Mariners Youth primed for junior Sky Blues

CENTRAL Coast Mariners National Youth League Head Coach John McLafferty says he is expecting a tough contest with the junior Sky Blues in the NYL Round 3 clash at the Centre of Excellence on Sunday.

CENTRAL Coast Mariners National Youth League Head Coach John McLafferty says he is expecting a tough contest with the junior Sky Blues in the NYL Round 3 clash at the Centre of Excellence on Sunday.

The visitors travel to Tuggerah on the back of a 4-2 defeat to Perth in their opening match of the campaign but McLafferty believes the Yellow and Navy will need to be focussed if they are to remain unbeaten.

“Sydney has a good squad of players,” he said. “They have only played one game so we can-t really assess them on that one game that they lost.”

“With players moving back and forward from first grade, they could end up putting in a very strong team this Sunday and we have to be ready for that. We-ll just concentrate on what we know and what we do and hopefully on the day that will be good enough.”

McLafferty insists that his side is ready to go despite some of his men having succumbed to injury.

“We-ve got a couple of injuries that we are keeping an eye on. Aaron Peterson got injured last week and may just miss out. We-ve got the young Central Coast boy Steve White, who hasn-t got over an injury he had when he signed for us, but apart from that the boys are all fit and ready to go,” McLafferty said.

The baby Mariners return to the Central Coast following a 2-1 victory over Melbourne Heart Youth last weekend. McLafferty was pleased with the result but noted there are still areas for the side to improve upon.

“The game was a game of two halves,” he said. “We were very good in the first half after we got back into the game at 1-1. The second half was an arm wrestle and I was very happy to get the three points in the end but there-s obviously still a lot of room for improvement. It was windy, the conditions were the same for both teams but they looked physically a little bit stronger than us so it was good to come away with the win.”

Central Coast Youth play Sydney FC Youth on Sunday 4 November at the Centre of Excellence, Tuggerah (1 Bryant Drive). Kick off is at 10:30am. Admission is FREE.