After finishing the regular season as premiers in both NSW League One Men’s competitions, the Central Coast Mariners will be looking to do the double this weekend in both the First Grade and U/20’s grand finals.
It will be an action packed exhibition of football, with the U/20’s playing first at 12pm against Western Sydney Wanderers, before the first-grade side kick-off at 3pm against St George.
Speaking ahead of the bumper weekend, First Grade coach Luke Wilkshire said he is extremely pleased with how the two sides have come together this season, and is excited for a big grand final day.
“It is a fantastic achievement off the back of a great season in the NPL, both winning the premiership; it is where the boys deserve to be,” he said.
It has been a spectacular year for the first-grade side, finishing the season in first place after holding off grand final opponents St George on goal difference.
The two sides have already faced off once this finals series, with late goals from both sides taking the game into extra time.
Only a 118th-minute winner from St George would split the two teams, meaning that the Mariners would have to go the long way around to make the grand final.
They did just that, defeating Northern Tigers FC 2-0 last weekend to secure their place.
Wilkshire believes that playing two top sides over the past fortnight has prepared the team well, as they look to put on their best performance of the season.
“Having the St. George game and then to back it up the following week with Northern Tigers was good to have momentum,” he said.
“The confidence is there from the season that has been, the players and how they have performed. It is another game, it is the last game, they’ll go out and do what they need to do.”
The under 20’s will also be looking to cap off a fantastic season with a grand final win. The side has lost just twice throughout 2022, finishing the regular season in first place.
A 3-0 win over Northern Tigers FC in the major semi-final booked their ticket to tomorrow’s grand final, with the Western Sydney Wanderers defeated Tigers last weekend to set up a mouth-watering clash for the U/20’s title.
The success of not just the first-grade side but also the dominance of the U/20’s team has comes as no surprise to Wilkshire.
“That is what the club is renowned for and prides itself on, the academy and these young players growing and achieving,” he said.
“To see our young players in the club achieving the things that they are doing is a reflection of what is going on at the club.”
The two games will take place on Saturday, September 3rd at Sydney United Sports Centre. The first grade match will be streamed live on NPL.TV.
The Mariners’ Women’s teams will also feature this weekend, with both sides playing host to Blacktown City FC. The Under 20’s match kicks off at 1:05pm, while first grade is scheduled to start at 3pm at Mingara.