They made the first ever Pre-Season Cup Final, the first ever Hyundai A-League Grand Final, and now the Central Coast Mariners have the chance to book their place in the first ever Westfield FFA Cup showpiece.
That is the reward on offer for Phil Moss’s men should they be able to topple the in form Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium in South Australia tomorrow evening either in regulation time, extra time, or via the dreaded penalty shootout.
Despite having endured a tough start to Hyundai A-League season ten in terms of results, the Mariners have fired in the Westfield FFA Cup thus far, scoring an impressive nine goals and conceding just one enroute to Wednesday’s penultimate match of the competition.
Nevertheless, despite Wednesday’s tie being the first time that the yellow and navy have come up against a Hyundai A-League rival in the inaugural edition of the Westfield FFA Cup, Moss believes he has the talent and determination in his squad to overcome the red-hot Reds, and advance to the decider.
“Everything is stacked against us for tomorrow night which is just the way we like it,” Moss said following his side’s session in Tuggerah on Tuesday. “There are plenty of incentives to go down there [to Adelaide], put on a performance, get the result, and play for some silverware in the [Westfield] FFA Cup Final.”
“Some players play their whole career with never playing in a Semi-Final or a Final so the motivation is extremely high to get through tomorrow night.”
“We’re 90 minutes, or 120 minutes away, away from playing in a Final for some silverware, so there’s huge motivation, we’re taking this extremely seriously, and I am taking a team down there to get a result against one of the form teams of the [Hyundai] A-League. It’s a great challenge, but also a fantastic opportunity,” he said.
The team that Moss will have on hand in the South Australian capital will be minus regular right-back Storm Roux who is currently in Asia on National Team duty with New Zealand.
With four games in 12 days commencing Wednesday, some players who have missed out on match minutes recently will be given a chance to shine against Adelaide United, and increase the amount of cash Moss spends at the chemist purchasing Panadol.
“As I keep saying we have a squad full of players who are all capable of playing first team football,” he said. “It’s a tough selection meeting every week – there’s plenty of headaches but every coach will tell you they’re the best headaches to have.”
“We’ve got some great leaders in the squad and I include Zac Anderson in that – he’s a great voice, a great presence. He’ll get his chance tomorrow night to come back into the team and force his way back into the [Hyundai] A-League team, and I am sure he will give a good account of himself.”
“He’s [Anderson] been great on the training pitch as has [Nick] Montgomery, and ‘Monty’ has great experience. Blokes like that help the younger boys come through as well, because they set the platform for them to play without so much pressure.”
“I am just looking forward to us going down there tomorrow night, putting our best football forward and having a real go at them,” Moss concluded.
Meanwhile, Central Coast Mariners four-goal Westfield FFA Cup Quarter-Final star, Matt Sim, said he’d trade the chance to add to his five goals in the competition thus far for a win in the city of churches.
Sim currently sits atop the Westfield FFA Cup top goalscorers list alongside Perth Glory’s Andy Keogh – the Irish marksman may feature for the purple-whites in their Semi-Final against Bentleigh Greens on Tuesday night.
“It’s always good to score goals, but I’d take a win and getting through to the Final before more goals,” Sim said. “There’s a rich history here of success and winning things we want to make sure that we keep that going.”
“We’re ready and rearing to go,” he concluded.
The Mariners’ Westfield FFA Cup Semi-Final against Adelaide United will be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS 4 & 4HD on Wednesday evening, with kick-off at 7:30pm AEDT.
Adelaide United vs. Central Coast Mariners – Westfield FFA Cup 2014 Semi-Final
When: Wednesday 12 November 2014
Where: Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Kick-off: 7:00pm (local); 7:30pm (AEDT)
Television: LIVE on FOX SPORTS 4
Twitter: @CCMariners #ADLvCCM #FFACup