FFA Cup minnows Balmain Tigers FC say they won’t take a backward step when they host A-League champions Melbourne Victory in the round of 32.
The current grand final winners and Premier’s Plate winners will take on the Tigers at Leichhardt Oval on August 4.
NSW State League Division 1 side Balmain were the lowest ranked club in the draw and have arguably been given the toughest opponent possible.
The squad's reaction when we learnt our opponents in the draw.....#magicofthecup #ffacup
Posted by Balmain Tigers Football Club on Wednesday, 1 July 2015
“It’s a huge challenge of course,” Tigers chairman Terry Wilkinson told FourFourTwo.
“The little fish goes for the big fish. Our players are there to do their best, whatever their level is. I know that they will do that. We’re realists as well but that doesn’t change it.
“It’s a great experience for our players to meet the very, very best. They’ve already proved they are the very, very best. We’re just going to give it our best shot, we’re excited about it.”
The match will be played at Leichhardt Oval and televised live on Fox Sports, while Balmain will get a share of the gate.
“I’m sure we will get a bit of a turnout,” Wilkinson said.
“We’re just going to see how many we can muster out. If we get a 1000 that would be great and we’ll get a few dollars, which will help our club.
“There are some opportunities around exposure and some promotion to give some of our existing sponsors the kind of exposure they’d never dream of.”
Wilkinson said the Tigers will devise some special plans for the Victory game.
“We’ll sit down and look at what we can do,” he said.
“Some of them might be quite unorthodox. If we just play a standard game we know we’ll get run out of the top. But we might just do a couple of interesting things to see what happens with players of that level.
“It’d be farcical to think we’ll beat them but sometimes the end score, in this situation, is not the only thing. It will be how we perform, how we go and do our best and take the experience to the maximum.
“Things can happen on the night. If we score a goal that would be fantastic. As our coach said we’ve got to work out how to keep them down to more than 10 goals against us.”
A number of the Tigers’ players, who are all amateur, are Sydney FC members which should add extra spice to the spectacle .
Wilkinson said Balmain can look to biblical tales like that of David and Goliath for inspiration ahead of their mammoth Cup challenge.
“It will be pretty amazing,” he said.
“To be actually even on the field and playing a game with players of their calibre will, in itself, be a great learning experience. We’re hoping Archie Thompson won’t be able to make it for that game.
“It’s a pretty mind-boggling draw obviously, to be playing the champion A-League team. David came up with some interesting strategies against Goliath.
“We just have to come up with some strategies that give us some credibility in the game, even if it’s something that works to our game plan.”
PHOTO: Tigers skipper Tom Hyde (footballnsw)