The Best and Worst of Wanderers vs Bonnyrigg White Eagles (FFA Cup Round of 16)

FFA Cup Round of 16 vs Bonnyrigg White Eagles 29/08/2018 Marconi Stadium
2-1 Win

We travel back home (for me) in a Western Sydney derby for a place in the FFA Cup Quarter Finals.

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Best – An Old School Feel
Walking through the streets of Bossley Park as the street parking started to fill up, reminded me of the 90s when this used to happen quite regularly. It was a homecoming of sorts. I grew up in Bossley and so I parked at my parents house to avoid the mess around the stadium and walked through Bossley Hills (I forgot how hilly Bossley was). I haven’t even been gone from the area that long, but its still a nostalgia trip walking through the streets at night, Marconi Stadium lights shining in the distance, the streets packed with cars. All it needed was a vuvuzela echoing in the distance and some fireworks. I’ve never stood in the old Stable so this was a first. In the late 90s, we used to stand behind the coaches bench watching as older Italians abused Krncevic of his tactics after a disappointing Marconi result. It’s been a while since this stadium was this full and it gives you an appreciation of small boutique stadiums that many are longing for in top flight football again in Australia.

Worst – Gate 3 Woes
We knew for weeks that this was going to be a big crowd. So why in all the blue hells did the event organisers only have one security guard scanning (front AND back) those of us whom had to enter via Gate 3 (the WSW active end). It was ridiculous. No urgency, plodding along, line moving at snails pace. We got in just as the game was about to kick off, but the line was still tens of metres long behind us. I’m getting so sick of this. If you want to implement high security measures, fine. But employ enough people so we don’t miss out on the game. A game that we had to pay ridiculous high prices for in the first place. It just annoys everyone and you enter the stadium in a bad mood because you’ve been lining up for a while because those in charge are either incompetent or simply don’t care.

Best – Lineup Shaping Up
You’d think that would be our strongest back four leading into the season. The midfield is getting there, with one or two changes to our strongest XI. The front line will have Riera but the wings are up for grabs as we have a few wingers available. It was a sign of intent from Babbel, and it seems he and the team took a lesson out of the Darwin game a few weeks ago. We still have almost 2 months to go before the season starts (!) so there’s plenty of time to get the Starting XI right.

Best – All About The Germans
The new German era has begun. We’ve gone from Croatian to Spanish and now to German in our short history. The new German signings looks the goods. Alex Baumjohann (ABs) showed his quality at times and once his fitness gets to 100% he’ll be dangerous in the final third. Getting on the score sheet in his first competitive match for the club is always a good sign.
Patrick Ziegler (Dolph Ziggler) is not an overly tall player, but seemed to play out from the back well and somehow combined with his defensive partner to score the winner.
I look forward to seeing more of them in the future so I can make a better judgement of their play.

Best – Its A Box Social
I have to be honest. I missed large sections of the game and play because…well it has been a while since I’ve been to a live WSW game and seen a bunch of people. I’m sure many had the same experience of catching up with your fellow WSW brethren, a bit of bantz, and just enjoying the company in the cold. We all lamented another season on the horizon at Sydney Olympic Park but it is what it is.

Best – Hamill: Goal Scoring Machine
Hamill: Golden Boot 2018/19. Put money on it.
He found his goal scoring head towards the end of last season and it seems its continuing this season. The funny part about his goal is that Ziggler beat his man and crossed the ball for Hamill to head home. Not sure if we should be happy that our two centrebacks combined for the winning goal, or be worried that we had to rely on our defenders to produce the winner.
Either or, I’ll take it.
Hamill has grown in statue once the armband was placed around this left bicep and it seems he is maturing as a player. He had a good 2014 ACL campaign, dropped off and then stepped up last season to have some solid performances. Here’s hoping he continues that growth and can stand tall as a strong central defender we desperately need him to be.

Best – We Won, but Worst – A Lot of Work Still Needed
We won. that is a positive. It wasn’t pretty but at least we didn’t concede 3 goals like in the Round of 32. We conceded from a set piece and that was pretty much the main threatening chance BWE had. They did seem to get behind our fullbacks on multiple occasions and try to punish us on the counter, but we mostly cleaned it up. Nizic needs gain more confidence and his distribution needs some work. Our forward line needs a bit more cohesion but we were very unlucky not to score more. The ball trickled along the line a couple of times in front of us in that second half. On another day it would have been 3 or 4-1.
The saving grace is that the A-League season kicks off in 7 weeks. FFA Cup Quarter Final is in a few weeks. As long as we start seeing constant improvement in our structure and approach, we can’t complain too much. Babbel has an entire super long pre-season to get the team right and firing before Round 1. But we want to win this FFA Cup too.

Worst – The FFA Cup Draw
Splitting the draw up and deciding one game is A-League vs A-League, another game is member federation vs member federation and two games are A-League vs member federation is ridiculous. Surely by the time we hit eight teams we can place all balls in the same pot? This rigging of the draw from the round of 32 onwards is getting annoying. I think it has had its day and all balls should just go into the one pot. You’ll still get A-League vs A-League, you’ll still get fairytale matchups. At least it isn’t forced upon us. It’ll actually make the draw more exciting.
I really hope they review this for next season.

See you space cowboy…

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