After the Central Coast Mariners’ last training run before tomorrow night’s Westfield FFA Cup match, Tony Walmsley has spoken about the importance of the fixture and hinted at some potential Mariners’ debutants.
The Mariners will travel to Victoria today in preparation for the Yellow & Navy’s first competitive hit out of the 2016/17 campaign and Walmsley wants to use the Westfield FFA Cup as a way to build excitement through out the pre-season.
“We’re pumped, it’s a long pre-season and we’ve got a lot of pre-season games but to be in a cup competition where it counts and we can test the players mentally and physically is great,” Walmsley said. “The whole squad is buzzing at the moment because the season starts tomorrow.
“We would love to go on a cup run, there’s no doubt about it. If we win this one the pre-season gains a greater meaning because you’re now preparing for the round of 16 so it’s a very important game for us.
“We’re in a situation where neutrals all over the country in a live broadcast game are going to be rooting for the underdogs, it’s a great test for us and a chance to put in a performance for our Members to be proud of,” Walmsley said.
The Hyundai A-League sides on display in the Westfield FFA Cup are still in the early stages of pre-season and Walmsley admitted that taking his player’s fitness levels into account would be a key consideration.
“It’s going to be tough conditions on a tricky pitch up against a highly motivated and strong NPL side who are just going to be itching for the A-League scalp so there’s no doubt in our minds that the challenge is a formidable one but we’ve prepped well,” Walmsley said.
“We are early in pre-season, we’ve had to be very mindful who can and can’t go the distance and we’ve ticked all the boxes we need to going into this game so the main emotion running through me at the moment is excitement.
“For the guys who went through what they went through last season, to celebrate a win tomorrow night will be something to behold and I hope we can give the fans and the players that,” Walmsley said.
Walmsley added six new recruits to his side during the off-season and hinted that there may be some debutants within the ranks heading into Tuesday night’s hit out at Green Gully Reserve.
“Jacques & Mickael have put themselves in contention, Ivan [Necevski] is an experienced keeper and this is his opportunity to make his mark on the Mariners early,” Walmsley said. “This is a great opportunity to expose him to life at the Mariners in a competitive environment,” Walmsley said.
Green Gully v Central Coast Mariners
Tuesday 2 August 2016
Green Gully Reserve, Keilor Downs (VIC)
Kick-off: 8.00pm local (8:00pm AEST)
Referee: Daniel Elder
TV Broadcast: 7.30pm (AEST) Live and exclusive on FOX SPORTS 3 (Channel 503)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #GRGvCCM #FFACup
Green Gully squad: 1.Sebastien Mattei (gk), 2.Mathew Reid, 3.Yohei Iwasaki, 4.Daniel Jones, 5.Rodrigo Vargas, 6.Callum Richardson, 7.Tomas Murphy, 8.George Lambadaridis, 9.Anthony Ragusa, 11.Evan Christodoulou, 12.Nicholas Krousoratis, 14.Aaron Ward, 15.Jay Davies, 16.Kliment Taseski, 18.Oner Kucuk, 19.Luke Walker, 21.Charlie McCormick, 23.Rani Dowisha (gk), 38.Liam Boland
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Ivan Necevski (gk), 2.Storm Roux, 3.Josh Rose, 4.Jacob Poscoliero, 5.Harry Ascroft, 6.Blake Powell, 7.Fabio Ferreira, 8.Nick Montgomery, 9.Roy O’Donovan, 10.Mickael Tavares, 11.Connor Pain, 12.Trent Buhagiar, 13.Kwabena Appiah, 14.Adam Berry, 15.Bradley McDonald, 16.Liam Rose, 17.Josh Bingham, 18.Matthew Fletcher, 19.Jacques Faty, 20.Paul Izzo (gk), 21.Michael Neill, 22.Jake McGing, 23.Jake Adelson, 40.Tom Heward-Belle