Blacktown City ready to repeat FFA Cup heroics

Blacktown City FC’s incredible run to the quarter-finals of last season’s FFA Cup is just a sign of things to come from the NSW NPL powerhouse, says coach Mark Crittenden ahead of tonight’s Round of 32 clash with Central Coast Mariners.

Blacktown City

Blacktown City are focused ahead of their FFA clash with Central Coast Mariners. Source: Football NSW

The Seven Hills based outfit achieved their most successful finish in the competition in 2016 reaching the tournament’s final eight, before being eliminated at the hands of finalists and eventual A-League champions Sydney FC.

It is the fourth straight year Blacktown has qualified for the Round of 32 stage and Crittenden believes their experience in the competition has them better prepared than ever before. 

"As a club we are really confident that we can challenge and have a successful FFA Cup campaign," Crittenden said.

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"We’ve learnt a lot over the past few seasons, none more so than our incredible run to quarter finals last year. 

Blacktown City


"We’ve been lucky enough to have been drawn up against an A-League side but it wouldn’t really matter who we played because we are focused on going as far as we possibly can in this competition."

Up against Paul Okon’s new-look Mariners outfit, Blacktown will need to use all the lessons learnt from their loss to Sydney FC in 2016.



"The A-League teams are that fraction faster and sharper than we are at NPL level and even though it is early in the Mariners season, I expect them to be in great shape," Crittenden said.  

"We probably didn’t use the ball well enough against Sydney FC, so for tonight’s match we have focused a lot of time on moving the ball around quicker. 

"No doubt there will be plenty of excitement and nervous energy among the players before the match but we’ve spoken about the importance of staying composed and playing our best possible football."

A serious foot injury to star player Danny Choi, who last season scored an incredible goal from 70 meters out in the FFA Cup round of 16, has ruled the 22-year-old winger out of tonight’s clash.

Blacktown will also be without last season's key players Patrick Antelmi, Travis Major, Nenad Vekic and Sasa Macura, who departed the club in the off-season. 

Crittenden said the large turnover of players before this campaign led many to doubt Blacktown’s chances this season but the negative press proved only to inspire his side to further glory. 

Blacktown City


"It's one of those things in football, you’re going to have players leave and new players come in. We lost a big part of the nucleus of our side from the past few seasons but we have recruited guys who have bought into what we are about at the club," he said.

"Our success all comes down to the team, both on and off the field, and their work ethic. We are a tight-knit unit and all the boys will give everything for the good of the team which is a big part of what we are about.

"Everyone involved at Blacktown City as well as the local community are right behind the team going into this match. Hopefully we can give them a performance to be proud of."


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3 min read
Published 2 August 2017 at 12:17pm
By Nick Houghton