Vukovic illness little concern for Mariners

Central Coast Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna says he’s not too worried about goalkeeper Danny Vukovic’s health, ahead of Saturday’s pre-season trial against Wellington Phoenix in Dubbo.

Central Coast Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna says he-s not too worried about goalkeeper Danny Vukovic-s health, ahead of Saturday-s pre-season trial against Wellington Phoenix in Dubbo.

Vukovic visited a doctor as a precaution on arrival in the Central Western city, after picking up what has now been diagnosed as a sinus infection.

Prescribed antibiotics and a period of rest, Vukovic remains all but certain to play in the club-s final competitive hitout before the start of the Hyundai A-League season.

"He didn-t feel great when he got off the bus, and it-s got worse, so young Nathan Kenyon, the young goalkeeper from Dubbo who is in our academy is on the bench, and he probably won-t sleep well tonight. He-s at training tomorrow, so I-m sure deep down he-ll be hoping Danny turns up.

"We don-t want to risk anyone who has niggles or who isn-t feeling right, but psychologically you want to win the game. It-s the last major game before the A-League starts, and it would be great to have a wee win up here," said McKinna.

With regular deputy Andrew Redmayne on Australian Under 20-s duty, Kenyon, and a couple of unlikely candidates were putting their hands up as backup, during a coaching clinic for Dubbo juniors.

"It-s between Kwas (Adam Kwasnik) and Hutch (John Hutchinson). They-re having goalkeeper auditions in case Vuka ends up in the sickbed. This is the last group, the final exam, so we-ll see who wins, but six -year olds are a lot different to the Phoenix," joked captain Alex Wilkinson.

The squad endured a marathon six hour bus trip to Dubbo before immediately hitting the training pitch. Despite this, the squad remains in good spirits.

"We just used it to shake the cobwebs off. We-ll train a lot more intensively tomorrow, and seeing how the boys go we might have a session at 5o-clock as well. That one is out of the way now, we-ll turn up tomorrow, the boys will be well rested tonight, and we look forward to a good session tomorrow," said McKinna.

"A bit sore. It-s pre-season and (strength and conditioning coach Andrew) Clarky-s been working us fairly hard over the last couple of weeks, and when you incorporate a couple of games in there, the boys are pretty sore. We had a good loosener today then we-ll have another session tomorrow and be ready for the game on Saturday, because it-s a pretty important game.

"It-s the last game we-ll have against A-League opposition, we-ll gave a couple of games amongst ourselves before the Melbourne game.

"It-s important for us to have a decent game, and keep the confidence going, we-re unbeaten, so hopefully we can continue that," Wilkinson said.

The Mariners clash with Wellington Phoenix this Saturday, 25 July at Apex Oval, Dubbo. General Admission tickets are $10 adults and $5 for Child/Concession. Kick-off is at 6pm.

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