Manos buzzing for Westfield FFA Cup


Goalkeeper Tom Manos is expecting big things for Sydney United 58 FC in this year's Westfield FFA Cup campaign.

By now, qualifying for the national rounds of the competition is par for the course for United.

After all, United have qualified for every Round of 32 since the FFA Cup's inception four years ago and this year, Manos is hoping for something bigger and better.

"We fancy ourselves," Manos said.

"We had a bit of a slow start to the season, but we've had a decent league campaign since and we're hitting our best form, so we're in a good position and that's exactly what we wanted."

United qualified for the national rounds after winning last season's PlayStation4 National Premier Leagues final series, the second time the club has achieved the feat, which Manos says proves the club is among the best in the country.

"I think the fact we've won it a few times now shows we're up there," Manos said.

"At Sydney United 58, we are no stranger to a good cup run. We won the Waratah Cup last season as well and the season before that, so we know how to win cup games.

"We've been in the national rounds at all four FFA Cups so far, so we're no strangers to this stage and we're happy to be back here again."

United 58 take on Football North Queensland FC Heat at Sydney United Sports Centre on August 9 as they look to embark on an historic cup run.

Manos said he expected the PS4 NPL Queensland Men's mainstays to bring the heat to Sydney but hoped the home-ground advantage would be telling.

"In my opinion, we've got the best fans in the league, maybe even in the country so we're lucky to play in front of such a great group of fans," Manos said.

"They provide us a great atmosphere every week and in such a massive cup game, we're just excited to get out there and do a job."

The young goalkeeper is no stranger to the national stage, having already had two stints in the Hyundai A-League with Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC respectively, but the 21-year-old's hunt for first-team football has taken him to United, following a stint with Wollongong Wolves FC.

"I said from a young age that I want to play first-team football. Especially as a keeper, I think it's important I'm at a club where I'm playing week-in, week-out," Manos explained.

"The A-League was a good experience, but it was good for me when Wollongong supported me and that's continued at United. I'm really thankful to the club for putting so much trust in a young keeper.

"Every keeper needs to play and it's good to be at a club where I get the backing I need to just get out there and do my job week in, week out."

Sydney United 58 have a host of players who have long been considered outside chances of an A-League move, Manos included, and while the shot-stopper recognises the hunger within himself and his team-mates to play at the highest level, he said the focus was fully on his current club.

"Everyone talks about [expansion and which NPL players can play in the A-League]. At United, we've got a few players I think could do a job in the A-League and as a team I think we could compete at that level," he said.

"But we're not concerned with that. We're just players who want to go out there and do our job every week.

"The FFA Cup is a good start. Let's just keep going from there."

Sydney United 58 hope to join the likes of APIA Leichhardt Tigers, Blacktown City, Hakoah Sydney City East and the Bankstown Berries into the round of 16 of the Westfield FFA Cup.

Match Details

Wednesday 9th August

Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32

Sydney United 58 v Far North Queensland Heat

Sydney United Sports Centre - 7:30pm


-By Matt Galea