Mariners issue a "Call to Arms" this Pre-Season

The Central Coast Mariners will throw their support behind the Cancer Council’s "Call to Arms" campaign to raise awareness for Cancer among males, as they prepare for the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season opener against Melbourne Heart on Thursday, 5 August.

The Central Coast Mariners will throw their support behind the Cancer Council-s "Call to Arms" campaign to raise awareness for Cancer among males, as they prepare for the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season opener against Melbourne Heart on Thursday, 5 August.

The Mariners will kick off the Pre-Season with their annual clash against New South Wales State League club Central Coast Lightning on Thursday, 17 June at Pluim Park, Lisarow.

Central Coast Football, the governing body which controls the Lightning-s State League side, has opted to donate all money raised from the match - now in its fifth season - to the "Call to Arms" campaign, while once again, the two clubs will be battling it out for the Central Coast Challenge Cup, held by the Mariners since its inception back in 2006.

It is expected that more than 62,500 Australian men will be diagnosed with cancer this year, while one in two men will be diagnosed with cancer before the age of 85.

The match will also take on a new twist this season, with the best of the best from the FMS Central Coast Premier League facing off in a North versus South battle in a curtain raiser, as a selection trial for a Central Coast Select XI, which will play the Mariners further into the Pre-Season.

Matt Simon was on the opposing side the last time a Central Coast Select side took on the Mariners, back in 2005, and expects big things from the stars of the local league.

"Central Coast Lightning will be a big test for us because they are a quality side, and I-m sure the boys will take plenty of interest in the curtain raiser because we-re going to have to be on our toes for when we play the Select team in a few weeks time.

"I remember playing against the Mariners back in season one, it was a huge buzz and everyone wanted to do well, so I-m sure it will be no different this time around.

"The club is working hard to re-engage with the Community, and this is just another way of doing that.

"The fact that all money raised goes to Charity only heightens its importance, so hopefully there will be a big crowd at Pluim Park and people will dig deep," said Simon.

Central Coast Football Chairman Darren Sprod is excited by the prospect of welcoming the Mariners back to Pluim Park.

"Lightning are yet to taste success against the Mariners so I know the squad will be desperate to prove a point, and show the region what they are capable of," said Sprod.

"These matches have been really well supported in the past, and having the added bonus of the North versus South match means we-re confident of making it a really successful night."

Following their clash with Lightning, the Mariners will back-up five days later to take on Bankstown City Lions at Jensen Park, Sefton, for the Primo Smallgoods Doug Turnbull Cup.

Named in honour of the Bankstown City club stalwart, and brother of Mariners Vice-Chairman Peter, the Doug Turnbull Cup will be played under lights on Tuesday, 22 June, and Bankstown City have also nominated the "Call to Arms" campaign as a beneficiary of the match.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS MATCH

The Mariners will then embark on a four-match tour of China, details of which are still to be finalised, before returning home to continue their Pre-Season campaign.

Mariners head of Sports Science Andrew Clark says the entire Pre-Season program has been specifically designed to have the squad ready to hit the ground running in round one.

"(Head Coach) Graham Arnold (Assistant Coaches) Phil Moss, Tony Walmsley and myself have put a huge amount into tailoring this Pre-Season program," said Clark.

"While these games are invaluable in providing a benchmark as to where we are at, the entire training workload has also been designed specifically with the aim of having the squad reach different levels of fitness at different stages of the Pre-Season, so they will be exactly where we want them come August the fifth."

Started four years ago by the playing group of Essendon Football Club, the “Call To Arms” campaign highlights the alarming statistics of men diagnosed with cancer.

Wearing yellow armbands, players take to the field to battle not only for points and glory, but awareness, detection and prevention of all forms of cancer.

Visit the Call to Arms website, www.calltoarms.com.au or call 1300 656 585 for more information or to register your club as part of the campaign.

Central Coast Lightning vs. Central Coast Mariners Thursday, 17 June Pluim Park, Lisarow Kick-off: 7:30pm

Bankstown City Lions vs. Central Coast Mariners Tuesday, 22 June Jensen Park, Sefton Kick-off: 7:30pm