The FFA Cup has been a welcomed and long awaited announcement.
Although ignored by a lot of mainstream media, it is another block in building the ‘pyramid’ (for use of a better analogy) of football in this country.
The competition builds a bridge between the professional tier and the ambitious semi-pro tier.
Many of the teams in the second tier were the giants of the old NSL competition and still feel aggrieved they have not played a part in the birth of the new league.
It also provides the faint hope that a ‘park’ team might have a fairytale run through the initial stages and potentially meet an A-League team in the round of 32.
However I feel it also plays into a little experiment I believe the FFA are conducting.
The issue of where to expand the a league is a hot topic among fans. While eager to spread the games footprint we are also mindful of the failures of the Fury and the Gold Coast, which were built on a mentality of ‘build it and they will come’.
This belief was also tempered by the fever of trying to bid for the right to host the World Cup.
The A-League needed to get ‘dots on the map’ to prove that professional football had a base everywhere in the country. That and give the impression that we, football fans in Australia, were all united behind the bid.
The experiment I mentioned earlier builds on the idea behind the Cup.
I think the FFA are waiting to see if a crop of teams on a consistent basis reach the semi-final stage and give a good account of themselves against teams with many more resources at their disposal.
If year after year (say for ten years) the same teams keep regularly bobbing up, the league will know it has a base from which to either build a second A-League division. Or, at best build some kind of NPL Champions League, where the power teams from each state competition play against each other.
Hopefully the telecast on Fox Sports will also show what a potential second division will look like as they could be broadcasting from the stadiums of state league teams.
Will it look attractive enough on TV?
Or will it have a slightly suburban feel? Will the fact its on a Tuesday night make the comp look second rate?
Very few fans of any sport in this country have supported mid-week sporting clashes. Will the teams be able to compete and not bankrupt themselves?
Only time will tell.
What do you think, Roarers? Will newly promoted teams or a second division come from the new FFA Cup?