Central Coast Mariners defender Jack Clisby said he is ready for finals football and the intensity that goes with it as the Mariners get ready to take on Macarthur in an Elimination Final this Saturday.
Clisby has been in a rich vein of form, scoring twice from fullback in his past three matches, but said that come finals time the intensity of the matches will lift, and it is up to the team to respond.
“It is exciting,” he said. “It’s a different kind of vibe on the day, everything’s on the line."
“The intensity definitely lifts. We’ve played a lot of games where the intensity has been really high especially the last couple of games against Macarthur, where a lot was on the line for us and the Melbourne City game.”
“The intensity was there but it’s just going to be the exact same if not more coming into these games. Our focus is this game, making sure we play the way we’ve been playing, we’ve got good confidence leading into this.
“Knowing that we can have a game plan and to really damage Macarthur, so brains will be switched on this week and the focus solely on this game.”
“I’ve previously made finals with the Wanderers, gone to penalty shootouts, lost that, reached semifinals with Melbourne City, lost that game.”
“So, I know how it feels to get so close to the final and everything is on the line in these games, and you’ve got to give everything and I’m sure the boys will do that like we have all season.”
Now in the latter stages of his third season at the Mariners, Clisby has played the most minutes of any outfield player in the team this season, and has struck two crucial goals in recent weeks, first against Macarthur and then against Western United on Saturday.
Speaking on Monday about his scoring form, the 29-year-old was happy to attribute it to the ball finally going where it needed to.
“I feel like I’ve had a couple of opportunities this year to score and they haven’t quite gone in, keeper’s either saved it or I’ve just missed it,” he said.
“But the last couple of weeks they’ve come off well and have gone in so, the timing’s been pretty good, especially heading into this time of the season.”
“I’m just happy to help the team and get the goals and we are just thrilled with where we are at the moment.”
Ahead of Saturday’s blockbuster, Clisby said he and the older players will have wise words for the youngsters in the group with the majority set to play their first finals match.
“I think they would’ve been nervous heading into any game this season, getting that experience at the beginning,” he said.
“But what I can just say is it’s another game, focus on your job and the rest will take care of itself as long as our mentality and your mentality is good, the rest will take care of itself.”