Central Coast Mariners will visit Sydney’s Allianz Stadium on Saturday night for the first time since the Club’s epic 2013 Hyundai A-League Grand Final triumph over Western Sydney Wanderers.
Central Coast Mariners will visit Sydney-s Allianz Stadium on Saturday night for the first time since the Club-s epic 2013 Hyundai A-League Grand Final triumph over Western Sydney Wanderers.
Phil Moss-s Mariners will take on Frank Farina-s Sky Blues at the Moore Park venue in what will be the second clash between the two sides this campaign.
The yellow and navy won the first encounter between the fierce NSW rivals 1-0 in early December - Daniel McBreen-s classy 26th minute strike ultimately proving the difference between the teams at Gosford-s Bluetongue Stadium.
But, despite Central Coast having not claimed victory over Sydney FC in the Club-s past three meetings against the men from the Harbour City at the SFS, Mariners mentor Phil Moss is sure his team will arrive at the venue brimming with confidence.
“We know Sydney are a quality side and that they are a tough opposition at any stage, particularly down at their place,” Moss said following his side-s final training session before the encounter.
“(But) our last experience there was a good one so we go down there with a lot of confidence. It (Allianz) is a fantastic Stadium to play football at and there will be a great atmosphere.”
While there are several fresh faces in the Mariners- squad this season, Moss believes arriving at Allianz - a venue now significantly part of Club history - will only serve to inspire his men.
Grand Final winners McBreen, Trent Sainsbury, Bernie Ibini, Mile Sterjovski, Mitchell Duke, Nick Fitzgerald, Nick Montgomery, Josh Rose, Zac Anderson, Brent Griffiths, Anthony Caceres, Justin Pasfield, and Hayden Morton, have each been included in the squad aiming to silence the Sky Blues.
“I am sure we will feed off that positive energy and positive vibe that we-ll get when we walk through the gates,” Moss said.
“But it-s a completely different season, a different team, and I-ve said many times that we-re not the Championship team, we-re the Championship Club. We-re building a new team.”
“We-ve got enough experience to go to Sydney and get a result, we know where we can exploit some areas of their structure, but we have to be very careful as well, particularly with their transition to attack. (Alessandro) Del Piero is a world class player and can hurt you at any time.”
“We got a lot of confidence out of last week-s game against Wellington and the result so we-ll certainly go down there with a spring in our step.”
Moss also took time to pay tribute to Australian football legend Brett Emerton, who made the decision to retire from Sydney FC and professional football earlier this week.
But Moss made clear his men are in no mood to allow Emerton-s old teammates to boss the match in honour of the legendary former Blackburn Rovers and Feyenoord Rotterdam star.
“-Emmo- (Emerton) has certainly been a fantastic servant for Australian football and he-s been a superstar of our game,” Moss said. “He was a very important member of our World Cup squad in 2006 that did so well.”
“It-s sad to see players like that retire but it's great to see them go out on their terms when they think the time is right rather than get the tap on the shoulder.”
“We-re very happy for him that he-s had a great career, but tomorrow night, unfortunately, that means nothing to us. We-re going there for the three points and we-re very focussed on that. We-ll be making sure we go down there to execute the game plan.”
With skipper John Hutchinson suspended for the clash against the Sky Blues, Moss will make a call on Saturday who will captain the side against Sydney.
"Obviously Mikey McGlinchey was our vice captain so that's a decision I will make tomorrow as to who will get the arm band," he said.
Central Coast Mariners Squad vs. Sydney FC: 1. Justin PASFIELD (Gk), 2. Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Marcel SEIP, 5. Zachary ANDERSON, 6. Brent GRIFFITHS, 8. Nick MONTGOMERY, 9. Mitchell DUKE, 11. Nick FITZGERALD, 12. Liam REDDY (Gk), 13. Hayden MORTON, 15. Storm ROUX, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Anthony CACERES, 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Bernie IBINI, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI, 22. Tom SLATER Ins: 4. Marcel SEIP (promoted), 13. Hayden MORTON (promoted), 22. Tom SLATER (promoted) Outs: 7. John HUTCHINSON (suspended - 1 week) Unavailable: 10. Marcos FLORES (knee - season), 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY (on loan - Vegalta Sendai), 18. Michael NEILL (knee - indefinite), 23. Adam KWASNIK (knee - season)
Sydney FC vs. Central Coast Mariners FC - Hyundai A-League 2013/14 Round 15 Saturday 18 January, 2014 Allianz Stadium, Sydney Kick-off: 7:45pm Tickets: Please CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to the match Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter! The official match hashtag is #SYDvCCM TV: Live on Fox Sports 1 & 1HD Radio: Live on ABC Grandstand & Coast FM