Twenty-two years after top flight football first arrived in Australia’s national capital in the form of Johnny Warren’s Canberra City, the Central Coast Mariners will bring an historic maiden Hyundai A-League match to the city, when they take on Perth Glory at Canberra Stadium tomorrow night.
Twenty-two years after top flight football first arrived in Australia-s national capital in the form of Johnny Warren-s Canberra City, the Central Coast Mariners will bring an historic maiden Hyundai A-League match to the city, when they take on Perth Glory at Canberra Stadium tomorrow night.
While the club is proud to be a part of history being made, of more importance will be three points over the vastly improved Glory, following the Mariners- first slip up of the new season, in the form of a 1-nil loss to Brisbane last weekend.
“It was poor last week, and Perth are coming in full of confidence, (they-ve had) two good wins at home, and are a strong, experienced team, so we need to be right on top of our game, physically and mentally to get a result,” said McKinna.
“Obviously had a poor end to last season and have made a good start to this season., we have one bad one and suddenly everyone is on our case again, but you can-t say anything about it, because we didn-t win and we didn-t play well.
“Training has been upbeat this week. We were all disappointed at the middle part of the game last week. The beginning and the end part were OK, but the middle part was poor. We need to get back to doing the basic things we do well – work hard, close teams down, and we have to start taking a few chances as well.”
With reports that one of the key stakeholders behind a Western Sydney A-League franchise has pulled out from bidding for the Hyundai A-League-s 12th licence, tomorrow night-s clash at Canberra Stadium will prove the perfect platform for locals to send a message to Football Federation Australia, backing the A-League4Canberra consortium.
“It-s a great opportunity for the Canberra people to come out and show that they are behind the Canberra A-League bid. Hopefully they-ll come out in numbers, and it will show the FFA that they have the numbers to support a team down here.
“I know a lot of our members are coming down, and it will be a good night, a nice fresh, spring night in Canberra, it should be a good turnout and atmosphere, because they-ve got behind us the last three years we-ve been down there,” said McKinna.
With the midweek departure of left-winger Adrian Caceres to Wellington Phoenix, and the arrival of injury replacement Wolry Wolfe, McKinna has injected a new flavour to the squad, but it may be a slightly more familiar face to benefit with a starting berth tomorrow night.
“Nicky Travis came on last week and did very well, so I-ll look to get him starting tomorrow. He-s a good ball player and good going forward, so it-s a good opportunity for him to get a starting spot.
“Obviously we-ll be having a look at Wolry, whether he-ll be in the squad or not, he-ll be training and traveling with the squad. He-s got a good pedigree, and we-ll see how he does,” McKinna said.
A side story to the clash on the pitch will be the battle off it, as McKinna again finds himself in the opposing dugout to great friend and Perth Glory mentor David Mitchell.
“It-s always good with Mitch, I remember his first game in charge for Glory when Ron Smith resigned was against us, and Mitch got sent from the field for kicking a bottle – it actually went further than he can kick the ball, it was quite funny at the time!
“It-s always good to catch up with Mitch, we-re very good friends and I wish him all the best, but hopefully we win,” said McKinna.
With Dylan Macallister back in the reckoning after missing last week-s trip to Brisbane, McKinna could again tinker with his attack, but is more concerned about the team-s overall performance.
“It-s up to the boys now to get a good performance this weekend on the park, get three points and jump back up that table,” McKinna said.
*Hyundai A-League Head-to-Head: Played 12: Central Coast Mariners wins 8, Perth Glory wins 1, Drawn 3
*Overall Head-to-Head: Played 15: Central Coast Mariners wins 10, Perth Glory wins 2, Drawn 3
Central Coast Mariners Squad: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 4. Pedj BOJIC, 5. Brad PORTER, 7. John HUTCHINSON, 8. Dean HEFFERNAN, 9. Nik MRDJA, 11. Dylan MACALLISTER, 12. Matthew LEWIS, 14. Michael McGLINCHEY, 15. Andrew CLARK, 16. Nigel BOOGAARD, 18. Alex WILKINSON (c), 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21. Ahmad ELRICH, 22. Nicky TRAVIS, 23. Adam KWASNIK, 27. Wolry WOLFE.
*three to be omitted*
In: Dylan MACALLISTER (promoted), Matthew LEWIS (promoted), Wolry WOLFE (new signing)
Unavailable: Shane HUKE (knee – 6 weeks), Chris DOIG (calf – 2 weeks)
Perth Glory Squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 4.Andy TODD, 6.Chris COYNE, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 8.Victor SIKORA, 10.Wayne SRHOJ, 11.Branko JELIC, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17.Todd HOWARTH, 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 20.Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 21.Mile STERJOVSKI, 23.Andrija JUKIC, 24.Matthew MAYORA, 25.AMARAL
*one to be omitted*
In: 23.Andrija JUKIC (promoted)
Unavailable: Jamie COYNE (knee – 1 week), Jimmy DOWNEY (knee – 3 weeks), Anthony SKORICH (hip – 4 weeks)
Referee: Ben Williams
The Mariners are next in action in the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season, against Perth Glory this Friday, 4 September. Kick-off is at 8pm at Canberra Stadium. Tickets are available online here or by phoning 132 849.
Mariners Memberships for the Hyundai A-League 2009/10 season are now available online by clicking here or by phoning 1300 767 442.