Coach Chris Coyne has his sights set on leading Bayswater City to the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 for the second time in four seasons.
But the former Socceroos defender will not be underestimating Gwelup Croatia’s capacity to spring an upset in the quarter-finals of the WA Preliminary stages at Finance 365 Stadium on Sunday.
City are one of four PS4 NPLWA sides taking on All Flags State League opposition as the Westfield FFA Cup reaches a crucial stage.
While Bayswater face Division Two leaders Gwelup, the action on Saturday pits Cockburn City against Dianella White Eagles at Dalmatinac Park, Wanneroo City against Sorrento at Wanneroo Reserve and Western Knights against Perth SC at Nash Field.
Coyne said his team hoped to repeat their success of 2014 when they reached the Round of 32 and experienced the thrill of taking on Hyundai A-League giants Melbourne Victory. Despite a 2-0 loss, the club’s players and officials were buoyed by the big occasion.
“It was a great night for the club, as well as WA football, (Bayswater) being the first, along with Stirling (Lions), to play in the national stage of the competition,” Coyne said.
“It was an honour and that night hasn’t been lost on our squad.
“We were 1-0 down for a long time and had all the second-half, and if we had got a goal I think Victory would have found it hard to reverse momentum that night.”
Bayswater have beaten NPL side’s Floreat Athena and Armadale on their Cup run and Coyne is prepared for a tough encounter against third-tier Gwelup.
“They have assembled an NPL (quality) squad and that is why they have beaten two NPL sides,” he said of Gwelup’s victories over NPL teams Balcatta and Mandurah in earlier rounds. “We are aware of the reasons they are beating anyone on their day and will do our best to negate them on Sunday.”
Gwelup are coached by former Perth Glory goalkeeper Aleks Vrteski, and they currently sit three points clear at the top of the All Flags State League Division Two table.
Vrteski said his players were working hard for each other and were reaping the rewards.
“Everyone is playing for the team and it’s leading to positive results in the league and the Cup, which I’m really happy about,” he said.
“We rounded off preparation for the Bayswater game with a good performance in the league last week (a 9-1 win over Shamrock Rovers), and the players are looking forward to the game.
“We are under no illusions; it’s a massive game, probably the biggest in the club’s history. But we will go with a plan and we’ll see how we go.”