This Sunday the Central Coast Mariners will host the Wellington Phoenix in our annual PINK DAY at Central Coast Stadium. KO is 5:00pm!
This match shapes up as a barometer for both sides hoping to register a much needed win. Despite a lack of preparation with a midweek match, Phoenix will approach the game with confidence having claimed two in a row at Central Coast Stadium.
DON’T FORGET to get in early for the Westfield W-League curtain raiser between Canberra United and Melbourne City, with Matildas guns such as Canberra’s Michelle Heyman, as well as City’s Lisa De Vanna and FIFA 16 cover star Steph Catley set to grace the Gosford turf from 2:00pm.
The Run IN
Brought down to 10 men after Nick Fitzgerald saw red, the Mariners suffered a 3-1 loss to Sydney FC last week at Central Coast Stadium with Roy O’Donovan scoring his second goal in consecutive home matches.
Even with the Mariners a man down, the Yellow & Navy took no prisoners in attack but were eventually brought down thanks to a late Matt Simon double.
Football can sometimes be a funny game and had a few chances gone the Mariners way, it may have been a different story. Sydney went home with the win in an unusual affair.
Phoenix’s most recent match was a 3-0 loss to the dominant Melbourne Victory at Docklands on Cup eve.
After Friday’s training session at the Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence, Tony Walmsley addressed media leading into Sunday’s PINK ROUND.
“It’s probably a great time to catch Wellington, I don’t imagine they would have had a great deal of preparation for this game specifically to our match.”
“The last time we had a hit out against them was FFA Cup Day and we were a bit clunky, as I was watching the boys train this morning, we are in far better shape and of course so are they but we are looking forward to it.”
“We won’t stop [playing attacking football], part of it is tactical, it’s about getting the balance right between attack and defence but there’s also a mentality there, they're young players so there’s a hesitancy that, with confidence and experience will slowly be removed. One they have that inner belief that every decision they make is the right one then the results will come no doubt.”
“I’m watching online everyday the Pink Kit jerseys being auctioned off so I’m really proud of that and so are the players, we hope we can put in a performance that justifies a great cause.”
“We’re in dialogue with Everton about a loan keeper from the U.K. as a part of the partnership we’ve been talking about for some time but there is a very good keeper available to us but we need to work through legalities with the FFA [age restrictions on an import] for that to become a reality.”
“But it’s good for me to say publically to the fans that the partnership is up and running and is delivering something to us but we just now need to work with the FFA and convert that to reality.”
When questioned about speculations that Bachelorette finalist Michael Turnbull could join the Mariners, Walmsley was quick to play joker:
“[laughs] I can end the speculation, I think Hutch’s & Brice’s wives watch the Bachelorette and they’re all for it but nobody’s convinced me yet that he’s somebody that the Mariners are going to be looking at anytime soon,” Walmsley joked.
The Key Players
With Nick Fitzgerald out on suspension, a number of Mariners will need to step up their workload on Sunday in the front third.
However, absence of firepower will be no issue, with the quartet of Fabio Ferreira, Mitch Austin, Anthony Caceres and Roy O’Donovan likely to be key for the Mariners on Sunday.
Had the cards fallen a bit differently and chances gone our way, Roy O’Donovan could have easily scored a hat trick last week.
Waiting in the wings will be Dan Heffernan, Anthony Kalik and Josh Bingham, who may be introduced to add some freshness in the dying stages.
Fijian Roy Krishna looks the most likely for Wellington, with two goals already to his name this season.
Krishna will work in tandem with the likes of Michael McGlinchey Jeffrey Sarpong, Roly Bonevacia and Albert Riera, with each having quality attributes that will create danger.
In particular, former Mariner McGlinchey will be a massive focus having created the most chances so far of any player this season.
The Phoenix will be likely to take advantage of the Mariners attacking style, with swift counters from defence that will test our defensive unit.
The Key Questions
- With two goals in two games at Central Coast Stadium, will Roy O’Donovan turn into a home ground specialist for the Mariners?
- Can Jake McGing continue his impressive start to the season?
- Will Tony Walmsley opt for a bit of variety up front this week and give more time to Josh Bingham and/or Dan Heffernan?
- The Phoenix have conceded the first goal in all four of their matches this season.
- The Mariners meanwhile have scored in 12 consecutive games and also the last 14 against the Phoenix.
- In the 10 Hyundai A-League matches between the Mariners and Phoenix at Central Coast Stadium, these sides have never produced a draw.
Last Time We Met – Westfield FFA Cup, Rd of 32, CCM 0 WEL 1, Central Coast Stadium
In front of the highest ever crowd for a Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 match, the Mariners were knocked out of the cup after a 1-0 loss to the Phoenix.
As they say, there is no better revenge than success, and the Mariners will be after just that on Sunday afternoon.
Match details (Hyundai A-League)
Sunday November 8 2015
Match: Central Coast Mariners vs. Wellington Phoenix
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 5:00pm (AEDT)
Tickets: CLICK HERE
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505
Radio Broadcast: 96.3 Coast FM
Twitter: Join the match conversation using #CCMvWEL & #CCMFC