The Magic of the Cup-Round 4 (Backpackers FC)

Continuing my journey through the WA side of the 2016 FFA Cup from the very beginning. I started off with my local side Backpackers FC and will follow them until they’re knocked out and then follow that side that defeated them and so on so forth. Who knows where I’ll end up…



BACKPACKERS FC 8 Western United (Sunday Division 5) 0



Fremantle Croatia (Sunday Premier League) 4  BACKPACKERS FC 4 (Backpackers won 4-2 on penalties)



BACKPACKERS FC 2 v Bunbury Dynamos (South West Premier League) 0


ROUND FOUR-Monday March 28

CURTIN UNIVERSITY FC (Saturday Division 2) v BACKPACKERS FC (Sunday Amatuer Division 3)

In the afterglow of Geelong’s stirring line in the sand like win over Hawthorn earlier in the afternoon I was buzzing driving down the Kwinana Freeway listening to the ABC Grandstand wind up their coverage heading down to Curtin University for the next round of the FFA Cup.


It would be the fourth game in which I was would be watching Backpackers FC after their victories in the first three rounds, including the scalp of a Sunday Premier League team in Fremantle Croatia. With the entry of the semi-pro Saturday teams in to the comp meant that things would start getting a lot of harder with a trip to Saturday League 2 side Curtin University in this round.


Curtin University FC is not a football team put together just to help engineering students help sweat out a hangover on a Sunday. The side features teams for kids right up to women’s teams, Sunday league plodders and their senior side featuring some fantastic players. Backpackers FC has a facebook page whereas Curtin University FC has an online store for merchandise among other things.


Still, Backpackers feared no one but the very warm Easter Monday afternoon may have fried them a little. With a smattering of people seeking shade either up near the bar or under the trees Backpackers played in their dark blue away strip and were up to the challenge in a competetive first half. While sometimes limited to playing on the break a fervent support from non playing members of the side had Backpackers serving it up to Curtin and took the lead in the first half. Another upset?


In the second half Curtin made the subs as they started to get on top. While Backpackers relied now solely on the break, they didn’t make changes from the bench, with one substitute seeing this as a chance to have a quick bit of left over pizza but refused the offer of a ciggie. The supporters yelled encouragement with most sharing said pack of cigarettes showing their joy came from the camaraderie of this club rather than results meaning everything. Some contentious refereeing decisions saw a back in forth between benches as it was all on the line and both wanted the last word.


Then finally with some 20 minutes to go Curtin got their deserved equaliser when a sharp cross from the right was finished brilliantly with a side footed shot beating the keeper. Backpackers heads dropped but their support (including a random in a Cats shirt) continued to yell encouragement for every ball won or lost, every pass hitting its target or not and the odd time they got an opportunity. A young ginger lad called ‘Shaun/Sean’ gave some highlights apart from being a doppelganger for Luke McGregor. He was obviously some kind of whipping boy for those on the sidelines but in the midfield he showed some sublime skill winning the ball and nutmegging more superior players. Cries of ‘Ole!’ came whenever he did something out of the ordinary with the ball.


Backpackers FC survived until full time. In the still very warm sunshine it would go to 30 minutes of extra time.

Backpackers were organised at the back and had their goalkeeper Ash to thank for choosing the right times to come off his line and clean up. The trouble was his hoofs of the ball up forward meant the ball would be coming straight back more often than not. Seven minutes into extra time was the turning point. With Curtin applying constant pressure another cross in to the box hit a hand and a penalty was given. If the penalty wasn’t bad enough a Backpackers player saw red for arguing with the ref which meant they were down to 10 men. Curtin also nailed the penalty to make it 2-1.


From here Backpackers lost their shape and Curtin Uni turned the screws as a team some 5 divisions above would do against 10 sunburnt backpackers. Another just on half time in extra time made it 3-1 and then it was 4-1 just after the kick off for the second half. Done and dusted. Credit to Backpackers though they did persist and thanks to a quite extraordinary goal late on they made it 4-2 but that would be it and Backpackers FC were finally out of the cup after a decent run. Never worry though, one of the members of the team was flying out to head back home on the Tuesday so time to drink.


I now go on to follow Curtin Uni in the cup so long as they last in the first switch of sides for 2016. In the draw for the next round (the final 16 for WA teams) Curtin have avoided one of the big WA NPL teams but will play local rivals Canning City from Saturday Division 1 (one step down from the Premier Division). Should be a tasty game on Anzac Day to say the least!




After extra time

CROWD-60 or so. Mainly relatives and hangers on for backpackers along with a few students walking past seeing what was going on.

ATMOPSHERE-Great atmosphere for a game at a local university sporting field with Backpackers FC bringing some support.

FACILITIES-The only toilets were in the changerooms so strangers could walk in and use the facilities when players were out on the field which wasn’t exactly making their belongings secure. Your standard under-funded uni sports club facilities really.

EATS/DRINKS FACILITIES-There was a bar (with rugby memorabilia everywhere) with one bored bar maid on her phone and a sizable drinking area that is there obviously to host bigger games and when more students are on the lash.

Curtin University are home to Canning City in Round 5 on Anzac Day.


About Dennis Gedling

RTR FM Presenter. Dilettante. Traffic Nerd. Behind the Almanac World Cup 100. Keen Cat, Cardie, Socceroo/Matilda, Glory Bhoy.


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks Dennis. Does Terry Lean still play for Curtin?

  2. Dennis Gedling says

    Ah I’m not sure as I haven’t started really looking in to them until the next round on Anzac Day. On Easter Monday they were the enemy at that stage.

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