Kingaroy junior headed for FFA Cup Final
A FORMER Kingaroy Redbacks junior soccer player is one week away from playing the biggest game of his career.
Brisbane Strikers defender Chris Maher played with the South Burnett club from Under 7s until Under 15s.
On Tuesday, October 1, Maher will run out for the biggest game of his impressive sporting career.
His Brisbane Strikers will take on marque A-League team Melbourne City FC in the FFA Cup semi-final.
The Strikers have made history by being the first of any Queensland team to make the semi-final.
The FFA Cup is the main national soccer knock-out cup competition.
The Strikers will go into the game against one of Australian soccer's heavy hitters as vast underdogs, but Maher says his team is not deterred.
"People talk about the magic of the cup.
"Anything can happen,” Maher said.
If the Strikers cause an upset, they will become the first non A-League side to make the FFA Cup final.
Maher, 27, looked back on his time in the Kingaroy colours with fond memories.
These days he balances his football responsibilities with his other passion - teaching.
"Before the quarter-final, I worked all day,” he said.
"We had a staff meeting, I got home at 4pm, had a shower and went straight to the game.
"The kids help me keep my mind off the game.”
As one of the senior players in the Strikers side, Maher said he would be trying to keep the younger players relaxed before their important semi-final.
"I'll be telling them to just enjoy the occasion,” he said.
"Be confident and have confidence in the players around you.
"That's the reason we have gotten to where we are.
"And just enjoy it.”
Maher's Brisbane Strikers take on Melbourne City FC at Brisbane's Perry Park on Tuesday, October 1, from 7.30pm.
In the other semi final, A-League sides Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United will battle it out for the other final spot.