Mariners Youth to do battle with Canberra’s Cubs

After a disrupted preparation ahead of the opening match of the 2010/11 National Youth League season against Gold Coast United, the Central Coast Mariners are looking to bounce back this weekend when they take on the Australian Institute of Sport at Budgewoi on Sunday morning.

After a disrupted preparation ahead of the opening match of the 2010/11 National Youth League season against Gold Coast United, the Central Coast Mariners are looking to bounce back this weekend when they take on the Australian Institute of Sport at Budgewoi on Sunday morning.

The Young Mariners conceded two second-half goals in an eleven-minute period against the defending champions to go down 2-1. For a side that prides itself on its defensive work across the park, it was a frustrating afternoon. Made even more so because the Young Mariners started the match brightly. Young striker Bernie Ibini-Isei opened his account after just 22 minutes of play to give the visitors a deserved lead.

Newly appointed skipper Sam Munro, playing in his first match for his new club, conceded that his side had let an opportunity to get a positive first-up result slip.

"Despite our short preparation we were confident going in and we feel we really should-ve got something out of that game. To concede two goals in the second half in succession was very disappointing. I-m sure the boys will be ready for this weekend," Munro said.

The Young Mariners should be well rested ahead of their opening home match at Budgewoi this Sunday. It has been 15 days since their last match courtesy of a second round bye. The extended break has given Tony Walmsley-s charges the opportunity to develop combinations, work on fitness and get over any niggling injuries before settling into the rhythm of an extended home and away campaign. It was an opportunity that the captain was profoundly grateful for.

"After the first hit-out we can see what we have to improve on to improve our game. Having the long turn-around has given us the chance to learn more about each other, and learn the way Tony and the coaching staff wants us to play.

"I think we will benefit from this, and coming into the next few weeks we show that we are a strong team in the National Youth League this year," Munro said.

The side will however be without Hyundai A-League contracted players Sam Gallagher, Marc Warren, and Mustafa Amini for Sunday-s clash against the AIS, as well as NYL youngster Nikola Stanojevic, who were selected in the Qantas Young Socceroos- squad to contest the AFC Under 19 championship in China.

Sunday-s opponents boast the youngest squad in the National Youth League. They have been training together for several months, and as result are match fit, even if results so far haven-t gone in their favour. The AIS currently sits in eighth position on the ladder, and suffered a narrow 3-2 loss away to Brisbane Roar last weekend. Despite giving away years and size to their NYL opponents, the AIS is a formidable side which is capable of producing attacking football.

"The AIS are a young side, but they-ve been training for a long time and a few times a day, so they are going to be fit. They-re a side that are willing to run out there and have a go. We-re going to have to go out there and use our to strength to really control the match and go out there looking for a result," Munro said.

Matches against the AIS have traditionally been tough, low-scoring battles of attrition. This is reflected in the history of the clashes between the two sides. The Mariners have a 1-nil advantage, with the other two matches being draws. On all three occasions the AIS have been competitive and created a number of headaches for the Young Mariners.

Sunday-s clash with the Australian Institute of Sport will be the 4th competitive clash between the two clubs.

Previous Meetings

Saturday, 10 Oct 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 2, AIS 2, Seymour Shaw Park Saturday, 21 Nov 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 0, AIS 0 Athletics Track Saturday, 9 Jan 2010 - Central Coast Mariners 2, AIS 0, Bluetongue Stadium

Central Coast Mariners squad: David BRADASEVIC (gk), Mitchell DUKE, Nick FITZGERALD, Max GLANVILLE, Brendan GRIFFIN, Bernie IBINI-ISEI, Nathan JAGELMAN, Jerry KALOURIS, Matthew LEWIS, Mitchell MALLIA, Alex MANSUETO, Nikodin MATIC (gk), Sam MUNRO, Jimmy OATES, Adam ORMSBY, Brady SMITH. *one to be omitted*

Unavailable: Nikola STANOJEVIC (international duty)

AIS Squad: Jake BARKER-DAISH, Melvin BECKET, Kwabena BOAHENE, Corey BROWN, Connor CHAPMAN, Kevin DAVISON, Milos DEGENEK, Patrick DIXON, Hernan ESPINDOLA, Jason GERIA, Curtis GOOD, Paul IZZO (GK), Aaron LENNOX (GK), Jesse MAKARUONAS, Jake MONACO, Yianni PERKATIS, Aaron PETERSON, Anthony PROIA, Adam TAGGART, (four to be omitted)

Unavailable: Alex CERRUTO (knee - season), Joshua DA SILVA (groin), Scott MELLISH (groin), Brodie PATERSON (foot)

Referee: Stuart WOLFE

The Central Coast Mariners National Youth League team is in action this Sunday, 3rd October when it takes on the AIS at Budgewoi Soccer Club. Kickoff is at 10am ADST, entry is free.