Tim Sperliotis

This year’s FFA Cup drew to a spectacular close last night, as Adelaide United defeated Sydney FC 2-1 in the final at Coopers Stadium

Craig Goodwin scored a magnificent double, with two goals of the highest quality giving Adelaide their second FFA Cup trophy.

However, the highlights on the field were not the only reason it was fantastic night.

A near-capacity crowd was present on a weeknight at a football specific stadium, including a large contingent of Sydney FC fans who travelled to the event. It showed why the FFA Cup final is one of the key events on the Australian football calendar.

In a turbulent time for the sport in Australia, it gives fans a taste of how good football can be in the country. Last night’s final was a brilliant advertisement for the game and was widely praised by fans on social media.

Given the success of this season’s final, discussion now needs to be had to move the event to a standalone night on the weekend. It would make the occasion even greater and could turn it into a highlight on the Australian sporting calendar.

This year’s semi-finals were played on a weekend and the two matches produced buzzing atmospheres. Given the success, the final of the competition should be moved to a weekend.

In the case than an NPL club qualifies for the final, a clash with an A-League team – especially against a local rival – would be immense on a standalone weekend.

Another change to the final that could make it even greater would be to allocate the winner a spot in the Asian Champions League. Currently they are given to the best teams in the A-League, however the winner of the domestic cup deserves a spot.

In England, the FA Cup winners qualify for the UEFA Europa League, while the victor of the Carabao Cup also earns a spot to the tournament. Something similar in Australia should occur and would add to the spectacle of the final.

Last night’s match has made fans eager for the next edition of the FFA Cup, with the preliminary round of next year’s competition to begin in the early months of 2019.

Whether or not any changes are made to the final, it definitely is an event that football fans will pencil in on the calendar.

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Tim Sperliotis
tsperliotis@gmail.com