Alen Stajcic has named his first extended squad of the new A-League season as the Mariners prepare for the 51st F3 Derby against the Newcastle Jets.
The squad is almost at full strength, with only visa players Stefan Jankovic, Marcos Ureña and Michal Janota unavailable as they complete their time in hotel quarantine after arriving in Australia.
Speaking on Wednesday morning ahead of the clash, Stajcic did indicate though that the makeup of the starting eleven would depend on how some players trained in their final session.
“We have a couple of injuries, we’ll see how they are after training today whether they’re available for the game tomorrow or not,” he said.
“Its been a difficult year for the playing group in terms of how many times they’ve had off then had to do another pre-season then get back together then time off again.”
“There’s never been a season like it where players have to get up and ready for a competition 2/3 times in one year.”
“You probably will see more soft tissue injuries, not just here but across the world like we saw last night with [Andrew] Nabbout.”
“It’s going to be a difficult period for a lot of teams and especially with the players to ensure that they are at 100% peak fitness.”
The boss also confirmed that Oliver Bozanic will lead the squad as captain, part of a leadership group that includes Mark Birighitti, Kye Rowles and Matt Simon.
“Matt Simon and Ollie are great people to have, firstly they’re good people, secondly they are locals and thirdly they love the club and have been successful at the club in the past,” he said.
“They bring so much to the table, Oli has been in Europe recently and he can pass on that experience and mentality to our younger players and bringing that dedication and love for the game will be a real asset to our team and him and Simmo have done a great job in pre-season helping our squad not only on the pitch but off it too.”
Central Coast Mariners Squad: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 3.Lewis MILLER, 4.Joshua NISBET, 5.Stefan NIGRO, 6.Gianni STENSNESS, 8.Oliver BOZANIC (c), 10.Daniel DeSILVA, 11.Jack CLISBY, 14.Daniel BOUMAN, 15.Kye ROWLES, 19.Matt SIMON, 20.Adam PEARCE (gk), 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 23.Dan HALL, 25.Matthew HATCH, 26.Jaden CASELLA, 29.Alou KUOL, 30.Jordan SMYLIE, 31.Damian TSEKENIS, 32.Max BALARD
**2-4 to be omitted**
Unavailable: 7.Stefan JANKOVIC (quarantine), 12.Marcos UREÑA (quarantine), 22.Michal JANOTA (quarantine)
Match Details |
Central Coast Mariners v Newcastle Jets
Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Kick-Off: 7:05pm (Local) (7:05pm (AEDT))
Referee: Stephen Lucas
Assistant Referee 1: Ryan Gallagher
Assistant Referee 2: James Cleal
Fourth Official: Kurt Ams
VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7:00pm (AEDT), Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers
Radio Broadcast: Coast FM 96.3