They will walk out wearing the orange and black of the Balmain Tigers as they prepare to face Melbourne Victory in Westfield FFA Cup tonight, but beneath those shirts several of the Tigers players will be driven by the Sky Blue blood pumping through their veins.
At least six of the Tigers team are Sydney FC Members with many more of the squad fans of the club, and they all have a burning desire to defeat one the Sky Blues biggest rivals.
“We’ve had a bit of facebook banter in recent weeks because we’ve a mutual hatred of Melbourne Victory so all of the Sydney FC fans are definitely getting behind us,” said Tigers central midfielder James Kiosidis.
Left back Andrew Casali agrees and is hoping for some revenge following last season’s Hyundai A-League Grand Final defeat.
“You want to try and perform to your best, give the fans a show and stick it up Melbourne,” he said.
“It is just going to taste sweeter when we win.”
Young defensive midfielder Yianni Mavromoustakos travels regularly to see the Sky Blues play and even went to Etihad Stadium for last season’s Big Blue.
“I’m a big Cove Member and supporter,” he said.
“I’ve been going to every game that I can. I went to see Melbourne versus Sydney FC last December, the 3-all draw at Etihad.
“It’s good to see a lot of the Cove are going to be coming down to see the game and support Balmain just because it’s a mutual hatred for Melbourne.
“They just want to be there to support us as much as they can, especially because no one really likes Melbourne that much.”
Right winger Joel Cook describes himself as a “massive” Sydney FC fan and can’t wait to take on the likes of Barbarouses and Ben Khalfallah.
“I was down there on the first day, a Foundation Member of the Cove. I remember the glory days with Dwight and have been there ever since,” he said.
“We are going to get our day in the sun, our day on the big stage and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Balmain are the lowest ranked team still left in the Westfield FFA Cup, playing in the New South Wales State League 1.
Captain Tom Hyde says he’ll take enormous pride in seeing his team walk out against one of the Hyundai A-League’s biggest clubs.
“Not many people gave us a chance to reach the round of 32 so now we are here, we are certainly going to embrace it.
“I’m delighted with the guys, I’m very proud of them and coming on this journey has been fantastic,” he said.
The Tigers’ skipper also praised the backing the Sky Blues have given to the club as they attempt to produce the biggest of FFA Cup shocks.
He also revealed there is more than just a supportive link between the two clubs.
“Sydney FC Chairman Scott Barlow was one of our marquee players back in the day so it was great to get in contact with him and for him to throw his support behind us.
“It has added a nice bit of spice to the contest.
“I hope we can do the club and Sydney FC proud.”
Balmain Tigers face Melbourne Victory at Leichhardt Oval tonight at 7.30pm and are hoping as many Sky Blues fans as possible can turn out to support them.
Sydney FC Memberships are now on sale for the Hyundai A-League season 2015/16. Click HERE to become part of the Sky Blues family