Home form vital says Hutchinson

Few Central Coast Mariners have contributed as much on and off the pitch since the clubs inception than tireless midfield ace John Hutchinson, who on Saturday will celebrate a rare milestone at Bluetongue Stadium against his hometown club.

Few Central Coast Mariners have contributed as much on and off the pitch since the clubs inception than tireless midfield ace John Hutchinson, who on Saturday will celebrate a rare milestone at Bluetongue Stadium against his hometown club.

Hutchinson is truly one of the crowd favourites at the Mariners- picturesque bayside home.

Having firstly underlined his value in an attacking sense in season one with a sensational six goal return from eight Hyundai A-League starts, Hutchinson got the Mariners off the mark in season two the with the match opener against derby rivals the Newcastle Jets.

Although 2006/07 would see Hutchinson somewhat struggle to reach the lofty standards that he had set in season one, due largely to the lingering effects of a serious knee injury, season three saw Hutchinson play an instrumental role in securing the Mariners their most valuable piece of silverware.

Hutchinson-s exceptional 22 game contribution from central midfield was a cornerstone feature of the Mariners- maiden Hyundai A-League Premiership success and having started season four in similar fashion and now on the cusp of 75 competitive appearances for the Central Coast, Hutchinson is relishing the challenges of the Mariners- Premiership defence.

"It-s going to be a massive test to play the Melbourne Victory as they-re undefeated so far and on top of the table," said Hutchinson.

"We are at home though and we need to start making Bluetongue Stadium a fortress and hopefully that can start this weekend."

If selected, Hutchinson will oppose the club that represents the state of his berth and upbringing at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday.

Hutchinson, one of ten foundation players on the Mariners- books for season four, was born and raised in Morwell in south-east Victoria and contributed 89 appearances and seven goals to former National Soccer League (NSL) club the Eastern Pride-s brief NSL history.

Indeed, Hutchinson may well directly oppose former Mariners team-mate and fellow Victorian midfielder Tom Pondeljak on Saturday.

Pondeljak joined his hometown club ahead of season four after three seasons on the Central Coast that resulted in nine goals and 66 official appearances for the Qantas Socceroo.

"We-ve taken four points away from Queensland and Wellington and if we come home now and lose after all that hard work it-s not really worth it," said Hutchinson.

"We need to get the points and we need to win - hopefully in front of a big crowd and then more people can come and watch after a big win."

The Mariners return to their Bluetongue Stadium home on Saturday, 20 September, when they host the table topping Melbourne Victory in Round 5. Kick off is at 7pm.

Tickets for this match are now on sale from Ticketek outlets, from the Ticketek website - www.ticketek.com.au, or via phone on 132 849.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2008/09 season are now on sale at www.ccmariners.com.au.