Mariners bound for New Caledonia

CENTRAL Coast Mariners will venture to New Caledonia next week for a two-match tour of the Pacific island.

CENTRAL Coast Mariners will venture to New Caledonia next week for a two-match tour of the Pacific island.

New Caledonia are currently preparing for their 2014 FIFA World Cup Round 3 Qualifying Match against New Zealand on September 7, and have invited the Mariners to Noumea to assist them in their lead up.

Graham Arnold-s men will face Les Cagous on August 16 and 18 in Noumea.

With New Caledonia recently reaching the final of the 2012 OFC Nations Cup, Arnold understands that Alain Moizan-s men will provide a stern test for the yellow and navy.

And, with the matches marking the Mariners first two fixtures of their pre-season, Arnold said the results of the games won-t be of importance to him or his charges.

“We are keen to help New Caledonia in their preparation and are honoured that their Football Federation has invited us to Noumea for the games.”

“For us, the friendlies will be about getting minutes into the legs of our players. The stakes are currently a lot higher for New Caledonia who have performed impressively against their Oceanic opposition recently.”

“Although the trip is only for five days I am pleased with the opportunity to get the players into a camp situation.”

Due to the late confirmation of the Mariners trip to New Caledonia, some changes may be made to Central Coast-s early pre-season fixtures. The Club will advise of these changes as they are confirmed

New Caledonia-s September 7 match against New Zealand is the first in their four team, round robin, Round 3 play-off. Along with Les Cagous and the All Whites, the group includes Solomon Islands and Tahiti. The winner of the group advances to an intercontinental play-off for qualification to the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be held in Brazil.