ACL a learning experience for Anderson


IMPOSING Central Coast Mariners stopper Zachary Anderson is relishing the opportunity to participate in dual competitions as the yellow and navy vie for concurrent Hyundai A-League and AFC Champions League success.

IMPOSING Central Coast Mariners stopper Zachary Anderson is relishing the opportunity to participate in dual competitions as the yellow and navy vie for concurrent Hyundai A-League and AFC Champions League success.

Alongside Patrick Zwaanswijk, Anderson contained the threat of Kashiwa Reysol-s cunning Brazilian marksman Cléverson Gabriel Córdova – colloquially known as Cléo – admirably in Japan in midweek.

Despite the 3-1 loss to Nelsinho Baptista-s outfit, the astute and articulate Anderson believes the Mariners can take vast amounts of confidence from their proud performance in the land of the rising sun, especially given it was against a side with an annual football budget exceeding $25 million.

“They work off a huge budget, there-s no lie to that,” Anderson said. “But we don-t use that as an excuse. We-ve got a fantastic team and we obviously work within the restraints of what we-ve got at the Mariners, and I think the Club does a fantastic job with what we-ve got.”

“They (Kashiwa) are a world class team and they-ve got some fantastic players. (Leandro) Domingues scored some fantastic goals and as a defender I took a lot away from the game.”

Less than 12 months into a two-season contract with the Mariners, 21-year-old Anderson is fast building a reputation as one of Australia-s top young centre backs.

Having made an impressive 22 appearances in all competitions in his debut campaign with the Mariners, the former Queensland Academy of Sport product has proven to be a shrewd acquisition by the expert Graham Arnold.

Indeed, Arnold and his assistant Phil Moss scouted Anderson during his debut game for the Qantas Olyroos against Iraq in Gosford just over a year ago, and were immediately struck by his leadership qualities and positive presence on the pitch.

And while Anderson-s on field exploits this season have highlighted his vast potential in the game, Arnold may in fact be more pleased with the former Gold Coast United defender-s capacity to gather lifelong football lessons from difficult defeats, as well as wonderful wins.

“We went over there with all intentions to get a result and in the end we didn-t get what we wanted but we took a lot away from the game,” he said.

“We-re not hiding from the fact there are still plenty of games to go in the competition. We-re still confident that we can get through this stage.”

Speaking of last weekend-s 2-0 loss to Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium, Anderson said: “We were a little bit disappointed with the effort levels but we-ve moved on quickly – we had to.”

“We had a game on Wednesday night, we have a game on Sunday and after that we-ve got another two games to go, so there-s still plenty to play for. We-re looking ahead.”

Anderson was one of the 50,168 witness to the Mariners- Grand Final penalty defeat against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium two years ago. And having played under Mike Mulvey at Gold Coast United last season, the powerfully built stopper is sure there will be plenty of feeling between the two sides at Bluetongue Stadium on Sunday.

“I was there in the grand stands watching the Grand Final a few years ago and I felt the emotion for the Mariners players,” he said.

“I am really looking forward to this game on Sunday. I-ve got plenty of mates playing for Brisbane (and) I-ve played under their Head Coach Mike Mulvey so I am really looking forward to their challenge on Sunday and hopefully we can get the result.”

Central Coast Mariners Squad: 1. Mathew Ryan (Gk), 2. Daniel McBreen, 3. Joshua Rose, 4. Pedj Bojic, 5. Zachary Anderson, 6. Patrick Zwaanswijk, 7. John Hutchinson (c), 8. Adriano Pellegrino, 9. Bernie Ibini, 11. Oliver Bozanic, 13. Brent Griffiths, 14. Michael McGlinchey, 15. Brad McDonald, 16. Trent Sainsbury, 17. Anthony Caceres, 18. Nick Montgomery, 19. Mitchell Duke, 20. Justin Pasfield (Gk), 21. Mile Sterjovski, 29. Nick Fitzgerald (Five to be omitted)
Ins: 8. Adriano Pellegrino, 13. Brent Griffiths, 15. Brad McDonald, 17. Anthony Caceres, 29. Nick Fitzgerald (all promoted)
Outs: Nil
Unavailable: 23. Adam Kwasnik (knee – season)

Brisbane Roar Squad: 1. Michael Theo (gk), 3. Shane Stefanutto, 4. Matt Jurman, 5. Ivan Franjic, 7. Besart Berisha, 8. Massimo Murdocca, 9. Stef Nijland, 10. Henrique, 11. Ben Halloran, 13. Jade North, 14. Steven Lustica, 15. James Donachie, 17. Mitch Nichols, 18. Luke Brattan, 19. Jack Hingert, 20. Matt Acton (gk), 22. Thomas Broich (c), 25. George Lambadaridis, 26. Corey Brown (Four to be omitted)
Ins: 8. Massimo Murdocca (returns from injury), 4. Matt Jurman (promoted), 25. George Lambadaridis (promoted), 26. Corey Brown (promoted)
Outs: Nil
Unavailable: 2. Matt Smith (hip – season)

Central Coast Mariners vs. Brisbane Roar – Hyundai A-League Round 25
Sunday 17 March, 2013
Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 5:00pm
Tickets: Please CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to the match.
Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter! The official match hash-tag is #CCMvROAR