FLOREAT Athena and Cockburn City will clash in the final of local soccer’s premier knockout competition – the Cool Ridge Cup – at Dorrien Gardens tomorrow.
The competition history, which stretches back to 1960 when Azzurri beat East Fremantle Tricolore 7-3 in the first final, includes five Cup triumphs each for Floreat and Cockburn, who were then known as Spearwood Dalmatinac.
Progress to the Cool Ridge Cup Final was also rewarded with a place in the FFA Cup Round of 32 with Floreat to take on Melbourne City at Dorrien Gardens on August 2 and Cockburn to travel to Melbourne Knights eight days later.
But the Cool Ridge Cup is the immediate issue for Cockburn coach Scott Miller and Floreat boss Glen Grostate.
Former Perth Glory star Miller said the Cup offered his youthful squad an opportunity to win a rare trophy.
“As a coach, this is very important because it’s an opportunity for the club, as Cockburn, to win a Cup,” he said.
“But we spoke to the boys and none of them have won a Cup and not many of them have been involved in a final, so it will be interesting to see how they take it on.”
Grostate, whose nephews Aryn and Rhys Williams play for Glory, said his players were excited about the Cup final, as well as the prospect of taking on A-League heavyweight Melbourne City just 10 days later.
“These last couple of weeks have been tricky with a Cup final coming up and Melbourne City as well – everyone’s excited,” Grostate said.
“For a lot of the boys these are the biggest games of their career – so people are worried about injuries, suspensions, picking up crazy yellow cards… but I think there’s enough experience in our team to be focused on one job at a time.”
Cockburn, as Dalmatinac, won the Cup in 1983, 1984, 1985, 1994 and 1995. Floreat’s most recent success was in 2009, while they also raised the silverware in 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1997.
In the Reserves Cup Final, Bayswater City will take on ECU Joondalup and the Under-18s Final will feature Inglewood United and Cockburn.
Saturday, July 23 – Dorrien Gardens
Cool Ridge Cup Final
Floreat Athena v Cockburn City (3pm)
Reserves Cup Final
Bayswater City v ECU Joondalup (12.15pm)
Under-18s Cup Final
Inglewood United v Cockburn City (10am)