To explain, Hegarty’s Hume face Melbourne Victory in a Westfield FFA Cup semi final on October 28 at AAMI Park.
For part-timers Hume from the PS4 NPL Victoria it’s their chance to shine in the national spotlight, capping off an extraordinary Cup run.
But it’s a run Hume players could not have foreseen.
For winter footballers like Hegarty, October is for post-season trips away with the team and time with family and friends.
In Hegarty’s case, girlfriend Zoe had a wedding in England to attend and the pair also wanted to celebrate their engagement back home with their families.
October 16 was the date booked months ago. That was until the FFA Cup got in the way…
Hume City went on their Cup run through the round of 32 in August, then round of 16 and quarter-finals in September and now a semi final in two weeks time.
“As the Cup run kept going we spoke after every game, we waited and waited as the October 16 date came closer and closer,” Hegarty told www.theffacup.com.au
“Our chances of going back to England for the wedding and our engagement were getting slimmer and slimmer.
“So although there were tears of joy after we beat Oakleigh in the quarter finals, Zoe was also devastated she’d have to forsake her friend’s wedding and our engagement party, which saw us fly out on October 16.”
Nick and Zoe were forced to change their travel plans – or for the Hume star to miss the biggest game in the club’s short history.
Football won out.
But thanks to a cheeky tweet to Flight Centre, the 29-year-old midfielder’s difficult decision on his flight plans had a nice twist to it.
“After I tweeted them, Flight Centre got back to me within 10-15 minutes and offered to waive the $400 fee for changing my flight plans,” a delighted Hegarty said.
“I can’t thank them enough. Now the flights have been changed to the 30th of October. I’ll make sure Felix and the team at Flight Centre get tickets to see our semi final. They’ve been fantastic.”
However, the FFA Cup final is on the 7th of November. And that poses another problem.
What if the incredible happens and Hume defeat Aussie football’s behemoth?
“I’ll win either way!” says Hegarty. “I’ll either be off to England or playing in an FFA Cup final after the biggest cup upset in Aussie football history. You could say there’ll be tears either way!”
Hegarty added he plans to marry his fiancé in Thailand next year in October. Though how she’ll react to another FFA Cup run and a delayed flight out is a moot point.
“Hopefully it doesn’t come to that… I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. Meantime I’ve a semi final to think about,” said Hegarty.
Football Federation Australia
PS4 NPL Victorian outfit Hume meet Brisbane Strikers next Wednesday night in one of the four intriguing opening night matches of the Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32.
And for club captain and attacking midfielder Hegarty, the club’s new facilities will be showcased at Valley Park Broadmeadows as well as the team’s talents on the park when a national audience tunes in for the coverage on Fox Sports.
“We’ve moved into a $12m facility only last year which has brand new main pitch in great condition, 600-seater stand and two more grass pitches and a synthetic one. One of which is brand new and we’re still evolving. We have one of the best if not the best facilities in Victoria.
“The FFA Cup is a great way to promote our facilities and our club. Hopefully we can harness the excitement,” he told www.theffacup.com.au
“The FFA Cup creates the excitement and for every footballer at whatever level, he has the chance of playing on the big stage.
“Everyone dreams of the finances that come with a good FFA Cup run but most importantly for our club here in the northern suburbs of Melbourne and we’ve got to get our name out there.
“We’ve got to be the local hub for everybody in the local area. If we can put some good results together it’ll help bring fans to our club to support us week in week out for the next 50-100 years.”
Hume qualified for the Round of 32 after former Victory striker Theo Markelis curled home a winner against Kingston Town.
The one-time club of Socceroo Jason Davidson have been known for their speedy counter-attacking this season.
And Hegarty, a former Grimsby Town and SPL player who won the Victorian Gold Medal in his first season in Victoria, has a player to watch for fans next Wednesday.
And ironically it’s a Queenslander who’ll be known to the Strikers.
“Next week look out for Daniel Clark. He’ll be known to Brisbane fans – we’ve signed him from Moreton Bay,” he revealed.
“He’s just settled into the area. He’s produced one of the best striker performances I’ve seen last week against Bentleigh, who have the best defence in the league. Basically he made their centre half, who’s one of the best in the league, look like he’s never played before.”
And Clark has scored against Brisbane Strikers during his time with Moreton Bay.
An FFA Cup omen, perhaps?
Hegarty agreed: “If Daniel performs he can produce that X-factor… other than me of course!”
Football Federation Australia