The inaugural Mirabella Cup draw was brought to life last week with a live streaming of the event via the FFV website. It was a catalyst for innovation and exhilaration for Victorian football.
Exuberance, a sense of excitement, and professionalism was evident throughout many within the Victorian football family.
Tension and anxiety amongst club officials, administration, coaches, players and supporters would have been apparent throughout the televised draw.
The Cup is only at the initiation process, however we are already experiencing the beauty, tradition and glamour of what cup football entails. For these very reasons, cup fixtures will always be a unique figure within our game.
It provides a distinctive insight into the differing dimensions of the standard league fixture in contrast to cup football. Playing against opposition from a different division, unfamiliar surroundings and testing yourself against the entire state is the glamour and romance of this competition.
Reminiscent of the FA Cup, the Mirabella Cup will provide clubs with a similar foresight on the traditions and allure of cup football. In the words of Sir Bobby Charlton “what would we do without football, for God’s sake”?
Football is a passionate game; let’s hope the Mirabella Cup displays the true fervour from grassroots to the professional amphitheatre.
The opening round for the first stage of the competition will commence on Saturday 19th March. The subsequent winners will follow through to the next round on Saturday 26th March.
As a result of the regular league seasons commencing on the 2nd April for all state, provisional and metropolitan leagues, all Mirabella Cup ties from then will be played as midweek fixtures in conjunction to the customary league season.
From the 12 zonal regions, nine were drawn for the initial stage of the Mirabella Cup (the eight metropolitan zones and one country zone).
The following is the draw for the First Round of Stage 1:
Key: S- State League, P- Provisional League, M- Metropolitan League, R- Regional League.
Darebin United (P3) vs Heidelberg Stars (P3)
Banyule City (S2) vs bye
Bye vs Bye
Bye vs Northern Falcons (P1)
Bundoora United (M) vs bye
La Trobe Uni (S3) vs Hume United (S3)
Plenty Valley Lions (P2) vs bye
Watsonia Heights (P3) vs Epping City (P2)
Monash University (P1. vs Ringwood City (S3)
Waverley Wanderers (S3) v Brandon Park (P1.
Mooroolbark (P1. v Croydon City (S3)
Monbulk (P1. v Glen Waverley (M)
Peninsula Strikers (S3) vs Old Haileybury (3rds)
Dandenong Warriors (M) vs Mornington (S3)
Bye vs Frankston Pines (S3)
South Springvale (S2) vs Berwick City (S3)
Noble Park United (S2) vs Harrisfield Hurricanes (M)
Dandenong City (S2) vs Heatherton United (S2)
Hampton Park United Sparrows (P2) vs Seaford United (P2)
Keysbrough (P3) vs Springvale City (P1.
Western Eagles (P1. vs Werribee City (S2)
Keilor Park (S3) vs Altona City (S2)
Westgate (S2) vs Brimbank Stallions (P1.
North Sunshine Eagles (P1. vs Bye
Westvale (P1. vs Hoppers Crossing (P2)
Melton (P3) vs Altona North (M)
Laverton Park (P1. Vs Altona East Phoenix (S2)
Williamstown (S3) vs Cainlea (3rds)
Middle Park (P3) v Elwood City (P2)
Bye v Maribyrnong Greens (S3)
Yarra Jets (M) v Yarraville (S3)
South Yarra (P1. v Melbourne Uni (S3)
Old Melburnians (P1. v Bye
Bye v Albert Park (M)
Bye v Bye
Collingwood City (P3) v Bye
Bye vs Box Hill United (S2)
Doncaster Rovers (S2) vs bye
Nunawading City (S3) vs bye
Eltham North (P3) vs Riversdale (P2)
Marcellin Eagles (3rds) vs Ashburton (P2)
Old Scotch (S3) vs bye
Bye vs bye
Doc United (M) vs Whitehorse United (P3)
Bye vs Moreland City (S2)
Brunswick City (S2) vs bye
Bye vs FC Strathmore (P1.
Moreland Wolves (P3) vs Moreland United (P2)
Melbourne Tornado (P2) vs bye
Tullamarine Jets (P3) vs Fawkner (3rds)
Bye vs Bye
Essendon Royals (P3) vs bye
Bye v Kingston City (S3)
Bayside Argonauts (P2) v Beaumaris (P1.
Brighton (P3) v East Bentleigh (P3)
Caulfield Cobras v North Caulfield (S3)
Bye vs Forrest Rangers (R)
Bye vs Ballarat District (R)
Bell Park (P2) vs Ballarat Red Devils (S2)
Surf Coast (P1. vs Bye
Bye vs Springdale (R)
Geelong (S2) vs Breakwater Eagles (R)
Bye vs Corio (P1.
Lovely Banks Lions (R) vs Warnambool Wolves (R)
There are some mouth-watering contests, with many local derbies throughout the opening round of the Cup.
The northern section will see La Trobe Uni versus Hume City – the two State League Two entries battle it out early in the competition. And Epping City (Prov 2) will be traveling back to Gabonia Reserve to face old rivals Watsonia Heights (Prov 3) in what should be a heated and fiery encounter given their recent history.
In the eastern zone, the three State League Three outfits Ringwood City, Waverly Wanderers and Croydon City have avoided confrontation in the opening rounds and will be favourite to progress to the next round.
The battle ground of Moreland will be fiercely contested with local bragging rights coming into fruition. Moreland Wolves (Prov. 3) will be hosting local rival Moreland United (Prov. 2) in what is expected to be a highly competitive fixture.
Doc United are the only club to register their Master’s squad (over 35’s) in the competition. They will be attempting to overcome the more youthful Whitehorse United (Prov. 3). The old boys will be determined to give them a shake up.
Could an upset be on the cards?
On the western front, state league representatives Keilor Park and Altona City will face-off in a highly anticipated encounter. Clubs withholding high pedigrees like them will not want to exit at the initial hurdle.
The southern zone will inevitably see two State teams exit the competition in the opening round. South Springvale (State 2) host Berwick City (State 3), while Heatherton United will have the daunting prospect of traveling away to Dandenong City’s turf attempting to gain bragging rights before the league season.
The innovation of the Mirabella Cup is all set and ready for action. Fans and club officials have got what they demanded. Let’s hope the Cup brings good fortune for Victorian football.