Words: Michael Flynn | Image: Patrick Leigh Perspectives
Gold Coast City skipper Justyn McKay says his side’s preparations are on track for next week’s make-or-break Westfield FFA Cup Quarter Final at Cbus Stadium.
City face off against Victorian powerhouse South Melbourne FC on Wednesday, September 20, in the only all PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues tie left in the competition.
Both sides are contending with longer-than-customary breaks from competitive football following Semi-Final exits in their respective state divisions ahead of the Quarter Final showdown.
However, McKay said there has been no let-up amongst his team mates as they look to set a new benchmark for Queensland clubs in the national knock-out competition.
“I was a bit concerned that we wouldn’t have a proper game but we had a game against the youth team and some very intense sessions in the past week, so that’s been good,” McKay explained.
“My worry was that some players might take their foot off the pedal after the Semi-Final but it has been very full on and the boys are all clearly raring to go.”
“To be honest, there would probably be something wrong with you if you weren’t fully focused on a game this big.”
“We are hoping to get a really good crowd and it’s one of the biggest games of many of our players careers, so we can’t wait to get out there.”
For McKay the match will have extra significance after he was denied the opportunity to line-up against South Melbourne on their last visit to the Gold Coast in 2015 through suspension.
“Looking back, I’ve got to say that was a really disappointing situation. Especially because Football Queensland didn’t inform us I was suspended until 24 hours before the game.”
“It really was pretty gutting, to be honest.”
However, with his place in this game all-but-assured, McKay said he is now firmly focused on leading the team to the Semi-Final stage for the first time.
“We are still the only Queensland team to have reached the Quarter Finals, which we have done twice. I think we should all be quite proud of that and if we can go further yet again, that would be brilliant.”
“You don’t know how many chances you are going to get to reach the last four of the FFA Cup. These knock-out competitions are like that and it could always be your last chance.”
“If we can make it through it will be brilliant for the profile of the club, especially with new clubs coming into the NPL in Queensland next year,” he concluded.
City players will become accustomed to the Cbus Super Stadium surface and dimensions starting tonight, with the club due to train at the venue ahead of the match.
Westfield FFA Cup 2017 – Quarter Final
Gold Coast City FC v South Melbourne FC
Wednesday, September 20 | 7:30PM
Cbus Super Stadium, Robina
Admission: $15 Adults, $5 Concession
Tickets are available at the gate on the night or can be pre-purchased at http://www.gccfc.com.au/shop.html
The match will be shown via LIVE STREAM by official broadcast partner Fox Sports