Midfield maestro Michael McGlinchey primed for finals

Central Coast Mariners midfield dynamo Michael McGlinchey has already had a season to remember, evading countless would-be defenders with his skill and guile on the way to a league-leading eight assists.

Central Coast Mariners midfield dynamo Michael McGlinchey has already had a season to remember, evading countless would-be defenders with his skill and guile on the way to a league-leading eight assists.

And, having played his part in the club-s 2-1 win over Wellington Phoenix last Sunday by threading a decisive through-ball for striker Bernie Ibini to poke past Mark Paston to help seal the Premier-s Plate, the New Zealand international is determined to start the 2011/12 Hyundai A-League Finals Series with a bang this Saturday.

The yellow and navy head north to Brisbane on Friday for their clash with the Roar the following day, and McGlinchey said the team will arrive in the Queensland capital with their belief sky-high.

“We-re feeling confident,” the former Glasgow Celtic junior said following the teams Thursday training session at Bluetongue Stadium.

“We knew we had to win two games to win the league and when you do something like that it-s obviously going to give you confidence.

“We-ll go up there with the belief that we can beat them and hopefully get a couple of away goals, and then take them on here and hopefully do the job.”

Indeed, a key to Central Coast-s success this season has been the fantastic service provided to the Mariners front men by McGlinchey and Pedj Bojic from the right side.

Having developed an exceptional understanding of one another-s play down the right flank, McGlinchey and Bojic-s supreme fitness levels as well as tactical awareness ensure Graham Arnold-s team has a duel attacking threat ready and able to punish the slightest lapse in concentration by their opponents.

“I think we-ve done very well this season, Pedj and I,” McGlinchey said. “We-ve got a good understanding, we-ve been playing down the right side for two-and-a-half seasons now, we-ve not missed many games together.”

“It doesn-t really matter who gets the assists but when you look at the stats it-s actually quite nice that the right hand side is doing okay this year.”

In an added boost for McGlinchey heading into this weekend-s crunch major semi-final clash with Roar, the midfield maestro was today notified that he has been named as the 2011/12 Coast FM Fruit for All Player of the Season.

With teammate Joshua Rose having picked up the award last season for his fine form, McGlinchey expressed his delight in being recognised for his contribution to the team-s success.

“It-s a massive achievement for me,” he said. “It-s always nice when you recognition from people - (it means) you-ve obviously done a good job over the whole season.”

“But as Arnie said with the boys yesterday, it-s a team game … so it-s just fantastic that the boys are getting recognised and on a personal note I-m very please that I have been recognised.”

Indeed, McGlinchey finished level on points with right-side partner Bojic in the 2011/12 Coast FM Fruit for All Player of the Season Award, however took the title on count-back for having attained the most man-of-the-match awards. Bernie Ibini finished third in the voting.

McGlinchey will be presented with his Coast FM Fruit for All Player of the Season Award prior to the teams- departure to Brisbane on Friday.

Central Coast Mariners Squad vs. Brisbane Roar: 1. Mathew RYAN (Gk), 2. Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWIJK, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 9. Bernie IBINI, 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 12. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Tomas ROGIC, 18. Alex WILKINSON (C), 19. John SUTTON, 20. Justin PASFIELD (Gk), 22. Mustafa AMINI, 23. Adam KWASNIK In: 2. Daniel MCBREEN, 16. Trent SAINSBURY (promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: Nil