Tomorrow’s Westfield FFA Cup match between Brisbane Roar and Stirling Lions is a family affair with three-time Hyundai A-League winner Matt Smith preparing to face cousin Rikki Smith in the Round of 32 encounter.
Both originally from England, both Smiths have made Australia their new home and the Brisbane captain said it was still hard to believe he’d be facing off against a family member in his side’s inaugural FFA Cup fixture, played at Western Australia Athletics Stadium.
“We’ve come halfway across the world to play in a cup match,” Matt said.
“Facebook and text messages have been flying in the last couple of weeks so this is one I definitely don’t want to lose from a family perspective!”
Matt paid tribute to the concept of the Westfield FFA Cup and was excited to play against Rikki, who he describes as somewhat of a “good luck charm” having cheered for his cousin at Suncorp Stadium for all three of the Roar’s epic Grand Final victories.
“It’s great to have this opportunity in a competitive game,” he said.
“We’ve moved out to separate destinations across the world and it’s one thing to play in a friendly but for it to be in a Cup match, adds a bit more spice.
“That’s the beauty of the FFA Cup.”
The pair is catching up on Wednesday morning with Matt admitting it could be “interesting”, despite the fact the central defender and right-back are unlikely to directly face off against each other during the 90 – or 120 – minutes.
After fellow Hyundai A-League club Western Sydney Wanderers was knocked out by National Premier Leagues side Adelaide City last week, Matt said his side had to eliminate any form of complacency.
“We’ve seen over the last couple of weeks a few upsets from the sides in the lower leagues and we’re certainly going into the game very conscious of that,” he said.
“First and foremost, we want to perform well and we want to win – there’s no doubt about that.
“We’re taking our strongest available squad for that exact purpose.”
Tomorrow's Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 match between Stirling Lions and Brisbane Roar will be live streamed on www.brisbaneroar.com.au. Kick-off between the two sides is at 9.30pm AEST (7.30pm local Perth time) from Western Australia Athletics Centre.