Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold has today named a provisional 19-player squad for his side’s much anticipated first game of the Hyundai A-League season against Brisbane Roar.
Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold has today named a provisional 19-player squad for his side-s much anticipated first game of the Hyundai A-League season against Brisbane Roar.
Over the off-season, Arnold sought to build considerable depth in his playing squad, stating publicly he was eager to attain two quality players for each position on the pitch.
That strategy has paid dividends for the wily tactician, with the talented group of players Arnold has compiled giving the coach a welcome headache when it comes to finalising his squad.
While captain Alex Wilkinson (forearm), as well midfielders Mustafa Amini (groin), Stuart Musialik (adductor) and John Hutchinson (on loan) will definitely miss the trip to Suncorp Stadium, Arnold has named every other player in his first squad announcement of the season.
With two training sessions left before the team heads north, Arnold indicated his mind wouldn-t be made up until just before the team bus departs for Sydney Airport.
“I couldn-t be prouder of the way to boys have performed this pre-season,” Arnold said. “They-ve been absolutely first class on and off the pitch, and this is one of the reasons why I-ve got such a difficult decision to make.”
“We have looked to build a squad with the most Australian players of all the Hyundai A-League teams, working within the salary cap and unable to splash out on big name marquees or foreign signings like other clubs.
“But there-s an advantage in that, given we now have incredible competition for a place in the squad, let alone the starting eleven.”
Meanwhile, new recruit Adriano Pellegrino said the team is “buzzing” leading into the clash with Roar.
The former Perth Glory man has been a consistent performer for the Mariners throughout the pre-season.
“There-s been a really good feel around training this week. It-s been a long pre-season so we-re just eager to get up to Brisbane and perform,” Pellegrino said.
Brisbane Roar vs. Central Coast Mariners
Saturday 8 October – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-Off: 7:45pm (local), 8:45pm (AEDT)
TV: LIVE on FoxSports 1
RADIO: LIVE on Coast FM (96.3FM)
TWITTER: Follow LIVE match updates and join the conversation at www.twitter.com/CCMariners
Central Coast Mariners Squad: 1. Mathew RYAN, 2. Daniel MCBREEN, 3. Joshua ROSE, 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Brad PORTER, 6. Patrick ZWAANSWJIK (c), 8. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 9. Bernie IBINI-ISEI, 10. Adriano PELLEGRINO, 11. Oliver BOZANIC, 12. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Michael MCGLINCHEY, 15. Brad MCDONALD, 16. Trent SAINSBURY, 17. Michael BAIRD, 19. Matthew SIMON, 20. Justin PASFIELD, 21. Sam GALLAGHER, 23. Adam KWASNIK *Four to be omitted*
Unavailable: 7. John HUTCHINSON (On Loan), 13. Stuart MUSIALIK (Adductor – 2 weeks), 18. Alex WILKINSON (Forearm – 1 week), 22. Mustafa AMINI (Groin – 4 weeks)