Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) today releases its 2017 FFA Cup Report.

Through its unique ability to tie together footballing threads from all over the country, the FFA Cup has quickly emerged as a critical and highly-anticipated component of the Australian football calendar.

The key insights from the 2017 FFA Cup, won last November by Sydney FC, contained in the Report include:

  • A record number of competing clubs, the total of 720 eclipsing the inaugural intake of 589
  • Victoria continuing to lead the way in state v state competition, with a 76% win record
  • The Final Rounds (from the Round of 32 onwards) has seen a 60% decline in the percentage of appearances made by teenagers
  • Challenging the perception that senior National Premier Leagues (NPL) clubs lose players to A-League clubs, the 4-year history of the FFA Cup shows that 14.4% of players used by Member Federation clubs have A-League experience.


CLICK HERE to view the full report.

“I think it’s great to see so many former A-League players stepping back into the NPL,” said PFA Chief Executive John Didulica.

“Many of those former A-League players have played under great coaches and worked with world-class footballers and the hope is that they are sharing some of that knowledge with their peers.”

One trend that the game needs to monitor is the alarming decrease in match appearances by teenagers, slumping from 14.6% in the inaugural year of 2014 to 6.6% in 2017.

“One of the great stories of the FFA Cup was the opportunity for a national audience to be introduced to new talent, and for there to be such a significant year on year drop is an area that warrants discussion,” said Didulica.

“This trend might be a reflection of clubs building squads more focused on gambling on going on a ‘Cup run’ or could relate to an increased pool of talented players across the sport. Whatever the basis, the evidence indicates clubs are skewing toward using established players as opposed to promoting players directly from their junior programs.”

“Squad-building is always challenging so it will be fascinating to see how this evolves, particularly as one of the prime movers for growing the sport’s professional footprint through a second tier is providing young players with opportunity.”