Jets "buzzing" for cup showdown

Published 9:08am 10 August 2023

Jets "buzzing" for cup showdown
Words by Nick Crockford

Moreton Bay United Jets are putting the finishing touches to preparations for a "special" night at their Wolter Park ground.

The Jets are in the Australia Cup Round of 32 – the first national round - against Victorian giants Heidelberg United tonight (7pm).

It is the second time Jets have reached this stage, while Heidelberg have been in the Round of 32 five times since 2015 and reached the quarterfinals on three occasions.

However, Jets’ Chris Maher and Matt Richardson were in the Brisbane Strikers team which made the semi-finals in 2019.

Coach Cameron Millar and captain Declan Smith were also in the Jets side which beat Broadmeadow Magic in the Round of 32 in 2017, Smith scoring the last goal in a 4-2 win.

“It's massive to get some of the players the exposure I think they deserve, especially some of the younger players like Kezza (Marquez Walters),” Smith told Football Queensland.

“From the club's perspective it's awesome. It brings a massive buzz through the playing groups to the community as well. It is quite special.”

Walters, currently leading the NPL Qld’s goal scorers' list with 15, will be a key figure tonight.

He is familiar with Victoria from his time at Preston Lions and said Heidelberg are “well known for doing well in cup competitions”.

“This is my first Round of 32 game and I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

“I’ve always wanted to play at this stage of the Australia Cup. It’ll be fun playing against them (Heidelberg) and an exciting game to come and watch.”

Marquez Walters, who leads the NPL Qld scoring charts and will be a key figure tonight.

Heidelberg are in the bottom half of the NPL Victoria and lost the Dockerty Cup Final on Friday but have a long history of success at state and national level.

Jets are currently third on the NPL Qld ladder and seem set for the finals, a year after narrowly avoiding relegation for the first time.

“The players are extremely excited and extremely motivated to compete and challenge them (Heidelberg),” Millar said.

“Our ambition is to go as far as we can. Hopefully we can inspire some kids along the way. It's going to be a special night, that's for sure.”

Peninsula Power were also in the Round of 32 but bowed out to a last-minute goal in extra time against the A-League professionals at Wellington Phoenix last week.

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