Paul Okon Previews Friday Night Football

For the first time since 2006, the Central Coast Mariners host Sydney FC in Friday night football at Central Coast Stadium and we caught up with Paul Okon ahead of the blockbuster. Kick-off is 7:50pm.


The Central Coast Mariners come into the fixture full of confidence off the back of their first clean sheet of the campaign at Suncorp Stadium.

Sydney FC’s last fixture saw an unlikely goal scorer in Luke Wilkshire claim his side three points against Melbourne City in their 1-0 win.

It’s been a race against time for the Mariners who face a short turnaround having only played on Sunday evening compared to Sydney FC who have enjoyed a full week of preparation since their match last Friday.

Friday’s game serves as the perfect opportunity for the Mariners to claim their first three points of the season in front of a home crowd against Graham Arnold’s Sydney FC.

Paul Okon praised the home support at Central Coast Stadium and is looking forward to a vocal backing on Gosford’s waterfront.

Paolo in the Press

“After a short turnaround and a tough trip away to Brisbane we still haven’t finalised our team,” Okon said. “There aren’t too many major concerns and we are quite confident that whoever we put out there will be ready to go.

“The performance against Brisbane was pleasing. It was only our second clean sheet in 35 away matches which was something we were really happy with. The fact that it was Ben Kennedy’s first game after a long layoff is great for confidence. He performed really well and was a big part in why we were able to keep a clean sheet.

“They say clean sheets win you football games so hopefully tomorrow night will be the same. We’ve got three very good goalkeepers and Ben certainly puts his hand back up after his performance last week.

“We don’t fear anyone. We have a lot of respect for every opponent and Sydney is no different, we are aware of how strong a team they are and the threats they have but it’s an opportunity for us to show that we’re up to the challenge.

“Sydney isn’t just about one player – they are a very good side. We will need to make sure we close down all of their threats if we want to get anything from the game.

“This is the first time in a long time we’ve hosted a Friday night game so hopefully the locals are allowed to leave work early on Friday afternoon, have a quick shower and get out here to support us.

“We had great support here against Melbourne Victory who made a lot of noise. Hopefully tomorrow night we will have a good crowd and be able to win our first game of the season,” Okon said.

Opta Stat-Attack

  • There have been 19 goals scored between these sides in their last four clashes at Central Coast Stadium, with no clean sheets kept in that span.
  • The Mariners have drawn their last two A-League games, the last time they went longer without a win or a loss was in January 2010 (D3).
  • Sydney FC have kept three clean sheets in their last four games away from home, winning three games and drawing once in that run.
  • Central Coast Mariners (2,499) and Sydney FC (2,477) have attempted the most and second most passes respectively of any teams so far, this campaign.
  • The Sky Blues have scored three goals in the 15 minutes immediately after half-time, more than any other team this campaign.
  • Tom Hiariej has hit seven shots at goal from outside the box this season, only two players have attempted more (Adlung 9, Bonevacia 8).

Central Coast Mariners: 1.Ben KENNEDY (gk), 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jake McGING, 5.Antony GOLEC, 6.Tom HIARIEJ, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 9.ASDRUBAL, 10.Daniel De SILVA, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 13.Kwabena APPIAH, 14.Adam BERRY, 15.Alan BARO (c), 16. Liam ROSE, 17.Josh BINGHAM, 20.Adam PEARCE (gk), 21.Kye ROWLES, 23.Wout BRAMA
**two to be omitted**

Ins: 17.Josh BINGHAM (promoted) 21.Kye ROWLES (return from injury)

Outs: nil

Unavailable: 2.Storm ROUX (international duty – 2 weeks), 18.Tom GLOVER (gk) (shoulder injury – indefinite)

Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Jordy BUIJS, 6.Josh BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Paulo RETRE, 9.BOBÔ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Adrian MIERZEJEWSKI, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 16.Anthony KALIK, 17.David CARNEY, 18.Matt SIMON, 20.Alex CISAK (gk), 22.Seb RYALL, 26.Luke WILKSHIRE, 30.Tom HEWARD-BELLE (gk)
**two to be omitted**

Ins: 11. Adrian MIERZEJEWSKI (promoted), 20.Alex CISAK (gk) (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 23.Rhyan GRANT (knee - indefinite)

Match Details
Friday, 10 November 2017
Hyundai A-League Round 6
Match: Central Coast Mariners vs. Sydney FC
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Tickets: CLICK HERE
Kick-off: 7:50pm
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS AUSTRALIA
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #CCMvSYD & #CCMFC