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Expansion clubs to be left out of next year’s FFA Cup

Speaking of the FFA Cup, once the expansion teams eventually enter it, the governing body isn’t sure how they’ll fit in. Nor have they settled on how to structure a 12-team A-League season, as the Herald revealed last week.

Fox Sports are pushing for a 22-game season – five rounds down on the current structure. It’s an idea A-League clubs aren’t too keen on as they believe the season isn’t long enough as it is.

One thought bubble that has been thrown around FFA headquarters is to beef up the cup to make up for that shortfall.

That could see the introduction of UEFA Champions League-style group stages in the FFA Cup, presumably in the round of 32, where each team would play each other home and away.

It’d be a logistical nightmare given the involvement of NPL teams and the smart money is on 27 rounds being maintained, so it’s a long shot. But it shows FFA is exploring all possible options in search of a decent solution to a difficult conundrum.

Dizzying record


At face value, Western Sydney’s round seven clash against Central Coast at Spotless Stadium on Friday night isn’t billed as a historic match but it will likely lead to a new record.

The Wanderers’ powerchair goalkeeper Andy Waite will be attempting to set a new Guinness World Record of most spins in a powerchair in a minute during half-time of the match. Powerchair football is a variant of the game for people with physical disabilities.

He is not only confident of setting a new record, but tripling it. With the current record set at 32 rotations, Waite has already made over 100 in a previous attempt that wasn’t registered due to technicalities.

However, with official judges attending the match and in front of an audience of thousands, Waite believes there will be no reason why he won’t be a new record holder on Friday night.

“We were discussing in the car park about what I’ve done and the club came on board. Within half an hour of me telling them, they had already put in an application with the Guinness book of World Records to do it,” Waite said. “The Wanderers have really embraced us. They’ve taken us on fully, the chance to do player appearances, go to all the games and even interstate games. It’s just been amazing.”

Oh Braté, where art thou?

Few migrant groups have provided more to the Socceroos than the Croatians and there is set to be one more in the national team very soon.

Fullback Josh Risdon is understood to be in the process of gaining his Croatian passport having applied on the grounds of his ancestry.

Who knew?: Josh Risdon is applying for a Croatian passport, which could make life a lot easier for him once he pursues his European dream.

Who knew?: Josh Risdon is applying for a Croatian passport, which could make life a lot easier for him once he pursues his European dream.Credit:AAP

The Wanderers defender has Croatian heritage through his mother’s side to the Balkan nation and has explored gaining his citizenship in hope of gaining a move to Europe.

With Croatia recently admitted into the European Union, a passport would open doors for Risdon to move freely to almost any club on the continent.

It’s understood Risdon was close to sealing a move to a British club during the off-season but hadn’t played enough games for Australia over the past two years to gain a work permit.

Should he be included in the Socceroos’ squad for the Asian Cup, it’s likely he will be free to play in the UK and Europe by the end of the season.

Standing room only


Sticking with the Wanderers, their active supporters are set to be rewarded with a major safe standing section at the new Bankwest Stadium.

The Herald understands 1,200 capacity safe-standing area will be constructed into the new arena once the formality of a safety approval is gained.

The section is equivalent to more than half of the previous seated section of the old north end at the old Parramatta Stadium and will include the German-style bolt secured safe-standing seats.

The club will also construct a large box for their active supporter group’s leaders to assist in choreography.

Vince is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.

Dominic Bossi is a football reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.

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