Moss: “Showtime at Fortress Bluetongue”


The Central Coast Mariners will kick-start our ninth Hyundai A-League season this weekend as the Championship Club in Australia for the first time in our history.

The Central Coast Mariners will kick-start our ninth Hyundai A-League season this weekend as the Championship Club in Australia for the first time in our history.

But let-s not confuse that for us being the Championship “team”!

The line-up that walks out on to Bluetongue Stadium tomorrow night to take on Western Sydney Wanderers will have a vastly different look to the one that won the title back on April 21.

The Championship status we earned as a Club was nothing less than we deserved and as players and coaches we couldn-t be happier for our supporters and the Central Coast region that we represent so proudly.

But it-s a new season and a new team now. A new plan and a new phase in our development.

There are no trophies tomorrow night, just the first three points of a possible 81 up for grabs this season.

The challenge for us now is to reach the same, if not better, levels to that of the Class of 2012/13 (Champions) and before that 2011/12 (Premiers).

Only hard work and a dedication to bettering ourselves every day will allow us to earn the same accolades and win the same silverware.

Missing from the Grand Final starting XI tomorrow will be Maty Ryan, Oliver Bozanic, Bernie Ibini, Daniel McBreen (on loan), who are all now plying their trade overseas, we well as Pedj Bojic (Sydney FC) and Patrick Zwaanswijk (retired).

If you add to that Michael McGlinchey, who misses tomorrow-s match due to international commitment with New Zealand, there are seven different names headed for the team sheet tomorrow night.

Of those, Nick Montgomery is the only player who would have started the Grand Final had it not been for suspension.

Head Coach Graham Arnold will have a restless night tonight settling on the starting XI for tomorrow with all but McGlinchey, McBreen and Adam Kwasnik (injury) unavailable for selection. Adding to the “headache” is the fact that all have performed exceptionally well during the pre-season and have all but equal minutes under their belt.

It-s exactly hast the staff was aiming for before a bead of sweat was formed on a forehead on July 8 when pre-season started.

The design of our pre-season program was to ensure once again that everyone was fit and, just as importantly, fresh both physically and mentally for round one.

Four weeks of injury prevention work with Andrew Clark followed by a gradual lead-in to football pre-season and games with the cream on top coming via a fantastic two weeks in camp in Indonesia for the Menpora Cup – a tournament that provided four tough games in searing heat and humidity in front of hostile crowds – has us all primed and ready for the new season.

‘Arnie- and the staff couldn-t be happier with our new recruits and how well that have gelled into life at the Mariners (both on and off the field).

Marcos Flores, Marcel Seip, Storm Roux, Liam Reddy and Tom Slater as well as Micky Neill and Hayden Morton (promoted from our youth team) have all settled in well and made their mark on the pitch during pre-season.

Flores, in particular, went to a whole new level in Indonesia and has formed some lethal combinations with those around him in the attacking third. He will excited our wonderful supporters this season, of that I have no doubt!

Favourite son Matty Simon is back from Korea and has not missed a session during pre-season. He bleeds yellow and navy and it-s great to see him back in Mariners colours!

The preparation is behind us now and show time at Fortress Bluetongue is fast approaching. There is anticipation in their air that we are about to enter the best ever Hyundai A-League season and to kick things off on a perfect note the Club recently hit an all time high 5,300 Memberships.

The stage is set, Bluetongue will be rocking tomorrow night and professional football is back on the Coast for another season.

Bring it on! Kick-off is 5:30pm.

Central Coast Mariners vs. Western Sydney Wanderers – Hyundai A-League 2013/14 Round 1
Saturday 12 October, 2013
Bluetongue Stadium, Gosford
Kick-off: 5:30pm
Gates open: 4:00pm
Tickets: Please CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to the match.
Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter! The official match hash-tag is #CCMvWSW