Kwasnik primed to face old club

Central Coast Mariners striker Adam Kwasnik will line up against his old club, Wellington Phoenix, in a pre-season trial match at Apex Oval, Dubbo, this Saturday, 25 July.

Central Coast Mariners striker Adam Kwasnik will line up against his old club, Wellington Phoenix, in a pre-season trial match at Apex Oval, Dubbo, this Saturday, 25 July.

It-s the Mariners final competitive hitout before the start of the Hyundai A-League season, and while Kwasnik admits it would be nice to get one up on his former teammates, he says the bigger picture is continuing the side-s good pre-season form.

"Come this Saturday we hope to get a win, and while I-d love to bang a few past them, as long as the team wins, that-s the main thing," said Kwasnik.

"It will be good to see them, I had a great time while I was over there, but very grateful that I got a second chance back at the Mariners, and I-m loving it.

"We-ve got a good bunch of boys here, probably one of the best I-ve ever been a part of, and now we have to turn all our hard work in pre-season into results this fifth A-League season."

And the Mariners frontman believes many of his former teammates could be using Saturday-s match as a selection trial, with eyes on a bigger prize.

"They-re always going to be tough, especially when we play them over there during the season, and come Saturday night they-ll be tough as well. They-ll be up for it, and have a lot to prove, with a World Cup qualifier that a lot of them are eligible for, which has New Zealand playing against the fifth best team in Asia, so they-re going to be firing, but we just have to worry about ourselves, and get a good result," said Kwasnik.

Kwasnik-s form this pre-season also drawing praise from Football Manager Lawrie McKinna.

"He was a bit underdone when he came in for the Champions league, and as that went on he got better. He continued playing with Blacktown and I think that served its purpose because he-d not played a lot of football last year. He can cover attacking midfield or up front, and up front he-s been our best striker. He keeps the ball well, he-s very dangerous, his movement is good, so it was good for Kwas to play those games down in Blacktown and good for us," said McKinna.

The Mariners have failed to score a goal in three losses and a draw out of their last four clashes against the Phoenix, having previously dominated their trans Tasman rivals, with four straight victories.

Regardless of the result, a strong performance to cap an unbeaten pre-season campaign thus far will be key.

"Wellington is coming back from China where they had a great result in their first game against Tianjin Teda, 2-all, (Scottish trialist) Michael McGlinchey will play again, and we-ll be putting the strongest team out on the park as possible. Michael came in at the weekend and did very well, we-re very happy with the way he fitted into the team, and the way he played, and we-ll be expecting a little bit more from him after another week under his belt," McKinna said.

Grandstand tickets have sold out at Apex Oval almost a week out from the clash, and a big crowd is expected in the first ever match involving Hyundai A-League sides in Dubbo.

"They-ve totally sold out the grandstand and sold a couple of hundred General Admission tickets already, so they-ll be expecting four or five thousand people at the game, there-s a good vibe about the place, we-re doing a few clinics out there, it will be good for the game, and hopefully we-ll get a few more mariners supporters," said McKinna.

General Admission tickets for the match will be available at the gate, cost is $10 for Adults, $5 for Children/Concession.

Mariners Memberships for the 2009/10 Hyundai A-League season are available online by clicking here or by phoning 1300 767 442.