Floreat Athena and Cockburn City will put behind the excitement of this week’s Westfield FFA Cup draw as they resume PlayStation 4 NPL WA action on Saturday.
Officials and players from both clubs were joined by key Perth Glory personnel at a function at nib Stadium yesterday to watch the Round of 32 draw, which was broadcast live on Fox Sports News.
Athena are looking forward to a glamour home tie against Hyundai A-League club Melbourne City, while Cockburn City will take on former National Soccer League champions Melbourne Knights.
But league business is the immediate priority with Floreat hunting a top-four place away to Subiaco, and ninth-placed Cockburn aiming for success against Stirling Lions at Macedonia Park on Saturday.
Floreat coach Glen Grostate played down the prospect of the looming FFA Cup tie creating renewed hunger in his players and additional competition for places. The game will be played on one of four match days between July 26 and August 10.
“I’ve always been a loyalty coach - I put faith in them and they put faith in me,” Grostate said. “The boys who’ve done the work to get us this far won’t miss out – unless they’re injured.
“We don’t have a big squad anyway, so my job is easy. The boys have got a lot of confidence and we’re playing good football at the moment.”
Floreat are unbeaten in their past four matches, a run of games which came after a narrow loss to defending champions Bayswater City in May.
Although Subiaco are propping up the table, they are just two points adrift of Armadale, in 11th, and four behind Perth Glory (10th).
Cockburn will approach their match against Stirling in confident mood after holding Bayswater to a 1-1 draw at Finance 365 Stadium last weekend, despite having been reduced to 10 men in the second half.
Stirling, who have beaten Perth SC and Bayswater in their previous two matches, might also have revenge on their minds after missing out to Cockburn in their quest to reach the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32.
Two goals from Angel Andres earned Cockburn a 2-1 win over the Lions just over three weeks ago to secure City’s passage into the first national knockout round.