat, at the hands of EPL giants Manchester United.

But Popovic is now excited to see his charges taste their first competitive action since the Grand Final as they take on his former club at Dorrien Gardens (kick off at 6.30pm, grab your tickets HERE.)

“This is the start of it,” he said.

“We have a long pre-season, but playing Hyundai A-League opposition now in the Cup, it hits home that it’s around the corner again.

“It’s a competitive game which is nice to have for us because it’s not easy to have games here in Perth against A-League teams in pre-season.

“To have something on the line is good for our players and our young players in particular and we’ll do everything we can to try and create that once more by getting through to the next round.”

He went on to confirm that skipper Diego Castro could come into contention to face a Wanderers side which he believes will provide a stern test.

“The players that have been training and playing regularly from the start will be fit and ready for this game,” he said.

“We have several players who have come in at different times and won’t be ready for this match, but it will give a few young boys another opportunity to get some game-time in a Cup competition against A-League opposition and that is part of their growth and learning.

“If you ask Diego, he could play at any time with or without training, but we have to consider where he’s at physically.

“If he looks good today, [at training] maybe he can be a part of the squad. If not, we’ll leave him for the next game.

“They [Western Sydney Wanderers] are a big club that needs to be challenging for honours and I think they’ll be expecting to have a big year.

“We saw them against Leeds and they are at their new stadium and it’s nice to see the buzz coming back to Western Sydney.

“I’m sure they’ll come here tomorrow wanting to get through, just as we do and we expect a real tough encounter.”

Although eliminated in the Round of 32 in the past two seasons, Glory has a proud overall record in the FFA Cup, having reached the Final in both 2014 and 2015.

En route to the second of those Finals, Glory met Western Sydney in the last eight and prevailed 5-3 on penalties after the two teams had fought out a 1-1 draw over 120 minutes.

The red-and-blacks’ best performance in the Cup to date, meanwhile, came last year when they reached the Semi-Finals before bowing out to arch-rivals Sydney FC.

Prior to that, they had been eliminated in the Quarter-Finals on three occasions.

Match Details

Wednesday 7 August 2019

Perth Glory v Western Sydney Wanderers 

Dorrien Gardens

Kick-Off: 6:30PM (Local) (8:30PM (AEST))

Referee: Adam Fielding

Assistant Referee 1: Josh Mannella

Assistant Referee 2: Arvin Shanmuganathan

Fourth Official: Shane Skinner