Match Week 18 | Mariners v Sydney Preview

Daniel Bouman crosses the ball against Sydney FC in Match Week 5

The stage is set for a superb Saturday afternoon at Central Coast Stadium, as the Mariners host reigning A-League champions Sydney FC in a crucial match for both teams.

Two winless games was enough for the Mariners to drop in to second behind Melbourne City with a draw against Western Sydney and a loss to Western United after the win over Adelaide in their last home match, while Sydney are up to fourth after some strong results.

The stands were rocking in the come from behind victory against Adelaide and defender Jack Clisby highlighted the importance of a strong vocal crowd on such an important afternoon for the club’s finals ambitions when he spoke during the week.

“We love playing in front of our home crowd and we notice as players, week by week its slowly sneaking up in numbers” said Clisby.

“We hear them when we are out there, and it gives us the extra boost, especially late second half when we are pushing for that winner.”

Sydney FC were caught on their heels in the reverse fixture this year, when goals from Alou Kuol and a Ben Warland own goal led the Mariners to a 2-0 victory and put them on top of the table early in the season.

“I think that gave us a lot of confidence for the season, knowing you can beat the Champions away from home,” Alen Stajcic said on Friday of the early season win.

“Reflecting back it was a watershed moment for our team in terms of belief and confidence and we’ve taken that with us all the way through up until this point.”

With the finals and Premiership race almost tighter than ever, Saturday’s game takes on plenty of weight for both teams, a point not lost on Stajcic as he prepares for his 50th A-League match in charge of the Mariners.

“The match this week is such an important one for both clubs in terms of A-League finals.”

“I think every game for us this year at home has been an exciting game regardless of who we have played, the matches have been incredible.

“From my perspective I just hope the fans of both clubs come out and support both teams and the A-League gets the support that it deserves.”

“And especially our team, we’ve been down the bottom for so long, and I think the players really deserve for the Central Coast community and the football community around here to come out in big numbers to support us and help get us over the line.”

Stajcic will be without the services of Ruon Tongyik in the backline having picked up his fifth yellow card of the season last week, but wouldn’t confirm who would take his place when asked during Friday’s media.

“There’s a bit of a battle there for that centre-back spot [with Ruon out] but everyone else is available,” he said.

Sydney will also be missing a key defender after Rhyan Grant was sent off in the draw with Adelaide last weekend but Stajcic wouldn’t be drawn into saying the team would look to target that area.

“They’re such a quality team, and they’ve got so much experience throughout the team and obviously in the past they’ve put Retre there [full-back] at different times and Harry Van Der Saag,” he said.

“So whoever they put in that role I’m sure will do a capable job.”


Squads |

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, 12.Marcos UREÑA, 14.Daniel BOUMAN, 15.Kye ROWLES, 19.Matt SIMON, 20.Adam PEARCE (gk), 22.Michal JANOTA, 23.Dan HALL, 25.Matthew HATCH, 26.Jaden CASELLA, 29.Alou KUOL, 30.Jordan SMYLIE

**1-3 to be omitted**

Ins: 2.Lewis MILLER (Promoted), 10.Daniel DESILVA (Return from Injury)

Outs: 21.Ruon TONGYIK (Suspension)

Unavailable: Nil


Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2. Patrick FLOTTMANN, 3.Ben WARLAND, 4.Alex WILKINSON (c), 5.Alex BAUMJOHANN, 6.Ryan McGOWAN, 8. Paulo RETRE, 9.BOBÔ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 16.Joel KING, 17.Anthony CACERES, 18.Luke IVANOVIC, 20.Tom HEWARD-BELLE (gk), 21.Harry VAN der SAAG, 25.Callum TALBOT, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 32.Patrick YAZBEK, 33.Pat WOOD

**2-4 to be omitted**

Ins: 2. Patrick FLOTTMANN (promoted), 8. Paulo RETRE (return from suspension), 25.Callum TALBOT (promoted).

Outs: 23.Rhyan GRANT (suspended – 1 week)

Unavailable: 7.Michael ZULLO (calf), 19.Chris ZUVELA (knee), 28.Calem NIEUWENHOF (back)


Game Details |

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Central Coast Mariners v Sydney FC

Central Coast Stadium, Gosford

Kick-Off: 5:05pm (Local)(5:05pm (AEST))

Referee: Chris Beath

Assistant Referee 1: Anton Shchetinin

Assistant Referee 2: Ashley Beecham

Fourth Official: Adam Kersey

VAR: Kate Jacewicz

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 4:30pm (AEST), ABC TV from 5:00pm (AEST), Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports ( and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers

Radio Broadcast: (SEN Track Central Coast 801AM, SEN App), COAST FM 96.3

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #CCMvSYD