NPL Previews: unstoppable Mariners Academy look to extend winning run

The Central Coast Mariners Academy senior men's and women's outfits will be looking to continue their electric form this coming weekend, with both teams at home in the Central Coast this weekend.

On a three-game winning streak and undefeated all season, our Men's side is set to host Hills United on Saturday evening at Pluim Park, while our Women's side are on a five-game run of victories and will be keen to make it six when they host St George at IFS in Kariong on Sunday afternoon.

Central Coast Mariners Academy Men vs. Hills United FC

This week's NPL 2 NSW Men's match between the Mariners Academy and Hills United shapes as another important test of the home side's credentials as the season reaches its midway point.

Undefeated so far this season and victorious in their last three starts, the Yellow and Navy face a formidable opponent in Hills, who sit just two competition points behind on the ladder in fourth place. Hills have been held to draws by the Northern Tigers and Blacktown Spartans in recent weeks, but enjoyed a three-game winning streak prior to that which propelled them into the NPL 2 NSW top four.

With six wins and six draws from the twelve rounds played so far, the Mariners Academy Men's side last week ground out a tough win over fellow top four side St George, a 22nd minute penalty converted by Charles William the difference between the two sides.

Recent results have seen the club extend its lead in the NPL 2 NSW Club Championship as the push for promotion continues. We caught up with Will Vazquez ahead of the clash:

"The match against St George was an extremely challenging match for the group, against a side that we think is up their as the best in the league", Vazqeuz said.

"There were periods in the match where they were able to impose very high pressure on the players. This is why it was a real credit to the players that they were able to stand strong, with various  senior players showing their experience in achieving the outcome they were after.

"This week we face a Hills Brumbies side who have had a great first half of the season, showing they are a finals contender. The group has been working hard to continue to improve areas of weakness this week, so we are very excited for the upcoming clash against an in form opponent."

Match Details
Saturday, 26 May 2018
NPL 2 NSW Men's Round 13
Match
: Central Coast Mariners Academy vs. Hills United Brumbies
Venue: Pluim Park No. 1, Lisarow
Kick-off: 6pm (U18's 2pm, U20's 4pm)



Central Coast Mariners Academy Women vs. St George FC

In an important week for women's football on the Central Coast, our Women's Academy side will host a home game against 10th-placed St George FC at Kariong's IFS.

Goals to Jordan Evans and 14-year-old Iona Snape saw our girls home last Sunday at the same venue, holding off a late Gladesville surge to win 2-1.

This Sunday, the Mariners girls will be on red-alert against a winless Saints outfit who are no doubt keen to pick up their first win of the season and claim a big scalp. In the meantime, the Yellow and Navy will be eager to extend their winning streak to six games and keep pressure on competition leaders Sydney Olympic.

"I was happy again last weekend with the girls effort. We played a very defensive unit in Gladesville. Still we created lots of chances but were unable to convert leading into half time. The second half saw the girls start the half with even more energy than the first. This effort saw us take a 2 goal lead", Barrett recounted.

"St George this weekend will not be an easy proposition. They have the ability to frustrate teams  and have the potential to catch you on the break. We are aware of this.

"We have spent training this week preparing for this match having played St George in round 1, and we know it’s a game where we must dictate play and be good in possession.

"Tactical discipline will be key, its vitally important that what was worked on in training this week  is executed by the team in the match. If we can do this we will be tough to beat", Barrett concluded.

Match Details
Sunday, 27 May 2018
NPL 2 NSW Women's Round 12
Match
: Central Coast Mariners Academy Women vs. St George FC
Venue: International Football School, Kariong
Kick-off: 3:00pm (action starts with U14's from 8:30am)