Central Coast Mariners have arrived safely in Korea Republic ahead of the Club’s 2014 AFC Champions League matchday 1 meeting with K-League Classic heavyweights FC Seoul on Tuesday.
Central Coast Mariners have arrived safely in Korea Republic ahead of the Club-s 2014 AFC Champions League matchday 1 meeting with K-League Classic heavyweights FC Seoul on Tuesday.
After venturing to Sydney straight after the Club-s disappointing 4-1 defeat to Wellington Phoenix in Hyundai A-League round 20 on Friday, the Mariners spent Saturday enroute to the Korean capital.
With the squad having now arrived in Seoul in anticipation of the Mariners- fourth participation in Asia-s showpiece Club competition, Central Coast Assistant Coach Wayne O-Sullivan said no stone would be left unturned as Phil Moss-s men prepare for their opening day assignment against Choi Yong-soo-s side.
“Obviously with the turnaround from the Phoenix match it is vitally important that the players do all the right things from now until game day,” O-Sullivan said. “Under the guidance of Tim (Knight) and ‘Nealo- (Andrew Nealon), and the rest of the guys from the medical department they are in good hands.”
“They-ll (the players) rest up tonight, do all their hydration, go to bed, and tomorrow we-ll have a light training session.”
“We-ve got two training days so we-ll work hard over the next two days to obviously put some stuff in place for the game and do some video with ‘JC- (John Crawley) and the gaffer (Moss). The boys will work through some of that on the training field,” he said.
While the Mariners will make their third consecutive appearance in the AFC Champions League this year, 2014 marks the first time O-Sullivan has directly been involved with the competition.
The former Central Coast, Cardiff City and Plymouth Argyle player said he is relishing the opportunity to be a part of the top level of Club football in Asia.
“I am very excited to be part of the AFC Champions League,” he said. “It-s a huge competition and if you look at some of the footage from the Final last year you see how massive it is.”
“The two teams that were involved in the Final (Guangzhou Evergrande and FC Seoul) are mammoth teams, so for Central Coast Mariners to be competing at that level is obviously a fantastic achievement.”
O-Sullivan added that having two players with extensive knowledge of FC Seoul and Korean football in the Club-s squad ought to assist the coaching staff as they prepare the squad for matchday 1 over the coming days.
“I think it-s fabulous that we have Kim Seung-yong and Eddy Bosnar because it can be very difficult to access reliable information given the resources we have available,” he said.
“Right now they (FC Seoul) are not in competition but they-ve played some pre-season games recently, so with Kim-s and obviously Bosnar-s input hopefully we-ve got a bit more information than we might have had in the past.”
Kim is part of the Mariners- squad in Seoul and will come up against one of his former K-League Classic Clubs should he take to the field against the red & blacks at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Tuesday.
Bosnar will share his knowledge with the coaching staff from afar, with the experienced defender having remained in Australia due to slight back soreness following the defeat to Wellington.
Central Coast Mariners Squad vs. FC Seoul: 1. Justin PASFIELD (Gk), 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Marcel SEIP, 5. Zachary ANDERSON, 6. Brent GRIFFITHS, 7. John HUTCHINSON (C), 8. Nick MONTGOMERY, 9. Mitchell DUKE, 11. Nick FITZGERALD, 12. Liam REDDY (Gk), 15. Storm ROUX, 17. Anthony CACERES, 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Bernie IBINI, 22. Tom SLATER, 26. KIM Seung-yong, 28. Glen TRIFIRO, 29. Matt SIM
2014 AFC Champions League Matchday 1 (Group F) - FC Seoul vs. Central Coast Mariners FC Tuesday 25 February 2014 Seoul World Cup Stadium, Seoul, Korea Republic Kick-off: 7:30pm (local); 9:30pm (AEST) TV: Live on FOX SPORTS Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter! #FCSvCCM