Saturday night’s clash with Western Sydney Wanderers is sure to be an emotionally charged affair, with club legend John Hutchinson set to bid farewell to the Central Coast Mariners in his last ever home game at Central Coast Stadium. Kick off is at 7:30 pm.
Another club legend in Matt Simon also has the opportunity to play his last match at Central Coast Stadium and while the Mariners are coming off a disappointing 6-1 loss on the road to Brisbane last week, the focus will be on farewelling the pair in style with a win against Western Sydney.
The Wanderers are making their first trip to Gosford this season and head into the fixture having only gained four points (1W, 2D) on the road in the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 season. Their previous two matches were 1-1 draws against Melbourne City last Friday and FC Seoul on Tuesday in their AFC Champions League clash.
Despite underwhelming in their third Hyundai A-League season, the Wanderers have a number of dangerous players across the park, including recent addition Kerem Bulut, who will present a tough proposition for the Mariners' defence having scored for fun over the last month.
While the Mariners have not been as lucky in the front third, the club have still been solid through midfield and are ranked third in the league for successful passes per match (352). The Mariners will be looking to capitalise on this stat on Saturday night, with the Wanderers ranked last in the league, averaging only 274 successful passes per match.
Speaking ahead of the clash, skipper John Hutchinson admitted it will be an emotional night at The Fortress, however his full attention is on bouncing back after last week’s loss and claiming the three points on Saturday night.
“I’ve just got to focus on what’s best for the team, what’s best for my teammates and what I need to do to get a victory for the last home game of the season.
I know the boys were really disappointed about that last performance up in Brisbane. We competed well, but most of the night we were second best.”
We’ve trained really hard the last couple of days and we’re trying to rectify that,” Hutchinson said.
The Wanderers will bring a loyal and boisterous supporter base, so make sure you get to Central Coast Stadium to drown out the red and black brigade, as well as to farewell Hutch and Matt Simon.
JOHN HUTCHINSON - Who else? Who would have thought that back in 2004 when he couldn’t find the entrance to Central Coast Stadium that it would one day become his second home. Yet since day one, the skipper has been a workhorse for the side, featuring in a record 225 Hyundai A-League matches, four AFC Champions League campaigns, and of course who could forget that historic day in the 2013 Grand Final against the Wanderers.
Win, lose or draw Hutch has promised he will make the most of his last night out at The Fortress by farewelling as many fans and members as he can.
“The most enjoyment you get as a footballer is walking around the fence and seeing a young kid smiling, and happy faces, and high fives and autographs, whatever it is” Hutchinson said.
“I just want to go around, say thanks and just take my time and make sure I soak up being a player for the Mariners one final time.”
Last Time We Met - Hyundai A-League 2014/15 - Round 13
The last clash with Western Sydney was a 0-0 draw on January 1st at Pirtek Stadium. We weren’t able to bring in the New Year with style; however we came away with a good point on the road. The previous encounter in 2014/15 was also a 0-0 draw in Parramatta.
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Matthew NASH (gk), 2. Storm ROUX, 3.Josh ROSE, 5.Zac ANDERSON, 7.John HUTCHINSON (c), 8.Nick MONTGOMERY, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Nick FITZGERALD, 12.Liam REDDY (gk), 15. Mathew SIM, 16.Liam ROSE, 19. Matthew SIMON, 20.Anthony KALIK, 22. Tom SLATER, 23.Isaka CERNAK, 24. Hayden MORTON, 25.Eddy BOSNAR, 26.Fabio FERREIRA ***two to be omitted***
Round 25 Saturday 11 April 2015
Match: Central Coast Mariners vs. Western Sydney Wanderers
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 7:30pm (AEST)
Television: Live on FOX SPORTS 505
Tickets: Click here to purchase tickets
Radio: Live on 96.3 Coast FM & ABC Grandstand
Twitter: Join the match conversation using #CCMvWSW #ThanksHutch #CCMFC