Federation Cup: Tuggeranong v Cooma
Tuggeranong claimed the Federation Cup with a thrilling 3-2 extra-time win over Cooma. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
Tuggeranong United has been given the green light to represent Capital Football in the Football Federation Australia Cup after receiving the backing of rival clubs.
A Capital Football board meeting on February 18 endorsed United to play in this year's 32-team knockout competition, scrapping plans to stage a pre-season event to determine its inaugural representative.
As winners of Canberra's knockout tournament the Federation Cup last year, Tuggeranong United lodged a written appeal to Capital Football insisting it should be given the nod.
Capital Football chief executive Heather Reid said United had been given provisional approval, provided they meet a list of criteria.
The FFA Cup gives grassroots clubs a chance to test themselves against A-League and big city heavyweights should they negotiate the early rounds.
''The board has agreed Tuggeranong will be our representatives, subject to them completing some information we require centreing around venue, match-day operations and marketing,'' Reid said.
''The clubs agreed Tuggeranong should be our first participant and, in future, the Federation Cup winner will earn that right in coming years … [It was being debated] because, if some clubs had known it [the 2013 Federation Cup win] would lead to participation in the FFA Cup, they may have viewed it differently.''
Reid said Tuggeranong United would be required to find a bigger venue to host FFA Cup matches.
''They have Kambah No.2 Oval as home ground, it's not as suitable as a Deakin, McKellar or even Hawker in terms of spectator and supporter services,'' Reid said.
''We would want them to find a better venue than that.''
Reid believes the FFA Cup carrot will lead to a stronger Federation Cup, with clubs taking it more seriously.
''It's definitely an incentive, the prestige of being able to play in an FFA Cup-style competition is very important,'' Reid said.
Football Federation Australia will release further details of the competition on Monday morning.
An admission fee of $1500 is needed to play in the tournament, which Reid believes should be reduced to give grassroots clubs a realistic chance of competing.
''There's still a bit of work to do in terms of the value of participating for the fee involved,'' Reid said.