What a difference a decade can make.
Just after the turn of the century, South Coast Wolves held the status of back-to-back NSL champions and Oceania Club Champions, with a trip to mingle with the likes of Boca Juniors, LA Galaxy and Real Madrid on the cards until the 2001 FIFA Club World Cup was scrapped.
A name change and four wooden spoons later, a club on the mend is working its way towards restoring its former glory.
After a shaky start to the IGA NPL NSW Mens 1 season, Nahuel Arrarte’s men have turned their fortunes around and have plenty of cause for optimism.
And Wolves will get a feel for the good ol’ days when they welcome two-time A-League champions Central Coast Mariners to WIN Stadium.
The Wollongong-based club were one of just four non-A-League teams to draw a team from the top tier and captain Jacob Timpano admitted it was the clash he’d been wishing for.
"Watching the draw live and not being called out for a while then being thrown in with one of the final four (A-League teams) was exciting, a lot of the boys were hopeful of that happening," he said.
"It’s great we drew an A-League team and getting the Mariners is a big thing for the players and the club."
Timpano will be well prepared for the challenge ahead, having gained plenty of experience at national level with Wolves in the NSL (as Wollongong) and Sydney FC and North Queensland Fury in the A-League.
While there is a fear of players being overawed by the occasion, the Wolves skipper insists his side will go into the match full of belief.
"I’ve been drumming into the boys that Mariners are a very good side but they’ve only just started pre-season and our match will be very tight," he added.
"I’ve been there when you play against state league teams in the pre-season and it can be quite difficult so I think we have a really good chance.
"We’re match fit and in the back half of our season so from that end we have an advantage and hopefully it can play into our hands."
Further buoying Wolves is the wave of momentum they’re currently riding, having suffered a stuttering start to their 2014 campaign.
"We started pre-season early compared to a lot of team and we worked really hard on our fitness so it’s really showing for us towards the back end of the season.
"We’ve got nothing to lose, we’re at home, hopefully in front of a good crowd and our season could potentially be over (after this match) so we’re going to go out and give it our all.
"I don’t know how mariners will approach it but no team goes into a match looking to lose so it will be tough."
Mariners’ ‘reward’, if it can be called that, for finishing in the top four last season, is avoiding a round of 32 clash with a fellow A-League outfit.
But defender Josh Rose has no reservations ahead of the trip to Wollongong and experts a stern test against a Wolves team determined to make headlines.
"It’s great for those lower teams to prove themselves against A-League opposition. It gives them a great opportunity," Rose told www.theffacup.com.au.
"I was watching the draw on Fox Sports and it was exciting stuff. Obviously there are players in those leagues that think they’re good enough and want to play A-League – so it’s a great chance for them to want to impress A-League coaches and hopefully move on from there. It gives players an opportunity to step up to the bigger leagues."
Rose, who earned selection for the A-League All Stars’ clash with Italian giants Juventus, expects Mariners coach Phil Moss to use the best players at his disposal in the Cup.
"You’re not going to get an easy game in the FFA Cup. You’ll have to turn up on the day and if you don’t you’re likely to get beat," added Rose. "These guys will be super ready to play against A-League opposition and wanting to prove a point.
"They’ll get a real buzz out of it. It’s like an A-League game for them… it’s like their A-League grand final almost.
"We’re definitely won’t be taking it easy. Mossy [coach Phil Moss] won’t take it easy. He’ll study them and we’ll go in prepared enough to get the result we need."
South Coast Wolves
Competition: IGA NPL NSW Mens 1
Coach: Nahuel Arrarte
Captain: Jacob Timpano
Run-in: Waratah Cup – Beat Hurstville 6-0; Beat Sutherland on pens (4) 1-1 (3); Beat Parramatta FC in ET (2) 2-2 (5)
Central Coast Mariners
Competition: Hyundai A-League
Coach: Phil Moss
Captain: John Hutchinson
Run-in: Automatic qualification
South Coast Wolves v Central Coast Mariners
WIN Stadium, Wollongong (NSW)
Kick-off: 7.30pm local (7:30pm AEST)
Referee: Ben Williams
Assistant Referee 1: Andrej Giev
Assistant Referee 2: James Tesoriero
Fourth Official: Luke Withell
Coverage details: Visit ccmariners.com.au for a LIVE stream of the match
ABC Radio will broadcast the match on 97.3 ABC Illawarra, 92.5 ABC Central Coast, Grandstand Digital, online at http://www.abc.net.au/news/sport/ and on the ABC Radio App
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #SCWvCCM
Tickets will be available to purchase at the venue
South Coast Wolves squad: 1.Thomas HAMILTON (GK), 2.Jack KEATING, 3.Christopher NATHANIEL, 4.Michael ROBINSON, 5.James BALDACCHINO, 6.Zachary MACKENZIE, 7.Chris PRICE, 8.Matthew BAILEY, 9.Peter SIMONOSKI, 10.Ricky ZUCCO, 11.Mitchell DEL TURCO, 12.Ben ZUCCO, 13.Brett WILSON, 15.Darcy MADDEN, 16.Sam CHAPPEL, 20.Joseph LAVALLE, 21.Samuel JACOB, 22.Samuel MATTHEWS, 23.Hiroaki KAWASAKI, 25.Jordan MURRAY, 26.Jacob TIMPANO, 30.Daniel COLLISON (GK), 31.David HAMILTON (GK)
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Behan IRMAKON (GK), 3.Joshua ROSE, 5.Zachary ANDERSON, 6.Brent GRIFFITHS, 7.John HUTCHINSON, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY, 9.Mitchell DUKE, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 12.Liam REDDY (GK), 13.Hayden MORTON, 14.Malick MANEÉ, 15.Storm ROUX, 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Anthony CACERES, 18.Michael NEILL, 19.Matt SIMON, 20.Anthony KALIK, 22.Tom SLATER, 25.Eddy BOSNAR, 26.Kim SEUNG YONG, 27.Isaka CERNAK, 28.Glen TRIFIRO
– By Mitchell Grima