Youth look to build on solid start

The Central Coast Mariners National Youth League side heads into Sunday’s trip to Brisbane on the back of an unbeaten start to the new campaign, but sitting in fifth place on the back of three draws and a win, head coach Tony Walmsley is keen to see more from his young charges.

The Central Coast Mariners National Youth League side heads into Sunday-s trip to Brisbane on the back of an unbeaten start to the new campaign, but sitting in fifth place on the back of three draws and a win, head coach Tony Walmsley is keen to see more from his young charges.

Having shipped seven goals so far in 2009/10, Walmsley is calling for a tougher edge in defence, as the Mariners- Youth aim to turn the undefeated start into a series of victories.

After grinding out a 2-all draw with the Australian Institute of Sport last week, the Mariners face a significantly tougher challenge this week, with the Roar expected to field the likes of Michael Zullo and Andrew Packer.

"Our biggest focus is in the development of our youth players towards senior football, and a big part of that is the development of a winning mentality," said Walmsley.

The youth team is working hard to apply a tactical understanding under increasing technical and physical expectations and so far has demonstrated a growing appreciation of a high-speed passing game.

Sitting just outside the top four, assistant coach Damien Brown is confident the squad is on the verge of becoming a strong force in the National Youth League this season.

"The boys are coming to terms with not only a new approach but the need to deal with regular changes to the team, as we see different players from the Mariners- first team coming in from week to week.

"They are starting to show signs of consistency, but we have a tough series of away matches coming, so up they need to show a lot of character, take the initiative and play themselves into contention," Brown said.

Adam Ormsby has succumbed to a thigh injury picked up in last week-s draw with the AIS, however Nathan Sherlock is now fully recovered from a groin injury, which has frustrated the inaugural NYL captain for much of the pre-season, and is in contention for a starting spot after impressing off the bench last week.

First team members Ahmad Elrich and Shane Huke are also expected to feature in the starting eleven.

Brisbane Roar vs. Central Coast Mariners Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane Sunday, 18 October Kick-off: 3:15pm QST

Central Coast Mariners:

Matthew RYAN (gk), Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), Ahmad ELRICH (OA), Shane HUKE (OA), Nathan SHERLOCK, Manny GIANNAROS, David GULLO, Nick FITZGERALD, Gavin FORBES, Matthew LEWIS, Brady SMITH, Brendan GRIFFIN, Panni NIKAS (c). *two to be added*

IN: Ahmad ELRICH (from first team), Matthew RYAN (promoted), David GULLO (promoted)

OUT: Nik MRDJA (knee - one week), Adam ORMSBY (thigh - one week), Mitchell MALLIA (not selected), Luka DUKIC (not selected), Nik MATIC (gk) (not selected)

UNAVAILABLE: Jerry KALOURIS (ankle - three weeks)

The Mariners- next match of the National Youth League 2009/10 season will be against Brisbane Roar at Ballymore Stadium this Sunday, 18 October. Kick-off is at 3:15pm.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season are now on sale by clicking here.