Nomadic Mariners Youth hoping for golden return

After a disappointing 4-2 loss to archrivals Newcastle last start, the Central Coast Mariners National Youth League side will be hoping a return to familiar pastures will provide a change in fortune. This Saturday’s encounter with Gold Coast United will be the first of three consecutive matches at home for Tony Walmsley’s charges.

After a disappointing 4-2 loss to archrivals Newcastle last start, the Central Coast Mariners National Youth League side will be hoping a return to familiar pastures will provide a change in fortune. This Saturday-s encounter with Gold Coast United will be the first of three consecutive matches at home for Tony Walmsley-s charges.

A scintillating strike from Jerry Kalouris, and a stoppage-time penalty from Mitchell Duke weren-t enough to overcome a ruthless Newcastle Jets side.

“When we got back in the match at 2-1 we had a good spell for a while but overall the Jets were the better team and in truth we probably didn-t deserve the points in the end,” said Walmsley.

The Mariners had a disrupted preparation going into the game with James Oates succumbing to injury on the morning of the match. If that wasn-t bad enough, the youngsters were forced to play the better part of 80 minutes without one of their key mid-fielders in Brendan Griffin.

To their credit the Mariners made no excuses about the distractions, with coach Walmsley simply saying it was time to go back to the drawing board.

Luck hasn-t been with the Young Mariners this season, but a win on Saturday would see them gain significant ground on the rest of the field.

Like their counterparts in the Hyundai A-League the Young Mariners have been racking up the kilometres in recent weeks. Trips to Melbourne, Brisbane and Newcastle have been punctuated with a deferred fixture to be played in January. Their opponents on Saturday, Gold Coast United have had to attend to their own hectic travelling schedule, such is the way of life for players in Australia-s premier youth competition.

Queensland teams are flavour of the month in both the Hyundai A-League, and the National Youth League. The Young Mariners have the added incentive of restoring state pride when they tackle the high-flying Gold Coast United for the third and final time this campaign.

In both fixtures the Young Mariners have taken the lead, only to be run down by the determined Gold Coast side. Striker Bernie Ibini-Isei has been in fine form netting a goal in both previous encounters. Indeed the lanky forward could be the Mariners answer to the Chris Harold effect.

The Gold Coast marksman has not scored against the Mariners this year, something he will no doubt be keen to address when the two sides meet at Budgewoi. The Mariners defence will have be at the top of their game if they are to prevent him adding to his significant tally against the Central Coast side.

After some indifferent form, which saw them slide down the ladder to second place Gold Coast United responded in the best possible way. They were merciless in a 5-nil romp over Adelaide United last weekend. Cleary, they are a side in good touch.

And therein lies the challenge. The Mariners as a club are at their best when they are challenged. Gold Coast United will provide a stern test for the Young Mariners. In the short history of matchups between the two “coastal” teams the standard of football has been superb.

Each team has something to play for this weekend, and for that reason alone it should be a match to savour.

Saturday-s game against Gold Coast United will be the 7th competitive clash between the two clubs.

Previous Meetings

Saturday, 19 Sep 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 3, Gold Coast United 3, Bluetongue Stadium Sunday, 6 Dec 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 5, Gold Coast United 2, Southport Tigers Friday, 22 Jan 2010 - Central Coast Mariners 2, Gold Coast United 2, Bluetongue Stadium Saturday 13 Mar 2010 - Central Coast Mariners 1, Gold Coast United 3, Pluim Park Saturday 18 Sep 2010 - Central Coast Mariners 1, Gold Coast United 2, Owen Park Southport Saturday 23 Oct 2010 - Central Coast Mariners 1, Gold Coast United 1, Budgewoi Soccer Club

Central Coast Mariners squad: Nik MATIC (gk), David BRADASEVIC (gk), Sam MUNRO (c), Marc WARREN, Sam GALLAGHER, Mitchell DUKE, Nick FITZGERALD, Max GLANVILLE, Brendan GRIFFIN, Bernie IBINI-ISEI, Nathan JAGELMAN, Jerry KALOURIS, Mitchell MALLIA, Alex MANSUETO, Jimmy OATES, Adam ORMSBY. *one to be omitted*

Unavailable: Brady SMITH (knee - season), Nikola STANOJEVIC (groin - indefinite)

Gold Coast United Youth squad: Tim ANDERSON [gk], Josh BRILLANTE, Neko VUJEVICH, Ben WEARING, Koh SATAKE, Zac ANDERSON, Chris HAROLD, Bobby RUSSELL, Ben HALLORAN, Elliot RONTO, Mitch COOPER, Matija SIMIC, Luke MUIR [gk], Steven LUSTICA *one to be added*

Unavailable: Mitchell BEVAN (hamstring injury - 2 weeks)

Referee: Tim McGilchrist

The Central Coast Mariners National Youth League team continue their 2010/11 campaign against Gold Coast United this Saturday, 20 November at Budgewoi Soccer Club. Kick-off is at 3:00pm.