Ryan Edmondson on Grand Final preparations and our ’12th man’

Central Coast Mariners forward Ryan Edmondson spoke to the media this week, ahead of his first ever Grand Final.

Edmondson turned 23 on Monday, but said he didn’t really celebrate and is not even thinking about any celebrations until the job is done this weekend.

He is focussed on the task at hand this weekend against a team full of ‘outstanding’ players in Melbourne Victory, the belief in the squad and how the team want to give our fans ‘a performance they deserve’.

“It was nice to come in and spend [my birthday] with the lads, get a good day of training done and hopefully lead it on to a good week.” Edmondson said.

“The boys are really good, we try to keep it as normal as possible and we’ll continue to do that. We’ve got a normal training week so it’s good to get time on the pitch to prepare with the boys. We’re looking forward to it.”

The Mariners faced the Dark Blues three times throughout the regular season, with two draws and a narrow win for Mark Jackson’s men.

“We’ve got 100% belief we can do it. It’s going to be a tough game against Melbourne, of course it is, it always is against them. We had a good game at their place during the season.”

We’ve got full belief in what we can do and we believe we can go on and do it.

Ryan Edmondson ahead of the Grand Final.

“They’re a good team, they’ve got a lot of good players. People in form like [Bruno] Fornaroli who’s been outstanding this season but like I said, we have full belief we can deal with that, play to our strengths and come away with the win.” Edmondson said.

“The gaffer always specifies on our opponents, we watch through clips but he always reiterates it’s about what we do on game day, it’s not about the opponents.

“The opponents are just what are in front of you but we try our best to focus on ourselves and if we’re the best we can be, that’s all we can do,” he said.

It has been some start to life on the Coast for our number 99 who has already lifted two pieces of silverware in his first four months with the club.

He described our Premiers x AFC Cup double as ‘massive’ for the Central Coast community but insists the players are remaining focussed on Saturday’s game.

“For the club and community it’s massive but we’re a squad that doesn’t get lost in that, it’s in the past for us and we’ve got one more to play for, our full focus is on that, it’s not on winning the treble, it’s just about winning on Saturday and focussing on the job at hand.”

Another thing that is massive for the club and community is the opportunity to host the Grand Final for the very first time. Edmondson knows this is an advantage for us to have our ’12th man’ out in full force and says the squad is keen to ‘give them the performance they deserve’.

“It’s the first time it’s ever been held in Gosford so it’s massive for the community and the place to get around us. You saw from last week’s game, when we’ve got a full stadium the atmosphere is brilliant and the fans were our 12th man, no doubt we’ll need that again on Saturday.” Edmondson said.

We’re all excited, it will be a really good event and hopefully we can come away with the win.

Ryan Edmondson on hosting the Grand Final.

“Hearing about the ticket sales is brilliant. With the game against Sydney, the atmosphere was outstanding, they were our 12th man and that’s all we can ask for. We’ll do our best to give them the performance they deserve.”

Finally, Edmondson insists that there is no thought about post-match celebrations until after the job is done.

“For a group of players and staff, we’ve got a really important week ahead and a lot of hard work. We’ve got the game to win on Saturday so there’s no point thinking about those things. Once we get the job done we can start thinking about that.” Edmondson said.

You can watch Ryan’s full press conference here, via aleagues.com.au.