THERE’S no middle ground in professional sport. You have to savour the highs and move on and learn from the lows.
THERE-S no middle ground in professional sport.
You have to savour the highs and move on and learn from the lows.
So this week at the Mariners, it must be said, has been a week to savour.
It started last Saturday night with the historic 7-2 victory over Sydney FC at a packed Bluetongue Stadium and continued on Wednesday when Tommy Rogic and Maty Ryan were selected in the Socceroos squad for next week-s friendly against South Korea.
While Maty has tasted Socceroo duty before it will be Tommy-s first experience having only begun his professional career last January. It-s a meteoric rise for the Canberra kid but I have no doubt he will keep his size 12 feet planted firmly on the ground and take it all in his long stride!
It-s a double selection everyone at the club is extremely proud of and highlights our youth policy more than every before.
The players knew national coach Holger Osieck was in the stands last Saturday night so for them to put on a performance like they did was very satisfying.
Graham Arnold and the coaching staff sensed a performance like that was on the horizon during the week as the players trained the house down.
That energy, sharpness and alertness carried into the match day warm-up and while Sydney scored first it wasn-t long before everything clicked.
The ball movement and transition to attack that we had worked so hard on after the Melbourne Heart game all came together when it mattered most.
It was great to see Daniel McBreen become the first ever Mariner to score a hat trick. Big “Macca” is a larger than life character both on and off the field and works so hard for the team. It was just reward and I know his late dad, Jimmy, would have been looking down proud as punch.
The hat trick was supported by brilliant goals from Tommy (2) and Michael McGlinchey - the footwork and finishing in all three of those goals was breathtaking.
But, again, none of the above would have been possible without the mainstay of the team-s success - our defensive structure.
The impressive thing this week has been the players- attitude at training. No one got carried away with the result but there is certainly an air of confidence borne out of the performance.
The players set the bar at new heights last weekend and the challenge now is to improve on it. It was by no means a perfect performance - Sydney scored twice for starters and we have identified other areas where we need to be better.
That all starts with a trip across the Tasman tomorrow to take on Wellington Phoenix on Sunday at the Cake Tin.
They are a tough proposition at the best of times and we will need to be on our game to ensure we reach a hat trick of wins for the first time this season.