Pluim Park will be packed with football action this weekend with our Men's Academy hosting Mounties Wanderers on Saturday and our Women's Academy hosting Marconi on Sunday!
The Central Coast Mariners Academy Men's First Grade side suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat to the second placed St. George at Seymour Shore last weekend, meaning their unbeaten streak of eight came to an unfortunate end but this Saturday they will be looking to hit back at Pluim Park against Mounties Wanderers.
Mounties are coming off a 2-0 win last time out against the last placed Bankstown City, making this weekend’s fixture a crucial one with a win potentially sending them from 10th to 6th on a very tight PS4 NPL 2 ladder.
The Mariners have different plans however, they will be looking to knock off Mounties and possibly jump into third place on the ladder to continue their rise on the coveted Club Championship where they currently sit fourth.
In a welcomed return for the Mariners, Duncan Stewart looks likely to be fit for this weekend’s game, after he was utilised from the bench last weekend. Stewart was one of seven academy players to star in Wednesday night’s pre-season friendly with the Hyundai A-League team. Stewart found the back of the net twice against the Central Coast All Stars!
The Academy will remain local for the majority of their PS4 NPL 2 season with five of the last eight matches to be played at Pluim Park.
This week we caught up with one of the players who featured in the pre-season friendly game against the Central Coast All Stars. Peter Kekeris has been in stellar form for the Mariners Academy this season with his raw speed and fancy feet and is looking to catch the eye of Head Coach Paul Okon within the NPL and NYL season.
When asked about the friendly played at Pluim Park on Wednesday night, Kekeris was thankful for the chance.
“It was an unforgettable experience, especially starting the first half,” Kekeris said. “It felt surreal, it’s given me a taste and I’m hungry for more opportunities.
The Australian Under 17s representative said that featuring with the Hyundai A-League side on Wednesday night was one of his proudest achievements alongside representing his country.
“It's a different type of feeling, playing for my country is something I’ll never forget,” Kekeris said. “Although playing the other night felt like I was closer than ever to being a professional footballer, which is something I have worked my whole life for, all the Academy boys that featured should be grateful we are at a club that gives youngsters opportunities, it was special.
“Wednesday night was special but it is over now, all focus is on Saturday night as we have a tough game against Mounties, we need to work hard and execute the game plan Ben gives us, and get back to winning ways.
“This week we need to have confidence to play in any area of the pitch. We have a great run home, with five out of eight games at Pluim Park. The support we have gotten has been brilliant so far and we hope that we can attract even more fans coming into the run home,” Kekeris said.
Kick off for this weekend’s fixtures are as follows:
- U18's - 1pm
- U20's - 3pm
- First Grade - 5pm
Round 13 Mariners Women PS4 NPL 2 Preview - Mariners Women set for epic battle in finals race.
This Sunday sees the Mariners Women return to Pluim Park to take on the Marconi Stallions FC in Round 13 of the PS4 NPL 2.
Sitting just four points outside the top 4, First Grade Coach Mark Yule is well aware of the task ahead.
“We have had great momentum recently and this week have focused at training on getting the important things right along with a range of strategies needed to get us a win this weekend,” Yule said.
Knowing Marconi are directly ahead of them on the ladder and have been in strong form over recent weeks adds to the excitement of this Sunday’s fixture.
The Mariners have a good run home and look forward to a catch-up game in hand but are aware that they can’t take their eye off the ball and the task ahead.
Coming into this weekend, both sides suffered losses as Central Coast Mariners fell to Sutherland Shire FA 4-1 as Marconi came out the wrong side of a five-goal thriller against Bankstown City Lions.
Marconi hang onto fourth by goal difference after their winning streak was snapped now need to pick themselves up to take on a Mariners side that they drew with back in round four.
The Mariners pose the double threat of Candice Phelan and Oriane Keane that makes for a close contest to help decide the final makeup of the top four.
Everyone is invited to, what promises to be a great contest. Entry is free this Sunday at Pluim Park with First Grade kick off at 3pm and the Under 13s starting at 8.30am.