Mariners Youth Hunting For Glory in 2010

Sunday’s top of the table clash against the Perth Glory is looming as a vital match for the Young Central Coast Mariners side. Just two points separate the two combatants on the ladder, and as the season progresses to the latter stages every result counts. A result for either of these two sides will see a gap begin to open up at the top of the Nati

Sunday-s top of the table clash against the Perth Glory is looming as a vital match for the Young Central Coast Mariners side. Just two points separate the two combatants on the ladder, and as the season progresses to the latter stages every result counts. A result for either of these two sides will see a gap begin to open up at the top of the National Youth League ladder.

The scene is set for arguably the most exciting clash of the season as both sides are in spectacular form.

The Young Mariners are coming off a 2-1 win against NSW rivals Sydney FC and are well rested having enjoyed a ten-day break over the Christmas/New Year period. They are searching for their fifth consecutive win, a run that ironically started after losing to Perth in November.

In their last match against Sydney FC, Mitchell Mallia and Adam Kwasnik were the names on the scoresheet, but it was the efforts of the team as a whole that pleased head coach Tony Walmsley.

"It-s a good position to be in, everybody is really pushing for a start," Walmsley said.

The Young Mariners- performances in the National Youth League have not gone unnoticed by the watchful eye of Hyundai A-League head coach Lawrie McKinna.

In the senior Mariners most recent Hyundai A-League match against the Wellington Phoenix, two National Youth League regulars were given game time off the bench.

Matthew Lewis was introduced into the action in the second-half as a replacement for Andrew Clark, while National Youth League captain Panny Nikas was given his first senior cap. A third National Youth League player was almost included in the squad at the eleventh hour when Nathan Sherlock was pulled from the stands as cover when Brad Porter injured his ankle in the warm-up.

It was a just reward for the efforts of the entire National Youth League side to date, which was present at Bluetongue on New Year-s Eve, to give support to their teammates as they were given a baptism of fire.

The visitors from the West Australian frontier have surged up the ladder on the back of six consecutive wins, including a 4-0 Boxing Day thrashing in their last outing against the Newcastle Jets.

Confidence is high for the men from the west who haven-t conceded a goal in their last three matches.

The Mariners have scored thirty-six goals already this campaign - the most in the league - and the challenge is for the team to do so again this weekend.

Equally important is for the team-s defence to stand tall as it did in the last match against Sydney, conceding just the lone goal against the inaugural National Youth League champions.

Both sides will be keen to begin 2010 with a victory, and if recent form is anything to go by, all signs point towards the match being an epic encounter.

The Young Mariners are enjoying life on top of the ladder but know there is plenty of hard work to done as the other teams all battle for the much-coveted top spot.

Sunday-s clash with Perth Glory will be the fifth competitive clash between the two sides and the second of the campaign.

Previous Meetings

Fri 26 Sept 2008 - Central Coast Mariners 0 Perth Glory 1, Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford Sat 29 Nov 2008 - Central Coast Mariners 2 Perth Glory 1, Members Equity Stadium, Perth Sat 3 Jan 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 2 Perth Glory 2, Frank Millington Field, Buff Point Sat 28 Nov 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 0 Perth Glory 1, Pluim Park, Lisarow

Central Coast Mariners squad: Nik MATIC (GK), Matthew RYAN (GK), Panny NIKAS (C), David GULLO, Nick FITZGERALD, Gavin FORBES, Nathan SHERLOCK, Adam ORMSBY, Manny GIANNAROS, Brendan GRIFFIN, Matthew LIDDALL, Graz TRIMBOLI, Mitchell MALLIA, Luka DUKIC, Jerry KALOURIS.? *one to be omitted*??

Unavailable: Brady SMITH (ankle - 1 week)

Perth Glory Squad: Ludovic BOI, Cameron EDWARDS, Dean EVANS, Howard FONDYKE, Steve HESKETH (c), Mario MARCINKO, Sam MITCHINSON, Alex PEARSON (gk), Ryan PEARSON, David PRICE, Joshua RISDON, Adam TAGGART, Glen TRIFIRO, Reece VITTIGLIA, Tim DOYLE (gk), Brent GRIFFITHS, Andrija JUKIC (OA) *two to be omitted*

Unavailable: Hayden DOYLE (knee - 3 weeks), Million BUTSHIIRE (hip Flexor - unknown)

Referee: Ryan SHEPHEARD

The Central Coast Mariners National Youth League team is in action this Sunday, 3 January at Pluim Park, Lisarow. Kick-off is at 10:00am AEST, Entry is Free.