South Melbourne coach Chris Taylor believes victory over Edgeworth FC can ignite the spark for a successful FFA Cup run.
South’s Cup tie against Edgeworth Eagles at Lakeside this Wednesday will be the Fox Sports broadcast match on the traditional all-Member Federation opening night.
While clubs like Bentleigh Greens and Hume City have featured in FFA Cup semi-finals, South Melbourne have never been able to progress past the round of 32.
Ahead of the big game, Taylor told FourFourTwo a win at home against their Northern NSW NPL opponents can be the impetus for a magical cup run.
“We want to progress as deep into this tournament as we can,” he said. “But we have to get past Edgeworth and they are not going to lay down for us.
“The fact that it’s at home gives us an advantage and we know we’ve had relative success there but the big thing for us is we haven’t had success in the FFA Cup.
“It is South Melbourne and we strive for success and it’s another tournament that we want to do as well as we can in.”
In May, South launched their bid for the A-League at a star-studded event at the Crown Palladium, where Brazilian legend Roberto Carlos was announced as their inaugural coach in waiting.
After missing out on the round of 32 last season, Taylor said the club were delighted to be involved at this stage of the competition so they can also display their A-League aspirations.
“It was paramount that we made it this year and got on this national stage in order to showcase ourselves as a club,” he said.
“Our stadium is a suitable venue for the next level should that happen and that is why it was paramount that we are at this stage of the cup. We are on Fox Sports now and people get to see us as a club and what we’ve got to offer at Lakeside Stadium.
“Obviously the focus is on the club for a number of reasons at the moment. South Melbourne are one of the biggest clubs in Australia over last 50 years.
“If we are out there and people are talking about South Melbourne then it becomes a bit of reality that maybe expansion into the A-League could happen and we have got something to offer for the next level.”
South Melbourne star Nic Epifano has been on radar of A-League clubs for a couple of seasons but he believes he’s not the only one that can play at that level.
“We have many great players in our team that are more than capable than playing at the highest level,” he said.
“Matthew Foschini is an outstanding player and leader for our team. Jesse Daley is also another one to watch, he is still only 19 and you can tell that he has a bright future, and finally Milos Lujic is another, he scores goals for fun year after year.
“Obviously as a player I want to play as high as possible and what better way to showcase my talent than in the FFA cup as it provides a huge opportunity for every player.”
Picture: Cindy Nitsos