APIA Leichhardt FC’s talented striker Hassan Jalloh cannot wait for the whistle to blow as the historic National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s side host one of its biggest matches in the club’s history when they entertain A-League Men’s outfit the Western Sydney Wanderers for a spot in the FFA Cup Quarter-Finals on Tuesday evening at Leichhardt Oval.
“I’m really excited to be playing in such a match like the one we have at Leichhardt Oval against the Western Sydney Wanderers,” Jalloh stated to Football NSW.
“It’s a very big game, and like every big game, you have to be prepared no matter who the team is.
“We will go out and do what we can to fight for every ball with the goal of getting the win and progressing further into the FFA Cup.
“We are hoping that the crowd comes to support not just us but the game itself as it promises to be a big spectacle for all involved.
“As a footballer this is the kind of match we live for, the kind of match we’ll always want to remember so I know how much this game means to not only me but the whole squad and our fans.”
The 23-year-old was on cloud nine when APIA survived a major scare during their round of 32 clash last Thursday when they were pushed to limit by a gallant 9-man Tigers FC squad that earnt them a crack against the Wanderers.
Scoring three goals in extra-time following the match finishing scoreless, it was Sean Symons’ 113th minute goal that brought a huge sigh of relief to not only Jalloh but the entire squad which led to Danial Cummins’ side running riot late in the match.
“It was a very big relief not only for me but the whole team, the match was not for the faint hearted.
“We knew how much it meant to us and for the fans supporting us back home. We knew the goal was coming, we were just waiting for the right time and thankfully Sean came up with a wonderful goal that led us to the win.”
With only a four-day turnover, the bruised and battered APIA troops although celebrating the victory, saw several of its players nursing injuries, some major, with both Corey Biczo and Matt Cahill unfortunately set to miss the big clash against Carl Robinson’s Wanderers squad.
“It was a very physical match, our physio staff have been working overtime in making sure everyone is ok and feeling well for the match against the Wanderers.
“We did suffer hard injuries to both Corey and Matt and we are still awaiting further results for them but besides the two boys, everyone else is 100% ready to go.
“Preparation however has been going well, our management/physio staff are making sure of that, we have had a couple of days to regroup, recover and focus on the next job so we’re ready to go.”
It’s been a whirlwind 2021 season for Jalloh who also had his fair share of injuries.
The ace attacker suffered a torn meniscus and ligament damage at the start of the 2021 NPL NSW Men’s season which derailed his progress at Lambert Park.
Persistence, hard work and dedication along with rehabilitation and a great physio team has led to Jalloh winning a spot back on the pitch with a dream tie against the Wanderers.
“It was a frustrating start to the 2021 season as I tore my meniscus and some ligaments which pushed back my progress as a footballer.
“I am glad that I am now 100% and ready to go after being out for almost 8 months and super happy to be with the boys for this big match.”
Christmas has come early for APIA’s number 11 as apart from the big FFA Cup match-up, the striker has also got his sights set on representing Cape Verde at the ever poplar NSW African Cup tournament when they face Liberia this weekend.
“Football is my life, I love that I have these matches to look forward to and I will be doing all that I can to continue on playing the sport I am so passionate about.”