The former Hyundai A-League players lighting up the FFA Cup

There are just four more spots to be decided before we know the 32 teams that will take part in this year’s FFA Cup.

We’ve seen some impressive performances from the Member Federation clubs to have booked their spot in this year’s competition so far, with many boasting players that have featured in the Hyundai A-League in the past.

Whether it’s scoring vital goals to earn their side wins or leading from the front with their big-game experience, a host of ex-Hyundai A-League players are helping their clubs make their mark on the national stage.

Here’s four former Hyundai A-League players that have been producing the goods in the FFA Cup preliminary rounds in 2019.

Hamish Watson (Melbourne Knights)

The former Wellington Phoenix striker is now playing in Victoria’s NPL and it’s his goals that have seen the Knights book their spot in the Round of 32.

Watson, who scored six goals in the Hyundai A-League for the ‘Nix, is a real handful with his giant presence as opposition teams have found recently.

The 26-year-old scored a crucial goal as the Knights upset NPL leaders Avondale FC in Round 6 in Victoria, before saving his best for the winner-takes-all clash against South Melbourne.

Watson netted a classy hat-trick as the Knights prevailed 4-2 over South Melbourne last week to put the former NSL outfit back on the national stage.

Hamish Watson scored six goals in 31 appearances in his last stint with Wellington Phoenix
Hamish Watson scored six goals in 31 appearances in his last stint with Wellington Phoenix

Marko Jesic (Marconi Stallions)

The Fairfield-born attacker scored an impressive 10 goals in just 52 appearances for Newcastle Jets between 2008 and 2013.

But after a short stint in Hong Kong, Jesic has been playing NPL football in NSW and is currently in his fifth season with local club Marconi, who are the focus of our Road to the 2019 FFA Cup Final journey.

Still playing excellent football at 29, Jesic has been a consistent scorer on the Stallions’ journey to the Round of 32, including in their impressive 3-1 win over rivals Sydney Olympic.

Jesic has been part of Marconi’s squad in their two previous excursions into the Round of 32 and he’ll again be an important figure if Peter Tsekenis’ men are to go deep into the tournament in 2019.

A young Marko Jesic burst onto the scene with Newcastle Jets
A young Marko Jesic burst onto the scene with Newcastle Jets

Alex Smith (Olympic FC)

He may be 33 but Smith is showing no signs of slowing down in the midfield for Queensland NPL outfit Olympic FC.

The former Gold Coast United and Wellington Phoenix playmaker is the heartbeat of the Olympic side, inspiring their run to the last 32.

Smith scored a stunning goal in their 4-1 drubbing of Palm Beach in the penultimate preliminary round and then masterminded the 2-1 victory over Surfers Paradise Apollo that booked Olympic’s spot.

The England-born midfielder, who has scored 20 goals in his first 27 league appearances for Olympic FC, would love a crack at a Hyundai A-League outfit in the Round of 32.

Before finding a home with Olympic FC, Alex Smith played for Wellington Phoenix and Gold Coast United
Before finding a home with Olympic FC, Alex Smith played for Wellington Phoenix and Gold Coast United

Evan Kostopoulos (Adelaide City)

Kostopoulos spent a couple of seasons at Adelaide United between 2010 and 2013, scoring three goals including one against fierce rivals Melbourne Victory.

And while things didn’t work out for the winger, he has remained in his city of birth in recent years to play in the NPL with City.

A consistent scorer at NPL level, Kostopoulos has transferred that into City’s run to the cusp of the FFA Cup Round of 32 this year.

He has found the net three times in the last three preliminary rounds for City and is sure to have a say in the result of their must-win clash against Adelaide Olympic this weekend as they aim to take up one of the four remaining spots up for grabs.

Evan Kostopoulos in action for Adelaide United
Evan Kostopoulos in action for Adelaide United