FFA Cup: NPL clubs reap rewards from national exposure

Exposure on the national stage has benefitted Rockdale City Suns and Lions FC after facing A-League clubs in the FFA Cup.

City were impressive in a 3-2 loss to national champions Melbourne Victory, while the Lions went down 1-0 to Perth Glory in the round of 16.

Both clubs were drawn to play at home, only for lighting requirements to force the relocation of their games to other venues.

Suns president Dennis Loether, whose club's game drew a crowd of around 5,000 to Jubilee Oval, was mostly positive.

"Benefits [were the] exposure for the club, brand awareness and financial windfall, although not quite as what people might have thought," he told FourFourTwo.

"I don't see there are any negatives, other than the financial outlay for having to move the game to Jubilee."

The move away from their Ilinden Sports Centre home to Kogarah led to "substantial" hire costs for City.

The National Premier Leagues (NPL) New South Wales club also gave up all potential food and beverage profit, while Ticketek takes a percentage of ticket sales.

Loether said that, overall, the experience was hugely beneficial for the club.

"Drawing the national champions and having the main televised game, that kind of exposure for the club is fantastic. You can't value it," he said.

"It's not necessarily one where we say it's a financial windfall, but just to put the club on the map so people know the club.

"If you play well, and I thought we played very well, people also stand up and say, 'All right, look at Rockdale, look at the way they play, they're an NPL club from New South Wales.'

"That is, by far and away, for me, the most pleasing aspect of it. The other benefit obviously, depending on who you play and where you play, there's a financial windfall for NPL clubs."

Lions FC, the Brisbane Premier League premiers, had to switch their Glory clash to Perry Park – where a crowd of over 2,500 watched on.

The club's sponsorship and media coordinator, Rob Scanlon, said they were lucky.

"We were very fortunate that Brisbane Strikers worked with us and gave us a very, very good deal," he said.

"From that side of it, it didn't have the same impact, but I think it did still affect numbers to a degree."

Loether and Scanlon said the FFA Cup appearances could help with player recruitment.

Scanlon, who added that the exposure of the competition could lead to as many as four new sponsors with the Lions, said it might also work against the club.

"It's a double-edged sword," he said.

"Because we've been successful in the local league and we're not an NPL side, NPL sides have looked at us [for players].

"It's got the other side of it. Players within Brisbane and the Brisbane Premier League are looking at us and going we can be on a pretty good platform through the country with the FFA Cup.

"It works both ways."

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