Welcome back Reds fans!
Red Storm Rising has been on hiatus but weíre back and raring to go ahead of Adelaide Unitedís first match of the newly formed Football Federation Australia Cup.
The FFA Cup is, of course, modelled on the English FA Cup and anyone who knows even the slightest bit about the round-ball game will now how that competition captures the imaginations of millions around the world.
Itís exciting to finally have a knock-out competition here in Australia, especially one that mirrors a competition I personally have followed since I became interested in football as a kid.
One of the great aspects of the English FA Cup is the potential for second, third or fourth tier, even amateur, sides to, on their day, pull of the great upset and beat a team from the Premiership.
A similar chance holds true for those 22 semi-professional and amateur teams who have reached the Round of 32, the point that the A-League clubs, including the Reds, join the competition.
Results must be determined on the day, as in all knock-out football, with extra-time and penalties brought into play if needed.
Itís a chance to see players weíve never seen on the big stage, and a chance for them to impress enough to further their careers at bigger clubs.
There is also the added drama of each tie being played at the same time, another aspect of the English game especially I really like, as it really adds to the excitement on and off the field.
Itís exciting to finally have this form of competition in Australia and just shows how much football is growing in this country.
The timing is perfect, whether by design or accident on FFAís part, after such an entertaining World Cup that is sure to have the neutral fan giving at least a cursory glance to this new competition.
With more marquee signings joining A-League clubs sure to grow spectator interest even more, the sport can sustain this type of cup competition alongside the showcase A-League.
Football fans, as well as the FFA itself, will be hoping as much.
Do you think the FFA Cup will be a success? Is the format right for this country?