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SBD Global/February 25, 2014/Events and Attractions
Football Federation Australia's FFA Cup To Link Grassroots Level With Top Clubs
Published February 25, 2014
LARGE FIELD: In Sydney, Ray Gatt reported more than 600 teams "from all six states and Canberra will play off against each other for 22 spots and the right to join the 10 A-League clubs in the round of 32." FFA CEO David Gallop said, "This has been in the pipeline for a number of years. It is the Holy Grail for football in making a true connection between the grassroots and the professional level. I can hardly think of a better way to do that than create a cup competition like this" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 2/25).
WHO'S GOT NEXT? In Melbourne, Smithies & Davutovic reported four of Victoria’s participants -- "most likely the semi-finalists of the Dockerty Cup -- will join the A-League and interstate sides in the Round of 32, starting late July." The tournament is costing almost A$1M ($900,000) to stage, and the draw has been "deliberately engineered to give semi-professional teams who advance to its latter stages the best opportunity of embarrassing the A-League clubs." At least one minor side is "guaranteed to reach the semi-finals, with 10 games to be broadcast on Fox Sports and a modest prizemoney pool" of A$120,000 including A$40,000 for the winning team. FFA will cover the traveling and accommodation costs for "each away team from the Round of 32, and the whole tournament leads to a final in December -- held this year, like all preceding rounds, on a Tuesday" (HERALD SUN, 2/24).