At 24-years-of-age Storm Roux is still young but as one of the longest serving current Mariners he is quickly growing into a leader under Club Captain Nick Montgomery.
In the absence of Montgomery, Roux has worn the captain’s armband on three occasions this season and is likely to wear it again this Sunday against Melbourne Victory with Montgomery serving a one-match-suspension after receiving his fifth yellow card.
The Kiwi-International spoke to media after training on Wednesday and hailed his fellow defenders whilst highlighting the impact of goalkeeper, Paul Izzo.
“After three wins obviously, everyone is going to be positive,” Roux said. “We could feel it coming throughout the season so it’s great to finally get the results.
“It feels unbelievable, the back four are in high spirits and I think we need to pay credit to Paul Izzo who has been unbelievable this season and really shown people what he’s all about. He’s a great keeper and having Posco back in with Liam Rose slotting in, it’s been great for the back four to get those clean sheets,” Roux said.
Head Coach and accomplished defender Paul Okon has helped shape this season’s defensive unit and Roux paid credit to his whole team who are in great form.
“Paul Okon knows what he wants from his defenders and we work hard on that at training every day,” Roux said. “The whole team is in great form, it’s not just the back four who defend, the wingers drop back and the midfield is very strong so it’s a credit to the whole team.
“The record from last season just wasn’t good enough and we knew as professionals that we had to step up – the belief is growing every week and we’re just going to try our best to keep getting wins and keep getting clean sheets and hopefully end up in that top six,” Roux said.
Standing in between the Mariners and their fourth consecutive win is Melbourne Victory who sit second on the ladder and are coming off the back of a 0-0 stalemate with Newcastle.
The 2013/14 Hyundai A-League All Star said that he wants to commit his future to the Mariners and Paul Okon.
“We’re on a great run and we want to keep that going,” Roux said. “The team is playing well; Paolo has a vision for this team and I really want to re-sign and stay here with the Mariners. It’s always great when the coach believes in you, it makes you play better and believe in yourself.
“As players we would do anything for him, players want to be playing in that starting 11, everyone’s vying for a spot and I think that’s the reason we’re playing games now,” Roux said.
Roux said that with the armband comes added motivation and responsibility for a match that will see him come up against his Kiwi teammate, Marco Rojas.
“The last time I wore the armband was because Monty was out,” Roux said. “He is our captain and we all look up to him as players and it’s an honour to get the captain’s armband whenever you can and I want to become more of a leader.
“Wearing that armband you need to lead by example, you have to show leadership and be at the top of your game because all the other boys look at you as a leader – it’s a big responsibility and if I get that chance I want to take it with both hands,” Roux said.
“Rojas is an unbelievable player and that’s showing with the season he’s having,” Roux said. “I’ve gone up against him before so I know what he’s capable of and obviously played with him at New Zealand level so I know him a bit better than other defenders but it will be a hard task whether he lines up on my side or against Scotty he’s always a threat,” Roux said.
Hyundai A-League 2016/17 – Round 20
Sunday 19 February 2017
Central Coast Mariners vs. Melbourne Victory
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Tickets: CLICK HERE
kick-off: 5:00pm (AEDT)
Official hash-tags: #CCMvMVC & #CCMFC
TV Broadcast: Fox Sports 505
Radio Broadcast: 96.3 Coast FM & 92.5 ABC Central Coast