Arnie vs. Ange at Knox

CENTRAL Coast Mariners 2012/13 Hyundai A-League season preparations will go to another level this week with two friendly fixtures against A-League rivals.

CENTRAL Coast Mariners 2012/13 Hyundai A-League season preparations will go to another level this week with two friendly fixtures against A-League rivals.

Graham Arnold-s team will challenge Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium on Wednesday night before returning to NSW to play against Melbourne Victory at Knox Grammar School, Wahroonga on Sunday afternoon.

The clash against Ange Postecoglou-s side will offer Arnold and his men their first opportunity to see Victory-s new international recruits in the flesh, and analyse how the blue and white half of Melbourne may play in season 8 of Australia-s top flight.

“The two biggest clubs in Australia, Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC, have both recruited enormously well,” Arnold said. “It will be good for us and for fans to see what their new foreigners are like before we have to play them in the competition.”

“No doubt Ange would have changed the system as well so it will be interesting to see if he-s taken down to Melbourne what he did up in Brisbane,” he said.

An impressive and fluent Mariners side full is yet to lose this Hyundai A-League pre-season, but it is his system and fine-tuning his players rather than the scoreboard that is of most concern to Arnold for the time being.

Nevertheless, the opportunity for Mariners fans to witness the likes of Mathew Ryan, Patrick Zwaanswijk and Mitchell Duke battle it out with Marcos Flores, Guilherme Finkler and Jonathan Bru in the unique Knox setting is enticing.

“It-s a step up from where we-ve been the last few weeks but it-s only a friendly game at the end of the day,” he said. “It-s a live training session against opponents from this year, and it-s more about getting minutes into our legs and getting ready for the 6th of October.”

“But playing down at Knox, for supporters it-s an up-close-and-personal opportunity because it-s very close to the action and the supporters can hear every word the players are saying.”

“It-s a great location to have a friendly game,” he concluded.

Last season Central Coast Mariners defeated Perth Glory 1-0 on a stunning Sunday afternoon in front of approximately 2,000 fans at Knox Grammar School. Adriano Pellegrino netted the games- only goal.

Central Coast Mariners Pre-Season Fixtures

Wednesday 12 September vs. Adelaide United Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide Kick-off: 7:30pm (local) Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter! The official match hashtag is #REDSvCCM

Sunday 16 September vs. Melbourne Victory Knox Grammar School, Wahroonga Kick-off: 3pm (local) Tickets: Adults $10; kids under 5 FREE! Tickets will be available at the gate or you can pre-purchase online by CLICKING HERE. Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter! The official match hashtag is #CCMvMV