The FFA Cup’s Round of 32 stage begins tonight and there are six matches taking place for fans to enjoy.

Every team involved is a member federation club, with a handful of local state derbies taking place.

In Victoria, Bulleen Lions and Moreland Zebras will do battle at the Veneto Club, with both clubs making their first appearance in this stage of the competition. The two are in Victoria’s second tier, with a spot in the round of 16 on offer for the victor. It is too difficult to predict who will progress to the next round, which will ensure that it will be an exciting spectacle.

New South Wales plays host to another local clash, however in reality, the two clubs are located a long way from each other – there is a distance of 56km between Mt Druitt Town Rangers’ Popondetta Park and Manly United’s Cromer Park. The Rangers are making their first appearance in this stage of the competition and the clash will be huge for the local community. They currently sit in 10th position in NPL NSW, while Manly United are three places above them.

Queensland also sees a match between two clubs making their first appearance in this stage of the FFA Cup, with Magpies Crusaders hosting Coomera Colts in Mackay. While they both are based in the same state, Coomera’s journey to Mackay from the Gold Coast will feel like a long away trip. This will be a match to watch, as one club has the opportunity to progress into the round of 16 and potentially face an A-League side.

Edgeworth FC travels to the Northern Territory to take on Darwin Olympic, in what will be a warmer experience for the Newcastle-based club. Darwin’s heat plays in the favour of the home team, with the Western Sydney Wanderers’ struggle in their 4-3 win against Hellenic Athletic in last year’s competition a case in point.

Adelaide Olympic and Floreat Athena will do battle at the VALO Football Centre in Adelaide, in what will be Olympic’s first appearance in this stage of the competition. They currently sit in third position in NPL SA, while Floreat Athena are second in NPL WA. Both sides are doing well in their leagues and both have the ability to progress to the next round of the competition.

The final clash taking place in the first match day is between Olympic FC and Bayswater City at Perry Park in Brisbane. Olympic FC are third in NPL Queensland and Bayswater City are fourth in NPL WA, which highlights that both are doing well this season. In what will be an entertaining clash between the two that are at opposite ends of the country, both clubs will also benefit from being the televised match this week.

There is plenty of Australian football to look forward to tonight and in the coming weeks.

Tim Sperliotis