Leading into our 40th #F3Derby, Assistant Coach & former Melbourne Knights defender Ivan Jolic spoke about the importance of the club’s final seven games of the season.
Okon’s right hand man is an accomplished defender in his own right who featured in the National Soccer League with Melbourne Knights and spoke to media this week about bouncing back from the side’s match against Victory and embracing #F3Derby week.
“After Sunday’s game we were disappointed because we thought there were moments in the game where we lacked conviction both defensively and in attack,” Jolic said. “The message this week is to continue to work on the aspects of our game that we think are important and to look forward to a really important game against Newcastle,” Jolic said.
Arriving on the Central Coast from Melbourne City – Jolic is loving his time at the Mariners and hailed the club’s tight knit family culture.
“I love it here, previously I was in Melbourne with Melbourne City for a couple of seasons but a change of scenery due to a family decision was the reason I came up here,” Jolic said. “Paolo was nice enough to give me a phone call and ask me to embark on this project and I have been very excited ever since.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised since arriving on the Central Coast. Coming into a new club you need to be open minded but the playing group and the culture within this football club is absolutely amazing – it’s been a breath of fresh air.
“At bigger clubs with bigger players and bigger wage bills come bigger problems. This is a very harmonious group who I love working with and I have really enjoyed the close knit family culture at the Mariners,” Jolic said.
With Nick Montgomery missing last week due to suspension, Jolic says that his inclusion this Sunday against Newcastle will provide a much needed boost of experience.
“Monty is incredible, he’s what we need,” Jolic said. “When you’ve got the youngest staring 11 in the A-League week in week out you need experience – ultimately we missed Monty a lot in the midfield with his experience that delivers composure and a calming influence. We can’t forget that he’s our club captain and it was very difficult without him so we look back to having him back on the pitch and turning things around.
Speaking of the #F3Derby, Jolic says that it’s crucial for the players to enjoy the week for what it is but once the line is crossed – it’s business as usual. Jolic has fond memories of his own derbies as a player for Melbourne Knights against their fierce rivals – South Melbourne.
“Derbies are very emotionally charged encounters, I played for the Melbourne Knights in the NSL and our derby was against South Melbourne,” Jolic said. “Form means absolutely nothing, league position means absolutely nothing and it’s really the emotion that gets teams through and it’s about controlling those emotions.
“This is why you play and coach football – for games like this. As a footballer you play for these weeks so to shut out the hype would be no good. We should enjoy the week for what it’s worth but that being said when we’re on the field we need to be professional. So, we would expect the boys to enjoy the build up but not withstanding that we’ve got a game plan we need to execute,” Jolic said.
With seven games remaining every point counts.
“Every game is important for our football club and we need to be honest with ourselves,” Jolic said. “This is two teams who found a good patch of form, had a recent setback, the rest of the table has dragged itself back to us and ultimately it’s a six pointer this week.
“We’re looking forward to it, we’re excited by it and we can’t wait for the action in the derby this week.
“Every game is a final from here on in and our group has full belief. There are a lot of games to go, there’s 21 points up for offer and we think we’re a very good chance to pick up most of them,” Jolic said.
Hyundai A-League 2016/17 – Round 21
Sunday 26 February 2017
Newcastle Jets vs. Central Coast Mariners
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
kick-off: 5:00pm (AEDT)
Official hash-tags: #F3Derby & #CCMFC
TV Broadcast: Fox Sports 505
Radio Broadcast: 96.3 Coast FM & 92.5 ABC Central Coast