The Central Coast Mariners will commence their Hyundai A-League campaign with a trip to Western Australia to face Perth Glory at nib Stadium and we caught up with Paul Okon & Mickael Tavares ahead of the clash.
It’s Paul Okon’s first match in charge of the Central Coast Mariners and they don’t come much tougher than a road trip west to face Kenny Lowe's charges.
The man affectionately known as ‘Paolo’ left with his team from the Central Coast this morning and had a clear message for his squad.
“Our last message is the same as our first message and that’s the same as the message in between, it’s to believe in ourselves, we’re confident of our ability, we’re confident of our playing style and if we can perform consistently to the level we’ve shown during the past couple of pre-season games then we certainly will have something to say in this competition.
“We’ve been working on everything and I’ve said it since day one, defending isn’t just the back four, our front line needs to be the first line of defence,” Okon said. “Perth have some very good players in the front third but last week against Melbourne City we gave away no chances and the week before against Welligton we dealt with them comfortably so in that respect we are quite confident.
“We’re happy to have Storm back smiling and training, the whole medical staff have done a very good job and I think if he does play he will be looking forward to putting on a good performance as an ex-Perth boy.
“We aren’t really looking too much at what’s been said, everyone has their opinions and the experts always think they know better, it’s down to us as a club to prove people wrong,” Okon said.
Midfielder and new number 10, Mickael Tavares credited the family culture of the Mariners in helping him settle into his new club.
“The morale is good, everybody is happy, it’s the mentality of the club, we are the family club,” Tavares said. “Everybody is together and on the same page .
“We’re all happy to get started,” Tavares said. “Perth have some good players but we’re not looking at individual teams, we will stick to our plan and play the way we we’ve played in pre-season so the opponent will not worry us.
“I am proud to put on the Mariners jersey, I’ve played a lot with Monty and we are forming a good combination so hopefully that will show on the pitch tomorrow night.
“It’s very important for the confidence to start well, so it’s very important to win the first one and put in a good performance because every game is important,” Tavares said.
Central Coast Mariners Squad: 1. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Storm ROUX 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 6.Blake POWELL, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Mickael TAVARES, 11.Connor PAIN, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 13.Kwabena APPIAH, 14.Adam BERRY, Jacques FATY, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING, 25.Ryan PETERSON (NYL)
**two to be omitted**
Unavailable: 16.Liam ROSE (international duty – 4 weeks), 23.Jake ADELSON (ACL – indefinite)
Perth Glory squad: 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Marc WARREN, 5.Rhys WILLIAMS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 8.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9.Andy KEOGH 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 13 Nicholas FEELY (gk), 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Joseph MILLS, 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Josh RISDON, 21.Jamal REINERS, 22.Adam TAGGART, 23.Kosta PETRATOS, 24.Milan SMILJANIC, 33.Liam REDDY (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Hyundai A-League 2016/17 – Round 1
Saturday 8 October 2016
Perth Glory vs. Central Coast Mariners
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
kick-off: 10:00pm (AEDT) 7:00pm (AWST)
Official hash-tags: #PERvCCM & #CCMFC
TV Broadcast: Fox Sports 505
Radio Broadcast: 96.3 Coast FM