The first semi-final of the 110-year-old Dockerty Cup kicks off tonight with Moreland Zebras taking on Hume City at Jack Edwards Reserve in Oakleigh from 7.30pm.
The second semi-final tomorrow night sees Melbourne Knights against Bulleen Lions at ABD Stadium in Westmeadows, also at 7.30pm.
Whilst making the final four of Victoria’s most historic and enduring football trophy is admirable, all sides will be focussed on making the final on August 10 at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex at 5:00pm.
The last four remaining Victorian sides in the FFA Cup Round of 32 automatically qualify for the Dockerty Cup semi-finals.
Moreland Zebras has enjoyed a rich history since its formation in 1948. A team which has helped raise many Socceroos over the years including Mark Bresciano, Paul Wade, Mikey Peterson and Mehmet Durakovic (among others), is always itching for more silverware, in this case, its 7th Dockerty Cup.
This season in NPL2 West and led by another Zebra Socceroo, Fausto De Amicis, Moreland sits fourth, six points behind second place St Albans and 17 points behind runaway leaders Altona Magic. More than competitive all season, it has by far the most draws in the top four (9) and a conversion of just some of those into wins would have seen them even better placed.
The Zebras’ cup run in recent games has seen them account for Whittlesea Ranges, Westgate and the big scalp of Altona Magic to advance to the semis.
Originally formed in 1974, Hume City’s run saw them outlast Heidelberg in a 5-4 classic, whilst also accounting for Bentleigh Greens and then Oakleigh Cannons on penalties.
Currently in 4th place on the NPL men’s table, City looks in good shape for tonight’s contest.
Hume City centre-back Paul “Blocker” Wilson, who scored on the weekend to help defeat Port Melbourne, said the team was looking forward to the cup semi. “It should be a good game of football. We’ve had a great run in the FFA cup and we’re going into the game confident and expecting a result.”
In the other semi, well established NPL side Melbourne Knights are fancied to advance when it takes on NPL2’s Bulleen Lions.
The Knights, established in 1953, are clearly part of the Victorian and Australian footballing landscape. Producers of top-class internationals, they already have a very impressive 10 Dockerty Cups in the cabinet and are keen for number 11.
In the past three cup rounds, the Knights defeated Fitzroy City and took the large scalps of Avondale and South Melbourne. Under current player-coach Marijan Cvitkovic, they are also fresh of a brilliant 2-0 over league leaders Avondale on the weekend.
Melbourne Knights’ opponents, NPL2 East’s Bulleen Lions, currently sit second just three points behind league leaders Eastern Lions. After accounting for Murray United in Round 5 of the Cup, wins over Northcote City and St Albans in Rounds 6 and 7 have them set for tomorrow night.
At 43 years young and also being home to Socceroos Bresciano and Matt Leckie, the Lions too have pedigree. A win tomorrow night over an in-form Knights would no doubt be a major milestone in their journey to even bigger and better things.
Football Victoria wishes all teams every success.
Tues, July 9 - Moreland Zebras FC v Hume City FC, Jack Edwards Reserve 7:30pm
Wed, July 10 - Melbourne Knights FC vs FC Bulleen Lions, ABD Stadium in Westmeadows, 7.30pm
If you can’t make the game, live streaming of both semi-finals is available on Football Victoria’s Facebook and Youtube channels.