Young Mariners look to Roar challenge

Fresh from securing their first victory of the 2010/11 National Youth League season, the Young Mariners are looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since December 2009, when they travel to take on the undefeated Brisbane Roar this Sunday.

Fresh from securing their first victory of the 2010/11 National Youth League season, the Young Mariners are looking for back-to-back wins for the first time since December 2009, when they travel to take on the undefeated Brisbane Roar this Sunday.

Goals from Matthew Lewis and Adam Kwasnik were enough to seal the points last Saturday, and consign the Melbourne Victory to bottom spot on the NYL table after the opening month of the competition.

Skipper Sam Munro was relieved to get the points after what was a physical clash against Melbourne.

"It was definitely a relief to get a win, we knew that we were going to a get a kick-along soon and that the goals were eventually going to go in the back of the net. Hopefully now we can keep scoring the goals and get a few wins,” said Munro.

Despite creating a plethora of chances throughout the match, the Young Mariners were only able to convert two of them to goals. Indeed, had Melbourne converted any one of their own chances the match could very well have turned out differently for the young Central Coast side.

“We were calm going into halftime because you can always win a game 1-nil, but we also knew that if we were patient that the chances would come. The plan was to stay solid in defence and to take the chances when we came, we didn-t quite achieve that by missing the penalty, but that-s football. It was a good performance from the boys,” Munro said.

Head Coach Tony Walmsley was happy with the performance of his side to open their account for the season, but concedes there are a number of areas that the side must improve. Most notably in transition from attack into defence. On a number of occasions against the Victory the Young Mariners turned the ball over and were caught short on the counter-attack. It-s skills such as these that are the hardest to learn but will contribute significantly to a player-s overall development.

“Melbourne certainly put us under a lot of pressure throughout the game, and the important thing for us to learn is to take up positions that balance out. Turnovers happen in a game and you need to be in a good position to defend that and recover quickly. It is something that all coaches around the world are working on and it is the hardest part of the game to get right.

“Once our players start playing with more tactical sense those elements of our game will come together…a) we will keep the ball better, and b) when we do lose it we will be in better shape to deal with the counter-attack,” Walmsley said.

Munro agrees with his coach-s assessment but believes it is an area of the team-s game that will rapidly improve as combinations develop.

“I think a quicker transition will come with more fitness and game time. I think as the boys gain knowledge of how everyone else plays it will all come together and I-m looking forward to seeing that happen as we play more games,” Munro said.

The Young Mariners benefited from having the experienced Hyundai A-League players in the squad last weekend, and Munro believes that gave them confidence especially during the periods of the match when they faced repeated raids by the willing Victory attack.

“We defended very well and I think having Chris Doig out there in particular helped a lot. Hearing his voice barking instructions helped the guys in defence,” Munro said.

The Young Mariners steel in defence will be tested thoroughly by their next opponents, the Brisbane Roar. In their three games to date this season Brisbane have netted six goals, twice the Mariner-s tally. Brisbane have also managed two draws and a win, to comfortably sit in fourth spot on the ladder and will be hoping to continue that streak when they welcome the Mariners to Spencer Park.

Matches between the two combatants are traditionally high-scoring affairs. In the six matches played to date the goal keepers have picked the ball out of the back of the net 21 times. Interestingly enough the Mariners have scored 11 of those goals to Brisbane-s 10 suggesting that no side has really exerted sustained dominance over the other.

Brisbane is a very well drilled side that likes to play an attacking brand of football. The Mariners are a team who pride themselves on their defensive abilities and ability to keep possession.

It-s an interesting combination, which paves the way for an intriguing encounter.

Sunday-s clash with Brisbane Roar will be the 7th competitive clash between the two clubs.

The Central Coast Mariners National Youth League team continue their 2010/11 campaign away to the Brisbane Roar this Sunday 17th October at Spencer Park. Kick-off is at 3:00pm AEST.

Previous Meetings

Saturday, 6 Dec 2008 - Central Coast Mariners 1, Queensland Roar 0, Bluetongue Stadium Saturday, 20 Dec 2008 - Central Coast Mariners 1, Queensland Roar 2, Ballymore Stadium Saturday, 10 Jan 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 0, Queensland Roar 3, Bluetongue Stadium Sunday, 8 Oct 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 2, Brisbane Roar 1, Ballymore Stadium Saturday, 4 Nov 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 3, Brisbane Roar 1, Ballymore Stadium Saturday, 19 Dec 2009 - Central Coast Mariners 4, Brisbane Roar 3, Bluetongue Stadium

Central Coast Mariners squad: Nikodin MATIC (gk), David BRADASEVIC (gk), Mitchell DUKE, Nick FITZGERALD, Max GLANVILLE, Brendan GRIFFIN, Bernie IBINI, Nathan JAGELMAN, Jerry KALOURIS, Matthew LEWIS, Alex MANSUETO, Sam MUNRO (c), Mitchell MALLIA, Jimmy OATES, Brady SMITH.

Unavailable: Adam ORMSBY (back - 1 week)

Brisbane Roar Youth Squad: Ross ARCHIBALD, Christopher BUSH (c), Matthew BYRNE, James DONACHIE, Ken DOUGALL, Liam McCORMICK, Jacob McLEAN, Josh McVEY, Dane MILOVANOVIC, Alistair QUINN, Matthew THURTELL, Nick TUBBS (gk). *three to be added*

Unavailable: Matt ACTON (international duty), Daniel BOWLES (international duty), Josh GROENEWALD (hernia - four weeks)

Referee: Matthew SKINNER