Fields of dreams: The FFA Cup stadiums

In its short history, the FFA Cup has attracted a reputation for producing some fine footballing moments. The magic of the cup has seen the reunion of old friends, the coming together of old foes and perhaps more importantly, a national focus on some old stomping grounds steeped in the history of the game.

The upcoming Round of 16 is the continuation of that trend. FFT takes a look at the non A-League stadia which will play host to some of the upcoming clashes. Today we look at Perry Park and Olympic Park Village.

Olympic Village

Photo credit: Heidelberg United

The Olympic Village venue was built in anticipation for the 1956 Olympic Games which took place in Melbourne. The venue was originally used in the warm-up for the Olympics but has since become the home of Heidelberg FC in the National Premier League.

The ground has a capacity of 10,000 with a main grandstand which can fit up to 1000 people with undercover standing room as well. Opposite the grandstand is another stand with standing room.

Grassy hills flank both stands however there is not access to either side of goals, with the space used to house dressing rooms and a scoreboard. An athletics track is still a prevalent feature although it is said to be in poor condition.

Photo credit: Heidelberg United

Perry Park

Perry Park, a sporting ground located in the Brisbane suburb of Bowen Hills, has a long history. A Scotsman by the name of William Raff was originally given ownership of the land in 1857 before it was subdivided and sold to an ironmonger by the name of William Perry in 1875.

The ground then became the home of Mayne Football Club from 1925 to 1942 before the threat of the Second World War forced its closure and it soon became a base for Z Special Unit, a unit in the coalition armed forces incorporating military personnel from Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

Following the war, Mayne FC once again retained the rights of the ground before the oval was converted to two rectangular pitches and it subsequently hosted its first NSL match between the Brisbane City and Sydney outfit Marconi Fairfield.

With a capacity of 5000, featuring a main grandstand, improvements were made to suit NSL standards with its highest attendance occurring in 2004 in an NSL match between Brisbane Strikers and South Melbourne.

Here, the Lions FC will take on Perth Glory on August 26, and the pitch has been upgraded to suit the rigours of the FFA Cup.

Brisbane Strikers before taking on Adelaide United in the 2nd leg, NSL elimination final, 2004

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