Edgeworth excited by 'massive' City clash

The FFA Cup draw saw some of the mightiest clubs in Australia matched up against the minnows.

Among them is Edgeworth FC taking on arguably Australia’s richest club, Melbourne City.

Edgeworth is a club based in a suburb of Newcastle and playing in the National Premier Leagues Northern New South Wales.

To get to the round of 32, they defeated New Lambton Eagles, NPL NNSW leaders Hamilton Olympic, South Cardiff, Coffs City United and West Wallsend.

Before the draw, Edgeworth FC coach Damian Zane, a former player of the club, was unsure what to expect.

But when the club drew Melbourne City, there was no doubting the magnitude of the occasion.

“It was massive. It’s something that is new to our club. We are just stoked to be a part of it, and to get Melbourne City was massive. It’s probably the biggest moment in the club's history," the first-year coach said.

"When the announcement was made the players were working but Jeff Phillips, the president of the club, the coaching staff and myself watched the draw together.

"We didn’t really know what we wanted, but once it all happened we realised from the reaction from everyone in the town, it’s probably the best outcome that we could have asked for."

Zane added: “My phone hasn’t stopped ringing to be honest, it’s created a real buzz, and it’s sort of unbelievable that this local team is going to be playing a competitive game against the richest team in Australia. It’s quite surreal."

The task of playing against the richest club in Australia doesn't daunt Zane, who played for Edgeworth for six seasons.

“You never play to lose, they are human I guess,” said the Eagles coach.

“It will be early in their preparation for the new season, they aren’t going to be pumped as we are for the match. Who knows? A bit of luck can go your way, and we hope to catch them on an off day.

“It’s just going to be a big moment whatever way it goes. We aren’t a bad team, it’s going to be a test for us, we like to play the game the right way, and we’ll give it a shot and see how it goes."

Edgeworth have had their fair share of triumphs, finish top of the Northern NSW State Football League – as it was called back then – between 1998 and 2000.

Zane believes that his team has a couple of weapons that can cause problems.

“We’ve been quite a successful club during the last 20 years, as well as Broadmeadow," he said.

"We’ve had a bit of a lean trot, we haven’t won the competition since I was a player more than five years ago. I guess we aren’t one of the city teams. We are pretty gritty.

“We’ve had our captain Luke Walker play down for Oakleigh for a few years and he came back to us last year. We also have a young player who I think could be pushing to become an A-League player one day, Keanu Moore, who plays attacking midfield, he’s only 20 and he’s got quick feet.

“At the start of the year I told the players I wanted to make the main draw. It's just a great chance for young players to get spotted. It’s just a great chance for the players to have that one moment in that career where they are playing against the best players here in Australia and challenge themselves. “

The main task for Zane will be keeping the players’ minds on the NNSWNPL.

The-35-year-old was keen to emphasise that how the Eagles perform in that competition will be a key factor to their chances when they come up against Melbourne City.

“We’ve had the radio and the TV contacting us in the last 24 hours, the boys are just floating at the moment, and they are just really excited but we just got to reign that in a bit,” Zane said.

“The whole build up is going to be important, we’ve won seven out of the last eight games in the NPL so we want to be keep doing that in our competition, so we are actually in form when we play them and give ourselves half a chance.

"I’ve just got to get the players' feet on the ground for the competition games here now, and not forget about winning those games

“The closer we get to it we’ll probably look into the weekend before and rest a player or two if we can. In the week of the game when we do play them, I think it will be just a light week. Just let them enjoy the moment."