The Central Coast Mariners have been dealt a tough away trip in the Round of 32 of the Westfield FFA Cup and will face PS4 NPL 1 Victoria outfit Green Gully Soccer Club.
The Yellow & Navy will head to Green Gully Reserve in Keilor Downs for what will be a testing away trip in the Round of 32 against a Victorian side who have been crowned Champions of their state on nine occasions.
Coached by Arthur Papas, Green Gully provide a great opportunity for the fresh Central Coast Mariners’ squad to prepare for an early competitive fixture during pre-season.
Mariners’ Head Coach Tony Walmsley says his selections for the match will be based around ‘who’s up to it’ at this early stage in the pre-season and is excited for his squad’s first competitive hit out.
“What we do know is that going to Melbourne in the middle of winter against a team with a good coach in a competitive league is going to be a real test of character,” Walmsley said. “We’re going to put pressure on Green Gully but we’re going to have to be really match hardened which at this stage of the pre-season is going to be the biggest challenge for us so it’s exciting.
“It’s a great test for us,” Walmsley said. “You want to harden yourself for the season ahead but this is also an opportunity after the season we’ve had. If we can go there and get a win that will get us on a cup run which is something to be excited about.
“We’re in the realm of the banana skin where people are going to be scrutinising us from everywhere and it gives the Mariners a real chance to take that first step in this renewal season.
“We will go into the game with the guys that are physically in the best condition, the ones that have that readiness, the ones that can go 90 minutes so there’s no place to hide for our players. They have to be ready and the ones that get picked to play have to be on their best form for us to get something out of the game.
“You know that the team is going to be well coached, he’ll set his team out to cause an upset so we will need to be ready for that.
“We’ve brought in some key experienced players down the spine, the squad is in good shape so we will be as ready as we can be this early in the pre-season.