If you’re looking for a football fix this weekend, you can get to Pluim Park to support our boys or the Mariners Centre of Excellence to support our girls who both kick-off at 3pm. Entry is FREE to both venues.
Both teams are flying in their respective competitions with the men’s academy team still leading the way in the Club Championship whilst the women are in second spot.
Ahead of their respective clashes this Sunday, we caught up with Will Vazquez and Dan Barrett.
Central Coast Mariners Academy vs. Blacktown Spartans
After a wet weekend saw the boys washed out in their proposed away fixture to Mounties Wanderers, the Mariners have a game in hand on their competitors. Despite being a round behind, the Yellow & Navy still hold a one point lead in the Club Championship standings.
The Mariners Academy fixture against Mounties Wanderers is set to be replayed on Tuesday evening, which means the Mariners play three games in seven days.
In the first-grade league ladder standings, the Mariners Academy occupy second position and host the 10th placed Blacktown Spartans at Pluim Park.
With only a single loss to their name this season, the Mariners will be eager to get back to their winning ways after a weekend with no football.
Vazquez says the washout last weekend could have potentially been a blessing in disguise for his young squad.
“The week off was very good timing for the group as it gave the players a chance to freshen up as we launch our assault on the final stage of the competition,” Vazquez said. “We have been very intent on ensuring the focus remains on individual and collective improvement, with success and results a by-product of this, to which the boys have responded very well.
“This weekend we face another side we had trouble with in the first round in Blacktown Spartans, and they have recently gained some momentum with some good results. However, we see this as a great chance for the boys to step up against a formidable side who pose their own threats through an aggressive, vertical, counter attacking style.
“With the squad now back to full fitness [minus the long-term injuries of Wilson and Smylie] training has really heated up as competition for spots continues, so we are confident that the mindset of the players is in a good space at the moment,” Vazquez said.
Sunday, 17 June 2018
NPL 2 NSW Men's Round 16
Match: Central Coast Mariners Academy vs. Blacktown Spartans
Venue: Pluim Park, Lisarow
Central Coast Mariners Academy Women vs. SD Raiders
Dan Barrett’s girls were on the road to Nowra over the long weekend and secured another convincing 7-1 victory which sends yet another statement to the competition.
Red-hot striker, Candice Phelan extended her lead at the top of the golden boot standings when she scored a double to take her season tally to 27 goals in 14 games. Phelan’s brace was complimented by goals to Iona Snape, Georgia Davis x 2 and Gabby Blanch.
As young players continue to earn valuable game time, a well-drilled Mariners’ women’s team face a tough task in the SD Raiders this weekend. The Raiders are one of only two teams to beat our girls this season, so we’re set for a tight game.
Barrett said that his team have analysed their last game against the Raiders and are welcoming a big challenge.
“It’s a difficult prospect this week against the SD Raiders who beat us last time we played them,” Barrett said. “We have had a good review of that last match and spent the week training in preparation for the clash. We are ready and looking forward to the test.
“We missed some key players last week in Nowra and to be honest it took as a bit longer to find our groove. It was pleasing to see the second half the girls put on, scoring six and with much better structure and organisation.
“Mel Swinfield and Kirby Litterick will come back into the squad this weekend. They are welcomed returns. They will be fresher for the week off last weekend and both girls look forward to the tougher encounters like this one.
“I have been so appreciative of the support our girls are receiving each match day. It’s a real pleasure to play at home. We welcome that support again this weekend and it will be needed in this massive clash.
“We must keep winning. It’s as simple as that. We know how to win this Sunday after our preparation so, we have no excuses,” Barrett said.
Sunday, 17 June 2018
NPL 2 NSW Women’s Round 15
Match: Central Coast Mariners Academy Women vs. SD Raiders
Venue: Central Coast Mariners Centre of Excellence, Tuggerah