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  • Writer's pictureAntonis Pagonis

Federation Cup Final 2024: Hamish McCabe reflects on Modbury's road to the big day

Modbury enters this week's Federation Cup Final chasing the win that has eluded the club in its meteoric rise over the past three years. Jets star Hamish McCabe spoke to Front Page Football about the club's journey in recent times and their ambitions moving forward, as they take another shot at silverware before embarking on the national stage.

Hamish McCabe Modbury Jets Federation Cup Final 1

Hamish McCabe (centre) and the Modbury Jets have qualified for their second Federation Cup Final in three years. (Image: Pagonis Photography)

When the Adelaide Blue Eagles suffered relegation at the conclusion of the 2021 NPL SA season, Hamish McCabe and his twin brother, Liam, decided it was time for them to move on. Despite a disappointing season for his club, Hamish McCabe was presented with the Sergio Melta Medal, awarded to the best player of the season.

Most expected a move to an NPL club, but eyebrows were raised when the McCabe twins opted to join the Modbury Jets, a State League One side.

Three years later, with a promotion and Federation Cup and Grand Final appearance under their belt, the decision has been well and truly justified.

Speaking to Front Page Football, Hamish McCabe shared that it was an easy choice to join Modbury after speaking to head coach Maurice Natale and President Jeff McCormack.

"When Liam and I joined three years ago, as well as when Matt Mullen joined, you went there because you saw the pathway of the club; you saw the direction it was heading. We all had no doubt about joining Modbury," he said.

"When Maurice (Natale) sat down with us, had that chat, and showed us the direction the club was looking at with Jeff (McCormack), it was a no-brainer to move there. We are a strong NPL club now and thriving, playing really good football."

Hamish McCabe Modbury Jets Federation Cup Final 2 Adelaide Blue Eagles

At the conclusion of the 2020 NPL SA season, Hamish McCabe (left) was awarded the Sergio Melta Medal before joining the Modbury Jets. (Image: Adelaide Blue Eagles)

The Jets have caught the eyes of the South Australian football community in 2024, sitting at the top of the table after 16 rounds before now falling a point behind the MetroStars in second. While many may be surprised, McCabe reflected on the three-year build-up that has seen the club earn promotion to the NPL and make a surprise Grand Final appearance, before the quality and continuity of the team, under Natale's leadership, solidified the side as an NPL powerhouse.

While Modbury has assembled a strong side, McCabe attributes the club's success to its culture, describing it as the best he has experienced.




"The thing people don't talk about enough is that the whole culture of Modbury is just so positive. If we have a bad result, everyone gets around each other, there are heaps of volunteers, some of who even cook our meals on a Thursday night, and everyone says hello to everyone, and that is anyone from the biggest to the smallest person, everyone gives you a handshake and says hello," McCabe said.

"This happens even on the darkest and most down days, which sets a precedent that everyone follows through with.

"Maurice is very tactical and very positive and also says what needs to be said when we are not performing at our best. But the whole culture of the club, led by Jeff, the President, is just fantastic. People don't see that from the outside. A lot of other clubs, and I've been at a few of them, are not as positive when it comes to all of these things."
Hamish McCabe Modbury Jets Federation Cup Final Maurice Natale

Hamish McCabe credits Modbury head coach Maurice Natale as one of the reasons he and his brother chose the Jets as their new club in 2021. (Image: Pagonis Photography)

Despite reaching the 2022 Federation Cup Final and the 2023 NPL Grand Final, Modbury has not been able to win silverware on their big day.

Modbury put in a strong first-half performance against Adelaide City in the 2022 Federation Cup Final, but two momentary losses of concentration saw them enter half-time behind before being dismantled by Paul Pezos' men in the second half. McCabe feels his side is much better prepared for its big day in 2024.

"We have been building our connections at training and in the game with the squad we have had for the last few years. We have had a couple of inclusions as well, and that has just made us stronger. I think this year we are much more prepared to go into that big day," he said.

"We've also had a couple of experiences, and I think we'll get it done; I am very confident. I have always been a confident person, but we are just in a positive mindset, and we have the squad to go one step further this year."
Hamish McCabe Modbury Jets Federation Cup Final 3

Hamish McCabe says that Modbury are a lot more prepared for the Cup Final and the Australia Cup than they were in 2021. (Image: Pagonis Photography)

Campbelltown City have been one of South Australia's standard bearers for most of the past decade, but McCabe feels like his side is ready to put past defeats on their big day behind and beat the Red Devils.

"We are happy to have made this final, but we want to bring one home this year," McCabe shared.

"We have been progressing, and obviously, we lost the last couple of finals, but as we are progressing as a club, we want to take that next step, and hopefully, this year, we can bring some silverware home to Modbury because it has been a long time since we've won a major trophy in one of those big days.

"We've been knocking on the door, and this year is the year that we can bring something home to the club and to the fans and have something to celebrate for the result of all our hard work."

The South Australian Federation Cup Final takes place on Saturday July 6. A month later, on Tuesday, August 6, the Modbury Jets will take on Melbourne Srbija in the Australia Cup Round of 32.


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