Just how big or small a gap there is between the semi-professional football of the NPL and the fully professional A-League is a topic of conversation that often gets bandied about when the FFA Cup enters the nationwide phase of the competition.

This coming Tuesday evening fans will get the chance to gauge the relative standard of the two competitions once more when Oakleigh Cannons host A-League club Melbourne City in what will be City’s first pre-season friendly ahead of the start of their FFA Cup defence, when they play Queensland club Peninsula Power away on Tuesday 1 August.

The friendly against the Cannons will be newly-appointed Melbourne City coach Warren Joyce’s first game in charge and will give fans of both clubs and general football fans a chance to watch stars of the game such as Tim Cahill and Bruno Fornaroli in action from up close on the sidelines.

Oakleigh Cannons general manager Aki Ionnas told Neos Kosmos, “We welcome City and their fans to Jack Edwards and we’re looking forward to a good crowd.

“The friendly match is a good opportunity for Oakleigh’s players to show what they’re capable of against A-League opposition,” adding that “a competitive performance by the Cannons could be a useful confidence boost ahead of the run home,” as the club strives to make the finals.

The friendly against Melbourne City kicks off at 7.30 pm at Jack Edwards Reserve on Tuesday 18 July.

Melbourne City will play a second consecutive pre-season friendly against another NPL club, when they travel to Bentleigh Greens the following week on Tuesday 25 July.