Melbourne Knights coach Andrew Marth labels Central Coast Mariners’ departure from the FFA Cup as an “embarrassment” and believes the result should push for a promotion and relegation rule.
Victorian based Knights triumphed over Western Australian NPL side Cockburn City 2-1 in the FFA Cup Round of 32 on Wednesday night. Shortly after it was announced they drew Victorian NPL side Green Gully for last 16 of the tournament.
Gully produced one of the shocks of the tournament so far, defeating A-League side Central Coast Mariners last week and although Marth conceded it spurred them on to match it with clubs in higher division, the former Socceroo did not hold back with his criticisms.
“I’m probably being a bit harsh here, but I thought Central Coast were an absolute embarrassment to be perfectly honest,” Marth said.
“I’m not taking away anything from Green Gully, but you would’ve looked at the Mariners and you wouldn’t know if they are an A-League team or an NPL team.
“I think sooner the relegation comes into the A-League, you won’t have these embarrassments because that was an embarrassment.”
With the FFA Cup being just two years young, Marth was also happy with the exposure the tournament gives to NPL sides on a national scale.
The Knights boss also spoke of striker Stipo Andrijasevic, who has the opportunity with A-League club Wellington Phoenix and believed it was an indication of the progress of local football.
“It was an absolutely a brilliant idea (FFA Cup) and credit must go to the people who have put it up and the behind the scenes work,” he said.
“It gives our players an exposure to the national stage and Stipo is going over to Wellington for a trial next week we’ve got some young boys we’ve blooded this year.
“We’re a club that produces young kids and we’ll continue to do it. We’re a small budgeted club and the proofs in the pudding so to speak.
“I think he (Andrijasevic) deserves it, he did exceptional last year and had a good season this year.”