FFA Cup venues: History, tucker, pubs and parking

In part two of our feature on FFA Cup stadiums, Cronan Yu looks at four more battlegounds in the Round of 16 on Tuesday night. Your guide to their history, great games of yesteryear, amenities, where to eat, enjoy a pint (before and after the game), parking, public transport and more...

Elite Systems Football Centre

MetroStars v Oakleigh Cannons, Tuesday

Photo credit: Football Federation South Australia

The Parks Football Centre, otherwise known as Elite Systems Football Centre, is exclusively a venue for football matches.

Opened in late 2014, the venue is located in Angle Park in Adelaide and is South Australia’s second full-size synthetic turf pitch and currently host of Adelaide Olympic Football Club.

The centre boasts one major grandstand which the Football Federation of South Australia says will make for an even more enjoyable football-watching experience.

Earlier this month, the venue played host to a FFA Cup round of 32 encounter between the Croydon Kings and Lions FC, with the latter prevailing 2-1 in front of 980 supporters, far surpassing the maximum seating capacity of just 200 people.

Given what is at stake when the MetroStars take on the Oakleigh Cannons, a larger crowd will be expected on Tuesday night.

The venue boasts canteen facilities and a function room which is able to fit 80 people.

Adjacent to the football centre is the Harold Tyler Reserve, which houses the headquarters of the South Australian Association of Greyhound Racing, with the Parks Recreation and Sports Centre also in the vicinity.

Close by is the McQueens Tavern and Gaming, the Chasers Restaurant and Function Centre, while Pho Minh undoubtedly will give supporters a more multicultural and family friendly alternative.

The stadium is easily accessible via public transport. Kilburn is the closest railway station to the facility and is just a 15 minute walk away.

The streets leading up the park are lined with bus stops, namely routes 251/252 on Trafford Street as well as routes 239 and 994 at the South Road intersection of the North-South Motorway.

ABD Stadium

Hume City v Sydney Olympic, Tuesday

John Ilhan Memorial Reserve, otherwise known as ABD Stadium, is exclusively a football venue in suburban Broadmeadows in Melbourne.

The stadium, which is named after former Crazy John’s owner John Ilhan for his ongoing support for Victorian football throughout his life, was constructed in 2009 with a seating capacity of 580 and a venue capacity of 5,000.

It is currently the home of Hume City FC and the only ground which meets the NPL and FFA standards in the region.

It consists of four pitches, both of which are used for juniors and training, with a perimeter athletics track - nowadays in poor condition.

Underneath the main pavilion are state of the art change rooms used by the senior side on matchdays.

The venue hosted the FFA Cup match between Hume City and Brisbane Strikers in late July this year, a match which saw the hosts edge the Strikers 4-3 after extra time.

Conveniently, the stadium is situated close to multiple food and snack bars, with McDonalds and several other iconic fast food chains situated on Pascoe Vale Road.

Also situated close by is Turkish restaurant Mehmet Usta, while a kebab shop is placed just down the road. The closest pub, Westmeadow Tavern, is located on Mickleham Road.

Accessible by public transport, the Coolaroo railway station is a 20 minute walk away from the stadium.

Main photo: ABD Stadium

Jubilee Oval

Rockdale City Suns v Melbourne Victory, Tuesday

Photo credit: Kogarah City Council

While nowadays the stadium is primarily used for rugby league matches and serves as the home of NRL side St George Illawarra Dragons, Jubilee Oval has a history of playing host to football matches.

Opened in 1936, the multi-purpose stadium currently stands on top of the original Kogarah Public Park after a series of grants were awarded for purchases of the plot of land throughout the 1800s.

In 1906, control was passed back to the Kogarah City Council and Jubilee Oval was constructed on top of the park as part of the region’s jubilee celebrations in 1935.

In the early noughties, the stadium received multiple grands from both state and federal governments with the extension of grandstands to allow for more seating. New digital and satellite score boards as well as a rainwater harvesting tank were installed.

The funding has come in for some criticism, as the amount spent outweighed the number of games played. 

Photo credit: Kogarah City Council

Despite its affiliations with rugby league, Jubilee Oval became the home of Sydney Olympic FC during the 2003-04 National Soccer League season.

On 4 December 2011, Sydney FC hosted the Brisbane Roar in the stadium’s inaugural A-League encounter, which saw the Sky Blues eventually win 2-0, ending Roar’s 36-match unbeaten run in the process.

In 2013, the stadium was used as the training base during Manchester United’s pre-season tour of Australia and was also used as St George Saint’s home ground during the 2014 NSW Premier League season.

Jubilee Oval also hosted several of Sydney FC’s W-League matches during the 2013-14 season.

With a capacity of 22,000, the stadium will undoubtedly be jumping in the upcoming FFA Cup clash between Rockdale City Suns and A-League champions Melbourne Victory.

Parking is available, with disabled spaces allocated on first in best dressed basis.

Public transport to the venue is ideal with the stadium sandwiched between Carlton and Kogarah stations.

St George Leagues Club is a viable post-match option for those who wish to enjoy a few pints later on in the evening.

Photo credit: Kevin Airs

Cbus Super Stadium

Palm Beach Sharks v Western Sydney Wanderers, Tuesday

Like Jubilee Oval, Cbus Super Stadium, otherwise known as Robina Stadium, is primarily a host of rugby league venue and currently hosts NRL side Gold Coast Titans.

With a capacity of 27,400, the stadium is located adjacent to Robina Railway Station in the satellite suburb of the same name.

In 2006, the Queensland Government announced it would be funding the construction of the ground, which serves as a smaller version of Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium and, incidentally, was designed by the same company.

Since its opening in February 2008, the stadium has hosted the home matches of the Titans as well as hosting several matches in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup and the Gold Coast Sevens event.

The then Skilled Park was also home to the now defunct A-League outfit Gold Coast United, with attendances averaging about 5,000 per home match.

Perhaps the greatest footballing clash to take place at the stadium was in the 2010/11 when Gold Coast United thrashed Newcastle Jets 5-1. Bruce Djite scored a hat-trick on either side of half time in front of 14,000 fans, who came flocking to raise funds for flood relief.

In January this year, the stadium became the United Arab Emirates’ designated training ground and camp for the 2015 Asian Cup.

The venue also hosted three Brisbane Roar home games in the Asian Champions League group stage and was also the venue for the friendly match between Melbourne City FC and sister club Manchester City in mid-July.

Melbourne City take on EPL giants Manchester City in July

Indeed, with the stadium taking the mantle as the ‘home away from home’ Cbus Super Stadium will host yet another A-League outfit whenWestern Sydney Wanderers take on minnows Palm Beach Sharks tomorrow night.

The stadium possesses 24 permanent food and drinks booths with a list of convenient eateries close by, including Nandos, Guzman Y Gomez and other fast food outlets at Robina town centre.

While parking is plentiful, public transport is the way to go with a free shuttle service to the stadium located at Firth Park. 

Support your local team playing in the FFA Cup. Tickets on sale now.