Garcia: Stop the league for weekend Cup final

Perth Glory veteran Richard Garcia cannot wait for his maiden cup final but says he would have loved Tuesday’s FFA Cup decider to be played as a stand-alone fixture on the weekend.

The Perth-born 33-year-old spent 15 years in England where the closest he came to playing in a cup final was the 2008 Championship promotion play-off.

Back then, Garcia played a full game as Hull City defeated Bristol City 1-0 to earn promotion to the Premier League at Wembley.

The 2010 World Cup Socceroo remembers that day fondly and would love to one day see the FFA Cup final become such an occasion.

“That was a fantastic feeling and when we got promoted to the Premier League it was an even better feeling,” Garcia said.

“But just the atmosphere of the day and everything which comes with it is unbeatable.”

Garcia admitted some disappointment at the fact the inaugural FFA Cup final against Adelaide United will be played on a weeknight.

Coopers Stadium is sold out for the match, but Garcia felt the occasion as a whole wouldn’t be the same as he’s experienced in England.

“We’ll be focusing on the game and it’ll be such a great event,” he said.

“But it’s a bit of a pity it’s on a Tuesday night.

“I’m sure it’ll still be great, but it would’ve been nice to have stopped the whole league and had a special weekend just for the FFA Cup.”

Nonetheless, the winger admitted after a long career in England it was a dream to be playing for his hometown club in his maiden cup final.

Garcia left Perth for West Ham in 1997 - in Glory’s infant years - but said he always planned to return to the club.

“When Glory came about, I was just about to leave for England but it was always my plan to come back and play for my hometown club,” Garcia said.

“To be doing so well and have a cup final it’s fantastic.

“I couldn’t have dreamed of having a better start to my Perth Glory career.”

Glory haven’t won silverware since their 2004 National Soccer League title and Garcia said it would mean so much to the club if they ended the drought.

“It doesn’t come around often,” he said.

“It’s the first FFA Cup. It’s like a quiz question, so we want to be the first winners,” he said.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to keep the momentum going and get some silverware.

 “I’m sure it’ll mean a lot. The way we’re going in the league means a lot as well.

 “We’ve got momentum. As a club we’re feeling good about ourselves and where we are.”