After producing a disappointing display against the Wellington Phoenix at Bluetongue Stadium last Sunday, John Hutchinson and his Central Coast Mariners team-mates are determined to deliver a famous win to their Members and supporters.
After producing a disappointing display against the Wellington Phoenix at Bluetongue Stadium last Sunday, John Hutchinson and his Central Coast Mariners team-mates are determined to deliver a famous win to their Members and supporters on Friday.
With only limited time to prepare for the second F3 derby of the season against fierce northern rivals the Newcastle Jets, the Mariners have not had time to dwell on the low point of their season four campaign.
Instead, the Mariners have immediately set their sights on the Jets and Hyundai A-League redemption, which could come as quickly as five days after the Mariners- dissonant showing against the Phoenix.
Hutchinson, a foundation Mariners player that has been at the centre of much of the clubs successes over the years, is spearheading the yellow and navy-s charge against the Jets and is more aware than most of just how valuable three points would be on Friday night.
“It-s the best thing that could happen to us, obviously it was a really disappointing result on Sunday and the quick turnaround is really good for us,” said Hutchinson.
“On Friday night, if we can get the three points, the Wellington game is half forgotten about, which will be really good.”
Perhaps the most charismatic figure in the history of the F3 derby between the Mariners and their northern rivals the Jets, Hutchinson is primed for another shot at east coast bragging rights on Friday night.
Hutchinson, who before starting for the Mariners in their 1-0 defeat to the Wellington Phoenix at Bluetongue Stadium last Sunday, had endured two weeks on the sidelines with a foot injury.
Hutchinson has significant history as an F3 derby game breaker having netted three goals in matches between the Hyundai A-League-s only two regional sides.
Hutchinson slotted a double against the Jets on New Year-s Eve in 2005 – one of only two braces in the history of the F3 derby – before netting the match opener in the opening regular season derby fixture of the Hyundai A-League 2006/07 season.
Perhaps ominously, Hutchinson netted his breakthrough goals of season three in the corresponding round to that which will take place this weekend – a pair of long range speculators against the Mariners- other derby rival, Sydney FC, at the Sydney Football Stadium in Round 9.
“I-ll look to where they are and run over to say hello to them and give them a quick wave,” said Hutchinson, when hypothesizing his goal scoring contribution on Friday in front of the Jets’ travelling band of supporters.
“To be honest I don-t really care who scores, as long as we get the three points.
“I think that both teams give a bit more in this game than what they normally would, I think it-s the only true New South Wales derby, it-s a massive game.
“This game will hopefully set up the rest of our season so if we can get the three points and move closer to the top two, we-ll set ourselves up for a big run home.”
The Mariners- Hyundai A-League season continues at Bluetongue Stadium on Friday, 24 October when they host northern rivals the Newcastle Jets. Kick off is at 8pm.
Prior to the main game, the Mariners- National Youth League (NYL) campaign will continue with the first ever F3 NYL derby between the Mariners and the Jets. Kick off is at 5.15pm.
Tickets for this match are on sale from Ticketek outlets, from the Ticketek website – www.ticketek.com.au, or via phone on 132 849.