Sterjovski steeled for send-off

Central Coast Mariners attacker Mile Sterjovski says he’s looking forward to Saturday’s Hyundai A-League clash against 2013 Grand Final combatants Western Sydney Wanderers at Central Coast Stadium.

Central Coast Mariners attacker Mile Sterjovski says he-s looking forward to Saturday-s Hyundai A-League clash against 2013 Grand Final combatants Western Sydney Wanderers at Central Coast Stadium.

Sterjovski will retire at the end of the Club-s 2013/14 campaign, and while he may feature again in Gosford for Phil Moss-s men in the AFC Champions League and/or 2014 Hyundai A-League Finals Series, the Club will celebrate the career of one of Australia-s best ever players this weekend.

“I think it-s going to be a big occasion, not just for myself but for the whole club,” he said. “It-s a chance to get second spot on the table and we-re hoping for a massive crowd, so it-s going to be a massive game all round.”

“I think I-ve been ready [to retire] for a while. I-ve prepared myself for this time and I-m just looking forward to it. I am definitely going to miss playing at the Mariners and being around the boys, but I am ready for retirement and hopefully we can go out with a bang.”

The former LOSC Lille and FC Basel man says he was pleased with his team-s come-from-behind 2-1 win over Melbourne Heart at AAMI Park last Saturday.

“I think early on in the season we might have let that game slip away. In recent times we-ve just found the courage to keep going on and the confidence to fight our way back into the games,” he said.

“The substitutes that have come on in these games have had a massive impact and really changed the games for us. It-s great to see that we have a really good squad and every player plays a part in our success.”

The 34-year-old admits he-s expecting a tough match against Tony Popovic-s men but insists the yellow and navy are well prepared.

“We are expecting a very tough game as always against the Wanderers. They have a massive crowd behind them and they are a well-organised team lead by Popovic. We-re expecting a hard game but we-re up for the challenge. We really look forward to games like this.”

Meanwhile, Mariners defender Zac Anderson says the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions can-t wait for tomorrow-s much-anticipated contest to get underway.

“A little bit of a rivalry has been formed since the Grand Final last year and the boys are really looking forward to this weekend,” Anderson said. “It-s the last home game of the regular season and we are really looking forward to getting out there.”

“We-ve been working very hard over the last few weeks to put some results together to make sure we-re up the top of the table come the end of the season. It-s a massive game for both teams and if we can sew up second spot this weekend it would be a great platform leading into the finals.”

The ex-Gold Coast United player also praised Sterjovski on his career ahead of his final regular season match at Gosford-s idyllic bayside arena.

“Mile is a fantastic man,” he said. “He-s a guy I truly look up to, someone when I came to the Club who took me under his wing and I-ve learnt so much from him on and off the pitch.”

“He deserves everything he-s going to get from his life after football, because he-s a true inspiration to every young footballer coming through. Hopefully we can give him a good result this weekend and send him off in a good way,” concluded Anderson.

Central Coast Mariners vs. Western Sydney Wanderers - Hyundai A-League 2013/14 Round 25 Saturday 29 March 2014 Central Coast Stadium, Gosford Kick-off: 5:30pm Gates open: 4:00pm Tickets: Please click here to purchase tickets to the match Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter using #CCMvWSW & #ThanksMile