One-on-one with NYL skipper Stanojevic

CENTRAL Coast Mariners National Youth League skipper Nikola Stanojevic caught up with ccmariners.com.au ahead of the junior Mariners’ Round 8 clash against Newcastle Jets Youth at Hunter Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

CENTRAL Coast Mariners National Youth League skipper Nikola Stanojevic caught up with ccmariners.com.au ahead of the junior Mariners- Round 8 clash against Newcastle Jets Youth at Hunter Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Niko, we-re coming up to Round 8 of the NYL. It was a nice win for the boys last weekend, what did you make of the team-s performance? Last Sunday-s game was very good. During the week, we worked on trying to be more clinical and to sharpen up our finishing. We tried to apply that in the game and it worked out very well. We got a very good 3-nil result and it was good to keep a clean sheet as well, everyone was very happy with the performance.

It-s been a great start to the campaign, sitting top of the table. What are your thoughts on the side-s start? We couldn-t have asked for a better start. If you told us before the season we would have had this many wins and just one loss, we would have taken it. It-s been a great start to the season even with almost a completely different squad to last season. The boys have really bonded well and things are going very well.

How-s training been during the week? What-s been the focus? Nothing has really changed, we work on our own thing, do a bit of tactical work, a bit of finishing and keeping possession. We keep going over the things we-ve been doing because it-s been working and we-ll just continue on.

The boys are off to Hunter Stadium for the junior F3 derby on Saturday as a curtain raiser to the Hyundai A-League match. How-s everyone feeling - confident and ready to go? Everyone is very excited. The derby is a fierce rivalry and it adds a bit of spice, but we-re going to treat it like any other game and hopefully we will be up for it and get another victory.

The boys had a good win over Newcastle back in Round 1. What are you expecting from them? I think they were quite good in the first game and they-ve got a very good squad. They kept possession well, they were organised and were pretty threatening as well. We-ll be in for another tough game, it was good to get a win in the first round and I-m confident we can do it again against them on the weekend.

What are your thoughts on John McLafferty in his first season as NYL Head Coach? He was our Assistant Coach last year so I-ve known John for a while now. He was good last year and this year he-s obviously taken over with Tony (Walmsley) leaving. He-s a great coach, very knowledgeable and he knows how to manage the boys very well. He always has a chat and is always straight up with you and let-s you know how things are. John-s put his own philosophy into our team and it-s been going very well.

Finally, are you tipping the boys to remain top-of-the-table come season-s end? Hopefully! I think we can do it two years in a row! The boys are more than capable of doing it and especially after the start to the season.