The title defence of two-time FFA Cup winners Adelaide United will be given a stern examination by NPL Victoria club Melbourne Knights.
While Adelaide are becoming specialists of the FFA Cup in the competition’s fledgling years, the Reds will be coming up against a true giant of the Australian game: four-time National Soccer League Premiers Melbourne.
Feature image courtesy of www.melbourneknights.com.au
The Knights are participating on the Round of 32 stage for the third time in their history, and would love nothing more than stunning the holders in what is new Dutch coach Gertjan Verbeek’s first match in charge of Adelaide.
Roared on by an ever-loyal support at the club’s 15,000-capacity Knights Stadium, the former club of Caltex Socceroo legend Mark Viduka and decorated England midfielder Peter Beardsley will look to summon every inch of their proud 66-year existence to create another special night in Melbourne’s western suburbs.
Competition: National Premier League, Victoria
Home ground: Knights Stadium, Sunshine North, Victoria
Honours: National Soccer League Champions 1994/95, 1995/96
National Soccer League Premiers 1990/91, 1991/92, 1993/94, 1994/95
National Soccer League Cup Winners 1994/1995
Victorian Champions 1968, 1978, 1979
Dockerty Cup Winners 1968, 1969, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1990, 1996, 2014
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The club was founded in 1953 as SC Croatia, and became a member of the Victorian Soccer Federation in 1954. Melbourne raced through the tiers of Victorian football and would become one the state's strongest clubs by the mid-1960s.
In 1984, Knights joined the National Soccer League and established a hugely successful dynasty in the 1990s, a period which saw the club make the NSL Grand Final five out of six seasons, winning the Championship in 1994/95 and 1995/96.
The club’s last piece of silverware was a Dockerty Cup Final win in 2014, a famous 1-0 win over South Springvale secured in extra time.
Ex-Wellington Phoenix striker Hamish Watson is a man for the big occasion, having recently notched a double against Bulleen Lions to land the Knights into the 2019 Dockerty Cup Final, and he tops the club's scorers charts in the league this season.
Meanwhile, Gian Albano – a former Perth Glory youth product - is an explosive forward adept at plying his trade in any position across the front line, and will be one for the Reds defence to marshal closely.
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Round of 32 Match Details
Melbourne Knights v Adelaide United
Date: Wednesday, 7 August 2019
Venue: Knights Stadium
Kick-off: 7:30pm AEST
Click here for ticket details