Macca wants cracker against 'Clacka'

He was raised in and around Newcastle from six weeks old, played his junior football in the Hunter and spent two years in the red and blue of Newcastle United at the start of the new millennium, but Daniel McBreen has no qualms about being seen as somewhat of a “traitor” by virtue of playing with Central Coast Mariners.

He was raised in and around Newcastle from six weeks old, played his junior football in the Hunter and spent two years in the red and blue of Newcastle United at the start of the new millennium, but Daniel McBreen has no qualms about being seen as somewhat of a “traitor” by virtue of playing with Central Coast Mariners.

The former KB United and Newcastle Breakers fan is set to play a key role for Phil Moss- men in the 31st Hyundai A-League meeting between the Mariners and Jets at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday night, and McBreen admits he-s already sent new Newcastle boss and his former teammate, Clayton Zane, a teasing text message letting him know to expect a tough debut as Jets boss.

“I guess seeing as I was raised in Newcastle from six weeks old, played my junior football there, followed the teams there, and my Dad played for KB United years and years ago in the early 80s, I am some sort of traitor,” McBreen said ahead of the next edition of the regional rivalry. “But that-s just the way things work out in football some times.”

“Clayton (Zane) and I played junior together from 13 years old in Newcastle, so we-ve known each other for a good 20 odd years. ‘Clacka- had a great career and went overseas and was unlucky with injury, but it-s great to see Newcastle giving a young Novocastrian a chance.”

“I-ve dropped a couple of texts to Clacka and their strength and conditioning coach Karl Dodd -- who I played with a few times at different clubs -- to let them know that it-s unfortunate that their first game in charge will be a loss,” he quipped.

McBreen, perhaps more than most, understands how derby matches around the globe can divide -- and yet unite -- family, friends, colleagues and peers.

He and his late father, Jimmy, bonded over many derby matches throughout their time together, with Daniel taking a liking to Liverpool while his Father barracked for the boys from the blue half of the River Mersey, Everton.

Late nights watching the Reds take on the Toffees at home in Newcastle helped McBreen learn and appreciate derby culture -- an aspect that simply must be nurtured between Central Coast and Newcastle fans.

“A derby for me goes right back to when I was a kid,” he said. “My Dad was a staunch Everton supporter, had been his whole life, and I started following Liverpool as a kid because of Craig Johnston, so that gutted him,” McBreen said.

“The -86 and the -89 FA Cup Finals were quite amusing for me. Obviously Liverpool beat Everton in both of those.”

“In -89 my old man went over to watch the game and he actually came home with a Liverpool strip for me even though it was like sacrilege for him to buy it.”

“But I look back to those days and the banter between my Dad and myself was always good. It was always good to have bragging rights until the next game,” he said.

McBreen would like nothing more than for he, his Mariners teammates, and the Club-s fans to claim bragging rights over their northern foes on Saturday.

But regardless of the result against the Jets in Hyundai A-League round 16, McBreen believes the Mariners as a unit are well placed to challenge the likes of Roar, Wanderers, and Victory for the 2014 Hyundai A-League crown.

“Everyone-s written us off already this year, which is fine by us, it seems to happen every year,” he said.

“We-re under no illusions though. We-re not playing at our best and there-s been massive changes at the club. We-ve got new players, a new head coach, a new coaching staff, so all that takes time to gel.”

“We feel like we-re starting to get there now in bits and patches so hopefully we can improve that over time.”

“We-re quite confident that when we do hit our straps teams will have to start looking out for us,” he concluded.

Kick-off between Central Coast Mariners and Newcastle Jets is at 7:45pm.

Central Coast Mariners Squad vs. Newcastle Jets: 1. Justin PASFIELD (Gk), 2. Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Marcel SEIP, 5. Zachary ANDERSON, 6. Brent GRIFFITHS, 7. John HUTCHINSON (C), 8. Nick MONTGOMERY, 9. Mitchell DUKE, 11. Nick FITZGERALD, 12. Liam REDDY (Gk), 13. Hayden MORTON, 15. Storm ROUX, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Anthony CACERES, 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Bernie IBINI, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI *two to be omitted* Ins: 7. John HUTCHINSON (C) (returns from suspension), 13. Hayden MORTON (promoted) Outs: Nil Unavailable: 10. Marcos FLORES (knee - season), 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY (on loan - Vegalta Sendai), 18. Michael NEILL (knee - season), 23. Adam KWASNIK (knee - season)

Central Coast Mariners vs. Newcastle Jets - Hyundai A-League 2013/14 Round 16 Saturday 25 January, 2014 Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford Kick-off: 7:45pm Tickets: Please CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to the match Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter. The official match hashtag is #F3Derby TV: Live on Fox Sports 1 & 1HD Radio: Live on ABC Grandstand & Coast FM