The path had become clearer for Melbourne Knights in its quest for a deep run in the FFA Cup, having drawn NPL WA outside Cockburn City on Thursday’s draw.
Unlike the previous FFA Cup campaign in 2014, the Knights were the first ball drawn out meaning the fixture will be played at Knights Stadium.
Those with a keen knowledge of Western Australian football will understand the importance of this fixture. Cockburn City formally known as Spearwood Dalmatinac share a fierce rivalry with sister club Western Knights – although now that rivalry has subdued to due Western Knights no longer being in the same division.
Our opponents play in the NPL WA and are currently sitting 9th in a 12 team competition. Despite their lowly league stature, they are of little risk of relegation and have a luxury of rotating their squad in the lead up to the Knights game.
Some recognisable names to have represented Cockburn include the Petkovic brother Michael and Jason, David Tarka and Scott Miller who is their currently head coach. They have a strong link with Perth Glory, with a number of players representing both clubs during their careers.
Their more successful years came in 2003 and 2004 where they finished up as Runner’s up in the Premier Division. They suffered relegation in 2011, however quickly recovered to win the Division 1 title the following season. Having gained an NPL licence, their past two season has seen placings of 6th and 5th respectively.
Qualification for the FFA Cup wasn’t a straight forward task for the Dalmatinac Park outfit. Twice coming up against higher ranked opponents in Bayswater City and Stirling Lions, Cockburn showed they are not afraid being un-fancied coming up trumps in a tough route to the Cup. Something Melbourne Knights should be wary of.
The Fixture date and time will be announced shortly, and with this being Melbourne Knights’ first ever home tie in the FFA Cup, the Club will be urging all supporters to attend and join in on the journey back on the national stage.