FFA Cup locks in venue for Sydney derby
While Victorian NPL 1 side St Albans Saints will host Perth Glory at Knights Stadium in Melbourne’s west on the same night.
The stadiums were locked in for September 23 after lighting was considered satisfactory for both fixtures.
The clash between Palm Beach Sharks and South Springvale remains the only outstanding venue of the night, with Football Federation Australia yet to finalise a suitable ground.
The round of 16 will be held over two epic nights of Cup football.
The Sydney derby should be a classic with plenty of overlapping subplots.
Sydney's new coach Graham Arnold is an ex-United player. So is United's coach, Mark Rudan, who is also a favourite son and former skipper of the Sky Blues, and known to fans as the Big Blue Man.
Meanwhile Perth's Round of 16 clash with the Saints will bring back many memories for Glory signing, Diogo Ferreira.
The Melbourne born midfielder has strong family ties to the Saints.
“As a junior I use to play against them all the time and Knights stadium is close to home,” Ferreira said
“My brother-in-law was also their keeper last year so he’s upset he retired and can’t play against me."
It was also as a St Albans junior, that current Glory operations manager and former player, Ante Kovacevic, learnt his trade.
For six years Knights Stadium was his home while playing for the Saints sister club, Melbourne Knights.
“As a youngster, playing for St Albans was like a second home to me," Kovacevic said.
"I started there from the age of seven and the club made me feel like I was part of a bigger family.
"It's fostered a tight knit community for as long as I can remember and it’s pleasing to see the club competing on a national scale."
Kovacevic said he expected the Saints to come out fighting.
“I think you’ll see a spirited clash between us and St Albans, their fans are passionate and will provide a good backdrop and colour to this Cup clash,” he added.
“It will bring back some fond memories which will no doubt come flooding back to me but of course I want Perth Glory FC to win and progress and win the cup.”
Fox Sports will broadcast live the Sydney derby as well as Tuggeranong United v Melbourne Victory (September 17), with live updates and crosses to the other games.