FOUR sleeps to go: Debutantes

The Central Coast Mariners fielded four debutantes in Thursday’s 1-nil opening round triumph over Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park, and one of those new faces, Dutch import Patrick Zwaanswijk is itching to make it two from two in the club’s first home match of the new campaign, against Adelaide United at Bluetongue Stadium this Sunday afternoon.

The Central Coast Mariners fielded four debutantes in Thursday-s 1-nil opening round triumph over Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park, and one of those new faces, Dutch import Patrick Zwaanswijk is itching to make it two from two in the club-s first home match of the new campaign, against Adelaide United at Bluetongue Stadium this Sunday afternoon.

Four days out from making their Bluetongue bow, the new-look Mariners have their eyes on making it back-to-back victories, by beginning with a bang in front of the Gosford faithful.

"You saw against Melbourne Heart, they (the Mariners) had been told they were one of the best teams in the league and you saw what we did that time, we defended great, didn-t play that well with the ball, but if we can progress from that then every team, is going to be afraid to play us," said Zwaanswijk.

Zwaanswijk became the 59th player to don the Yellow and Navy in a competitive fixture last Thursday behind Jess Vanstrattan (57th) and Daniel McBreen (58th), while Rostyn Griffiths became the club-s 60th player when he was introduced in the second half. This however is not the only etching into the history books that the imposing Dutchman can be proud of.

"I enjoyed it very much because the result was great, winning 1-nil in a brand new stadium at AAMI Park, so in the history books it is going to be the first win ever at that stadium is the Central Coast Mariners.

"For me personally I thought I played quite a good game, and as the team progresses over the next few weeks or months we are only going to get better and better (as a) team, and (we-re) hoping to get good results and climb up the table," said Zwaanswijk.

It-s a long week for Graham Arnold-s men, with a 10 day gap separating their opening day win with their first outing in front of the Bluetongue Stadium faithful, and the experienced Central Defender is desperate to experience the atmosphere of the Gosford ground on game day.

"I-m looking forward (to it) because I-ve only seen pictures, I-ve never seen a game here, never seen it on video, so I hope it is going to be well supported for our team. Obviously we have to do the work on the field, which we are capable of. If we can get a good result in the home game against Adelaide we-re only going to be (further clear) because we-re on top of the table at the moment, we-d be two played for six points, which is the best we can be at the moment.

"The new players we-ve brought in and certainly the new coach, who is thinking about playing really good football with the Mariners, and trying to get the Central Coast up, and trying to get the supporters to the stadium.

"They are a great bunch of boys. The mentality here is great, everybody wants to work really hard in training, they are eager to learn, they want to know what they can do better and want to learn from their mistakes, and it all starts from there.

"I can contribute a little bit by giving my experience to the younger players in the team, and I think it-s a good mixture between young and old. We have great talented players in the team, so in the coming years it will be great fun for the Central Coast to come and watch the games," Zwaanswijk said.

And the former NAC Breda hardman has a message for Mariners Members and Supporters, to ride a wave of success all the way through until the business end of the season, of which he expects the Yellow and Navy to be a very big part of.

"Last year we finished eighth in the league but this year we will definitely be in the top six and go to the finals," Zwaanswijk said.