The 'master-versus-apprentice' battle kicking off the 2021 FFA Cup Final Rounds

As Peninsula Power and Brisbane Roar open the FFA Cup Final Rounds on Tuesday night, an intriguing battle between two familiar faces in the technical area will unfold. 

Before Warren Moon's well-documented exploits with Lions FC that led to his appointment as Roar's A-League boss, he spent two seasons in charge of Power - where now head coach Aaron Philp was among his assistants. 

While Moon would move on, Philp is now in charge at the club he has been part of since he was five years old. 

Their two clubs have developed a strong relationship in recent times, meeting annually in pre-season since 2017 and seeing a number of young players move from one to another. 

The tight parallels between both nicely sets up Tuesday's clash that will kickstart the FFA Cup 2021 Final Rounds. 

"I coached with Warren Moon, I was his assistant for two years, and I coached Josh Brindell-South in my youth team, so we know each other pretty well," Philp told theffacup.com.au. 

My record against Warren isn't the greatest, he's probably always been the master over the apprentice and he's got the advantage this time having an A-League team.

"But we're not going to take a backward step, and we're looking forward to the challenge." 

The coach explains how in many senses, the Redcliffe-based outfit is still a 'young club' - having been established in its current form in 2000.

But it was only in 2018 that they earned promotion to the top flight of NPL Queensland. 

Since then, the results have flowed, finishing third in 2019 and winning the Premiership in 2020. 


Currently sitting top again in 2021, Philp enforces how "success is something our club culture is about."

Now, the challenge begs to transfer it onto the national stage. 

"To make the Round of 32 was our focus," Philp recalls, "Some of the other teams in the NPL probably got a more favourable draw than an A-League team first up.

"But at the same time, it's exciting to test yourself against the best so we're really looking forward to it."

While Power will naturally enter the encounter as underdogs, Philp believes he holds the blueprint capable of pulling off a shock. 

"We've got the best defence in the league and I think that's going to really help us against the Roar," he said. "They'll have more possession, more field position so we're going to have to defend really well."

"We've got a hard-working midfield, and we're going to have to work hard against an A-League team.

"And obviously we're lucky enough to have Andy Pengelly who has been our leading goalscorer and has been leading goalscorer in the league, or at least close to, for the past few seasons; so if we get a chance hopefully he can score." 


Even with Pengelly, who was once a scorer in an FFA Cup Semi Final for Brisbane Strikers, Philp knows that the odds are stacked against his side.

Especially considering how Power are currently looking to re-gain their form garnered prior to an abrupt layoff due to lockdown. 

"We're under no illusions it's a tough task, they (Brisbane) have now had six weeks of pre-season training and playing every day, where we've had a break mid-season due to COVID - so I think the advantage that we had a couple of weeks ago is now gone back to them." 

Either way, the NPL outfit will be fuelled by memories of their last, and only other Round of 32 appearance against Melbourne City back in 2017.

On that day in Redcliffe, it took goals in the 46th and 92nd minutes to topple Power in front of a buoyant crowd at the Moreton Daily Stadium.  

Philp is hoping that a similarly grand occasion will inspire his squad to deliver a similarly promising showing against professional opposition. 

"I think we're one of the best-supported teams in the league, we have a really good fanbase and get good crowds to our games," he explains. 

"It should be a really good atmosphere, hopefully, we get a really good crowd behind us and have a go at the Roar."

And with his old friend in the opposite technical area, Philp would love to see nothing less than Power pulling off a monumental 'cupset'. 

FFA Cup 2021 Round of 32

Peninsula Power v Brisbane Roar
Venue: 
Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe, QLD
Date: Tuesday 14 September
Time: Coverage begins 7:25pm AEST, Kick off at 7:30pm AEST
Broadcast: Live & free via 10 play
Tickets: Buy here