Young Mariners head for the West

Relaxed and refreshed after notching a convincing win over Adelaide United, the Central Coast Mariners National Youth League team’s attention switches to the other side of the country where an eager Perth Glory await.

Relaxed and refreshed after notching a convincing win over Adelaide United, the Central Coast Mariners National Youth League team-s attention switches to the other side of the country where an eager Perth Glory await.

The Young Mariners turned in their best performance of the season to net five goals against Adelaide United. The fluent passing game that they have been threatening to use all campaign was on show, and the visitors simply had no answer. A methodical and composed defensive structure ensured that the Young Reds struggled to penetrate, and Tony Walmsley knows a repeat performance is necessary as his side faces up to the longest road trip in domestic sport.

“We set ourselves the goal a few weeks ago to get ourselves three wins in a row to move up the table, and we achieved our second one today. We-ve got a tough away trip to Perth next week to contend with, and hopefully we can continue to keep displaying performances like that,” Walmsley said.

Members of Graham Arnold-s Hyundai A-league squad, who have been included in the NYL squad in recent weeks, have provided valuable advice and encouragement for their younger teammates. It has been a positive experience for the youngsters as they very quickly realise the realities of professional sport. Competition for places is fierce in both squads, and it forcing everyone to lift their game providing benefits across the club.

Indeed the trend is quite capable of being reversed as well. With an emphasis on overall player development, the players in the National Youth League are capable of stepping up if the need arises.

“The experiences that the players have both in a training environment and in the A-League itself are great for the player. It-s important however that they learn from them and when they return to the Youth team they bring that experience back with them,” Walmsley said.

To even get a shot at a professional contract, the players know that performance in the National Youth is critically important. Their next chance to impress comes against the high-flying Perth Glory.

Perth currently sit in third spot on the ladder, and is brimming with confidence after dismantling the league-leaders, Brisbane Roar 2-1 last weekend.

In the Mariners- charge to the premiership last season, Perth was their closest rival in terms of points on the final table. In football playing at home is usually considered an advantage, but in their three clashes last season the home side could not get a victory.

It is a trend the Young Mariners will be hoping lasts for one more match, given that they travel to the West Australian capital this weekend.

With both sides coming off strong wins, it should be an entertaining and open affair. Perth will be hoping to a win to close the gap on the two sides leading the table, whilst the Mariners are aiming for their third straight win.

Regardless of the outcome of the match, both sides will be giving everything as they meet for the first time since January.

Saturday-s clash with Perth Glory will be the 7th competitive clash between the two clubs.

Previous Meetings

Friday, 26 Sept 2008 - Central Coast Mariners 0, Perth Glory 1, Bluetongue Stadium Saturday, 29 Nov 2008 - Central Coast Mariners 2, Perth Glory 1, Members Equity Stadium Saturday, 3 Jan 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 2, Perth Glory 2, Budgewoi Soccer Club Saturday, 28 Nov 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 0, Perth Glory 1, Pluim Park Saturday, 3 Jan 2010 - Central Coast Mariners 0, Perth Glory 1, Pluim Park Saturday, 30 Jan 2010 - Central Coast Mariners 3 Perth Glory 2, Clipsal Stadium

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

Unavailable: Brady SMITH (knee - season), Nikola STANOJEVIC (groin - 12 weeks), Brendan GRIFFIN (ankle - 2 weeks), Mitchell MALLIA (hamstring - 2 weeks).

Perth Glory squad: Tim DOYLE, Cameron EDWARDS, Dean EVANS, Sam MITCHINSON, Sahr MUSA, Harry O-BRIEN, Brandon O-NEILL, Sebit OYET, Alex PEARSON, Ryan PEARSON, Billy QUINNCROFT, Storm ROUX, Stephen WALMSLEY. *two to be added*

The Central Coast Mariners continue their 2010/11 National Youth League campaign this Saturday, 11 December at 6PR Stadium, Perth. Kick-off is at 5:00pm WST (8:00pm AEDT).