Palm Beach young gun aims at A-league

Palm Beach Sharks are circling their next FFA Cup victim.

No NPL side has defeated an A-League team in the FFA Cup this year, but the Sharks have Western Sydney Wanderers on the menu in their round of 16 home clash.

Sharks midfielder Roman Hofman played for the Newcastle Jets youth side last season, and is looking at Tuesday’s encounter as a springboard back into the A-League.

“The only thing that comes to mind is excitement,” said the 21-year-old.

“The Wanderers are Champions of Asia, it’s important for me to do well to show that I can step up to that level.

“Not only for the Wanderers coach, but for all the other A-League coaches that will be watching. I need to personally step up and show that I can compete at that level.

“It’s definitely a good opportunity for me and the boys to show what we are capable of against the professionals in Australia.”

The NPL Queensland side is based on the Gold Coast and was formed in 1966. Socceroos’ Mitch Nichols, Matt Smith and Tommy Oar are former players.

The Sharks caused one of the major upsets when they beat South Melbourne on penalties in the previous FFA Cup round.

Hofman who has been playing as a midfielder and a striker for the Sharks this season, says that the result against the current Victorian NPL Champions was a consequence of hard work leading up to the match.

“We were confident going into the game,” he said.

“Our coach did a bit of research on them and we had a player in our team that played down in the Victorian NPL league before.”

“We knew the way they’d approach the game. And we had a few games going into it, where we got good results and drew confidence from it.

“So we were all at a good level mentally and physically going into the game. And we had that belief that we could do it, and we did.”

Photo credit: Steven Gibson Photography, Football QLD 

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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.