Cavalry returns for Sydney challenge
The Central Coast Mariners have called in the cavalry for Saturday’s blockbuster clash with southern rivals Sydney FC at the Sydney Football Stadium, with all but three senior squad members included in an extended 21-man squad.
The Central Coast Mariners have called in the cavalry for Saturday-s blockbuster clash with southern rivals Sydney FC at the Sydney Football Stadium, with all but three senior squad members included in an extended 21-man squad.
Nigel Boogaard, Andrew Clark and Mile Jedinak, each of whom missed last Friday-s derby triumph over the Newcastle Jets at Bluetongue Stadium, will be given every possible chance to prove their fitness, while short-term signings Andrea Merenda and Chris Tadrosse have also been included.
Furthermore, midfield ace Greg Owens makes his first season four appearance in the Mariners- Hyundai A-League squad after two starts and one substitute appearance in the National Youth League.
The aforementioned six new faces, in addition to the fifteen squad members that performed so honourably at Bluetongue Stadium in last week-s F3 derby, provide the Mariners with some welcome selection headaches ahead of a potentially season defining clash in the state capital.
"The mood in the camp is always good after a win, especially after a win against the Jets," said Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna.
"The big thing is that we deserved to win last Friday, we put the Jets under a lot of pressure in the first half and defended very well and limited their goal scoring chances.
"We now have to continue that good form and take it into the Sydney game this week."
Saturday-s match at the Sydney Football Stadium will see the continuance of a Hyundai A-League rivalry that has delivered some of the truly epic encounters in Hyundai A-League history.
The Central Coast Mariners first met their southern rivals in the first ever playoff for silverware of the new era for Australian football - the final of May 2005-s Club World Championship qualifying series, before meeting again in the inaugural Hyundai A-League Grand Final later that season in front of the biggest Hyundai A-League audience of season one - 41,689.
The Mariners- season three clash against Sydney FC at Bluetongue Stadium on 22 December 2007 is commonly regarded as the greatest Hyundai A-League match of all-time, where the visitors claimed an amazing last gasp 5-4 win over a Mariners side that finished the match with eight men on the pitch.
Each of the three most recent Hyundai A-League meetings between the Mariners and Sydney FC have been decided by one goal and each have been won by the latter, with an amazing 19 goals scored in such time.
Saturday-s match up between the Mariners and Sydney FC at the Sydney Football Stadium will mark the sixteenth occasion the two sides have met each other in a competitive fixture.
The Sydney Football Stadium is geographically the closest venue to the Mariners- Bluetongue Stadium home and is a venue where the Mariners have enjoyed some famous triumphs previously
In season one, the Mariners claimed one of their all-time most memorable victories - a come from behind 3-2 win over their southern counterparts with effectively the last kick of the game, before scoring a valuable 1-0 win on the opening day of their Premiership winning third season.
In total, the Mariners have defeated Sydney FC five times, to which the sky blues have responded with eight triumphs of their own, with a stalemate being the outcome on only two occasions.
The Mariners have slotted 23 goals in such time - Sydney responding with 26 goals.
"Hopefully we-re scoring goals but not conceding any," said McKinna.
"Obviously they have John Aloisi, who scored at the weekend, which I-m happy about, because stats always come back to bite us - I-m glad that he has now scored and I-m sure he-ll end up scoring a lot of goals for the club.
"Whenever we play Sydney, both teams just have a go at each other, whoever goes down first just starts throwing men forward - it-s a derby atmosphere and always a good crowd, which makes for some good football.
"It doesn-t matter what team they put on the park, they-re going to be competitive and Kossie will have them switched on, although they-ve had a couple of surprising results, they-ve been consistent which is why they-re near the top of the Hyundai A-League."
Sydney FC vs. Central Coast Mariners
Sydney Football Stadium - Saturday, 1 November 2008, Kick off 7pm
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The Mariners- Hyundai A-League campaign continues at the Sydney Football Stadium home of southern rivals Sydney FC on Saturday, 1 November. Kick off is at 7pm.
The Mariners will return to their Bluetongue Stadium home on Saturday, 15 November, when they host AFC Champions League finalists Adelaide United. Kick off is at 7.30pm.
Tickets for this match are on sale from Ticketek outlets, from the Ticketek website - www.ticketek.com.au, or via phone on 132 849.