Mile Jedinak: Emirates FA Cup 'massive' in Australia

Wednesday 27 Apr 2016
Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak salutes their fans at Wembley

Crystal Palace captain Mile Jedinak knows he’ll have no shortage of support from ‘down under’ during The Emirates FA Cup Final next month.

The Australian midfielder could lead out the Eagles to face Manchester United at Wembley for the showpiece on Saturday 21 May, a date that will already be sketched into many calendars across his homeland.

And the 31-year-old says the world’s original Cup competition is still held with such affection there that his involvement could create even more attention.

Crystal Palace v Manchester United

The Emirates FA Cup
Saturday 21 May 2016
Wembley Stadium connected by EE
Live on BBC and BT Sport
Winners receive £1.8m from prize fund
Runners-up receive £950,000

"It’s massive - it’s a competition that’s dear to everyone’s hearts back home,” said Jedinak, who joined Palace in 2011 from Turkish club Genclerbirligi.

"I’ve had load of texts and I’m sure everyone in Australia can tell you a story of back in the day what Final they remembered when they watched the games – they are normally on at midnight, 1am.

"Everyone remembers The FA Cup so fondly back home and they’ll be there right behind me - some of them will be supporting Man United and some of them will be supporting us at Crystal Palace but it will all be taken in and used as fuel going forward."

Since Jedinak’s arrival at Selhurst Park five years ago, he has played a key role in helping the south London club win promotion from the Championship and establish themselves in the top flight under Alan Pardew.

But this season’s FA Cup run has usurped all of that for Jedinak, who is already allowing himself to have a little dream about getting his hands on the famous trophy.

"It’s an unbelievable achievement and something we should all enjoy, hopefully we can come out on the other side and have a little lift of that cup – it would be tremendous," he admitted.

Watch FATV's pitchside highlights of Sunday's Emirates FA Cup semi-final at Wembley

"It’s awesome and I’m just very pleased to have some sort of part in it. 

"Whatever sort of part that will be is yet to be determined but it’s something that everyone going forward is going to be excited about.

"It means an awful lot to everyone involved with the football club, it was great and everyone felt that. 

"Seeing everyone after the game and congratulating one another - the gaffer touched on it as well - the togetherness, the unity and the men that we all are, it was fitting that everyone got to enjoy it and that unity has never gone away."

Palace now have three games to play in the league and with enough points secured to keep them out of a relegation scrap, Jedinak is hoping they can garner some confidence from their remaining games to take into The Final and enjoy it.

"We’re going to try and enjoy this one a little bit, but The Final will be a special, special occasion, not just for every individual in that changing room, but for everyone associated with the football club," he added. 

"It’s a big deal, a huge occasion for the football club and we’re going to have bring our ‘A’ game 100 per cent [to beat Manchester United], but after Sunday’s performance we’re going to feel confident in doing that."

By Nicholas Veevers Content Manager - FA Owned Channels