Joe Lolley and Robert Mak are set to make their Sydney FC debuts when the Sky Blues travel to Oakleigh Cannons for the Australia Cup Quarter Final at Jack Edwards Reserve on Wednesday night.
Sydney FC were in Victoria only two weeks prior as they took on Bentleigh Greens in the Round of 16 and were made to work hard for their 2-1 victory as a number of youth players impressed.
Since then, the Sky Blues have been busy in the transfer market and will be looking to introduce their new signings, Joe Lolley and Robert Mak, to Australian football when they travel to Melbourne. Both boys have been impressing so far in training as they get up to fitness and assimilate into the new methods that Coach Steve Corica is implementing, and it is highly likely that we will get a glimpse into what they can do on Wednesday night. They are both known for their goal-scoring exploits and Sydney FC fans will be hoping that they can continue that form and hit the ground running in Australia.
The other new signings in Alex Parsons and Jack Rodwell are cup tied having played against each other in the Australia Cup Play-off for Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers respectively and will be unavailable for this match. Pat Wood remains on the sideline with his broken hand, meanwhile Luke Brattan is still working his way back to full fitness following his ACL injury last season.
Oakleigh Cannons play their football in the Victorian NPL and are based in the city of Melbourne. They have had a successful NPL season which has seen them finish 3rd, amassing 16 wins from 26 matches and the Cannons will contest their Pre-Liminary Final this Saturday against 2nd place Port Melbourne Sharks.
Before their NPL final, Oakleigh must turn their attention to this clash against Sydney FC which will be the first time in their history that they have faced an A-League side in a competitive match, after coming through a thriller against Brisbane City, winning 5-3 in extra time in the Round of 16.
Ahead of this clash, Sydney FC midfielder Patrick Yazbek spoke to the media and was buoyant of his team repeating the trick against another tough NPL outfit.
“These NPL teams are the underdogs and are always up for a competitive match, so we are not going down there expecting it to be easy, we’re expecting a big fight from them. They’re currently doing well in the Victorian NPL, so it is going to be a difficult match, but we are going to be up for it too.
“It’s a new system that we are playing and we are slowly working toward perfecting that, so hopefully we can keep up the consistency, keep up the performances and go all the way in the cup” Yazbek said.
Ones To Watch:
Joe Lolley – Sydney FC
Where else can we look for the one to watch than Joe Lolley. The Englishman arrives at Sydney FC having just helped Nottingham Forest gain promotion to the Premier League. Joe was a hugely popular figure at Forest and lands in the country with over 230 appearances in England’s top two divisions, with over 60 goal involvements in that time.
Lolley will be looking to hit the ground running in Australia and will be no stranger to cup matches having played in 30 cup fixtures while in England, scoring six goals in the process.
Sydney have themselves a creative player in their ranks and it will not be long before he finds the net Down Under.
Joe Knowles – Oakleigh Cannons
The 26-year-old striker has already made it to the professional level but will be looking to help provide Oakleigh Cannons with a historic victory on Wednesday night. Knowles has been with Oakleigh Cannons since 2019 but prior to this, applied his trade in Perth where he was part of the Perth Glory Academy set-up between 2014 and 2017, and was called up to the first team on 15 occasions in that time.
Knowles moved to Scotland with Largs Thistle and after he failed to get his career off the ground, moved back to Australia, to the Victorian NPL. After a few successful seasons with the Cannons, Knowles was most recently on trial with A-League outfit Brisbane Roar who played Leeds United in a pre-season friendly, where Knowles started and bagged a goal against the Premier League side. Committed to playing in the Australia Cup, Knowles flew back down to Sydney that week to help his side to victory over Bonnyrigg.
Knowles will be in and around the box looking for any sight of a chance and Sydney FC will need to be on their toes to keep him quiet.
Oakleigh Cannons v Sydney FC
Australia Cup Quarter Final
Jack Edwards Reserve, Victoria
Wednesday 31st August 2022
Kick Off: 7:30pm AEST
Broadcast Live: 10Play