The young and the restless; Mariners to take on Victory

A week away from football, courtesy of a deferred round seven fixture, the Central Coast Mariners National Youth League side is itching to resume regular service, starting with this Sunday’s clash away to Melbourne Victory.

A week away from football, courtesy of a deferred round seven fixture, the Central Coast Mariners National Youth League side is itching to resume regular service, starting with this Sunday-s clash away to Melbourne Victory.

By the time Sunday-s kick-off arrives Tony Walmsley-s charges would not have laced a boot in anger for fourteen days, so understandably the side is eagerly anticipating the chance to do what they love to do, play football.

In their last outing at home the Young Mariners managed to hold the League Leaders Gold Coast United to a 1-all draw in atrocious conditions. A goal from Bernie Ibini-Isei with the last kick of the first half appeared to have sealed the points for the Mariners. However a late Gold Coast goal ensured that the points would be shared.

Like their counterparts in the Hyundai A-League, the Young Mariners are doing their best to break the drought with several of their fixtures being played in unseasonably wet conditions. It-s something the side should get used to, early forecasts suggests that late showers during their match in Melbourne are a definite possibility.

It-s a drought of a different kind that the side is hoping to break when they travel to the Victorian capital this weekend. In their five matches to date the side has managed to net just five goals, the fewest of any side in the league. The team hasn-t been without their chances, and as the combinations continue to improve with each match, the opportunity to breach their opponents net will continue to present itself.

Head coach Tony Walmsley has been pleased with the application and preparation of his charges during training ahead of Sunday-s clash.

“Our preparation has been great. The boys are working very hard and competition for places is where we want it to be.

“Arnie (Hyundai A-League coach Graham Arnold) has invited five players, Mitchell Mallia, Bernie Ibini-Isei, Nick Fitzgerald, Adam Ormsby and Brendan Griffin into full-time training, and the response from everyone has been fantastic. This is what the NYL is all about,” Walmsley said.

In a clear case of anything you can do, I can do better, the Young Mariners will be taking on Victory side full of confidence after handing the high-flying Gold Coast their first defeat of the campaign last start.

“Melbourne were good when we beat them recently. They are a physical team and play direct. In the 4-1 win last week they had some senior players playing so we are expecting a very tough challenge. For us it-s about converting our chances when we have sustained pressure on them in possession.

“We are defending well which was a goal at the start of the year, so we have a real chance of getting something out of the game,” said Walmsley.

The fact that the match against the Gold Coast was played at the same venue as Sunday-s forthcoming encounter suggests that the Melbourne side have taken a liking to their home turf.

Fresh in the minds of both combatants is the most recent of the seven previous encounters between the two sides. The Mariners came off the victors in that encounter at Budgewoi, with a 2-nil victory over the southerners.

Historically clashes between the two rivals tend to be tight, tense affairs, in some ways mirroring the results of their Hyundai A-League counterparts.

That doesn-t faze Tony Walmsley though.

“We are going there to win.”

The Central Coast Mariners National Youth League team is in action this Sunday, 7 November when they take on Melbourne Victory FC at John Cain Memorial Park, Melbourne. Kickoff is at 2:00pm (ADST).

Sunday-s clash with Melbourne Victory will be the 8th competitive clash between the two clubs.

Previous Meetings

Saturday, 11 Oct 2008 - Central Coast Mariners 2, Melbourne Victory 1, Bluetongue Stadium Saturday, 22 Nov 2008 - Central Coast Mariners 1, Melbourne Victory1, Bob Jane Stadium Saturday, 17 Jan 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 2, Melbourne Victory 1, Epping Soccer Stadium Sunday, 8 Nov 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 1, Melbourne Victory 4, Veneto Club Saturday, 12 Nov 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 2, Melbourne Victory 1, Bluetongue Stadium Saturday, 20 Feb 2010 - Central Coast Mariners 1, Melbourne Victory 1, Epping Soccer Stadium Saturday 9, Oct 2010 - Central Coast Mariners 2, Melbourne Victory 0, Budgewoi

Melbourne Victory squad: Luke PILKINGTON, Tedros YABIO, Rani DOWISHA, David STIRTON, Damir LOKVANCIC, James KALAFATIDIS, Jason RICCIUTI, Jake NAKIC, Anthony SELEMIDIS, Alastair BRAY, Paulo RETRE, Peter FRANJIC, Stephen HATZIKOSTAS, Luke O-DEA. *one to be added*

Unavailable - James JEGGO (Leg), Nicholas ANSELL (National duty)

Central Coast Mariners squad: David BRADASEVIC (gk), Mitchell DUKE, Nick FITZGERALD, Sam GALLAGHER, Max GLANVILLE, Brendan GRIFFIN, Bernie IBINI-ISEI, Nathan JAGELMAN, Mitchell MALLIA, Alex MANSUETO, Nik MATIC (gk), Sam MUNRO (c), Jimmy OATES, Adam ORMSBY, Trent SAINSBURY, Marc WARREN. *one to be omitted*

Unavailable: Brady SMITH (knee - season), Nikola STANOJEVIC (groin - four weeks), Jerry KALOURIS (ankle - 2 weeks)

Referee: Alex Azcurra