The uniqueness of the Westfield FFA Cup and the impact it has had on the sport is highlighted in Professional Footballers Australia’s (PFA) inaugural FFA Cup Report.

Having captured Australia’s imagination, the report reveals the depth and breadth of the FFA Cup, the critical role it plays in providing opportunities to the nation’s players and captures the exclusive insights provided by the competition in regards to the competitiveness between the different tiers of Australian football.

Identifying and analysing the trends from the first three years of the competition, the report revealed a number of important findings, including:

>> the truly national footprint of the competition;

>> a high-rate of appearances by young players in the competition;

>> FFA Cup runs positively correspond with positive starts to the A-League season for clubs;

>> FFA Cup matches have a higher goals per game average then A-League matches;

>> teams from Football Federation Victoria were the best performing of the member federation clubs;

>> average atmosphere ratings for the competition above the 2015/16 A-League averages; and

>> average playing surface ratings below the 2015/16 A-League averages.

PFA President Alex Wilkinson said the FFA Cup had been “a huge success for the sport,” something which is underscored by the findings of the report.

“The FFA Cup is something the players love being involved with and is a trophy we all want win, as we saw during the Cup Final last November,” said Wilkinson.

In launching the report, PFA Chief Executive John Didulica said: “it is important that the game chronicles its history so that we can create sign-posts to monitor, analyse and celebrate our progress.

“On the domestic scene the competition is unique and gives football a truly national footprint. With over 1,000 players having taken part in the FFA Cup over its three editions, the competition is exposing the nation’s players, and specifically young players, to a high level of football, something that is critical if we are to grow the talent pool.

“The FFA Cup has shown the impact that alignment between all levels of the game can have and is important as we look to expand the footprint of the professional game.

“In the context of expansion, the higher atmosphere ratings by the players at boutique venues demonstrates the importance of selecting the right stadia to create the best atmosphere to ensure we leverage one of our sport’s competitive advantages.”

The Full Version of the Report: 2016 PFA FFA Cup Report