Mariners Academy: Finals up for grabs in Week 9


As the business end of the season draws near, Week 9 of the NPL NSW competition shapes as a big one for our Men’s and Women’s Academy sides. With both of them facing byes next weekend in the penultimate round, it is important for both sides to bank points in clashes on Sunday at Pluim Park.

NPL2 sponsored by State Road Constructions |

Nick Montgomery’s 1st placed NPL2 side have an opportunity this weekend to put ground on second placed Northern Tigers ahead of their own bye next weekend.

A 3-1 win over SD Raiders on Saturday night kept them on top of the table and a point ahead of Tigers, two points ahead of NWS Spirit although the latter have a game in hand.

This week though with Tigers having a bye Monty’s team have the chance to turn the screws and they’ll look to do it in at Pluim Park on Sunday afternoon, but the former Mariners midfielder says the team are feeling no extra pressure as the ‘hunted’.

“Not at all, I’m confident in the boys and we knew at the start of the season we had a good squad assembled with some young lads pushing through,” he said.

“For me they’ve developed well and we deserve to be where we are, but we also know that there’s two games left so we can’t take our foot off the gas and we need to carry on with the same mentality we’ve had all season.”

Improved backline performances in recent weeks have kept opponents at arm’s length, and Monty said the team had done well despite a couple of lapses.

“We know with the way that we play and push bodies forward to score goals that we create vulnerabilities sometimes with a high line, and we play teams with good attacking players at this level.”

“That means though that we have to defend well like we have in the last couple of weeks, bar a lapse or two in concentration that has cost us a clean sheet.”

“This week we’ll need to defend like that again, and we’ll be vulnerable if we’re not switched on for the whole 90 minutes but I’m definitely pleased with those improved performances and we just need to ensure we carry on with that.”


Take a look at the NSW NPL2 Men’s table here.

Fixtures | Sunday, 13th September @ Pluim Park

1st Grade: Central Coast Mariners v St. George FC – 3pm

U/20’s: Central Coast Mariners v St. George FC – 1pm


NPLW sponsored by Club Mingara |

Women’s Academy Head Coach Dan Barrett says his team his ready and prepared for a crucial clash on Sunday afternoon as they look to firmly plant a foot in the finals door.

A cosy gap sits between the Mariners in fourth and the chasing pack, but with those teams having a game in hand and the bye next week approaching for Barrett’s side he knows that a big performance is needed this week.

“I’m really looking forward to it, it will be a difficult contest but I feel the squad has prepared well,” he said this week.

“If we get a win then our fate is in our hands, but a loss and we have to sit and wait to see if we make finals or not. It would be hugely beneficial to get the win, allow us to freshen up the group over the bye week and get them focused on finals football.”

Barrett will be sweating on the result of a fitness test for Brooke Miller on Friday night as she looks to beat a hamstring niggle, but said he is incredibly proud of the way his group has responded to injuries and departures to be in a strong position.

“The roster looks a lot different to the team that took the field in round one, and the players have had to adapt as the season plan has gone out the window through changes and to suit the current roster.”

“This group is young but have been well lead by our senior players who have provided stability, support and confidence to the squad.”


Take a look at the NSW NPL2 Women’s table here.

Fixtures | Sunday, 13th September @ Pluim Park

1st Grade: Central Coast Mariners v SD Raiders – 3pm

Reserves: Central Coast Mariners v SD Raiders – 1:05pm