Bosnich targets Wellington comeback

Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Mark Bosnich yesterday returned from an examination of his left hamstring boasting the best news possible, with scans revealing that the Qantas Socceroo icon had suffered a strain and not a tear as first thought – the veteran shot stopper thus declaring his likely availability for the Mariners’ Round 8 clash.

Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper Mark Bosnich yesterday returned from an examination of his left hamstring boasting the best news possible, with scans revealing that the Qantas Socceroo icon had suffered a strain and not a tear as first thought - the veteran shot stopper thus declaring his likely availability for the Mariners- Round 8 clash against the Wellington Phoenix at Bluetongue Stadium.

After being withdrawn from the Mariners- 4-1 triumph over the Perth Glory at Bluetongue Stadium with only seven minutes on the clock last Friday, there were fears that Bosnich had torn his hamstring and would be sidelined for an extended period that would ultimately end his contribution to the Mariners- season four charge.

However, yesterday-s MRI confirmed that Bosnich-s post-match analysis of his injury was an accurate one and that the 36-year-old could well feature in the Hyundai A-League again this campaign.

In early August, Bosnich penned a seven-round contract with the yellow and navy as the clubs first ever guest player and has since showcased the form that has made the former Chelsea, Manchester United and Aston Villa custodian a fans favourite across the country.

Bosnich is available for selection for a further two Hyundai A-League matches - this Friday-s trip to the South Australian capital to face Adelaide United and October 19-s clash against the Phoenix at Bluetongue Stadium and although Bosnich is only an outside chance to be considered for selection in three days time, he will certainly return to selection calculations the following round.

"As I said after the match, you have to take the good with the bad, but I was confident that this injury would only be a minor setback and I-m thankful that this has proved to be the case," said Bosnich.

"I-ll return to training as soon as possible and with the help of the club and my team-mates I-m determined to do all that I can to push my case for a starting berth against the Wellington Phoenix."

During his time with the Mariners to date, Bosnich has inspired the yellow and navy to three victories and two draws - four of those results occurring in the Hyundai A-League.

Bosnich made his competitive debut for the Mariners in the second round of the 2008 Pre-Season Cup against Sydney FC at Bluetongue Stadium, where he kept the first of his two clean sheets in Mariners colours after an outstanding performance that included a penalty save against former Qantas Socceroo team-mate Steve Corica.

In four Hyundai A-League matches, Bosnich has played a telling role in the Mariners- unbeaten run, making several noteworthy stops in the meantime.

Most memorably, local media dubbed Bosnich-s desperate close range stop against the Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium in Round 4 as the ‘save of the season-, while Bosnich-s pair of one on one saves against Melbourne Victory striker Danny Allsopp in Round 5 further underlined the class of a ‘keeper once regarded as the world-s best.

On Friday, the Mariners- goalkeeping responsibilities are likely to rest on the shoulders of Qantas Young Socceroo Andrew Redmayne, who made his Hyundai A-League debut last Friday, and season four newcomer Matthew Nash.

Beyond Friday-s match, the Mariners also welcome back youth international Danny Vukovic from his five-match suspension.

"We are simply indebted to Mark for his outstanding contribution to our club on and off the field up to this point and we take great heart from today-s news that we may still get the chance to see him play in Mariners colours," said Mariners Executive Chairman Lyall Gorman.

"Mark-s influence on our club is there to see in black and white - we-re undefeated over the course of the four Hyundai A-League matches that he has featured in to date and all of our playing squad have benefited immensely from his presence on and off the pitch since his arrival.

"We look forward to working with Mark to assist him with his return to fitness and hopefully a return against Wellington at Bluetongue Stadium in a few weeks time."

The Mariners- Hyundai A-League 2008/09 campaign continues at the Hindmarsh Stadium home of AFC Champions League semi finalists Adelaide United on Friday, 3 October. Kick off is at 8pm AEST.

The Mariners are next at Bluetongue Stadium on Sunday, 19 October, when they host the Wellington Phoenix in Round 8. Kick off is at 3pm.

Tickets for this match are on sale from Ticketek outlets, from the Ticketek website - www.ticketek.com.au, or via phone on 132 849.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season are now on sale at www.ccmariners.com.au.