Clark hopes to celebrate milestone with home win

Evergreen Central Coast Mariners defender Andrew Clark will celebrate his 75th competitive appearance for his hometown club should he play against the Melbourne Victory at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday.

Evergreen Central Coast Mariners defender Andrew Clark will celebrate his 75th competitive appearance for his hometown club should he play against the Melbourne Victory at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday.

Clark, 34, is the most senior member of the Mariners- season four line up save for guest player and goalkeeper Mark Bosnich and has shown form that bellies his veteran status in recent weeks.

Clark-s showing at Wellington-s Westpac Stadium last Sunday was perhaps one of his most impressive in Mariners colours.

After suffering a potentially match ending injury with just six minutes on the clock, Clark returned to the pitch and contributed a further eighty minutes that was key to the Mariners- defensive steel and even so nearly snatched an unlikely match winning goal.

The iconic Central Coast product has only trained lightly in the lead up to Saturday-s blockbuster due to the aforementioned injury, but is very much a chance of playing against the Victory on Saturday.

"Very sore!" said Clark when asked to describe his injury concern.

"We-ve still got a week to prepare for the game on Saturday, I-ll just see how it progresses throughout the week and hopefully I-ll be 100%.

"It-s really important to win any game, for us, three points can keep us in touch with the top and put us in a position to do what we did last year - every point is vital, but especially points at home."

Clark, one of the all-time most successful Central Coast products to have excelled in Australia-s top-flight football competitions, will celebrate his milestone 75th competitive appearance for his hometown club if selected for Saturday-s clash.

Clark and team-mate John Hutchinson will become the third and fourth Mariners players respectively to notch 75 competitive appearances for the club, behind Mariners captain Alex Wilkinson, who has made a club record 87 competitive appearances, and former attacking ace Adam Kwasnik, who departed the Central Coast for the Wellington Phoenix with 75 caps to his name.

In reaching this milestone, Clark has made 63 starts for the Mariners, 48 of which have been made in the Hyundai A-League and has appeared off the bench on eleven occasions.

"It-s great to start every game, I think we-re combining well at the back, we-re still providing options going forward for our midfielders to overload those areas and I think we-re building into a really good defensive line," said Clark.

"It-s brilliant to pit yourself against what is seen to be one of the best attacking teams in the Hyundai A-League and it-ll be a good test for us to see where we-re at defensively, but I think our attacking options are second to none in the Hyundai A-League and hopefully we can push them back and not have too much to do at the back."

The Mariners return to their Bluetongue Stadium home on Saturday, 20 September, when they host the table topping Melbourne Victory in Round 5. Kick off is at 7pm.

Tickets for this match are now 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.