Belfast Telegraph

FFA Cup isn't sweet for Tuggeranong

By Billy Weir

I found myself in the unusual position of having Tuesday off, so what to do? Some household chores, a nature ramble, a trip to the shops and some essential toe nail maintenance, the choices were many.

I was distracted though by BT Sport's mid-morning offering of live Australian FA Cup, or the FFA Cup as it somehow became, and who could turn down the chance to see Melbourne Victory's visit to Tuggeranong United. It was either that or listen to Phillip Schofield talk about women's problem areas on This Morning.

First thing is the name. Ridiculous, isn't it? The only person who should be allowed to call something Victory is Horatio Nelson but our skipper for this voyage of discovery Down Under was commentator, Simon Hill.

He told us that Tuggeranong is: "Derived from a Ngunnawal expression meaning 'cold place' but the locals have certainly laid out the welcome mat." Nice to know what Larne would be translated as if it was Australian.

There was much to learn about Tuggeranong, their winger Muad Zwed, for example, was born in Poland to the son of a Libyan diplomat, their manager Steve Forshaw hailed from Bolton – Lancastrian for cold place – and as Hill told us: "Defender Harry Pettit prepared by sitting an exam in Endocrinology this morning – at least he'll know all about concentration levels."

So the romance of the cup was alive and well and lasted all of 11 minutes as the first goal hammered in. It was 3-0 after 21 minutes and defender Jonathan Toole, no mention of what he'd been doing in the morning, was being ripped apart by Victory's Connor Pain, or as Hill, or was it Sid James, commented: "Pain is too slippery for Toole," but we carried on regardless.

Or we did until a stop in play for a flare in the second period, which didn't go down well with our commentator.

"We're not going to show it because we're not going to give them the kudos they think they deserve," said Hill defiantly before the director decided to give them the kudos they deserved by showing it.

"How to try and put a dampener on a terrific night, I hope your mum's proud of you. Pathetic," he went on before realising he was the only one who really cared.

And the goals continued, three more following in the second-half, to create a new record score in the FFA Cup, although it's hardly Arbroath and Bon Accord, is it?

But it couldn't deter Hill, who insisted: "It's been a great night for capital football," but thankfully the capital punishment in Canberra was put out quicker than a flare in Tuggeranong. It is a cold place after all.

Belfast Telegraph


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