FLOREAT Athena will aim to cause one of the biggest upsets in the FFA Cup’s short history when they take on A-League side Melbourne City at Dorrien Gardens tonight.
The part-time players from the WA side face an enormous task against a club that features the likes of Uruguayan ace Bruno Fornaroli and former Sunderland, Aston Villa, Stoke City and Denmark international goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen.
But Floreat captain Ludo Boi, one of the shining lights of WA’s top tier National Premier Leagues competition, believes victory is not out of the question.
“The odds are against us,” he said.
“You’re looking at a team that’s playing full-time and a team that’s training twice a week. We don’t have the luxuries that they have.
“But we’ve got to give everything and we’ve got to hope the boys pull up well. It’s going to be a good experience just to be able to play against full-timers and hopefully get a win under our belt.”
Floreat will be the fifth WA side to compete in the FFA Cup Round of 32 ahead of Cockburn City’s away game against Melbourne Knights on August 10.
In previous years, Bayswater City (Melbourne Victory, 2014), Stirling Lions (Brisbane Roar, 2014), Sorrento (Sydney FC, 2015) and Perth SC (Rockdale City, 2015) have had their Cup hopes dashed at the first hurdle.
As unlikely as victory might appear for Floreat, the club which boasts Greek heritage will aim to produce a Herculean effort to become WA’s historic first Round of 32 winner.
There will also be cash at stake for Floreat, who will earn $2500, courtesy of NAB, for every goal they score against City.
Taking on A-League opponents is not entirely unfamiliar to Boi, who showed enough promise as a youngster to earn a place in the Perth Glory ranks in 2009.
“It’s been a while since I’ve been involved at A-League level,” said Boi, who won the McInerney Ford Gold Medal last year as WA soccer’s best player.
“I want to see if I can still keep up with the big boys.”
Boi, who is a production assistant for a mining company, admitted he thought “everyday” about how life might have been had he been more fortunate in the early days of his career.
“I was young and I had a chance,” he said.
“But doors open and doors close. Injury set me back a bit and I never got another chance.
“Whether football could’ve taken me further, I guess it probably could have. But the right door never opened again for me and that’s life.”
What: FFA Cup Round of 32
Who: Floreat Athena v Melbourne City
Where: Dorrien Gardens, Lawley St, West Perth.