Goalkeeping battle to underscore historic fixture
The three-way battle for the starting goalkeepers spot between Mark Bosnich, Andrew Redmayne and Danny Vukovic will provide an engaging underscore to the Central Coast Mariners’ historic fixture against the Wellington Phoenix at Bluetongue Stadium on Sunday.
The three-way battle for the starting goalkeepers spot between Mark Bosnich, Andrew Redmayne and Danny Vukovic will provide an engaging underscore to the Central Coast Mariners- historic fixture against the Wellington Phoenix at Bluetongue Stadium on Sunday.
The Mariners- clash against the Phoenix will be the 100th competitive fixture in the short history of the club - marking an historic day for the reigning Hyundai A-League Premiers.
Including all Hyundai A-League, Finals Series, Pre-Season Cup and Club World Championship qualifying series matches, the Mariners have recorded 41 wins, 28 draws and 30 losses, totalling 99 competitive fixtures in all competitions.
During such time, the Mariners have netted 143 goals and have conceded 114 and have been represented by 44 players.
In total, 1,077,983 spectators have attended Mariners matches home and away, while the turnstiles at the Mariners- Bluetongue Stadium home have clicked 470,689 times.
The Mariners made their competitive debut three years, five months and twelve days ago at the time of Sunday-s match against the Wellington Phoenix and are one of two Hyundai A-League clubs to still be represented by their foundation Football Manager, Lawrie McKinna, and by a Hyundai A-League record ten foundation players.
Such an enviable challenge for the goalkeepers post is indeed a fitting sideshow to one of the more unique feats in Mariners history, with one Qantas Socceroo icon set to compete with two undoubted international stars of the future for top spot.
"We-ve got a big decision to make in terms of our goalkeeping selection for Sunday, but it-s a very pleasant decision to have to make," said McKinna.
"Mark has been increasing his workload at training throughout the week and we-ll give him every possible chance to be fit, while Danny and Andrew have been in great form on the training paddock and in games when given the chance.
"Beyond that, everyone at the club is looking forward to celebrating a very significant milestone in the history of the Mariners, a lot of us who will contribute on Sunday have been there since day one and it-s humbling to be able to reflect on 100 competitive fixtures."
Sunday-s match between the Mariners and the Phoenix will mark the seventh occasion the two sides have met in all competitive fixtures.
Save for the Phoenix-s 1-0 triumph over the Mariners in the first round of the 2008 Pre-Season Cup, the Mariners- record against their Trans Tasman rivals is a near unblemished one.
From the first four meetings between the two clubs, the Mariners recorded four consecutive victories, three of which were at the venue for Sunday-s match, Bluetongue Stadium.
The Mariners- lynchpin in matches against the Phoenix has since swapped clubs and now resides in the New Zealand capital - Adam Kwasnik.
Kwasnik scored in all but one of the match ups between the Mariners and the Phoenix throughout season three, while Ahmad Elrich, who moved in the opposite direction to Kwasnik at the start of season four, is responsible for the Phoenix-s only ever Hyundai A-League goal against the Mariners.
"Last time against the Phoenix we could easily have got four or five goals, their goalkeeper was outstanding and we feel as though we dropped two points over there," said McKinna.
"It-d be nice to get a win that would set us up nicely for the Newcastle Jets game the Friday after, but it-s definitely a big one for us on Sunday.
"I watched Wellington against Newcastle and thought they deserved their 1-0 lead and were well on top until Newcastle scored their first goal and they dropped out the game.
"Credit to them, with a minute to go they got a penalty and they kept going forward with that belief.
"Ricki Herbert has always got them well organised and they seem to be a bit more stable with the team that he-s putting out - it-ll be a very tough game."
Central Coast Mariners vs. Wellington Phoenix
Bluetongue Stadium - Sunday, 19 October 2008, Kick off 3pm
DOB 9 Apr, 1984
DOB 19 Feb, 1987
DOB 5 Sep, 1988
DOB 29 Dec, 1979
DOB 10 Jan, 1982
DOB 17 May, 1982
DOB 6 Nov, 1978
DOB 24 Aug, 1974
DOB 14 Aug, 1986
DOB 29 Jul, 1983
DOB 13 Aug, 1984
DOB 22 Jan, 1986
DOB 27 Mar, 1985
DOB 5 Mar, 1975
DOB 3 Aug, 1984
DOB 13 Jan, 1989
DOB 13 Jan, 1972
The Mariners- Hyundai A-League 2008/09 campaign continues at Bluetongue Stadium on Sunday, 19 October, when they host the Wellington Phoenix in Round 8. Kick off is at 3pm.
Tickets for this match are on sale from Ticketek outlets, from the Ticketek website - www.ticketek.com.au, or via phone on 132 849.