Dodd delighted to revive old rivalries in FFA Cup

Travis Dodd never got the chance to farewell the A-League as he would have liked and he is delighted a rebirth with MetroStars SC and their progression to the FFA Cup main draw means he can have another crack at football on the national stage in the twilight of his career.

A-League Rd 9 - Sydney FC v Adelaide

Travis Dodd and Scott Jamieson. Source: Getty Images

Former Socceroo midfielder Dodd, 36, played at striker for MetroStars in their 1-0 win over Adelaide Comets in the FFA Cup SA qualifying final on Saturday.

He didn’t get the goal – Liam Wooding was the scorer – but he played his part with his new team and now he is looking forward to seeing whether they draw another NPL club from interstate or an A-League club in the FFA Cup round of 32.

Dodd told The World Game he had been invited by Football Federation Australia to attend the draw, in Sydney on Thursday. He said the banter had already begun between himself and former teammates still playing in the A-League.

“It’s great for the local clubs to get an opportunity to mix it with the A-League clubs,” Dodd told The World Game. “It’s what every club like ours wants to do. They want the opportunity to test themselves, so if it turns out we get an A-League team it will be fantastic.

“I’m really good friends with (Western Sydney Wanderers defender) Scott Jamieson and he says he’s already trying to rig the draw so we play against them, and, you know what, I’d love nothing more than to smash him one more time.”

When The World Game suggested the ultra-talkative Jamieson would give Dodd plenty of lip if they did do battle at some stage of the cup, Dodd replied: “Yeah, well, I don’t need to play against him for that to happen.”

Dodd, who had previously played the bulk of his A-League career with Adelaide United, was 33 when he tore the ACL in his knee playing for Perth Glory in March, 2013. After 12 months of recovery his knee still wasn’t right and he wasn’t offered a new contract at the Glory.

His advancing age combined with the injury meant an A-League return quickly became unlikely, but Dodd never completely wrote off the idea he might be able to play at a good level again and go out on his own terms.

He joined MetroStars in February and now the opportunity will come with the knockout FFA Cup, which begins in late July. In the meantime, he and the club will continue their NPL SA campaign.

“When I moved back to Adelaide, playing wasn’t really on the agenda,” Dodd said. “But as it panned out I’m here now and the SA Cup was the first final I’ve won in my senior career, so that was very pleasing.

“I played in three A-League grand finals, an NSL grand final and an Asian Champions league grand final and lost all of them, so it was good to be part of a winning team, that’s for sure.

“I did mention to the boys during the week that my record in finals wasn’t good and there were a few who weren’t really interested in hearing that sort of thing. They thought it might be unlucky.

“I’ve already started to have a chat to the club about next year. I’m not sure what the future will hold there, whether or not I’ll be playing. I’ll reassess towards the end of this season and wait and see how the body pulls up and see what happens.

“If this is to be the final year that I do play, then I’d love to be able to contribute for the Metros in the NPL finals series and also in the cup on the national stage.

“When I did my knee I wanted to play again and be able to go out on my own terms, so I’m very happy with the way things are developing. If this is to be my last year then it’s been good, I’ve been able to win something, but I’m also not ruling out continuing on.”

Dodd said he was gradually getting his fitness back and had started four cup games as well as coming off the bench regularly in the NPL.

“I’m playing up top in a 4-3-3 formation,” he said. “I’m enjoying it. I’ve played about 12 games total now, in the league and the cup, and hopefully I can start playing a bit more in the league now.

“We’re seventh and the finals are top six, but we were second bottom at one stage and we’ve slowly working our way up. It’s pretty tight from fourth place to seventh or eighth, so there’s still a massive opportunity for us to make the finals.

“I’ve scored six goals so far. Four of those have been in the cup. It’s good to influence things in some way or another, whether it’s scoring or setting them up. Hopefully now I can have a bit more of an impact starting games and getting more involved that way.”

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Published 27 June 2016 at 10:22pm
By Greg Prichard