Central Coast Mariners’ goalkeeper Paul Izzo is set to make his competitive debut for the Yellow & Navy tomorrow night in their Round of 32 FFA Cup encounter at Central Coast Stadium.
Izzo will start between the sticks against Wellington Phoenix in the absence of Liam Reddy who was suspended in the second last Hyundai A-League fixture of the 2014/15 season. Reddy will serve the second game of his two-match ban tomorrow evening and become available for selection in the Mariners’ next competitive fixture.
20-year old Izzo arrived on the Central Coast in July on a two-year deal and has impressed Head Coach Tony Walmsley and Goalkeeping Coach Matt Nash over the past month.
The South Australian born custodian heads into tomorrow night’s match with FFA Cup experience having played a crucial role in Adelaide United’s 1-0 win over Wellington Phoenix in their Round of 16 match during the inaugural Cup campaign.
A campaign that ‘The Reds’ went on to win, Izzo featured prominently in the Round of 16 fixture to make three crucial saves during the first half and another during stoppage time to hold an invaluable clean sheet.
Having just returned from a pre-season trip to Coffs Harbour where the Mariners defeated Western Sydney Wanderers, Izzo has fit into the squad well and is enjoying the change of scenery.
“The boys have made me feel like I’m at home, I’ve settled in pretty quick, especially on the field I feel very comfortable with the boys and I’m enjoying it so far,” Izzo said.
“It’s good to have a change, I find that coming here and doing something different is refreshing and very good for my mentality, I’m loving training and Nashy (Matthew Nash – Goalkeeping Coach) has been great.
“I wasn’t expecting to come into things so quickly when I signed but the opportunity is here now and hopefully I can help the team and we can progress through to the next round,” he said.
The Mariners’ last FFA Cup Campaign ended at the hands of Adelaide United in the semi-final stages and the Yellow & Navy will be looking to go one step further this time ‘round.
Tomorrow night’s opposition is the Phoenix but at this stage of the pre-season, Izzo admitted that all of the focus from the Mariners’ has been on their own performance.
“We need to focus on ourselves first before we worry about other teams, we’re progressing really well and Tony is doing a great job with us so if we can all fulfil our roles then I am sure it will get us over the line,” Izzo said.
Heavily discounted ticket options apply for those who have renewed their membership for the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season with adult members costing $10 and children $5*.
Tickets will be on-sale to the general public with adults paying $15, concessions $10, kids $5 or a family pass for $35*.
FFA Cup Provisional Squad (two to be omitted):
1.Paul IZZO (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 6.Mitch AUSTIN, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 15.Matt SIM, 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Jake ADELSON (NYL), 20.Anthony KALIK, 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake MCGING, 23.Eddy BOSNAR, 30.Adam PEARCE (gk) (NYL)
Tuesday 11 August 2015
Match: Central Coast Mariners vs. Wellington Phoenix
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 7:30pm (AEST)
Tickets: CLICK HERE
Online Broadcast: Streamed online at FOX SPORTS and Apple TV via FOX SPORTS Now
Radio: Live on 96.3 Coast FM
Twitter: Join the match conversation using #CCMvWEL