Oakleigh welcoming MetroStars challenge

An Oakleigh Cannons side filled with plenty of A-League experience will be the favourites for Tuesday’s Round of 16 FFA Cup clash against 2014 Australian NPL Champions MetroStars. 

With players such as Steve Pantelidis, Matthew Foschini, Sean Rooney, Kofi Danning and Mirjan Pavlović, the Victorians are expected to go through against the South Australians. 

However former Brisbane Roar youth team player, and current Cannons midfielder Jake Mclean, says being expected to win does carry an extra burden.

“It is a bit more pressure,” said Mclean. “Especially when you are not playing an A-League team.

"But versing another NPL team, it’s a bit of pressure on us to go through. I’ve heard that they are a top side and that they have a fair few good players so it will be interesting to see how it goes.

"We are confident that we will be able to win, and hopefully progress to the FFA Cup quarter finals.”

Established in 1972 by Greek migrants, the Cannons were recently coached by one of the biggest personalities of Australian football, Miron Bleiberg.

Bleiberg resigned in April earlier this year which paved the way for Arthur Papas, who led the Cannons to the Grand Final in 2011, to re-join the club.  Before linking up with the Cannons once again, Papas spent time as an assistant coach of Indian Super League franchise FC Goa.

Playing against a much less fancied opponent, the Oakleigh Cannons previous FFA Cup tie was a struggle. They had to rely on getting through via penalties after scores were locked at 1-1 after extra-time.

English born attacking midfielder Mclean was singled out for his performance after he hit the post with a half-volley in the second-half.

“It was awesome,” McLean explained about his side's penalty shoot-out win at Jack Edwards.

“It was a tough challenge against Far North Queensland. We didn’t really play as good as we can play. But we still managed to hold on and fight through the game, and we were lucky to get a win in the end.”

Photo credit: Matt Johnson

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

Con Stamocostas is an Australian football writer. Click here to see more of his work and check out the latest episode of his A-League Snobcast with co-host Rob Toddler.