NPL 2 sponsored by State Road Constructions |
After a win and a draw to kick off the season, Nick Montgomery and his State Road Constructions NPL2 Men’s squad will return home to Pluim Park on Sunday afternoon for a clash with ladder-leading NWS Spirit.
After going down 2-0 early last weekend Monty’s side came storming back to win the game 4-3, and ahead of a challenging clash this week the former Mariners captain praised the character of his side.
“Going 1-0 down against the run of play is always hard but then 2-0 down in a game that you were dominating, you have to show character and get back in the game and we did that quickly,” he said.
“We’ve been trying to build resilience with the players since I took over the group and that comeback is a sign of that resilience and they are starting to show it.”
Matt Cahill, Mikey Katsoulis, Harry McCarthy and Kyle Johnson all scored and Monty said it was pleasing that the team were finding goals from a number of sources.
“Obviously we lost Alou [to A-League], and he was our talisman for the youth team,” he said.
“But to share the goal around was good, we had Matt who is back from America and in the Academy, Katsy scored, we do have goal scorers in our team.”
“Particularly in our front third we’ve got players like Harry who can assist and score so it was definitely nice to have four different goal scorers.
A chance to leapfrog Spirt presents itself this week, but the squad knows it will be a tough task despite being on their own pitch.
“I’ve had the chance to watch their game from last week and they’re aggressive, physical and we’ll have to be on our game because it’s going to be a tough task,” Montgomery said.
“We’re at Pluim Park so it’s our home ground, a big pitch and we enjoy playing their on a nice surface, it’s a good change from the synthetics we have been on the last couple of weeks.”
“We can’t wait to get out there on Sunday and the boys are buzzing for the challenge.”
The U/20 side will also take on the Spirit, and they will be aiming to continue a strong start that has seen them take two wins from their two opening matches.
Fixtures | Pluim Park, Sunday 2nd August
1st Grade: Central Coast Mariners v NWS Spirit – 3pm
U/20’s: Central Coast Mariners v NWS Spirit – 1pm
Cook Park, Saturday 1st August
U/18’s: Mounties Wanderers v Central Coast Mariners – 3pm
U/16’s: Mounties Wanderers v Central Coast Mariners – 1:20pm
U/15’s: Mounties Wanderers v Central Coast Mariners – 11:15am
U/14’s: Mounties Wanderers v Central Coast Mariners – 10:25am
U/13’s: Mounties Wanderers v Central Coast Mariners – 9am
NPLW 2 sponsored by Club Mingara |
After 1-0 and 6-0 wins since the restart, Dan Barrett’s Club Mingara NPLW 2 squad are raring to go as they prepare for a big test against the 2019 Champions Gladesville.
Gladesville knocked Barrett’s side out of the finals series last year but Barrett said his side are not focussing on it as a revenge game, rather just looking to build on their positive signs so far.
“Defensively we’ve been good, we’ve spent a lot of time working on our work at the back,” he said.
“Because I think in an 11-game season if you can keep your opposition to nil when you know you can score goals yourselves, that’s important and we’re playing off the back of that so to speak.”
“It’s something that we’ve made a point of, keeping them to zero.”
“This will be our biggest challenge, although Nepean was a tough one, we know that Gladesville have some players who can score and will test us.”
Barrett has essentially a full strength squad to pick from outside Dani Wise, who has been a key part of the team in front of goals in recent times.
While she will miss the remainder of the season, Barrett said it’s imperative they work to find her goals from elsewhere, and he’s confident that there is depth in the program to do exactly that.
“We’ve got some fantastic young talent coming through underneath Dani within the academy program and some we’ve promoted into the reserve team,” Barrett said.
“But it’s a process of making sure they’re ready, and introducing them at the right time. One of those girls in particularly is Annalise Rasmussen, who is a fantastic young talent but we want to make sure that we manage her correctly and give her the time when it’s right.
“We do have goal scorers across the park though, Mikala Tucker, Iona Snape, Gab Blanch, lots of girls who can still put the ball in the back of the net.”
“And we’ve got Candace Phelan although we’re not putting too much pressure on her yet. She’ll come off the bench again this weekend and she just needs to build her minutes but she’s another one who can score.”
“Time will tell but we’ve definitely got players there who can contribute to the goalscoring.”
Fixtures | Christie Park, Sunday 2nd August
1st Grade: Gladesville Ravens v Central Coast Mariners – 3pm
Reserves: Gladesville Ravens v Central Coast Mariners – 1pm
Valentine Sports Park, Saturday 1st August
U/17’s: North Shore Mariners v Central Coast Mariners – 11:25am
U/15’s: North Shore Mariners v Central Coast Mariners – 9:15am
U/14’s: North Shore Mariners v Central Coast Mariners – 8:30am