Halloran talks A-League fixtures and upcoming FFA Cup 2021 clash
Ben Halloran discussed the opening fixtures being released as well as Adelaide United beginning its FFA Cup title defence against Floreat Athena on Sunday.
The opening six rounds of the A-League and the first four rounds of the W-League were confirmed by the Australian Professional Leagues on Thursday morning.
Adelaide begin its 2021/22 season away to Perth Glory on Saturday, 20 November.
“It’s still a couple of months away, but I think it’s the only way the league can really do it at the moment given the (COVID-19) situation in Victoria and New South Wales,” Halloran told AUFC Media.
“But I think everyone here is just keen to play some games, so if we have to at the start of the season play a few games against for instance Perth and Brisbane, I think we’re happy to do that.”
The Reds’ first home league game of the campaign takes place the following week against reigning champion Melbourne City.
Halloran said he was relishing the challenge and was looking forward to playing in front of the fans again.
“It’s always good to test ourselves against the best in the competition and that was Melbourne City last year,” he stated.
“We’ve got a pretty good record against them especially at home. I think just to play in front of our home fans is the most important thing.”
The 29-year-old added that it was exciting to be involved in double headers again with the women’s team preceding the men’s clash at Coopers Stadium against Perth just before Christmas.
“I think it’s great,” he said, when asked about playing on the same day at the same venue as the girls.
“The women’s game has grown so much in the last couple of years and we’re heading into the women’s world cup in 2023.
“It’s just a really exciting time for women’s football and for them to play at Coopers before us is great to generate excitement around the women’s game.”
Indeed, before the A-League commences, the Reds have the small matter of the FFA Cup 2021, starting with a Round of 32 match against Athena in Perth on Sunday.
Having won the previous two iterations of the tournament in 2018 and 2019, Halloran affirmed the three-time cup winners are determined to go all the way for a record fourth time.
“We’re really excited,” said the 2021 Aurelio Vidmar Medallist, who scored four goals and assisted a further five in 26 appearances last season.
“We don’t know too much about Athena. Odds are it’s going to be a pretty physical game and we’re probably going to have to dig deep.
“It might not be pretty at times, but it’s a cup game so you just have to win at all costs.
“We’ve been in pre-season for a couple of months now and haven’t really been able to play too many games.
“We’re looking forward to it, but it’s also a really important game for the Club because we have a really proud record in the cup.”
Sunday, 26 September vs Floreat Athena
FFA Cup 2021 Round of 32
Kick-off 2.30pm ACST
Venue: E & D Litis Stadium
Stream: Live and Free via 10 play