Mariners NPL Men’s sides kicked off their campaigns at Pluim Park over the weekend.
With both senior sides making their respective grand finals last season, the two teams progressed into the challenging NPL NSW competition for 2023.
The transition also marks a change of guard, ex-Socceroo Luke Wilkshire taking the reins of the Mariners academy, joined by assistant coach Matheus Scapin.
Under 20’s vs Western Sydney Wanderers
Sunday marked the return of Mariners academy football for 2023, with our under 20’s side securing a pleasing result against rivals Western Sydney Wanderers in their NPL NSW competition.
The side were keen to kick start a positive 2023 campaign and sure showed their ferocity in a 4-1 victory.
Aidan Milicevic opened his and the clubs account early in the 12th minute, giving the team a 1-0 lead at the break. Jacob Tresoglavic and Dylan Susovic scoring in the 57th and 61st minute before a Wanderers own goal two minutes later gave us a 4-0 lead.
Edmun Haddad scored for Western Sydney in the 75th minute, as Mariners ran away with a convincing victory. The match ended with a terrific penalty save from Joey’s goalkeeper Anthony Pavlesic.
A fantastic start to the season for the under 20’s, venturing to tackle Bulls FC Academy this weekend.
First Grade vs Western Sydney Wanderers
Sweeping their opponents last season in 2-0 and 4-3 wins, Luke Wilkshire’s men were out to continue their dominance over Western Sydney Wanderers and claim a great start to their NPL NSW promotion.
Unfortunately it was the visitors who began their promotional campaign well, with the Mariners falling 3-1 after a rampaging start to the match by Western Sydney.
Wanderers began the match with three goals in a four-minute period, beginning with Ariath Piol in the 10thminute, followed by Teng Kuol and Marcus Younis shortly after.
The aggressive heat at Pluim meant a drinks break was called in the 24th minute, a refreshing blessing for Wilkshire’s side. Central Coast struck after the break in the 28th minute, James Bayliss the first to the loose ball and finding the back of the net.
First grade continued to push for another goal, but ultimately were unable to find a goal as time continued to tick down.
Late chances fell just wide, and despite looking the more likely at the back end of the match, the Wanderers were able to hold on to victory.
Mariners coach Luke Wilkshire was unhappy after conceding those early goals which ultimately set the pace for the game’s entirety.
“That’s where it was lost, the first 15 to 20 minutes,” he said.
“We’ll dust ourselves off and identify what areas we can improve and go again next week.”
First Grade play Bulls FC Academy, in search of their first victory in the new competition.