FFA Cup Easter Stocktake

Rafe Griffin (@rafegriffin)

With no football over the Easter weekend, it presents the perfect opportunity to take stock of where the FFA Cup is at across the state. Already, the competition is far advanced in determining the four Queensland sides to make the final 32.

Let’s start with the biggest zone which will make up two of Queensland’s representatives. Already two rounds have been played in Brisbane which has narrowed the original field of 67 teams down to 26 remaining.

The next round of qualifying will take place after Easter with ten Premier League, seven Capital 1, Two Capital 2 and one lone Capital 3 club still in the chase. That club being Virginia who have launched another deep cup run along with another usual suspect, Centenary Stormers.

The highlight of the next round will be reigning Premiers and round of 16 qualifiers Lions FC taking on the promoted Holland Park Hawks, the second year in a row these clubs have been drawn against each other. The full list of round four fixtures is:

  • Mitchelton v Wolves FC
  • Eastern Suburbs v Albany Creek
  • Southside Eagles v Pine Hills
  • Virginia United v Pine Rivers United
  • Ipswich Knights v Logan Lightning
  • Lions FC v Holland Park Hawks
  • Moggill v Centenary Stormers
  • Peninsula Power v Capalaba
  • Rochedale Rovers v Grange Thistle
  • Souths United v Acacia Ridge

The ten winners from this round will be joined by the six greater Brisbane NPL clubs for the final 16 to be narrowed down to two.

Disappointingly, just five clubs entered the competition on the Gold Coast. Broadbeach, who last year almost pulled off the ultimate upset against Palm Beach NPL are not among that number.

Last year’s Premiers Magic United had a major scrap to get past their first qualifying match, winning on penalties against Mudgeeraba.

It was easier for Magic in the next round on Thursday night as they defeated Palm Beach 4-1. Their opponents in round four will be Surfers Paradise who overcame Gold Coast Knights 4-0. Magic and Surfers Paradise will meet to determine who will go on to play the NPL’s Gold Coast City.

Already on the Sunshine Coast, the competition has got down to the final two zone clubs with Kawana and Woombye the last clubs standing. The two rivals have already met in the league where Woombye claimed a win at their home but on 12 April, Kawana will have the hosting advantage.

The winner of that match will face the NPL’s Sunshine Coast Fire on 26 April. The Fire will be looking to turn around their luck from the previous two years where they have been knocked out by local clubs Caloundra and Noosa at that stage.

Far North Queensland has already determined the zone team that will come up against the NPL’s FNQ Heat. The previous two teams to represent the zone, Mareeba and Stratford were knocked out in the early stages leaving Edge Hill and Innisfail as the last two clubs standing. It will be Edge Hill who will play the Heat in round five after defeating Innisfail 6-1 on Thursday night.

In North Queensland, MA Olympic have had to play an additional game to their rivals but were able to stroll past Ross River 7-0 in early March. The next round takes place on Tuesday with MA Olympic meeting Brothers while Rebels faces Saints Eagles Souths. Both matches scheduled for 7pm at Brolga Park.

The winners of those matches will then play each other in round four with the winner going through to meet the Northern Fury.

In Mackay, Magpies have probably created a competition record as they dispatched West United 26-0 in late February. Crusaders and Whitsunday also going through to the next round along with Wanderers courtesy of a bye.

Central Queensland has seen Emerald, Bluebirds, Capricorn Coast and Central all eliminated in round three. Round four is upcoming this Saturday night with Southside to take on Frenchville while Berserker travels to Gladstone to take on Boyne Island Tannum Sands. The CQ winner will meet the Mackay zone winner in round six.

Just three clubs have taken the plunge in Wide Bay. Fraser Coast’s KSS Jets and United Warriors will be joined by Bundaberg’s United Park Eagles in the preliminary rounds. Dates for these matches have yet to be set but the zone winner will progress to play the Sunshine Coast winner.

Willowburn, St Albans, Gatton and Warwick remain in South-West Queensland. Those four sides will go around on Tuesday night where the two winners will then play off for a chance to play against the SWQ Thunder.

QUEENSLAND QUALIFYING PROCESS

Brisbane zone – two clubs to the final 32. Twenty Brisbane Premier League and Capital Leagues clubs remain. The ten winners from round four will be joined by the six Brisbane-based NPL clubs in round five with random draws at each stage. The two winners of the round seven matches go through to the final 32.

Northern Queensland – one club to the final 32. Comprises Far North Queensland, North Queensland, Mackay and Central Queensland zones.

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Southern Queensland – one club to the final 32. Comprises Wide Bay, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and South-West Queensland zones.

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