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Aug 20, 2009   |  7:46PM AET

Heffernan pleads case for defence

Heffernan pleads case for defence

Central Coast defender Dean Heffernan has paid tribute to the Mariners impressive start to the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season in defence, and has called for the trend to continue with another strong performance against Sydney FC this Saturday.

Central Coast defender Dean Heffernan has paid tribute to the Mariners impressive start to the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season in defence, and has called for the trend to continue with another strong performance against Sydney FC this Saturday.

Lawrie McKinna-s defensive unit has conceded just one goal so far this campaign, making his side the best at the back, alongside Gold Coast United and Adelaide United.

Heffernan says a solid display against the equal competition leaders is vital to continue the side-s impressive start to the season.

“(Chris) Doig has come in and during the pre-season and round one he did really well for us. Unfortunately he got injured and (there has been a) bit of a reshuffle along the back four we were quite solid again at the weekend,” said Heffernan.

“It-s something we have worked quite hard on in the pre-season, we-ll continue to work hard at it, and it-s looking good at the moment.”

“We-re really happy with that. As a defender, to come off with a clean sheet is what you aim for and this Saturday we-ll be looking to get another clean sheet on the board again.

Clashes between the near local rivals have often been the scenes of memorable moments, from the nine-goal thriller at Bluetongue Stadium to the Central Coast coming from 3-nil down to secure a 3-all draw at the Sydney Football Stadium last year.

The Mariners prevailed 2-1 thanks to a dramatic late winner the last time the two sides met, as Mile Jedinak slotted home a penalty deep into injury time, and Heffernan is predicting the latest installment should prove just as entertaining.

“Over the last four seasons it-s always been a good battle between Sydney and ourselves,” said Heffernan.

“A lot of people say we-re the ‘younger brother- of the two clubs and things like that, but for us we enjoy having them here and we enjoy the big games. They are always classic games against Sydney and hopefully again on Saturday afternoon we can have another one,” Heffernan said.

One lucky fan could become the Hyundai A-League-s 5-millionth fan at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday, should Adelaide United draw less than 12,161 tomorrow night, and would win a trip for two to Melbourne for the Qantas Socceroos- all important Asian Cup qualifier against Oman on 14 October.

With Sydney FC once again sure to bring a strong contingent of traveling support, Heffernan has issued a call to arms for Mariners fans to come out in force, and silence the famous “Cove”.

“We definitely need the fans to get out in numbers. We know the Cove like to get up here and are quite noisy when we play, so if the Marinators can get out here in their numbers and make a lot of noise for us it always helps.

Heffernan will line up with the rest of his Mariners teammates in the club-s next home match of the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season against local rival Sydney FC is this Saturday, 22 August. Kick-off is at 3pm. Tickets are available online here or by phoning 132 849.

Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season are now available online by clicking here or by phoning 1300 767 442.