Mariners Youth Looking To Bounce Back In Brisbane

Their undefeated start to the season may have come to an inglorious end against the Melbourne Victory last Sunday, but that hasn’t stopped the momentum of the Young Mariners, who are already looking ahead to their next clash against Brisbane Roar.

Their undefeated start to the season may have come to an inglorious end against the Melbourne Victory last Sunday, but that hasn-t stopped the momentum of the Young Mariners, who are already looking ahead to their next clash against Brisbane Roar.

While their Hyundai A-League counterparts are resting up courtesy of the FIFA international break, the NYL competition remains in full swing. A fact that captain Panny Nikas is grateful for.

"We-re having a light training schedule this week and the boys trained well when we trained with the first team on Tuesday.

"Last time we played Brisbane we didn-t play particularly well but managed to get the three points. I think the boys are ready to bounce back, perform at their best and hopefully get back in the winners circle," Nikas said.

The Young Mariners, who have prided themselves on their defence this season, were disappointed in the lapse of concentration that saw their net broached three times in the final quarter of the game against the Melbourne Victory.

"The guys are disappointed about the result against Melbourne and the feeling amongst the camp is that we dominated up until the 60th minute when a loss of concentration hurt us badly.

"We lost the game ourselves," Nikas said.

The Mariners are looking forwards to playing on turf more familiar to their players after having a difficult time adapting to the artificial surface of the Veneto Club ground.

"The artificial turf was a challenge to play on for both sides it-s not easy especially in that heat. Quite a few of the players from both teams were struggling with blisters and cramps after the match.

"I-m lucky I-ve had a bit of experience with that type of surface at Sutherland but I have never played on it in that type of heat before," Nikas said.

The Mariners skipper was quick to point out that the heat and surface wasn-t to blame for the loss, rather they suffered a lapse of concentration at a critical time in the game. His coach Tony Walmsley echoed this view after the game on Sunday.

"Crazy conditions, but there were decisions made that had nothing to do with the heat or the surface. Balls turned over cheaply, players out of position, just things that, when we reflect back on it, players will realize they could have done a lot better," Walmsley said.

One of the positives to come out of the game against the Melbourne Victory were that the combinations that the coach and players have painstakingly tried to create are beginning to gel.

"The combinations are getting better every week particularly through midfield. The first half against Melbourne was a joy to watch. We-re all beginning to understand everyone-s games now," Nikas said.

Saturday-s opponents Brisbane Roar are coming off a 2-all away draw against Adelaide United and are desperate to move up the ladder. The Young Mariners on the other hand are searching for a result to stay within touching distance of league leaders Sydney FC.

"Brisbane are a side that like to knock the ball round well. I-m guessing they-ll probably throw some first team players at us. I think they-re a very well structured, tough team who like to move the ball around. It should be an open game.

"The desire and ambition to achieve in our boys is still there. We had a chat about focusing for the full 90 minutes at training the other day," Nikas said.

The Young Mariners are clearly aware of the task facing them against Brisbane, and, like the professionals they aspire to be, are desperate to get on the field and improve upon their performance from last week.

"We know what we want to do and we see it just as a little hiccup the loss is nothing too serious. One loss in eight games isn-t bad for a new side that has come together.

"We-re going to work hard for one another, back our ability and go out to play against Brisbane," Nikas said.

Saturday-s clash with the Brisbane Roar will be the 5th competitive clash between the two clubs and the second of this campaign.

Previous Meetings

Sat 6th Dec 2008 - Central Coast Mariners 1 Queensland Roar 0, Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford Sat 20th Dec 2008 - Central Coast Mariners 1 Queensland Roar 2, Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane Sat 10th Jan 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 0 Queensland Roar 3, Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford Sun 18th Oct 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 2 Brisbane Roar 1, Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane

Brisbane Roar vs. Central Coast Mariners Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane Saturday, 14 November Kick-off 3:15pm QST

Brisbane Roar squad:

Matt ACTON (GK), Matthew BYRNE, Isaka CERNAK, Kenneth DOUGALL, Albert EDWARDS, Jordan FARINA, Luke MUIR (GK), Calum O-CONNELL, Alistair QUINN, Bob MALCOLM (OA), Matt MUNDY (OA), Massimo MURDOCCA (OA), Michael RYAN, Adam SAROTA, Antony SCHIAVO, Tim SMITS (OA), Tyler THURTELL *two to be omitted*

Unavailable: Luke BRATTAN (hamstring - 1 week), Stefan VRBESIC (groin - 1 week), Josh McVEY (international duty), Daniel BOWLES (international duty)

Central Coast Mariners squad: Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), Matthew RYAN (gk), Dylan MACALLISTER (OA), Nik MRDJA (OA), Shane HUKE (OA), Matthew CROWELL (OA), Matthew LEWIS, David D'APUZZO, Adam ORMSBY, Nathan SHERLOCK, Brady SMITH, Panny NIKAS (c), Mitchell MALLIA, Nick FITZGERALD, Brendan GRIFFIN.

IN: Matthew CROWELL (return from suspension), Adam ORMSBY (promoted), Mitchell MALLIA (promoted), Nik MRDJA (from first team)

OUT: Manny GIANNAROS (not selected), Nik MATIC (not selected), Gavin FORBES (not selected), David GULLO (not selected)

UNAVAILABLE: Nil

Referee: Alan Milliner

The Central Coast Mariners National Youth League team is in action this Saturday, 14 November when it takes on Brisbane Roar at Ballymore Stadium. Kickoff is at 3.15pm.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season are now on sale by clicking here