The Central Coast Mariners Academy are gearing up for three huge match ups against Marconi Stallions, Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC but Head Coach Ben Cahn says all the focus is on his own team.
Despite fielding a young squad lacking the experience of most of their PS4 NPL2 opponents, Cahn and his Academy outfit have experienced a bright start to their campaign, sitting in fifth spot after seven rounds.
The next three weeks will see the Mariners Academy take on NPL heavyweights Marconi Stallions, Western Sydney Wanderers and league leaders Sydney FC.
Saturday evening at Pluim Park is the first of three tests for Cahn to see where his side stacks up.
“It’s heading into the unknown for a lot of them but what it will prove is exactly where we are,” Cahn said. “Obviously we plan to go into the three games and get as many points as we can. If we do that, great but if we don’t it gives us a marker and shows us where we need to be.
“We know that Marconi have a huge budget and spent a lot of money on their team and we know that the other two A-League clubs have a lot more depth than us but ultimately it gives us a marker and a much needed benchmark for some of our players,” Cahn said.
But Cahn isn’t paying too much attention to the opposition, insisting that the preparation is all about his own squad who will draw on the traditional underdog spirit of the Central Coast Mariners.
“I focus a lot on our team rather than the opposition but I think all three teams pose equally tough games.
“There is that underdog feeling amongst the group, we know we’re from a regional area without the budget of the other clubs but we will go out and give it our best.
Entry to Central Coast Mariners Academy matches at Pluim Park is FREE.
Upcoming Central Coast Mariners Academy Matches
Saturday 23 April 2016
Pluim Park, Lisarow
Central Coast Mariners Academy vs. Marconi Stallions FC
Saturday 30 April 2016
Valentine Sports Park (no. 2)
Western Sydney Wanderers Academy vs. Central Coast Mariners Academy
Saturday 7 May 2016
Pluim Park, Lisarow
Central Coast Mariners Academy vs. Sydney FC Academy