The journey to the FFA Cup Round of 32 has certainly been a bumpy ride for the Tigers.
After a positive case of COVID-19 was detected within the playing group just two days before the Cup clash was scheduled to be played, the entire team was tested and sent into quarantine.
Now, with a new location, a new date and some new players, the club is even more determined to get a result against APIA Leichhardt at Queanbeyan’s Seiffert Oval on Thursday night.
“It has all been impactful in a way but in another way, it’s helped us get rearing to go, and get back up for a big game,” Tigers defender Jared Tonini said.
“The delay definitely builds things up.”
“I think it can help you, you know further preparing mentally for the game. Finals football is a mental game to a degree, it’s 90 minutes where anything can happen, and one second of switching off can be a gamechanger.”
With players who have tested positive still in quarantine and recovering well, Football Australia has allowed the Tigers to sign replacement players.
“The reason why I’ve gone with ex-Tigers players or players I’ve worked with in the past, is for that transition into the side,” Head Coach Ryan Grogan told media on Tuesday.
“For some of these boys it’s like they haven’t been away. A lot of the messages that have needed to be delivered, I don’t need to start from scratch with, so realistically it’s just been a smooth transition.”
“We’re lucky that it’s a small community that we live in, everyone knows each other and we’re mates off the field as much as on the field,” Tonini said.
“With previous experience of playing together, it’s definitely lent itself to getting the players in and amongst the team really quickly.”
None of the Tigers have played at Seiffert Oval before, with Tonini and Grogan taking a look at the pitch for the first time today.
“Today’s my first time out here but it looks like a beautiful oval and we’re really lucky to be playing here,” the defender said.
“I’m excited to have a new environment but it’s going to be an even playing field for both teams.”
FFA Cup Round of 32 |
Tigers FC v APIA Leichhardt
Thursday, 2nd December – 7:30pm
Seiffert Oval, Queanbeyan