With the round of 32 of the FFA Cup about to get underway, it’s time to take a look at two of the clubs competing this week – Edgeworth Eagles and Far North Queensland (FNQ) Heat.
Edgeworth Eagles play in the Northern New South Wales NPL division where they currently lie in second place, one point behind leaders Hamilton Olympic FC. Edgeworth have been in phenomenal form this season, with only two losses to the leaders Hamilton Olympic and a draw with Broadmeadow Magic preventing them having a perfect record this season. The side has both an impressive attack and defence, with a +27 goal difference.
On their way to this stage of the FFA Cup, Edgeworth defeated Muswellbrook FC 20-0 in the third round. This was followed up by a hard-fought 1-1 draw against Broadmeadow Magic, which Edgeworth won 4-2 on penalties. After a fifth round bye, Edgeworth defeated Urunga FC 3-0 in the sixth round and Singleton Strikers 7-0 in the seventh round to reach the main draw. Edgeworth do have history at this stage of the competition, having been eliminated by Melbourne City at the round of 32 last year. Striker Keigo Moriyasu will need to be on form if Edgeworth Eagles are to go one better this year.
FNQ Heat play in the NPL Queensland division where they currently lie in first spot, one point clear of second placed Brisbane Strikers. Heat started the season very strongly, picking up 25 points from their first ten games, but have only picked up 13 from their next eight. Despite that, a 1-0 win over Brisbane Roar youth sees the Heat go into this game with a win.
FNQ Heat were introduced into the FFA Cup in the fifth round, with a 6-0 victory over Edge Hill United. A match against NPL Queensland rivals Northern Fury awaited them in the sixth round, which they comfortably won 5-1. Finally, FNQ Heat defeated Frenchville FC 4-2 to secure their spot in the round of 32. Like Edgeworth, this is not the Heat’s first foray into the main draw. In 2014, FNQ Heat were defeated 4-1 by Sydney United 58, while in 2015, they were knocked out 5-4 on penalties to Oakleigh Cannons, both times in the round of 32. If FNQ Heat are to progress, the in-form Shimon Watanabe will need to perform.
FNQ Heat vs Edgeworth Eagles, Wednesday 27 July, 7:30pm, Barlow Park, Cairns.