Mrdja he wrote to welcome the New Year

Sentimentality will be order of the day when the Central Coast Mariners host the Perth Glory in the last Hyundai A-League match of 2008 at Bluetongue Stadium tomorrow night.

Sentimentality will be order of the day when the Central Coast Mariners host the Perth Glory in the last Hyundai A-League match of 2008 at Bluetongue Stadium tomorrow night.

The final day of the Mariners- most memorable year to date will be highlighted by the farewell appearance of Turkey-bound midfield ace Mile Jedinak, the recognition of inaugural club centurion Alex Wilkinson and the first start in over a year for Perth-born marksman Nik Mrdja.

While Jedinak will contribute to the yellow and navy-s Premiership defence for the last time, Mrdja is facing a new beginning in Mariners colours after an injury dominated four seasons on the Central Coast.

Against his hometown club, Mrdja is set for his first start since Round 3 of the Hyundai A-League 2007/08 season - marking just his seventh Hyundai A-League start since joining the Mariners as one of their foundation players in 2005.

Further adding to the reflective New Year-s Eve mood, Mariners captain and defensive lynchpin Wilkinson will be presented with a commemorative frame before kick off that recognises his achievement of becoming the first Mariners player to register 100 competitive appearances in yellow and navy.

Such sentimentality will be put to one side by the 6pm kick off, however, with three competition points a must for a club determined to push its case for a successful Premiership defence.

"The results at the weekend, with the top four teams all winning, has put a three point buffer between fourth and fifth and if we win on Wednesday we could make that six points," said Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna.

"We put Mrdja down to the National Youth League at the weekend to get ninety minutes and he scored two goals and was man of the match, he-ll play up front with Sasho.

"It-ll be a great occasion, we-ve always got a great support at Bluetongue Stadium on New Year-s Eve, hopefully our Members and supporters will be out in force again for with some Christmas cheer and we can secure three points for them."

The Mariners will again host one of the traditional match ups of the Hyundai A-League season tomorrow night - New Year-s Eve - when they welcome the Glory to Bluetongue Stadium for the premier holiday event of the Australian football calendar.

The Hyundai A-League New Year-s Eve initiative was introduced to the Mariners in 2005 and, since that day, New Year-s Eve fixtures at the Mariners- waterfront home have proven to be among the most popular and well-attended matches of the regular season.

The Mariners attracted their first ever five-figure audience to Bluetongue Stadium on New Year-s Eve 2005 - 11,612 turning up to witness the Mariners trounce northern rivals the Newcastle Jets 4-1.

This result remains the Mariners- only on-field New Year-s Eve success, as subsequent New Year-s Eve fixtures have been lost to the Melbourne Victory 2-1 and 5-2 respectively, despite record crowds of 15,404 and 18,686 being in attendance.

Tomorrows clash between the Mariners and the Glory marks the fifteenth competitive fixture between the two clubs.

Past clashes between the Mariners and the Glory have been among the most significant in the short history of the Mariners.

Firstly, the Mariners claimed their first ever Hyundai A-League silverware when defeating the Glory 1-0 in the inaugural Pre-Season Cup final at Bluetongue Stadium, before notching their first ever Hyundai A-League win against the Glory at Members Equity Stadium less than one week later.

The Mariners then recorded their first ever Hyundai A-League home win in Round 8 of the Hyundai A-League 2005/06 season against the Glory - the 4-0 score line recorded that evening is also the Mariners- all-time greatest winning margin in the Hyundai A-League.

In total, the Mariners have claimed nine wins against the Glory, suffered two losses and drawn three times.

"Perth played really well against Adelaide last week and were probably unfortunate not to get something out of the game," said McKinna.

"We had our biggest win of the season at home against them last time and hopefully we-ll take that form into the game.

"They-ve probably been the form side in the Hyundai A-League the last month - Pellegrino has been doing great for them, Rukavytsya has been flying and they-re a lot more stable with Harnwell and Topor-Stanley at the back.

"They-re a good team and it-s going to be a hard game, we-re going to have to be as competitive as we were in the second half against Newcastle from the start of the game."

Hyundai A-League 2008/09, Round 18
Central Coast Mariners vs. Perth Glory
Bluetongue Stadium - Wednesday, 31 December 2008, Kick off 6pm
2 Andre Gumprecht
Position Midfielder
DOB 26 Nov, 1974
Height 175cm
Weight 77kg4 Pedj Bojic
Position Defender
DOB 9 Apr, 1984
Height 180cm
Weight 75kg5 Bradley Porter
Position Midfielder
DOB 19 Feb, 1987
Height 179cm
Weight 74kg7 John Hutchinson
Position Midfielder
DOB 29 Dec, 1979
Height 179cm
Weight 78kg8 Dean Heffernan
Position Defender
DOB 19 May, 1980
Height 186cm
Weight 81kg9 Nik Mrdja
Position Striker
DOB 30 Nov, 1978
Height 186cm
Weight 87kg10 Adrian Caceres
Position Midfielder
DOB 10 Jan, 1982
Height 178cm
Weight 84kg12 Greg Owens
Position Midfielder
DOB 27 Jan, 1981
Height 182cm
Weight 82kg13 Paul O-Grady
Position Defender
DOB 6 Nov, 1978
Height 193cm
Weight 92kg15 Andrew Clark
Position Defender
DOB 24 Aug, 1974
Height 180cm
Weight 74kg17 Matthew Osman
Position Midfielder
DOB 29 Jul, 1983
Height 183cm
Weight 75kg18 Alex Wilkinson
Position Defender
DOB 13 Aug, 1984
Height 187cm
Weight 85kg20 Danny Vukovic
Position Goalkeeper
DOB 27 Mar, 1985
Height 187cm
Weight 96kg22 Sasho Petrovski
Position Striker
DOB 5 Mar, 1975
Height 180cm
Weight 80kg23 Mile Jedinak
Position Midfielder
DOB 3 Aug, 1984
Height 189cm
Weight 88kg30 Andrew Redmayne
Position Goalkeeper
DOB 13 Jan, 1989
Height 194cm
Weight 84kg

The Mariners return to their Bluetongue Stadium home on Wednesday, 31 December - New Year-s Eve - for the showpiece of their annual summer holiday extravaganza, which will culminate with a Hyundai A-League fixture against the Perth Glory. Kick off is at 6pm.

Tickets for this match are on sale from Ticketek outlets, from the Ticketek website - www.ticketek.com.au, or via phone on 132 849.

For more information regarding the Gosford waterfront New Year-s Eve festival, visit www.gosfordnye.com.au.