Preview: #GraciasGarcia & #F3Derby

The Central Coast Mariners will be out to end a tough season with a win over their old foes, the Newcastle Jets whilst sending out Luis Garcia on a high note. Tony Walmsley, Luis Garcia & Nick Montgomery preview the #F3Derby.

For the first time in a long while Head Coach Tony Walmsley has the ability to select from a squad missing no one due to injury or suspension whilst the Jets miss former Mariner Nigel Boogaard who received a red card last weekend.

The #F3Derby also acts as a farewell event for Luis Garcia who will head back to Spain before commencing his punditry duties with beIN Sport for the 2016 UEFA European Championship in France. Garcia has not ruled out continuing to play, but this could very well be his last match as a professional footballer.

Things to look out for!

#GraciasGarcia social media frame, Hyundai Accent half time giveaway and Luis Garcia’s farewell lap. CLICK HERE for all of the relevant matchday info.   

Luis Garcia

“The derby is always an added extra and it will probably be my last game for the Central Coast Mariners in our stadium so hopefully we can play a good game and put on a good show for the people who come to the stadium,” Garcia said.

“Derbies are always special around the world but if I had to pick one it would be Everton vs. Liverpool because you can feel the excitement two weeks out from the game.

“I would love to finish with a good result that the people here deserve. It’s always good to finish with a win so hopefully we can give it to the supporters and the team,” Garcia said.

Tony Walmsley

“Everyone wants to get a win, everyone wants to get a clean sheet and after a long season it’s great to have everyone fighting for a spot,” Walmsley said. “It’s important against the Jets in our last game that we go out and have a crack.

“We all still pinch ourselves at times that Luis is here. He does some amazing things around the training pitch everyday and he’s work in the community has been absolutely incredible.

“He’s going to leave a very large imprint on everyone he’s come into contact with. He’s a very good footballer who turns average training sessions into works of art.

“I think what he’s done first and foremost is show our young players just what top level football looks like. Liam Rose’s progress has been significant and I wouldn’t downplay Luis’ impact on that.” Walmsley said.

Nick Montgomery

“I hate missing games, it’s been a tough season but I am raring to go for this weekend so hopefully we can finish with a win and put some smiles back on the fans faces,” Montgomery said.

“We will be playing for pride, our fans have been brilliant this season so we want to send them off with a smile on their face, it’s Luis’ last game and it would be nice to send him off with a win.

“Luis’ attitude and work rate since arriving has been second to none and I think all the boys will benefit learning from him.

“Individual mistakes have let us down this season but Saturday is a real opportunity for us to get one back and head into the off-season with some optimism.

"We rarely have been terrorised at the back but majority of the time we've been our own worst enemy, plotting our own downfall but we need to finish this season on a high.

"I hope the fans can come out in force, we're all in this together. It's been difficult for the players, the fans and the staff but it's a great club with a great history and everyone is determined to get it right for next season because we can't afford to have another season like this one," Montgomery said. 

Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Paul IZZO (gk), 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 5.Harry ASCROFT, 6.Mitch AUSTIN, 7.Fabio FERREIRA, 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c), 9.Roy O’DONOVAN, 10.Luis GARCIA, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 15.Brad McDONALD, 16.Liam ROSE, 17.Francesco STELLA, 19.Josh BINGHAM, 21.Michael NEILL, 22.Jake McGING, 28.Matthew FLETCHER, 30.Adam PEARCE (gk) **two to be omitted**

Ins: 1.Paul IZZO (gk) (return from illness), 8.Nick MONTGOMERY (c) (return from injury), 12.Trent BUHAGIAR (promoted)

Outs: 40.Tom Heward-Belle (GK) (not selected) 

Unavailable: 2.Storm ROUX (fractured fibula – season), 13.Alastair BRAY (GK) (torn meniscus – season)

Newcastle Jets squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (Gk), 2.Daniel MULLEN, 3.Jason HOFFMAN, 5.Ben KANTAROVSKI, 6.Cameron WATSON, 7.Enver ALIVODIC, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 10.LEONARDO, 12.Andy BRENNAN, 16.Steven UGARKOVIC, 17.Radovan PAVICEVIC, 19.Morten NORDSTRAND, 20.Ben KENNEDY (Gk), 22.Lachlan JACKSON, 24.Nicholas COWBURN, 28.Ryan KITTO
**two to be omitted**

Ins: 17.Radovan PAVICEVIC (promoted)

Outs: 4.Nigel BOOGAARD (suspended – 1 match)

Unavailable: 11.Labinot HALITI (knee – season)

Key stats

  • Not since the 2008 finals have the Central Coast Mariners mustered back-to-back wins against the Newcastle Jets in the Hyundai A-League.
  • There have been just six goals scored in the last five F3 Derbies, with neither side finding the back of the net more than once in any of those matches.
  • The Mariners have conceded more goals in the second half of games than seven Hyundai A-League teams have conceded in the whole campaign (42).
  • Jets gloveman Mark Birighitti (96) has made more saves than any other keeper so far this Hyundai A-League season at a save percentage of 71.6%, the best of any player who’s faced at least 220 shots.

Saturday 9 April 2016
Match: Central Coast Mariners vs. Newcastle Jets
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Tickets: CLICK HERE
Gates open: 3:15pm (AEDT)
Kick-off: 5:15pm (AEDT)
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 
Radio Broadcast: 96.3 Coast FM
Twitter: Join the match conversation using #F3Derby #CCMFC