South Melbourne president Leo Athanasakis says their upcoming clash against Edgeworth Eagles FC in the FFA Cup Round of 32 on Wednesday is the perfect chance to showcase the club’s worthiness of regaining a place in football’s top flight.
South have continued to knock on the door to break into the A-League and many will have their eyes on the club as the Cup clash will be broadcasted live on Fox Sports.
While Athanasakis admits he wished they drew Melbourne Victory or Melbourne City, he said the match was prelim for bigger things to come.
“We’ve got to look, smell, feel and act like an A-League club,” Athanasakis said in the lead-up to the Edgeworth clash.
“When it comes to these types of games, we’re on the national stage. We hope to have 150,000 people viewing on Foxtel and other platforms.
“Ideally for the club was we stage a game at home just to showcase Lakeside Stadium. We regard it as the most boutique stadium at the country. Purpose built for football and we want to showcase that to the rest of Australia.
“We’re hugely stoked we get the chance to play any team at home, granted we would’ve loved Victory or City at home and would’ve sold out he stadium in five minutes but we can work to that for the next game.
“The hype is building in Melbourne about A-League expansion, FFA Cup and the rivalries are definitely there between City, Victory and South so we really want to see that played out on the football field.”
South currently top the table in the NPL level on 45 points with rivals Heidelberg United and currently have four games in 12 days to deal with.
The club’s only appearance in the competition ended in the 2015 Round of 32 clash in the Gold Coast, where they fell 8-7 on penalties after 1-1 in extra-time against Palm Beach.
South had one of the most intense comebacks in FFA Cup history in May when they came from 4-1 down in the closing stages to beat Dandenong City 5-4 to get to the round of 32.
Edgeworth currently have Central Coast Mariners championship striker Danny McBreen and are currently second in NPL Northern NSW equal with table-topping Lambton Jaffas FC.
Taylor said they were treating the game like any other.
“I dare say we go into the game as favourites but we also respect the opposition,” Taylor said.
“We know Edgeworth are a very good side and really it’s us going about our business the way we know we can and making sure every player performs at the maximum.
“We’re not approaching in a different manner, getting too nervous, we know it means a lot to the club supporters.
“We’re putting on a show for the whole of Australian football which is about what South Melbourne can offer Australian football to go forward. Not just as a team, but the stadium and what the club means to people and that’s why we want people there tomorrow.”