Maitland FC will create history tomorrow night, Wednesday 31 July, when they host Hyundai A-League club Central Coast Mariners in the FFA Cup Round of 32, at Maitland Sportsground, 7:30PM, in what will be their first-ever appearance on the national stage.
The Magpies have experienced some recent success in the National Premier Leagues (NPL) Northern NSW competition having featured in the semi-finals in 2016 and 2018 and currently sit in fourth and involved in a tense premiership race.
There’ll be a load of names to watch out for in the black and white of Maitland including three former Hyundai A-League men – Newcastle Jets club legend Matt Thompson, Nick Cowburn, who only featured in the Hyundai A-League has recently as last season, and Alex Read who played for North Queensland Fury in 2011.
Striker Joel Wood has also been in terrific in 2019, nabbing nine goals in the league and even more in the cup so far including the match-winner in Round 7 against Hamilton Olympic to proceed to the national stage. Wood has won the NPL NNSW Golden Boot on two occasions back in 2010 and 2011, has also played in Hong Kong and NPL NSW for Sydney Olympic, and was a past member of the Newcastle Jets Asian Champions League squad back in 2009.
In the defensive department, ‘Captain consistent’ Carl Thornton has proven himself to be one of the more solid players in the league and earned himself a spot in the NPL NNSW Team of the Year last season, while his young centre-half Zach Thomas, has been a stand-out this year and has arguably been the best in his position across the competition.
Their opposition have plenty of firepower in their arsenal though including former Socceroos Tommy Oar and Matt Simon up front and new defensive signing Ziggy Gordon from Scotland.
The Mariners went all the way to the semi-finals of the inaugural FFA Cup in 2014, but since then have struggled having been defeated in the opening Round of 32 stage on all five occasions – two of which were against NPL sides.
Last week, the Mariners took on other NPL Northern NSW side Charlestown City Blues in a pre-season friendly, going over 5-0, however Maitland also defeated the Blues a few weeks ago 3-0.
If Maitland can overcome the might of the Hyundai A-League side, they will progress to the Round of 16 alongside fellow Northern NSW club Edgeworth Eagles which would be the first time both teams from the region have ever featured in the Round of 16 in the same year.
Wednesday, 31 July 2019
FFA Cup 2019 Round of 32
Match: Maitland Football Club vs. Central Coast Mariners
Venue: Maitland Sports Ground, Maitland
Kick-off: 7:30pm (AEST)
Match Tickets: CLICK HERE
TV Broadcast: The match will be live streamed via kayosports.com.au
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #FFACup #MagicOfTheCup & #MAIvCCM