The newly-named Australia Cup (formerly known as FFA Cup) is set to kick off tonight with 16 Football South Coast clubs entering into the competition’s second and third rounds. District League side Thirroul will make their debut in the competition in round two while South Coast Flame, Kiama Quarriers and Bulli were drawn straight into the third round.
Monday, March 7
Match 19: Albion Park White Eagles vs Liverpool Spears @ Seymour Shaw Park, 8:15pm KO
Ivan Ceccoli takes charge of his first Australia Cup game as his White Eagles take on Cup debutants Liverpool Spears at Seymour Shaw Park in Miranda.
The White Eagles went down to San Souci FC in round two of last year’s competition after equalling the Cups record of biggest win when they dispatched Epping FC 31-0 in 2020.
Tuesday, March 8
Match 10: Peakhurst United vs Wollongong United @ Peakhurst Park, 7:30pm KO
In another first for a Premier League coach, Billy Tsovolos will lead his side from the dugout for the first time, but will be away to St George Football Association’s Peakhurst United.
United were one of three FSC sides to make it to round five in 2021, but a 3-0 loss to NSW League Two outfit Canterbury Bankstown saw their Cup run come to an end.
Wednesday, March 9
Match 48: University FC vs Cronulla Seagulls FC @ Ian McLennan Park, 8pm KO
University enter their fourth straight cup campaign where they’ll face Sutherland Shire Football Association side, Cronulla Seagulls.
The Students haven’t been in action too many times during pre-season and a win here sets up a date with NSW League Two opponents Rydalmere Lions.
Sunday, March 13
Match 1: Port Kembla FC vs Waverly Old Boys @ Ian McLennan Park, 3.30pm KO
Port Kembla had the honours of being the first side drawn in FNSW’s Australia Cup. They will play a home match against Eastern Suburbs Football Association’s Waverley Old Boys FC.
The Zebras return to the cup following a season off, last winning their round two fixture against Penrith FC 3-0 in 2020.
Match 13: Lugarno FC vs Picton Rangers @ TBC, 5:30pm KO
The Bushpigs enter their third straight Australia Cup campaign where they take on St George Football Association’s Lugarno FC.
Picton finished their 2021 cup campaign with a 3-2 loss to fellow SGFA club, Scots FC.
Match 32: Woonona Sharks vs Young Lions @ Ian McLennan Park, 1.30pm KO
The still-reigning Premier League champions will return to the Australia cup for the first time since 2019.
Ian Connelly has stepped up into the head coach role for the club as his first competitive game in charge will be at Ocean Park against Football Wagga Wagga side, Young Lions.
Match 52: Macquarie Dragons FC vs Albion Park City Eagles FC @ Christie Park, 6pm KO
Albion Park City Eagles will play their first competitive game under their new name in the Cup, away to Macquarie Dragons FC.
The Eagles have a handful of cup games to start their season, also needing to play their Bert Bampton and Peter Webster cup fixtures.
Wednesday, March 16
Match 34: Cringila Lions vs Forest Rangers @ Ian McLennan Park, 8pm KO
The Lions have already shown signs of improvement since Icko Atanasoski took over the realms at Crehan Park and they will wish to continue their form when they face Forest Rangers FC from St George’s Football Association.
After bolstering their squad for this year, it could be an interesting cup run for the Lions this year.
Match 11: Liverpool Olympic vs Unanderra Hearts @ Hoxton Park
A return to Hoxton Park is on the cards for Rod Williams’ side, just 10 months after being knocked out by Liverpool Olympic in 2021.
A slight defensive lapse was all that Olympic needed to edge the Hearts last time out when they finished as 1-0 winners.
Match 12: FC Eagles Sydney vs Tarrawanna Blueys
Socceroos legend Scott Chipperfield will lead his young Blueys side from the dugout in 2022, tasting his first Australia Cup action away to FC Eagles from the Eastern Suburbs Football Association.
The Blueys are coming off a round one win over South Coast United in the Premier League IPL, in the only game in the opening round.
Match 41: Barnstoneworth United vs Thirroul Thunder
In the furthest away day for our FSC clubs, Thirroul travel to Orange to take on Western Premier League side Barnstoneworth United.
This is the Thunder’s first game in the Australia Cup as they look to kick-start their season following their loss to Balgownie in the Bert Bampton Cup just weeks ago.
Match 46: Wollongong Olympic FC vs Glenmore Park FC, 7:30pm KO
Following a stellar run in the 2021 Cup – where they went down 2-1 to NPL side Mt Druitt Town Rangers – Wollongong Olympic will look to their new coach, Matt Bailey in helping them match their round six finish.
They will host Nepean Football Association’s Glenmore Park FC.
Olympic began their league season with a 4-0 win against South Coast United.
Match 47: Gerringong Breakers vs Southern Ettalong
The Breakers made it to the fourth round when they were last in the nationwide knockout, that was in 2019 when they eventually lost 9-0 to NPL heavyweights Sutherland.
Should the Breakers and Wollongong United both win their fixtures, they will face each other in round three.
Preview by Nathan Turner, on Twitter @nathanturner23_
Photos by Gerringong Breakers and Kiah Hufton