Inaugural winners, Adelaide United, will battle Darwin Olympic in the opening round of this season’s Westfield FFA Cup.
Countrywide qualification for the Westfield FFA Cup came to an end last weekend after more than 617 matches, with the entirety of the tournament’s Round of 32 fixtures now revealed. And whilst specific dates and venues for the games will not be announced until Friday, 3 July, Adelaide United’s first round opponents will be Darwin Olympic.
Darwin Olympic are one of 13 clubs making their debut in the Westfield FFA Cup and are the first team to represent the Northern Territory in the tournament.
The club was founded in 1967 and originated as part of a post-World War II Kalymnian migration. Over the nearly 50 years since Olympic’s establishment, the club has amassed 60 titles making them Northern Territory’s most successful football club, including 31 grand final appearances of which they’ve lost just seven.
Their road to the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 was relatively smooth with the exception being a narrow extra-time win over University Azzurri. Following this match, though, Olympic won their next five games scoring an incredible 39 goals and conceding five.
Following the draw, United’s Chief Executive Officer, Michael Petrillo, explained how the match will be a good chance for Northern Territory’s football to gain further exposure, but also beneficial for the Reds to build on their relationship with the territory and its football culture in general.
“Given our strong relationship with the Northern Territory it will be great to go up to play a team from Darwin,” Petrillo said.
“It will be a further opportunity to strengthen our ties and another opportunity for football in the NT to gain great exposure.
“Darwin Olympic is the most successful team in the history of Northern Territory competition having won 24 Grand Finals and 17 League Cups.
“We played against a composite team last year in Darwin that contained many players from Olympic and they gave us a good run for our money, so they are certainly a team we will not take lightly.
“As Adelaide City showed last year, anything can happen in a cup competition.”
Fellow South Australian football clubs, Croydon Kings and MetroStars have been drawn to face Lions FC, of Brisbane, and Blacktown City, of New South Wales, respectively. Croydon will host the Lions, whilst Metro will make the trip to the east for their match with Blacktown.
Other notable fixtures for the Round of 32 will see last year’s runners-up, Perth Glory, travel to Newcastle to play the Jets, while Melbourne Victory will face Balmain Tigers away from home and Sydney FC will also travel, but to face ‘The Gulls’ of Sorrento FC.
United is already set to travel to the nation’s ‘top end’ for pre-season friendlies against a Northern Territory All-Stars squad on 19 August in Alice Springs, as well as Melbourne City on 22 August in Darwin.