More than four years since arriving on the Central Coast as a teenager with a point to prove, Mariners midfielder Josh Nisbet will walk out tomorrow for his first taste of finals action since he was a youngster.
Nisbet has shone for the Mariners this year, occupying both attacking and deeper lying roles in midfield at different times for Alen Stajcic, and said on Friday that he is excited to be part of the Mariners return to finals.
“Everyone is over the moon to be in the finals,” Nisbet said.
“We’ve worked really hard to be here and it’s a reward for all our hard work, so we’re going to go there and give it definitely our best shot.”
“It has been a long journey to get back [to finals], and it is only one year compared to the previous glory years but it’s nice and it’s good to be a part of it, yeah everyone is looking forward to it now.”
The last final for the Mariners was in 2014, when the side bowed out at the hands of Wanderers a year after winning the Grand Final, and Nisbet guessed on Friday morning that he had not played a final for at least nine years, since a local league game when he was 12.
The 21-year-old has been in strong form to finish the season, including in last Saturday’s win over Western United, and stressed the importance of heading into the post-season with wins under the belt.
“You want to be in a winning way, before you head into the finals,” he said.
“But you see some teams and they make the finals and they have been struggling just before it, so we understand it’s a completely different ball game and we are going out there to win.”
“I’m pretty excited. I don’t think I’ve played a final since I was maybe 12 and it was a local league and stuff like that, so this is pretty exciting.
“It’s a great opportunity to play well and everyone wants to play well in the big games, so that’s what I’m aiming to do.”
While the Mariners have beaten Macarthur on all three occasions that the team have met this year, Nisbet knows that won’t mean much come kickoff on Saturday.
“It is good for confidence knowing that we have played them a few times and we’ve got the better of them,” he said.
“But we also know the finals are a different sort of series and that anything can happen. It just will be a matter of who performs on the day, so we are going there almost forgetting that and focusing on tomorrow.”
GAME DETAILS |
A-League 2021 Elimination Final 1
Saturday, 10 June 2021
Central Coast Mariners (3) v Macarthur FC (6)
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-Off: 7:05pm (Local)(7:05pm (AEST))
Referee: Shaun Evans
Assistant Referee 1: George Lakrindis
Assistant Referee 2: Wilson Brown
Fourth Official: Daniel Elder
VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 6:30pm (AEST), Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers
Radio Broadcast: myfootballnation.com (SEN 1170AM, SENTrack Central Coast 801AM), COAST FM 96.3
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #CCMvMAC #WhoWillTakeItAll
To purchase tickets visit www.a-league.com.au/tickets