Travel weary Mariners blow out cobwebs in Capital

The Central Coast Mariners have shaken off a 5-hour bus journey with an impressive training hit out under the shadow of Canberra’s famous Black Mountain Tower.

The Central Coast Mariners have shaken off a 5-hour bus journey with an impressive training hit out under the shadow of Canberra-s famous Black Mountain Tower.

The squad has begun a four-day residence at the state of the art facilities of the Australian Institute of Sport in Bruce, and the consensus is the trip can only assist in pre-season preparations.

“Great facilities at the institute, and while it-s starting to get a bit cold now, the session was just to shake the legs off, we-ll train tomorrow morning, and then we have a game tomorrow night, so it-s all been good,” said Mariners Football Manager Lawrie McKinna.

“We-ll get plenty of training sessions in and two good games, as well as building the relationships we have with Canberra and Capital Football,” McKinna said.

After joining the squad for Monday-s scoreless draw with Sydney FC, trialists Gary Wales, Lim Dong Sup and Milos Lujic have continued on to the nation-s capital.

“We-ve got the three boys with us this week and then next week we-ve got three more coming in from overseas. We-re always looking for players and hopefully we see something we like, and think is good enough to contribute to the team.”

The club will play a trial match against Belconnen United at McKellar Soccer Centre tomorrow night, before facing off against a Capital Football Select XI at the AIS on Sunday.

While Mariners striker Dylan Macallister is unlikely to feature in either match, signs are good he-s well on his way to full fitness after sustaining a shoulder injury at the back end of the club-s maiden Asian Champions League campaign.

“The shoulder-s good. This will be a full week for me, 100% training, I don-t know if I-ll be ready for the game on Sunday, I-m looking forward to going to the Gold Coast but it would be a tough one for me this week,” Macallister said.

“It-s nice to come to a great training facility like this, the AIS has got everything we need. The itch is in good condition for winter, it-s nice and flat, with plenty of grass. We had a good hit out today, we needed to get the heavyness out of the legs. The boys are feeling a lot better now and we-re ready for the game tomorrow.

“It-s good to get the boys together as well and work on the team spirit, for the new season and trips like this are exactly what we need. We-ll have a good time while at the same time we-re down here to do some hard work, and prepare properly for the first game against Melbourne,” said Macallister.

And while temperatures may be well into single figures in the nations capital, the former FC Brann and Lyn Oslo man wasn-t concerned with the conditions, after four years in the Norwegian Tippeligaen.

“This is what you should be playing football in. It-s a comfortable temperature, It-s tough to warm up, and get your boots on, and get going, but once you-re ready it-s the right temperature to play football in, and I guess I-m used to it,” Macallister said.

Tickets for tomorrow-s trial against Belconnen United are available at the gate.

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