Tara Rushton hosts the FFA Cup draw in Sydney on Thursday. Picture: Getty ImagesThe Newcastle Jets could play up to three trial games against Northern NSWNPL clubs before beginning the Ernie Merrick era with an FFA Cup trip to Adelaide United in early August.
The Jets will face A-League opposition in the FFA Cup round of 32 for the fourth year in a row after Thursday’s draw pitted them against the Reds.
Newcastle lost 2-0 to Perth in 2014;4-3 on penalties to the Glory in 2015 after drawing 2-2;and 3-1 to Melbourne Victory 3-1 last year. All three games were at Magic Park.
Broadmeadow and Edgeworth will also be on the road in the round of 32.Magic drew an away tie against Brisbane’s Moreton Bay and Edgeworth face a trip to Victorian NPL heavyweights South Melbourne.
Datesand venues for the round of 32 will be announced on Monday.The round of 32 will begin in late July, but A-League clubs will not be in action before Tuesday, August 1.
Jets away to Adelaide in FFA Cup TweetFacebookCONFIRMED: We take on @NewcastleJetsFC in the Round of 32! #AUFC#FFACup#MagicoftheCuppic.twitteFZIdr
— Adelaide United FC (@AdelaideUnited) June 29, 2017
“This year we’re going to be looking to rectify that.We’ve got the new boss in now, the new players have come in, and we’re expecting nothing less than success this year, whether it be in the cup or the league.”
Adelaide will also play under a new manager in German Marco Kurz. The Reds have hosted their past cup games at Coopers Stadium.
Edgeworth coach Damian Zane said the away tie against South Melbourne, who are leading the Victorian NPL and pushing for an A-League licence, was not ideal,but the Eagles had beaten then Victorian champions Bentleigh Green away from home in last year’s NPL Finals series.
Edgeworth became the first club from Newcastle to win an FFA Cup game when they beat Far North Queensland 3-0 in Cairns last year before losing 2-1 to Melbourne City in the round of 16.
“It’s winnable. We were just hoping for a home game, to be honest. We didn’t care who. The risk playing away is that you really get nothing from it apart from experience, from aclub perspective,” Zane said.
“We went down and beat the champions in Melbourne last year, and we’ll back ourselves again. I think we’re better this year.”
Magic coach Ruben Zadkovich had been hoping for a home tie against an A-League club but welcomed the social side of a road trip to face Moreton Bay, who are fifth on the Queensland NPL ladder.
“Maybe this is more of an achievable task,” he said.
“I think at this stage of the competition they’ll all be hard, but it’s a good chance for our boys to get away from home. There’s a bit of fun in that as well for players at NPL level.”
Magic lost 2-1 to the Brisbane Strikers at home in the round of 32 in 2014 and 3-1 at home against Heidelberg in 2015.