South Melbourne coach Chris Taylor and Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold both believe there are better ways for the FFA Cup to suit A-League and NPL clubs.
Sydney drowned South 5-1 in the FFA Cup semi-final on Wednesday which was played in torrential rain at Lakeside Stadium.
Arnold felt they were never in danger of losing the game despite the score being 2-1 until the 66th minute however Taylor felt they had a real crack.
But South have played one game in seven weeks and he said it was time for the NPL to be played at the same time as the A-League.
“I don’t think the gap is massive,” Taylor said post-match.
“That makes it very hard, we’re part timers, we train three times week with no competitive games against a team that’s top class.
"That’s not ideal preparation for the biggest game we’ve played in four or five years.
“Early in the cup rounds you play an A-League team and it’s quite a balanced thing, at this stage of the competition it does favour the A-League teams.
“I think the two should run concurrently, I’ve been an advocate for it for a while. The A-League would benefit because you’ve got players playing competitive fixtures at the same time that can get called in as adequate injury replacements.”
Arnold suggested the FFA Cup should be played as a curtain raiser for the A-League.
“We have the same in reverse when we start,” Arnold said.
“I’d like to see maybe the FFA Cup Final played a day after a public holiday on a Monday straight after the NRL and AFL grand finals… or start the competition before comp starts. Have the FFA Cup final as a lead into the A-League.
“It works two ways, we got our youth team in the NPL and they go across winter, it’s great. You can see they’re developing well from it.”
Sydney have now made their second consecutive FFA Cup Final as they look to go one better this year, losing to Melbourne City 1-0 in their 2016 campaign.
The Sky Blues will take on Wellington Phoenix for their first home game of the season on Sunday after beating rival Melbourne Victory away 1-0 last week.
The off-season now begins for South and Taylor said he was proud of getting to the FFA Cup semi-final.
“Any NPL team that gets to the semi-final is a major achievement in itself,” he said.
“We would’ve liked to have put on a better show tonight.
“In these sort of games we need a bit of luck and I don’t think we had too much of that tonight in terms of decisions and a couple of balls that went their way.”