Mariners Youth aim to end the year on a high

The festive season has come around again, and the Central Coast Mariners National Youth League team has plenty to smile about on the back of three consecutive wins. After tasting victory in Perth last weekend, the Young Mariners travel to Melbourne for their final match of 2010. A short break over the holiday period is looming on the horizon, but b

The festive season has come around again, and the Central Coast Mariners National Youth League team has plenty to smile about on the back of three consecutive wins. After tasting victory in Perth last weekend, the Young Mariners travel to Melbourne for their final match of 2010. A short break over the holiday period is looming on the horizon, but before that, the Young Mariners are keen to keep the momentum going.

After taking time to hit their straps in an attacking sense, the Young Mariners have now netted 9 goals in their past two outings, whilst conceding only three. In the 4-2 victory over the Glory, there were four different names on the scoresheet. Jimmy Oates, Marc Warren, Bernie Ibini-Isei and Mitchell Duke all found the back of the net in a composed all-round team performance that has pleased their coach Tony Walmsley.

“Our attacking play is exceptional at the moment and the players must be credited for a selfless approach - the ball is moving quickly and we are hard to contain. Defensively we are still a little too open, but overall we-re making good progress,” Walmsley said.

After enduring several deflating results, the Young Mariners reassessed their goals, and aimed to get three wins in succession in an effort to reel in the competition leaders. Defender-cum-midfielder Jimmy Oates believes the side is playing good football at the moment, and from a personal perspective was ecstatic about netting his first competitive goal in the National Youth League in the victory over Perth.

“It feels really good to get that win on the weekend. It was about six weeks ago when we set ourselves a new goal. It-s fair to say we struggled for a while earlier in the season, but we-re playing really well at the moment and have managed to get on a roll.

“I was stoked to get my first goal of the season apart from the one I got in the trial matches. It was probably one of the best I-ve scored in my life. The ball bobbled up nicely for me and I was able to volley it on the run and the ball came off very sweetly,” Oates said.

The 14-day break that awaits the players after Sunday-s clash is viewed as a chance to re-energise before tackling the remainder of the season next month. With many of the squad having been playing and training for the past 18 months, Oates believes the rest is coming at an opportune time.

“The break could be a momentum killer, but it will definitely give our bodies a chance to rest a bit and freshen up. The aim is to come back stronger and try and keep the momentum going. The heat has been very draining the last couple of weeks, so it-s going to be nice to have a little rest.”

Melbourne is coming off a 2-nil victory over Adelaide United, and would be keen to break the Mariners- streak. In two previous meetings this season, the honours stand at one a piece, but both clashes have been entertaining, and at times physical games.

The Young Mariners were unlucky not to earn at least a point from their previous visit to Melbourne, something that the home side will undoubtedly remember. It is a result that the Mariners are desperate to reverse.

“In the 2-1 loss to a strong Melbourne last time we were a little unlucky not to get at least a point, but we are scoring more freely now and I would expect us to convert our opportunities on Sunday,” Walmsley said.

Sunday-s clash with Melbourne Victory will be the 9th competitive clash between the two clubs.

Previous Meetings

Sat, 11 Oct 2008 - Central Coast Mariners 2, Melbourne Victory 1, Bluetongue Stadium Sat, 22 Nov 2008 - Central Coast Mariners 1, Melbourne Victory1, Bob Jane Stadium Sat, 17 Jan 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 2, Melbourne Victory 1, Epping Soccer Stadium Sun, 8 Nov 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 1, Melbourne Victory 4, Veneto Club Sat, 12 Nov 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 2, Melbourne Victory 1, Bluetongue Stadium Sat, 20 Feb 2010 - Central Coast Mariners 1, Melbourne Victory 1, Epping Soccer Stadium Sat, 9 Oct 2010 - Central Coast Mariners 2, Melbourne Victory 0, Budgewoi Sun, 7 Nov 2010 - Central Coast Mariners 1, Melbourne Victory 2, John Cain Memorial Park

Central Coast Mariners squad: Nik MATIC (gk), David BRADASEVIC (gk), Sam MUNRO (c), Marc WARREN, Sam GALLAGHER, Mitchell DUKE, Nick FITZGERALD, Zac FREEBURN, Bernie IBINI-ISEI, Nathan JAGELMAN, Jerry KALOURIS, Matthew LEWIS, Mitchell MALLIA, Alex MANSUETO, Nik MRDJA (OA), Jimmy OATES, Adam ORMSBY, Trent SAINSBURY. *three to be omitted*

Unavailable: Brady SMITH (knee - season), Brendan GRIFFIN (ankle - 2 weeks), Mitchell MALLIA (hamstring - 2 weeks), Max GLANVILLE (heel - 1 week).

Melbourne Victory squad: Luke PILKINGTON, Rani DOWISHA, David STIRTON, Damir LOKVANCIC, James KALAFATIDIS, Jason RICCIUTI, Jake NAKIC, Anthony SELEMIDIS, Alastair BRAY, Paulo RETRE, Peter FRANJIC, Stephen HATZIKOSTAS, Luke O-DEA, Nicholas ANSELL, Enes SIVIC

Unavailable: James JEGGO (Leg), Tedros YABIO (Hip/Groin)

The Central Coast Mariners National Youth League team continue their 2010/11 National Youth League campaign this Sunday, 19 December when they take on the Melbourne Victory at John Cain Memorial Park, Melbourne. Kick-off is at 2:00pm AEDT.