Words: Thibault Berthier | Image: Sportspics
2017 may be Sam Smith’s first Westfield FFA Cup campaign but he knows all about the glory of the cup.
This year Smith’s former club Lincoln City became the first non-league club to qualify for the quarter finals of the FA Cup in over 100 years.
Their run included upset wins over the likes of Burnley, Brighton & Hove Albion and Ipswich Town before bowing out to eventual champions Arsenal at the quarter final stage.
Smith played for Lincoln in the fifth tier of English football during 2012-13 campaign where he top-scored for the side.
Smith is inspired to replicate his former teammates cup success with City in this season’s FFA Cup.
“I still have old teammates playing in that team, scoring goals in the games that were crucial in the FA Cup, so it definitely gives me inspiration to go on a cup run ourselves,” Smith said.
“We’ll see what comes with the draw but we’re confident no matter what team we get, we think we’ve got a good chance.”
2017 is the third occasion that City have qualified for the national stage of the Westfield FFA Cup.
Smith said the exposure provided through qualification to the national stage provides City with an opportunity to grow as a club.
“It’s really good for the club, a club that in the context of things is still growing, I think its shown that it is very capable of growing into a bigger team,” Smith said.
“Gold Coast City, the name tells you it’s a City club and I believe if we keep doing what we’re doing we can help build the reputation of the club and build it into something bigger.”
Smith is currently the leading scorer of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues Queensland with 17 goals and has been subject to interest from A-league clubs in recent weeks.
Smith said the FFA Cup also provides an opportunity on an individual basis.
“The potential of it being on Fox Sports, naturally there’s more people watching, more scouts watching so play well in those games that’s when you maybe get an opportunity.”
“Obviously, the rumours of A-league interest are exciting for myself, I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t relish an opportunity.”
Smith would love to face defending Hyundai A-league champions Melbourne Victory in order to take on former teammate Mitch Austin whom he played with at Cambridge United.
“My dream draw because I’ve got a friend down there would be Melbourne Victory, but at the same time it’d be good to maybe get the Darwin team first that we can beat.”
The Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 draw will take place at 3PM on Thursday the 29th of June and will be shown live at Palm Beach Soccer Club.