Franjic v Franjic: Dream FFA Cup clash

Hume City midfielder Joseph Franjic is eyeing a potential match-up against his Socceroo brother Ivan in the FFA Cup.

Hume City have drawn Brisbane Strikers at home in the round of 32, while Melbourne City will face Edgeworth FC away.

With Joseph unavailable for the Strikers game through injury, a tie with the A-League side in the last 16, should both clubs progress, would be a highlight.

“I’ve never played against him in a competitive match,” the younger Franjic told FourFourTwo.

“We’ve spoken about it. We were sitting watching the draw on TV together and sort of hoping we didn’t draw each other, because we knew I wasn’t going to be available for the first clash. We’re hoping now that we can both win.

“It’d be really good if we could draw Melbourne City and play them at home, we’d have a big, big turnout. I sort of joke around with him - say I’d get my coach to play me at left wing so I could play against him - and then he’d say if you played left wing you’d need another moon boot.

“Just a bit of banter. But if that can happen, it’s a long shot, but if that could happen it would exciting for both us.”

The defensive midfielder broke a bone in his foot in a 1-1 draw with Oakleigh Cannons last month.

“Playing Oakleigh away and it was just I got to the ball first and one of their defenders came in a bit late right as I passed it and just kicked me,” he said.

“It was a 50-50 challenge, it wasn’t a dirty tackle. Individually I was playing well. I’ve played every game up until that midweek game where I did break my foot.

“Unfortunately I’m just going to miss the first FFA Cup game. I’m hoping the team can play well and qualify and I’ll be available for the next round. That would be good. I’ll be back first week of August.”

Hume City booked their spot in the cup’s round of 32 with a 2-0 victory against Kingston City. They will host the Strikers at ABD Stadium in Melbourne on July 29.

“It’s going to be tough game,” Joseph said.

“They’re in the top league in their state and they’re an ex-NSL club so it’s always exciting to play one of the biggest teams in that state, bar Brisbane Roar. We think it’s going to be tough and we’re happy we’ve got them at home, hopefully a bit of home ground advantage can give us a bit of luck.”

Hume City are sitting in sixth spot in NPL Victoria, 15 points behind league leaders Bentleigh Greens. The club has been boosted by the mid-season arrival of former Melbourne Victory attacker Theo Markelis.

“Our aim at the start of the year was to make the finals in the league and qualify for the FFA Cup so big credit goes to the coaching staff,” Franjic said.

“We’re pretty comfortable in the top six, the way it’s going we should make the finals. But anything can happen, we’ve qualified for the FFA Cup so it’s a pretty good vibe at the club at the moment.

“All the boys are enjoying coming to training because there’s so much to play for.

“Theo’s a great player. Obviously this is the first time he’s played senior football that isn’t at a full-time level. He’s done exceptionally since he came in. He’s got five or six goals in six or seven games. It’s a great return.”

Franjic came through the ranks at Melbourne Knights, like his brother Ivan, and was named club champion for Sunshine George Cross in 2013. He has spent the past two seasons with Hume City and says he is pleased to have his Socceroo sibling back in Australia.

“We’re pretty close, it’s fair to say we’re best mates,” he said.

“It’s good to have him home. He’s been away (from Melbourne) for six years and now he’s back home it’s good.

“We’re spending a lot of time with each other (but) being six years out of the state he’s come back and it’s been hard for him to gel back in.

“But he’s enjoying it and happy to be back home with Melbourne City.”

Four years younger than 27-year-old Ivan, the former Brisbane Roar and Torpedo Moscow defender remains a source of inspiration and support for Joseph who’d love to have a crack at the A-League.

“I’ve started to get a bit old now but I’d definitely jump at the chance,” he said.

“I’ve been a bit unlucky with injuries in the past, with my second broken leg at that age when I was going to crack into a young team, which obviously can happen from there.

“But I still work hard and if a chance does come along, you need to be playing well at this level and I think was having not a bad year as well up until this injury. I’d definitely jump at the opportunity to play full-time football.

“Ivan’s always giving me advice. His story just shows all local players that it’s never too late because he never went through any VIS or any of the state representative teams, he just played well at Premier League level and got the opportunity.

“I think there is a lot of talent at this level that could be the next person like my brother.”