After the long, long off-season, Hyundai A-League action returns to Central Coast Stadium today and we’re taking on Perth Glory in a highly anticipated Round 1 hit out. K.O. 5:15pm.
Getting points on the board early will be crucial for both sides, with each having a reason to be hungry for finals football after mixed results last season.
Let’s take a look over the key points ahead of our massive clash against the Glory.
The run in
During pre-season, Perth Glory’s main focus has been on the Westfield FFA Cup that has limited their friendly opportunities and sees them remain alive in the semi final stages.
The Glory’s cup run has included two penalty shoot-out wins over the Newcastle Jets and Western Sydney Wanderers in the Round of 32 and Quarter Final stages respectively, while it took a late extra time winner to overcome Queensland Lions in the Round of 16.
On the other hand, the Yellow & Navy have managed a competitive pre-season with matches against six other Hyundai A-League clubs as well as PS4 NPL oppositions, including wins over the Western Sydney Wanderers, Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets.
The performances through out pre-season have impressed Head Coach Tony Walmsley who believes that the boys will be ready to go in round one.
Much of the focus heading into this match will be on Perth’s new marquee attacker Diego Castro, who is arguably the biggest name to hit the Hyundai A-League this season.
For the last eight years, the Spaniard has been a regular in La Liga with clubs such as Getafe, Sporting Gijón and Málaga.
Last year he hit the park 32 times for Getafe and even scored against Real Madrid.
Set to pair up with former Feyenoord striker Guyon Fernandez, the duo will will be looking to make an early impression on the Hyundai A-League
The Key Questions
- At a venue where Perth have only won once in regular time and lost 12 times, can Glory overcome their demons at Central Coast Stadium?
- After losing key players in the off-season such as Andy Keogh, Danny De Silva, Jamie McLaren and Rostyn Griffiths, will new imports Diego Castro and Guyon Fernandez fill the attacking void at Perth?
- Will the Mariners attacking game plan be good enough to penetrate Glory’s defensive spine of Covic, Risdon, Thwaite, Golec, Djulbic and the like?
- Perth Glory have only one regular time win to their name at Central Coast Stadium
- The Glory have only scored eight goals at Central Coast Stadium and never more than one in a game.
- Glory keeper Ante Covic recorded an equal league low three clean sheets (20 games or more) last season at the Western Sydney Wanderers.
- Mitch Austin has been tracked during the Hyundai A-League pre-season as one of the fastest players in the competition.
“(Castro) is a player that’s going to be dangerous but if he comes up against a Mickey Neill or a Poscoliero, they’ve got great athleticism.
“It doesn’t matter how they play or where they come from, they’re going to be up for a very tough challenge.”
“We’re just looking to do our individual jobs, as well as work as a collective group to bring down Perth and come away with the three points.”
“A player of the calibre of Diego Castro you obviously respect, but you can’t go in there fearing anyone.
“We’re going to go in there with the same game plan, we’ve seen a few of their moves during pre-season so we’re going to go in there with our heads held high and we’re not going to fear anyone.”
Last time we met – Hyundai A-League Round 22, CCM 1-1 PER, Central Coast Stadium
Who will ever forget “NICK MONTGOMERY, A HOWITZER”? The last time the Glory and Mariners met was back in March, when the Mariners secured a remarkable draw in the dying stages at Central Coast Stadium.
It took almost 80 minutes for the opener, when Perth’s Jamie McLaren slotted past Liam Reddy and the three points looked as good as theirs.
Then, enter Nick Montgomery in the 92nd minute, who jumped on the end of a clearance from Perth’s defence and set flight to one of the greatest strikes you’ll ever see
Central Coast Mariners: 2. Storm ROUX, 3. Josh ROSE, 4. Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5. Harry ASCROFT, 6. Mitch AUSTIN, 7. Fabio FERREIRA, 8. Nick MONTGOMERY, 9. Roy O’DONOVAN, 10. Anthony CACERES, 11. Nick FITZGERALD, 12. Liam REDDY (GK), 18. Glen TRIFIRO, 19. Josh BINGHAM, 20. Anthony KALIK, 21. Michael NEILL, 22. Jake McGING, 23. Eddy BOSNAR, 30. Adam PEARCE (GK).
Unavailable: 1. Paul IZZO (national team duty), 14. Dan Heffernan (awaiting Visa clearance), 16. Liam ROSE (national team duty).
Perth Glory: 1. Ante COVIC (gk), 3. Marc WARREN, 4. Jacob COLLARD, 5. Antony GOLEC, 6. Dino DJULBIC, 7. Gyorgy SANDOR, 10. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11. Richard GARCIA (c), 12. Jerrad TYSON (gk), 13. Diogo FERREIRA, 14. Chris HAROLD, 15. Hagi GLIGOR, 16. Sidnei SCIOLA, 17. Diego CASTRO, 18. Mitch OXBORROW, 19. Josh RISDON, 20. Guyon FERNANDEZ, 23. Michael THWAITE
Saturday 10 October 2015
Match: Central Coast Mariners vs. Perth Glory
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 5:15pm (AEDT)
Tickets: CLICK HERE
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505
Radio Broadcast: 96.3 Coast FM
Referee: Stebre Delovski
Pre-match function: 2:45pm, Kendall Bar (Central Coast Leagues Club)
Twitter: Join the match conversation using #CCMvPER & #CCMFC