Moss: “Every player knows his job”


DEPTH is a word you would have heard plenty of times from football coaches the world over.

DEPTH is a word you would have heard plenty of times from football coaches the world over.

When Graham Arnold took over the Mariners two-and-a-bit seasons ago his first priority was to ensure there were at least two players for every position.

It creates competition for spots – hence ensuring training is always at the required intensity – and an ability to cover for injuries, suspensions, international call-ups and loss of form while maintaining positive results.

For mine, the last couple of weeks have proven beyond doubt that the depth in our squad is in great shape.

Firstly, the win over Brisbane a fortnight ago was achieved with Zac Anderson, making his first starting appearance for the club, replacing the
suspended Patrick Zwaanswijk.

It goes without saying what Patrick has brought to the club both on and off the field so to have him suspended left some mighty big boots to fill.

Zac came in and, alongside Trent Sainsbury, didn-t give the league-s 2011/12 Golden Boot – Besart Berisha – a single sniff of goal in 90 minutes. It was such an impressive performance that ‘Arnie- saw fit to stick with him and bring the big Dutchman off the bench against Adelaide.

Which again tested the depth in the squad given we were missing Socceroo pair Maty Ryan and Tommy Rogic for the clash with the table-topping Reds.

Take Zwaanswijk, Ryan and Rogic out of any starting XI in the league and it leaves a massive hole.

Justin Pasfield, Ollie Bozanic and Anderson not only filled the void but also played key roles in getting us the three points to go top of the league after nine rounds.

To bring the likes of Mitchell Duke, Adriano Pellegrino and Zwaanswijk off the bench and see the impact they all had was another sign of just how far this squad has come.

Add to that the impending return to fitness of Adam Kwasnik and former Socceroo Mile Sterjovski in the next fortnight, as well as the improvement in the likes of Brad McDonald, Anthony Caceres and Brent Griffiths and you can see why everything we build at the Mariners is around the squad not the individual.

Every player who takes the field knows his job with and without the ball.

To come from a goal down – especially after Adelaide scored completely against the run of play – in extreme conditions showed so much character from the players.

Only our decision-making or final pass prevented us blowing the score out against the side who had occupied top spot for some six weeks leading into the game.

It-s was a fortnight that has us heading into tomorrow night-s second installment of the F3 Derby itching to reverse the 2-1 loss to Newcastle in Round 3 – a game that was bogged down in controversy.

The Jets enter the game in 4th spot on the back of a 1-0 loss to Brisbane last start and will be desperate to return to winning ways.

Training this week has been about freshening up our boys during a month in which we play six games (starting last weekend and ending with
our New Year-s Eve clash against Perth Glory at Bluetongue).

The players responded superbly, putting in very sharp sessions and it-s all systems go for one of the traditional A-League derbies.

We are ready for battle tomorrow night and can-t wait for kick-off. The game kicks off at 7.45pm at Hunter Stadium.