The Hyundai A-League returns to the Central Coast this weekend as the Mariners begin their four game stretch to finish the 2019/20 season with a clash against Perth Glory.
Despite being played at Central Coast Stadium the match is actually a Perth Glory home game, a unique situation brought about by the league’s move to a NSW-centric hub to ensure the completion of the campaign.
The Mariners will be without Eunsun Kim and Chris Harold, with both players opting to not return for the restart of the season; Kim remaining in Korea while Harold stayed in Perth with family where he is continuing his studies in law.
Perth will also be missing key figures though, with the big news this week that Diego Castro will not be back for the final stretch of the season, along with Gregory Wüthrich who departed the club earlier in the postponement period.
— Central Coast Mariners (@CCMariners) July 16, 2020
The two teams have shared the spoils so far this season with the Mariners winning the first encounter before Perth picked up the points on New Year’s Eve, however it will feel like a completely separate campaign given it has been almost seven full months since the teams faced off.
Plenty has changed in that time and with three matches ahead at Central Coast Stadium in the next three weeks, Alen Stajcic’s side are hungry to finish the season on a strong note particularly in front of the Mariners faithful.
“The mindset has been really good from the players [since returning],” Stajcic said during Friday’s media opportunity.
“They’ve come in really positive, trained hard, and we’ve had to as they’re coming from a small base of fitness because there’s only so much you can really do on your own.”
“A lot of them did some really good work on their own, but you know it’s just different when you come in and you’re playing football, changing direction, doing agility work, have people kicking you, and I don’t think anything can really replicate high level training and matches.”
Despite the reduced manpower of the Glory side for this weekend, Staj said it is hard to judge the side they’ll face given the extended break and the ‘new season’ feeling approaching the game.
“It’s a little bit like early season form, you don’t really know what to expect.”
“All you can really do is focus on yourself, you don’t know what to expect from the opponents but regardless of who is playing for Perth you know you’re going to get a good game.”
“A Tony Popovic coached team will be well drilled and well disciplined, and in my opinion, along with Arnie, he’s one of the most successful coaches in Australian Football over the last 10 years.”
Match Details |
Kick-Off: 5:00PM (Local) (5:00PM (AEST))
Referee: Alex King
Assistant Referee 1: Owen Goldrick
Assistant Referee 2: Ryan Gallagher
Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 503 from 5:00pm (AEST), ABC TV from 5:00pm (AEST) and Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers
Perth Glory Squad: 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Jacob TRATT, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.James MEREDITH, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 13.Osama MALIK, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 18.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Vince LIA, 23.Dane INGHAM, 25.Carlo ARMIENTO, 27.JUANDE, 28.Gabriel POPOVIC, 29.Kristian POPOVIC, 33.Liam REDDY (gk) (C), 50.Daniel MARGUSH (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY
**2-4 to be omitted**
Unavailable: 17.Diego CASTRO (personal reasons – season), 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS (knee – season)
Central Coast Mariners squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Ian Zygmunt GORDON, 3.Jack CLISBY, 7.Milan ÐURIĆ, 8.Michael MCGLINCHEY, 9.Jordan MURRAY, 10.Tommy OAR, 11.Daniel DESILVA, 12.Adam PEARCE (gk), 15.Kye ROWLES, 16.Dylan FOX, 17.Sam SILVERA, 18.Gianni STENSNESS, 19.Matt SIMON, 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 22.Jacob MELLING, 26.Joshua NISBET, 29.Jair BRITTO, 30.Dylan RUIZ-DIAZ, 44.Alou KUOL
**2-4 to be omitted**
Unavailable: 4.Eunsun KIM (Not returned), 24.Chris HAROLD (Not returned), 27.Lewis MILLER (Injured)