Opponent Watch: Bonnyrigg White Eagles

It’s been the season from hell for one of the NPL NSW’s proudest clubs but centre-half David Vrankovic believes Bonnyrigg White Eagles have 'nothing to lose' when they take on Hyundai A-League giants Western Sydney Wanderers in the FFA Cup Round of 16 on Wednesday night.

You can get your tickets to the match here. 

The 2018 campaign has seen two-time Championship winning coach Brian Brown leave the White Eagles after nearly ten years of service, as Bonnyrigg were relegated into the NPL 2 after finishing bottom of the club championship.

Their FFA Cup run has been a rare ray of light in an otherwise a miserable campaign for the White Eagles, who have made a habit of slamming the self-destruct button on the way down.

Bonnyrigg infamously lost 4-3 to Rockdale City Suns early in the season after holding a 3-0 lead at half-time. While last month, the club were up 3-0 against APIA Leichhardt Tigers but conspired to lose 6-3 and finished the match with eight players.

“We’ve been very unlucky. The games that we’ve lost have been games that we shouldn’t have and those games in the end punished us,” Vrankovic told www.ffacup.com.au.

Bonnyrigg's David Vrankovic tackles Blacktown City's Joey Gibbs during the FFA Cup 2016 Round of 16.

Going down with the ship

A former Bonnyrigg youth player and fan favourite at Bonnyrigg Sports Club, Vrankovic is perhaps the beating heart of the White Eagles.

He knows almost everyone who comes through the turnstile at Bonnyrigg Sports Club by name, and is usually the go to man for Bonnyrigg supporters to unleash their frustrations.

At only 24 years of age, Vrankovic is also a player of immense pedigree. He’s played for Sydney FC, Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Heart in the Hyundai A-League.

He was also a part of Becamex Bình Dương FC in Vietnam in 2015, and played in their Group E 2015 AFC Champions League campaign, coming up against the likes of Shandong Luneng, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Kashiwa Reysol.

But despite Bonnyrigg’s relegation, he’s going down with the ship.

"I don't want to look like the player who wants to run away when we've gone down a league.

“I want to be there, I want to help them get out of the situation and I enjoy the club and enjoy playing for them.

“If someone wants to go further on and play in the A-League, what’s not to say they can’t come from the second league of the NPL2.”

David Vrankovic in action for Binh Duong during the 2015 AFC Champions League.

Vrankovic feels Bonnyrigg can end a miserable season on a high when they host Western Sydney Wanderers on Wednesday 29 August at Marconi Stadium.

Although the two sides are growing further apart on the league spectrum, Vrankovic is buoyed by the display of Hellenic Athletic against Markus Babbel's side.

The Wanderers were shocked by the Northern Territory outfit and needed a last-minute winner to emerge unscathed.

“I think we have to go for them straight away. There’s no point in sitting off,” Vrankovic said.

“The more you sit off the more chance you have of conceding a goal, I think we go out there’s nothing to lose for us.”

This article was originally published at: www.theffacup.com.au/news/nothing-lose-ffa-cup-says-bonnyrigg-stalwart-after-disaster-season