Sharks’ cup hero keen for more

Palm Beach super-sub Jack Boxell is out for more FFA Cup glory when the Sharks lock horns with South Melbourne.

It was Boxell’s goal against Noosa Lions that put Palm Beach into the round of 32, as he came off the bench to strike on 76 minutes in the 1-0 win.

Last year, he came off the bench to score the winner in the 81st minute against South Springvale, helping the Sharks into the cup quarter-finals.

Boxell is yet to bag a goal in the NPL Queensland this season but the utility is making a name for himself in the FFA Cup.

“Scoring the goal to get us through to the round of 32 was a feeling that can't be described,” he told FourFourTwo.

“Taking your team through to the final stages of such a huge competition was just something I could only dream of.

"I did the same last year against South Springvale to take us into the quarters against Central Coast Mariners and it would be another dream come true to do the same against South Melbourne.

“It’s funny because I am a left full-back but I have been playing out on the wings lately, left or right side, and seem to pop up with very important goals.”

Palm Beach will take on South Melbourne at Cbus Super Stadium on July 29.

Boxell is expecting a difficult match against the former NSL giants.

“I'm really excited to have drawn South Melbourne. They are one of the best clubs in Australia outside the A-League with a great history,” he said.

“We have a really young squad with a few older, experienced players so it’s going to be tough coming up against South Melbourne, but we are confident in our ability and believe we can win. 

“Playing at home will be an advantage definitely as travelling sometimes takes the legs out of you, and having a home crowd behind us always pushes you to work that little extra.”

Boxell was born in England and moved to Australia at the age of 12.

He played as a junior for Magic United FC then moved to the Queensland Academy of Sport, later spending a season with Brisbane Roar’s National Youth League team.

Boxell had two years with the Brisbane Strikers before joining Palm Beach at the start of 2014.

“Travelling to Brisbane four times a week was just too much for me with working long hours, so I made the move to Palm Beach and that’s where I am happy playing my football,” he said.

“We like to play a passing style of football, try to go forward from playing out the back, changing sides and keeping the ball until we open up the opposition to go forward.

“Whereas last year we played the long ball over the top as we had the pace of Chris Lucas to get on the end of them. We have fast wingers this year and tend to get most goals from early crosses and crosses from wide positions rather then over-the-top through balls.  

“Having such success in the FFA Cup this year and last year has changed the club greatly, it has put us on the map and made teams around Australia aware of us and our success.

“We have also gained two sponsors from our cup runs, so that on its own shows how the club’s name gets out there through our success.”

The 23-year old, who works as a real estate agent, said he would love an opportunity to play in the A-League.

“I would love to crack into the A-League, anyone would be lying if the said they wouldn't,” Boxell said.

“It’s a hard one to crack into though. There are so many talented young football players coming up through the ranks as football is now huge in Australia and will only get bigger and better. But if the chance did come up I would defiantly grab it with both hands.

“My strengths are that I am a very versatile player, I can play anywhere on the field and being left footed is always an extra quality. As a left full-back I am very fit and have good stamina to get up and down the line, which I love getting forward.

“I prefer to play as a wing back to a winger as I feel I stay more involved playing as a full-back.”