A hero emerged from the Mariners’ loss to Sydney FC and that was goalkeeper, Ivan Necevski who made a number of impressive saves to keep his side in the contest. His performance was headlined by a penalty save and after today’s session Ivan revealed the crucial part of his preparation.
Necevski, who is a father of two children Isaac (7) and Sienna (4) spoke about the motivation that comes with playing in front of his family and the role that his daughter played in the penalty preparation.
“It was a great moment,” Necevski said.”My family was there, my kids were there and they have been disappointed that I haven’t been playing as much as they would like me to this season.
“The kids are always asking dad ‘when is the coach going to put you on, you’re a good keeper and you deserve to play’ so when I told them I was playing on Friday night they wanted to come and watch me play and after that penalty save I ended up pointing to them because it was for them.
“My daughter came up to me and said remember dad we were practicing penalties in the backyard, I taught you to save penalties so they were all really happy,” Necevski said.
Coming up against an old club is never an easy proposition but the 37-year-old shot stopper earned man of the match honours in the narrow 1-0 defeat. The Mariners will enjoy a rare weekend off but preparations are in full swing for their next match against Adelaide on March 25 at Central Coast Stadium.
“The performance from us was good but the result wasn’t what we were after,” Necevski said. “It’s disappointing to go down to Sydney and not at least come away with a draw because we had enough chances to capitalise on some of Sydney’s weaker points but it wasn’t to be.
“Sydney have set the benchmark this season sitting on top of the table so we did well to match them and to be honest in that second half we had them camped in their final third, kept the ball and did really well.
“To play in front of my old team made it that little bit more special and to play in front of my former fans, who showed me great respect going out there, so I enjoyed going there and the respect is mutual. Having that performance in mind for the next couple of weeks is going to be great for me – we’ve only got four games to go and hopefully I’ve done my part and can play out the rest of the season.
“We’re working hard this week and we are not going to take it easy even though we don’t have a game on the weekend. This week’s preparation is going to set us up for training next week and we can’t wait to play Adelaide next Saturday night,” Necevski said.
Necevski made numerous heroic saves throughout and said that preparing for spot kicks played a part leading into Friday’s match.
“I didn’t expect Bernie to step up to be honest,” Necevski said. “We were studying Bobo as their penalty taker during the week. When Bernie stepped up I had a feeling for some reason and everything that I looked at pointed towards him going to my left so I decided to go to my left and it was the right decision,” Necevski said.
When asked about goals for the rest of the season, Necevski said the equation was simple. All four are must wins and he wants to have a big hand in that.
“At the end of the day it’s all about winning games,” Necevski said. “Our next game against Adelaide will pretty much define our season so there’s 12 points up for grabs. If we win our next game then we have a really good chance of going into the final three to make that top six and that’s where we want to be at the end of the season.
“I started off the season then Paul came in who has done really really well to be honest,” Necevski said. “He’s a great young keeper and we’ve really enjoyed training together this season but getting a chance last week was great and it allowed me to show what I can do.
“As a professional footballer I will be putting my hand up, as I have been putting my hand up to start every single game this season,” Necevski said.
Hyundai A-League 2016/17 – Round 24
Saturday 25 March 2017
Central Coast Mariners vs. Adelaide United
Tickets: CLICK HERE
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Official hash-tags: #CCMvADL & #CCMFC
TV Broadcast: Fox Sports 505
Radio Broadcast: 96.3 Coast FM & 92.5 ABC Central Coast