Devonport Strikers are happy to take the “underdogs” tag for their Round of 32 FFA Cup clash against Victorian NPL outfit Northcote City.
In Tuesday’s draw for the Round of 32 of the competition, Tasmania’s sole representative were handed a tricky away trip.
While Northcote is struggling in the Victorian NPL, they will provide a stern test for Chris Gallo’s side.
“We are the underdogs, as I don’t think they will be expecting much from the Tasmanian team to be honest,” Gallo said.
“I think there can be more pressure playing at home in a game like this, so being away from home no-one will really be expecting that much from us, which will help.
Gallo added: “They [Northcote] are very good, they are a very strong side technically and tactically, but their pitch isn’t the best as well, so hopefully that can play to our advantage.
“I think we have shown our worth on the domestic stage and hopefully we can now show it on the national stage too.
“This will be a great stage for us to perform on and really show what we can do, and we won’t just be representing the Devonport City Strikers, we’ll be representing Tasmania as well.”
More than 100 of the club’s players and staff gathered at their Valley Road base to watch the draw as excitement build about their shot on the national stage.
And in Brayden Mann, the Strikers have a player who knows all about the competition, heading into his fourth year in the FFA Cup.
While he was hoping to have a the tie in Tasmania, Mann said the added pressure on Northcote of being the home side could work in the Strikers’ favour.
“They are the home team and the pressure is on them now, and they will probably see us as a winnable game, so we need to make sure we go over there and give everything and put the pressure back on them,” Mann said.
“We have some experience of these big games, and I think that is important, but it will be about thriving in the moment and enjoying the occasion.”