The Mariners will play their first ever A-League match at WIN Stadium in Wollongong on Sunday, as they take on Wellington Phoenix for the second time this season.
The two sides met just a fortnight ago at Central Coast Stadium, with the Phoenix prevailing thanks to goals from Ulisses Davila and Jaushua Sotirio, the latter scoring with only minutes left in the game to snatch the points for Wellington.
— Central Coast Mariners (@CCMariners) February 13, 2021
Joshua Nisbet missed that game but returned to action against Western United and he will be a chance to feature once more, and will provide useful depth in the middle of the park for Alen Stajcic.
Both teams had their periods of control in the previous match with the Mariners in particular coming home strong but not able to find a way through, but have scored three times in each of their last two matches, with Alou Kuol sitting equal top of the golden boot charts with five goals.
Stajcic spoke on Friday ahead of the weekend’s match and said he is happy with the way the team pulled through a full slate of three games in eight days last week.
“The way the team finished the [last] game was really good to see, so positive and so much energy,” he said.
“Good mentality, good fitness, so all round a good performance from us through the whole three matches I thought.”
“Even though we didn’t get the chocolates against Wellington I thought we finished really well in that game as well and probably could have got three points that day as well.”
“All in all, we’re improving and we’re growing and that’s really what I want to see.”
“They are a class team, and they were a bit unlucky against Sydney the other day, I thought they should have won that game.”
“They’ve got some excellent players so [it will be] a tough encounter for us, we need all the support we can get, so hopefully there’s busloads of fans going down to Wollongong to have a great Valentine’s Day down there and really support the team.”
?️ "Hopefully we get some big support down in Wollongong, you know our fans are fantastic, it will be a massive help." @MarkBirraz is keen to see plenty of Yellow & Navy on Sunday! #CCMFC #WELvCCM #WontBackDown
— Central Coast Mariners (@CCMariners) February 12, 2021
Stajcic also knocked back suggestions that the Phoenix would lose any advantage playing in Wollongong as opposed to across the ditch.
“Their advantage is they’re a good team,” he said.
“They’ve got Davila, they’ve got Ball, they’ve got Hemed, they’ve got class players, Piscopo is back in as well and they’re a very dangerous team whether we play them in Wellington or Wollongong.”
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Stefan MARINOVIC (gk), 2.Liam McGING, 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Te Atawhai HUDSON-WIHONGI, 5.James MCGARRY, 6.Tim PAYNE, 7.Reno PISCOPO, 8.Cameron DEVLIN, 9.David BALL, 10.Ulises DAVILA, 12.Matthew RIDENTON, 14.Alex RUFER, 15.Mirza MURATOVIC, 16.Louis FENTON, 18.Ben WAINE, 19.Sam SUTTON, 20.Oliver SAIL, 21.Joshua LAWS, 23.Clayton LEWIS
**1-3 to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Liam McGING (promoted), 19.Sam SUTTON (promoted)
Outs: 17.Tomer HEMED (hamstring injury, 1-2 weeks)
Unavailable: 11.Jaushua SOTIRIO (knee injury, 4-5 weeks).
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1. Mark BIRIGHITTI (GK), 3. Lewis MILLER, 4. Joshua NISBET, 5. Stefan NIGRO, 6. Gianni STENSNESS, 7. Stefan JANKOVIC, 8. Oliver BOZANIC, 10. Daniel DESILVA, 11. Jack CLISBY, 12. Marcos UREÑA, 14. Daniel BOUMAN, 15. Kye ROWLES, 19. Matt SIMON, 20. Adam PEARCE (GK), 21. Ruon TONGYIK, 22. Michal JANOTA, 23. Dan HALL, 26. Jaden CASELLA, 29. Alou KUOL, 32. Max BALARD
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 7. Stefan JANKOVIC (Promoted), 32. Max BALARD (Promoted)
Unavailable: 30. Jordan SMYLIE (Knee – 1-2 Weeks)
Match Details |
Sunday, 14 February 2021
Wellington Phoenix v Central Coast Mariners
WIN Stadium, Wollongong
Kick-Off: 4:05pm (Local)(4:05pm (AEDT))
Referee: Daniel Elder
Assistant Referee 1: Owen Goldrick
Assistant Referee 2: Greg Taylor
Fourth Official: Kurt Ams
VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 3:30pm (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
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #WELvCCM