Gibbs eyes FFA Cup as a launch pad back into the A-League

One-time Western Sydney Wanderers striker Joey Gibbs wants back in for another crack at the A-League and is banking on a better run by Blacktown City in the FFA Cup to help his chances of attracting interest.

Gibbs

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It feels like Gibbs has been around for a long time, and he has, but the fact is the striker was still very young when he first started making an impression at senior level. He only recently turned 24.

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Incredibly, Gibbs made his A-League debut in the 2009-2010 season grand final, playing for Sydney FC against Melbourne Victory. He came off the bench with five minutes remaining in extra time, when the score was 1-1.

There was no addition to the score and the game went to penalties, but the shootout didn’t continue long enough for Gibbs – who was only 17 and the youngest player to appear in an A-League Grand Final – to participate.

The Sky Blues won the game 4-2 on penalties and it was the only match Gibbs ever played for them. He went back to his previous club, Manly United, after that, before getting a second chance in the A-League with the Wanderers in their maiden campaign in the competition.

He played 13 games for Wanderers in the 2012-2013 season and four more for Newcastle Jets the following season, before falling out of the A-League again.



But Gibbs has excelled since joining Blacktown City last season, when the biggest highlight for him was scoring a brace in the 3-1 win over Perth club Bayswater City SC in the National Premier Leagues grand final. Gibbs was awarded the John Kosmina Medal as man of the match.

Gibbs told The World Game at the FFA Cup round of 32 draw that there was no way he was giving up on getting another chance in the A-League.

“Oh, definitely, it’s still my aim,” Gibbs said. “I’m at an age where I haven’t hit the peak of my career yet.

"It’s the same for some other guys, like Mitch Mallia, at Blacktown. We’re still relatively young, so it would be stupid to not have ambitions and rule ourselves out .

“Yeah, definitely, I want to get back into the A-League, and that’s why Blacktown is successful, I think, because a lot of the players at the club hold ambitions to go higher.”

Mallia, also a striker, played one game for Central Coast Mariners and 18 for Sydney FC before joining Blacktown - who will face fellow NSW NPL club Sydney United 58 in the round of 32.

Dates and venues are still to be confirmed, but Blacktown will be at home when the clash goes ahead, either in the last week of July or the first two weeks of August.

Sydney United are on top in this season’s NSW NPL, with Blacktown second.

“It’s a big one for the club and a big one for us as players,” Gibbs said. “We haven’t gone past the round of 32 in an FFA Cup yet. We led last year and lost.

"The club has invested a lot of money into football and it would be good if we could do our part for the club on the national stage.

“We’ve won one and lost one against Sydney United this season. They’ve been very good this year, so it’s going to be a tough game.

"But we know we can beat them and this is a good opportunity for us to kick on from the round of 32, unlike the last two times when we’ve faltered at that stage.

“It’ll be a very familiar battle against Sydney United. They know a lot about us and we know a lot about them, so there will be no excuses.”


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4 min read
Published 4 July 2016 at 2:23pm
By Greg Prichard
Source: SBS