This Sunday, the Central Coast Mariners face Melbourne Victory at Central Coast Stadium with a full stock of attacking weapons available for selection.
The ‘Ins’ column makes for healthy reading for Mariners fans that sees the return of Fabio Ferreira, Jacob Poscoliero and of course Roy O’Donovan who plays his first match since New Year’s Eve.
Melbourne Victory are coming off the back of a tough 1-1 battle with Gamba Osaka in Japan that isn’t likely to deter the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions’ who boast great depth in their playing ranks.
Here are some key times to note:
- 2pm: Official Pre-Game Function in the Kendall Bar with special guest Nick Montgomery
- 4:00pm: Gates open
- 5:00pm kick-off
- 7:05pm (pending ground preparation): FANS ON THE FIELD RETURNS!
Luis Garcia & Roy O’Donovan make for a mouth-watering combination and the Irish striker is excited at the opportunity to link with the Liverpool Legend.
Let’s hear from Head Coach Tony Walmsley and returning attacker Roy O’Donovan.
“Up front we’ve got everyone fit and firing including Luis Garcia so it’s giving me a headache, but it’s a good headache to have going in against the Champions,” Walmsley said.
“Now that we’ve got Garcia in the ranks we’ve got someone who can see O’Donovan’s runs and play it early and we didn’t have that before.
“There have only been three games all season where we haven’t scored and we know we can cause problems. Fab Ferreira is as good as any winger in the league, Mitch Austin delivered more crosses than anyone else in the league so we’re going to cause them problems.
“If his [Luis Garcia’s] injury had of been a hamstring it was probably season over for him but it was nerve related so he’s recovered quickly and trained fully today. He played on one leg for an hour last week and managed to cause real problems with his weight of passes and ability to link in with players around him.
“Roy’s enthusiasm is massive and he will be looking forward to linking up with Luis, he’s seen what Luis can do so he’ll be relishing the opportunity to make some of those forward runs and feed off the vision that Luis has,” Walmsley said.
“Eight games is along time in a 27 game season so I’ve had plenty of time to reflect and watching the Mariners not get results of late has been difficult but I’m back now so hopefully I can help the cause,” O’Donovan said.
“It’s a great opportunity for me, he [Luis Garcia] is obviously a great talent and a lovely bloke as well which helps. I’ve been training with him for the past few weeks and some of the passing he pulls off is terrific, he plays the ball quickly which suits my game well.
“I’m ready to go, whatever part that the manager wants me to play and it’s important that the last six games we get some pride back.
“The community work I have undertaken over the past eight weeks has been great, I enjoy that type of stuff. They’ve helped me as much as I’ve helped them and I must say it’s been terrific, kids are brilliant because they tell you straight up and there’s no beating around the bush.
"The fans have got the patience of saints, they are the most understanding supporters that I've ever experienced and have been terrific with my situation.
“I’m due a baby boy in the next two weeks so I’m looking forward to that. I can’t wait to be kicking around with my own son, who knows, he could be a future Socceroo,” O’Donovan said.
- Melbourne Victory is undefeated in their last eight Hyundai A-League matches against the Mariners (W6, D2) and scoring two or more on the last seven occasions.
- Anything short of a win for Victory will see their winless streak extend to six matches, their longest in the Hyundai A-League since they went eight matches without a win in 2007/08.
- The Mariners have conceded more penalties than any other team in the Hyundai A-League (6), double the amount that Victory has conceded.
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Paul IZZO (gk), 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 6.Mitch AUSTIN, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Luis GARCIA, 13.Alastair BRAY (gk), 14.Daniel HEFFERNAN, 15.Brad McDONALD, 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Francesco STELLA, 19.Josh BINGHAM, 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING, 23.Tomislav USKOK, 28.Matthew FLETCHER
**two to be omitted**
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 2. Jason GERIA, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Nick ANSELL, 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6.Leigh BROXHAM (c), 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Besart BERISHA, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 11.Connor PAIN, 13.Oliver BOZANIC, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.Matthieu DELPIERRE, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 22.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 23.Jai INGHAM, 24.Thomas DENG
**two to be omitted**
Sunday 6 March 2016
Match: Central Coast Mariners vs. Melbourne Victory
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Tickets: CLICK HERE
Gates open: 4:00pm (AEDT)
Kick-off: 5:00pm (AEDT)
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505
Radio Broadcast: 96.3 Coast FM
Twitter: Join the match conversation using #CCMvMVC #CCMFC