Draw kicks goals for Mariners fans

Central Coast Mariners faithful supporters will be the big winners in season seven of the Hyundai A-League with 12 of the Mariners 13 home matches being played on Saturday evenings in prime time.

Central Coast Mariners faithful supporters will be the big winners in season seven of the Hyundai A-League with 12 of the Mariners 13 home matches being played on Saturday evenings in prime time.

After extensive market research and feedback from the Central Coast community, Mariners management campaigned to Football Federation Australia (FFA) for a draw that reflected the wishes of football fans in the region.

With the Mariners 2011/12 schedule ensuring football followers have the best opportunity to see their local heroes live at Bluetongue Stadium, club Chairman Peter Turnbull said the hard work has paid off.

“We are very pleased that FFA has recognised the needs of our marketplace,” Turnbull said. “12 out of 13 home matches being scheduled on Saturday is a great result for us and our fans.”

Indeed, a closer look at the 2011/12 Hyundai A-League draw reveals that the Mariners will never be away from Bluetongue Stadium for more than two games in a row, and will also host fiercest rivals Newcastle Jets twice in Gosford.

The clubs annual New Years Eve fixture will again take place, with Gold Coast United the opponents on the final day of 2011.

“With these arrangements now set in place, we-d really urge everyone to get behind the boys and take up a membership when they go on sale,” Turnbull said. “We-ll be releasing details of our new membership packages in coming weeks and we hope this draw creates increased interest in a wide variety of member options.”

Central Coast coach Graham Arnold echoed Turnbull-s sentiments, saying his playing group were delighted with the draw and hoped fans would flock to Bluetongue in big numbers come October.

“Management worked very hard to ensure we got games to suit our fans so we-re hopeful they-ll respond favourably to our match times,” Arnold said. “It-s now up to our supporters to show FFA that they made the right decision to play so many matches at Bluetongue on Saturday nights.”

The Mariners will commence their campaign with a rematch of last season-s epic grand final against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday 8 October.

The two sides went toe-to-toe in one of the most enthralling Hyundai A-League matches ever staged earlier this year, and after a lengthy preseason both teams will undoubtedly be eager to start their campaign with a bang.

Arnold added there would be no better time to play the Roar then straight up.

“We have to play Brisbane at some time so that doesn-t faze us at all,” he said. “This is a new season and that-s the way we-re treating it - the history is history.”