Words: Michael Flynn | Image; Patrick Leigh Perspectives
Fans will travel from far and wide for Wednesday night’s Westfield FFA Cup tie between Gold Coast City and South Melbourne, however, none will be able to match the miles travelled by City midfielder Roman Hofmann.
Earlier this month Hofmann departed for the Netherlands on a student exchange at Utrecht University, however, the 23-year-old happily answered a club request to return to the Gold Coast for the crucial Quarter Final clash at Cbus Stadium.
Arriving on Saturday, Hofmann trained with the team on Monday night and says he is determined to repay the faith come kick-off after effectively becoming a ‘fly-in-fly-out’ player.
“It feels great to be back. I’m really excited for the game after being away for two-and-a-half weeks,” Hofmann said.
He added, “I’m really grateful for the assistance of the club to be here and I have every intention of repaying that faith from the club, the coaches and the president now I’m back.”
“It shows that the club do value me and value my input this season. Their assistance with getting me back for this game shows they think I can make a difference in the game.”
Despite being away from the squad, Hofmann said he had slotted straight back into the groove of things since his return.
“I might’ve lost a bit of my tan but I haven’t lost any of my fitness. I was doing my own program in Holland and, after training with the boys again, I definitely don’t feel off the pace.”
Hofmann said his long distance return for the match highlights the importance placed on the Westfield FFA Cup by clubs outside the Hyundai A-League.
“Every year the club is building and getting better in every aspect of football, both on and off the field.”
“It also shows how the club has evolved and shows the importance of the FFA Cup and how far that has come as well. Every round moving forward is better exposure for the club.”
“The more exposure the club gets then that has trickle down benefits for our juniors and for football in the community. That is very important.”
However, he did admit the much-touted ‘Magic of the Cup’ has not captured the imagination of his lecturers and course advisors in the same way.
“They didn’t really know too much about football in Australia and there were a few eyebrows raised and and I had to get a few classes and assessments moved around,” he admitted.
Hofmann will fly out again on Friday, but said he was open to the idea of returning for a Semi-Final should his side secure the win against South Melbourne.
“If we get the win then it will be highly likely we get an A-League side at home – an even bigger stage and even bigger exposure for the club.”
“I’d love to be part of that but that’s something that will need to be discussed with the club if it comes up. But first we have to win on Wednesday night and that’s my focus at the moment,” he concluded
Westfield FFA Cup 2017 – Quarter Final
Gold Coast City FC v South Melbourne FC
Wednesday, September 20 | 7:30PM (Gates open 6:30PM)
Cbus Super Stadium, Robina
Tickets available at Gata B from 5:30PM - $15 Adults, $5 Concession
The match will be available via LIVE STREAM thanks to Westfield FFA Cup official broadcast partner Fox Sports