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Gwelup Croatia celebrate their FFA Cup win over Floreat Athena. Photo by FotoEnzo/Football West

Gwelup reach for the stars in FFA Cup

Football West News

Gwelup Croatia coach Taki Nicolaidis says his team can do WA proud when they take on Adelaide Comets in the FFA Cup Round of 32 at Dorrien Gardens on Wednesday night.

State League Division One side Gwelup have seen off NPL WA outfits Cockburn City, Subiaco and Floreat Athena to reach the national stage of the competition.

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Now they face another tough examination against the Comets, who are fourth in the NPL SA and on the back of a three-game unbeaten league run against the teams above them.

“This is very big. For a club that was playing amateurs two years ago, to be playing FFA Cup Round of 32 is something the club has been dreaming of and something we are all going to cherish. Let’s hope we do WA proud,” Nicolaidis said.

Division One leaders Gwelup enjoyed a good win over Ashfield on the weekend. Before that they had a midweek friendly with Perth Glory which followed the Belt Up Cup Final loss to Armadale.

“It was a solid 3-0 against Ashfield, who are third on the ladder,” Nicolaidis said.

“It was good to come away with three points and back-to-back clean sheets in the league. The players stepped up on the weekend with a big game coming up on Wednesday and they wanted to put their best foot forward to be selected.

“We were all bitterly disappointed (after the cup final loss). It was an opportunity that went begging and a wasted opportunity. The good thing is we had a game midweek against Glory and getting back on the bike after we’ve fallen off, it was probably the best thing for the team.

“While we haven’t totally forgotten it, that’s in the past.”

Nicolaidis said he has a full squad to choose from and though optimistic of moving into the last 16, he knows Adelaide pose a serious threat.

“We’ve been doing our homework and they’re a good team,” he said.

“In the last three weeks they’ve beaten the top side in the South Australian NPL and drawn with the two others (above them). They are a decent outfit and have not fought their way to this stage for no reason.

“But the boys are buzzing. We’ve got a lot to play for and a lot to look forward to. A lot of other clubs are seeing out the season.”

Wednesday night’s match kicks off at 6.30pm.