This year’s FFA Cup saw some wonderful football and new names emerge on the scene, so let’s look back at it all.
It was Melbourne City and Adelaide United who made the final this year, Adelaide’s fourth time and third in a row after winning the cup last year. Just a few days beforehand these two clubs met in the A-League and played out a 2-1 victory to the Victorians.
Melbourne started off well until Al Hassan Toure score the first for the Reds in the 25th minute. The game saw City hold onto the majority of the possession but it was Adelaide who netted three more goals in the second half through Halloran, Mileusnic and McGree and Melbourne sank without a trace. Adelaide became the first team to win consecutive FFA Cups.
The 2019 edition once again saw Wellington Phoenix knocked out in the first round by an NPL club who would go on to the semi finals. Last year it was Bentleigh Greens, this year it was the Brisbane Strikers.
The Strikers pushed past Phoenix on penalties in the first round followed by Manly United and Moreland Zebras to be the first Queensland club ever to reach the semi finals. Unfortunately their fairytale run ended with a 5-1 defeat to Melbourne City. Despite that heartbreak several of their players have been touted to receive A-League contracts in the future.
It wasn’t the first time that Wellington Phoenix were knocked out in the first round, though this year they were the only A-League side not eliminated by another A-League team. Fellow first round knock-outs Sydney, Melbourne Victory and Perth will all be hoping that their performances will improve after they finished as the regular season’s top three last year.
Mike Cockerill Medal
The Mike Cockerill Medal is awarded to the best non-A-League player in the FFA Cup. It is unsurprising after their amazing performance that the winner came from the Brisbane Strikers. 24-year-old midfielder Fraser Hills scored twice and managed one assist in his team’s run to the semi including scoring the winning penalty against Wellington Phoenix.
Hills emphasised that he is a team player and couldn’t have done it on his own. Hills also won the Strikers’ Player of the Year award after featuring in every one of their league and cup games. His next ambition is an A-League contract following in the footsteps of Melbourne Victory and Burundi national team player Elvis Kamsoba who won the medal when it was introduced last year.
Mentions have to go to a couple of Brisbane Strikers players here, first Fraser Hills for performances earning him the Mike Cockerill Medal and secondly to the man between the posts, Bon Scott.
Scott is another player said to have a strong chance of receiving an A-League contract in the future for his form in the cup including player of the match in the Strikers’ penalties win over Wellington Phoenix. Scott has previously trialled at English clubs Crystal Palace and Watford after trying out with the Brisbane Roar and Newcastle Jets.
Melbourne City’s Jamie Maclaren took top scorer with six goals but it was second place Al Hassan Toure who stole the limelight. The 19-year old made his senior debut in Adelaide’s first game against Melbourne Knights where he scored the opening goal, a few weeks later he was handed a three year contract. He then went on to win the Mark Viduka Medal for player of the match in the FFA Cup final.