Edgeworth FC will line up for their second crack at the Westfield FFA Cup tonight. The PS4 NPL Northern NSW Champions take on current leaders of the Queensland NPL competition Far North Queensland. Betting outlets have the Eagles at luxury odds of $4.33 for tonight’s clash but the club from the suburbs of Newcastle has a number of weapons at their disposal.
Edgeworth will boast an attacking threat spearheaded by former A-League topscorer Daniel McBreen and Japanese import Keigo Moriyasu. Until now McBreen has played a minimalist role for Edgeworth but manager Damian Zane is expecting the 39 year old to play a key role in this huge encounter. In the Newcastle Herald today Zane said . . .
“This game is our No.1 goal. It would be a bit of history to be the first Northern team to go through and you’d be a chance of hosting an A-League team next round.”
In the same article Daniel McBreen noted that the Edgeworth manager had put an emphasis on success in the knockout competition too. McBreen hasn’t scored the glut of goals that some expected – myself included – but the former pro is playing a role up front where he brings Edgeworth’s threatening midfielders into the game. Much has been said of right winger Keigo Moriyasu with his 14 goals from 14 games but there is more to Edgeworth than McBreen and Moriyasu.
Midfielder Aden Gardner is one of the central midfielders that may catch the eye tonight. The rangy 19 year old is a talented dribbler and loves to take on opponents – a rarity in Australian soccer. Alongside Gardner is Keanu Moore who was impressive in Edgeworth’s FFA Cup clash with Melbourne City last year. On last year’s evidence Moore won’t be overawed by the occasion. He’s another that looks at ease with the ball at his feet, and has already attracted interest from other clubs. Meanwhile, keep an eye out for Dylan Holz who could be the man to break a stalemate with his powerful long range shots.
Edgeworth forward Brody Taylor spoke on the Jetstream podcast recently and stated his desire to play against an A-League team again. Taylor was part of the team that played Melbourne City last year. The forward has contributed eight goals in the PS4 NPL this season and will look to bring another A-League team to Northern NSW with some goals tonight.
Far North Queensland are judged as favourites primarily due to the strength of the Queensland NPL. They are expected to be fitter, faster and stronger. But recent statistics paint a worrying picture for the Cairns club. In their last eight matches they’ve managed just 13 points. In their last 10 matches they’ve averaged 1.5 goals conceded. The club only recently lost 21 year old defender Charlie Beverley to Victorian outfit Hume City. Throw in their 4-0 loss to Gold Coast City last month and the 5-4 goal-athon with Olympic FC in May, and at the very least we have a match choc full of goals tonight.
For Edgeworth their defence has been improving in recent weeks. A clean sheet against entertainers Broadmeadow the best sign that things are on the up. The return of Josh Evans midway through the season may have helped stabilise the back four that lost big Luke Walker to Bentleigh Greens (NPLVIC).
For FNQ Heat the match doubles as an opportunity to showcase the club as a potential A-League expansion candidate. For Edgeworth, there is an opportunity to become the first NNSW club to advance past the Round of 32 and make some history. The match kicks off at 7:30pm AEST from Barlow Park in Cairns.