The Central Coast Mariners Academy are up against the Mt Druitt Town Rangers this Saturday in the PS4 NPL 2 Competition.
Goals from Duncan Stewart and Michael Glassock weren’t enough last weekend, as the Central Coast Mariners were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw away from home after leading North Shore Mariners 2-0 at half time.
This week it is crucial that the boys get back to winning ways when they face Mt Druitt on Saturday afternoon. With a game in hand it provides an opportunity for the boys in Yellow & Navy to potentially climb into the top six.
It will be a tough test however, with Mt Druitt currently sitting in fourth place and on a four-game-unbeaten streak. The visitors stunned the second placed St. George last week, beating them 2-0 away from home, meaning they come into this weekend full of confidence.
For the neutral fan, this weekend’s game looks to be a mouthwatering fixture, with both teams fighting for a semi-final spot, there is sure to be plenty of excitement on offer.
The Mariners Academy have been impressive in front of goal this NSW NPL 2 season, scoring 59 goals in 23 games, with Duncan Stewart scoring 16 and Brenton Fox adding another 13.
The previous meeting between the two sides saw the Mariners Academy come out 3-0 victors at Popondetta Park. A similar win this weekend would go a long way to securing a top six spot for the upcoming finals series.
This week we caught up with returning player Daniel McFarlane. ‘Macca’ spent 18 months in Scotland with Albion Rovers but has returned to the Mariners for another stint with his junior club.
“I learnt a lot about the game and now feel very comfortable in a variety of different positions,” McFarlane said. “I came back home because of the opportunity at the Mariners that was presented to me by the coaching staff and I felt it was the right step in my career after getting a taste of first team football in Scotland.
“The level over there is of a high standard with a physical aspect I previously hadn’t been exposed to, but it was a great experience. The standard here is higher under the coaching staff and I think it is a more enjoyable style of play in both the Academy and A-League set up which will no doubt be successful this season.
Speaking of last weekend’s performance, McFarlane was disappointed with the result, saying “I thought we played outstanding in the first 45 minutes and we played them off the park, and I think we could have been more than two goals up. North Shore changed things up in the second half, and credit to them for that but we still had chances to put the game to bed and we didn’t.
“The boys were extremely frustrated with the result which shows our winning mentality, we all know that this week is a must win and we have been extremely focused at training in order to prepare as best we can for Saturday.
“Obviously I wasn’t at the Mariners when we beat them 3-0 earlier in the year but I know they are always a tough test to play against from the years gone by, we are highly motivated for this game and every individual wants to be there come semi-finals time,” McFarlane said.
Saturday August 12 2017
PlayStation NPL Men’s 2 Round 24
Central Coast Mariners Academy vs Mount Druitt Town Rangers
Venue: Pluim Park