NPL Previews: Easter Long Weekend


After our men’s & women’s academy teams earned 4-0 & 10-0 wins respectively, both sides are in action across the Easter Long Weekend. Let’s preview their upcoming fixtures.

The senior men’s first team continued their undefeated run on the weekend with a convincing 4-0 win over Northern Tigers away from home. With Head Coach Wayne O’Sullivan called up to Hyundai A-League duties, Will Vazquez & Ken Schembri guided the team to three points.

On Good Friday, the Mariners will trek to Western Sydney for a home game away from home to face the Macarthur Rams who are yet to pick up a point in their first four matches of the competition.

The Mariners Academy have two wins and a draw to their name and a game in hand due to a postponed fixture.

Our ladies are two from two having started their campaign with a 3-1 win over St George and most recently a 10-0 win over Southern Districts.

Central Coast Mariners Academy vs. Macarthur Rams

Vazquez says that good preparation has been the key to success this season and is expecting a physical challenge against the Rams.

“On reflection, our game against Tigers wasn’t a game where any one player stood out but the collective worked really well,” Vazquez said. “That’s something that in the past we haven’t achieved so we are happy that the collective performances are improving and the boys are working well as a unit rather than one or two players doing well.

“Macarthur are quite a strong side physically who have some good experienced players, so we expect it to be a really challenging match in two key aspects.

“Firstly, physically. We expect them to challenge us with balls in the air which is something we’ve been working on a lot. Also, when adults come across kids they try and challenge them mentally, so we will look to stay focused and not get caught out.

“We approach this game like we’ve approached previous weeks. We want to ensure that our training week is fantastic leading into the game – that’s what set us up really nicely last week. It was great to see the team respond to Pete [Prestion], Ken & I in that moment,” Vazquez said.

Match Details
Friday, 30 March 2018
PS4 NPL 2 Round 5
Macarthur Rams vs. Central Coast Mariners Academy
Venue: Valentine Sports Park No.2
Kick-off: 4:00pm (AEDT)

Central Coast Mariners Academy Women vs. SD Rams FC

Head Coach, Dan Barrett says there are plenty of positives to take from his side’s 10-0 win, but is under no illusions that this week will prove a much tougher task.

“There were many positives to come from the game,” Barrett said. “The most important thing for us moving forward is that we want to be a possession based side and we certainly did that on the weekend. We held the ball for long periods and created some really nice chances.

“if we get it right, we’re going to create many chances this year and it’s really important to have a number nine that can find the back of the net more often than not. Candice did amazingly well on the weekend, she took most of the opportunities she had. She even created a few of the chances herself, so full credit to Candice and I hope she can continue that goal scoring form throughout the season.

“It was an across the board performance and I think every player deserves credit for the way we went about our football.

“Going into half time at 5-0, I challenged them and said the good teams keep going. To see them go out in the second half and bang in another five was certainly a team effort. We also set the challenge of not conceding which they did as well.

“We’re still a couple of weeks away from having everyone back and being full strength, we go into this weekend knowing it’s going to be a challenge but we certainly want to keep to our winning ways.

This weekend will be our toughest test so far this season and a great challenge to see where we are at,” Barrett said.

Match Details
Monday, 2 April 2018
PS4 NPL Women 2 Round 4
Central Coast Mariners Academy Women vs. SD Rams FC
Venue: Ernie Smith Reserve, Moore Bank
Kick-off: 3:00pm (AEDT)