Mariner McGlinchey stars for New Zealand

CENTRAL Coast Mariners midfield schemer Michael McGlinchey put in a man of the match performance for New Zealand in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying on Tuesday night.

CENTRAL Coast Mariners midfield schemer Michael McGlinchey put in a man of the match performance for New Zealand in 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying on Tuesday night.

McGlinchey netted a neat double for the All Whites as they continued their perfect run in round 3 of Oceania qualifying via a 3-0 win over Tahiti in Christchurch.

Playing the full 90 minutes for Ricki Herbert-s team, McGlinchey scored in the third minute of play and additional time at the end of the second stanza to help take New Zealand a step closer to their second consecutive FIFA World Cup Finals appearance.

His late second was the pick of the night-s goals. Former A-League star Kosta Barbarouses forced a save from Tahitian custodian Mikael Roche, however Roche could only manage to punch the ball into the path of McGlinchey. From outside the box, the Mariner sent a curling effort into the top right corner of the goal.

Mariners Head Coach Graham Arnold today praised McGlinchey-s performances on the international stage.

“‘Mikey- (McGlinchey) has done fantastically well,” Arnold said. “He got two goals last night and I hope he can continue that form with us.”

“It-s great that one of our three foreigners is a current international. It breaks things up for him. He always comes back (from international duty) much fresher and more hungry, so it-s great to have him in that system over there.”

Last weekend McGlinchey also played the entire match as the All Whites beat Tahiti 2-0 at the Stade Pater in Papeete.

Arnold said that despite his workload and travel commitments, the 2012 London Olympian would be in the reckoning to regain his starting position when the Mariners face Newcastle Jets in the first F3 Derby of the season this Saturday.

“He gives me a nice, tough decision to make,” Arnold said. “I thought Bernie (Ibini) did very well on the weekend. He-s a little bit rusty because he-s been out for a few weeks with an injury but for a first game back he was very good. Mile Sterjovski I thought was excellent.”

“It gives me a different problem to try and fix with Mikey coming back but that-s the type of problem that you like to have.”

Arnold expects an intense atmosphere and a tough test against Newcastle this weekend.

“I think it will be a fantastic crowd up there,” he said. “The derby is more for the supporters and we have a lot of respect and faith in our supporters, so it-s important that we play with a lot of passion, a lot of motivation to make our supporters happy and to get bragging rights.”

“It-s going to be a tough game, Gary (van Egmond) has built a very strong squad up there - he-s rejuvenated the whole place.”

“We-ll go out and play our style and we can only worry about what we can control and that-s ourselves. As long as we go out there and put in a good performance we-re confident we will get the right result,” Arnold concluded.

Kick-off in the highly anticipated first F3 Derby of the season is 5:30pm.

Newcastle Jets vs. Central Coast Mariners Saturday 20 October, 2012 - Kick-off: 5:30pm (local) Hunter Stadium, Newcastle Tickets: Please CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to the match. Transport: Please CLICK HERE to book your seat on the official Mariners match day bus thanks to Coastal Liner. Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter using the official match hashtag #F3Derby & #GoMariners