Mark Jackson’s Central Coast Mariners welcome Perth Glory to the Industree Group Stadium in the second part of a special New Years Eve Double Header on Sunday.
Emily Husband’s side take the stage at 4:15pm, as they take on Glory’s Women’s side who sit second in the Liberty A-League.
Jackson’s men then follow at 7pm, before a firework display kicks off New Years Eve celebrations in Gosford. You can get your tickets for this unmissable event via the link below.
Avoiding defeat on NYE would extend the Mariners’ unbeaten run to eight in all competitions, and complete an unbeaten December, which would be a fine way to see out what has been a memorable calendar year for the club.
A win would also see us leapfrog Sydney, Newcastle, Adelaide and Brisbane to enter the top six for the first time this season.
Marco Tulio is to play his final home game as a Mariner, after his move to J1 club Kyoto Sanga was confirmed by the club this week.
Some positive squad news this week for Jackson, saw Bradley Tapp and Christian Theoharous sign contract extensions with the club.
The gaffer makes just one enforced change to his 20-man squad to face Perth, as Noah Smith returns in place of the injured Harry Steele.
Last time out
The Mariners picked up one of their most impressive wins of the season to date on the road in Brisbane, making light work of a tricky surface to brush aside Roar with a 3-0 win.
Tulio opened the scoring in the first half before in-form winger Angel Torres struck his fourth and fifth goals in two games, with Josh Nisbet once again starring in the number ten role.
Perth picked up a dramatic 3-2 win against Macarthur. First half goals from Matthew Millar and Valere Germain had the hosts staring down the barrel of a fifth defeat in their last six, but Stajcic’s men fought back.
Salim Khelifi pulled one back, Luke Ivanovic equalised and David Williams was the hero off the bench, snatching all three points in the 92nd minute.
Jackson’s team were beaten in the reverse fixture in Western Australia, match day three in the Isuzu UTE A-League.
10-man Mariners dominated possession and racked up double figures for both corners and shots but couldn’t find the breakthrough on the night, as Stefan Colakovski and Adam Taggart struck for the hosts to seal a 2-0 win.
Staj returns to Gosford
The meeting with Perth of course sees the return of Alen Stajcic to the Industree Group Stadium, for the first time as an opposition manager after he took over the Glory this season.
Stajcic was at the helm at the Mariners for just over two seasons, leading the club to our best league finish in seven years in 2021 and admitted to still loving the club in his press conference this week.
“𝐈 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐥𝐮𝐛.”: You won’t find a more glowing review of a former club than this from Alen Stajcic 🌴❤️— Isuzu UTE A-League (@aleaguemen) December 31, 2023
Ahead of a big New Year’s Eve clash with @ccmariners, the Glory head coach was full of praise for the place he used to call home 🥰
Catch the… pic.twitter.com/CTWVgYk8CE
His current Perth side sit second bottom of the Isuzu UTE A-League, two points off last placed Western United.
Jackson said his side has improved since the defeat in Perth and expressed his excitement for his first New Years Eve event on the Coast, in his pre-match press conference on Saturday.
In-form defender Dan Hall was also on media duty on Saturday. He spoke about the squad’s excitement ahead of the special New Years Eve event.
Hall also spoke about his relationship at the back with Brian Kaltak and how the squad are continuing to work on the processes that Jackson wants.