Season Preview: Central Coast Mariners

In the lead-up to season 9 of the A-League we’ll be doing an extensive preview of the league club by club- today looking at Central Coast Mariners.

Last Season:
2nd in regular season, 2012-13 Champions, Round of 16 in 2013 AFC Champions League.

Manager: Graham Arnold
In his 3 seasons as boss on the Central Coast, Arnold has lead his charges to 2 Grand Finals, 3 ACL appearances, 1 Premiership and last season their first Championship in their 4th attempt. The much maligned manager from days gone by has proven himself to be amongst the leagues best over his time in the competition and received offers from abroad during the close season but has opted to stick around for another year. He showed his tactical flexibility last season, with his side morphing from a rigid 4-4-2 narrow diamond formation to a more expansive 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 formation.

New kit:
All indications are that the Mariners will be wearing the same kit as last season.

1) Pasfield, 2) McBreen, 3) Rose, 4) Seip, 5) Anderson, 7) Hutchinson, 8) Montgomery, 9) Duke, 10) Flores, 11) Fitzgerald, 12) Morton, 13) Griffiths, 14) McGlinchey, 15) Roux, 16) Sainsbury, 17) Caceres, 18) Neill, 19) Simon, 20) Reddy, 21) Sterjovski, 22) Slater, 23) Kwasnik

Matt Simon (Chunnam Dragons), Marcos Flores (Melbourne Victory), Storm Roux (Perth Glory- NYL), Tom Slater (Sydney FC- NYL), Marcel Seip (VVV-Venlo), Liam Reddy (Sydney United).

Pedj Bojic (Sydney FC), Mat Ryan (Club Brugge), Bernie Ibini- Isei (Shanghai SIPG), Adriano Pellegrino (Released), Brad McDonald (Released), Patrick Zwaanswijk (Retired- now in front office), Daniel McBreen (Shanghai SIPG- loan thru October 2013).

Key player:
Michael McGlinchey. Flores is a massive signing for the Gosford club, but McGlinchey was unlucky not to win the Johnny Warren medal for best in the league last season and he was the one who made them tick. He’s improved every year he’s been in the competition and im expecting him to do so again this year.

Expected starting XI: (4-3-3)

Last Season against Brisbane:
Round 5: Central Coast 2-1 Brisbane Roar
Round 13: Brisbane Roar 2-2 Central Coast
Round 23: Central Coast 1-0 Brisbane Roar

Meetings this season:
December 6th: Brisbane Roar
January 11th: Brisbane Roar
March 9th: Brisbane Roar

Pre-season form:
Central Coast Academy 2-1 Central Coast
Gladseville Spirit 0-1 Central Coast
Bankstown City Lions 0-1 Central Coast
Central Coast 1-2 Brisbane Roar
Adelaide United 0-1 Central Coast
Central Coast 2-0 Sriwijaya F.C
Malaysia u/23 0-2 Central Coast
Central Coat 3-3 Persib Bandung
Newcastle Jets 2-1 Central Coast
Central Coast 1-2 Arema Indonesia

Brisbane connections:
Two former Roar players will find themselves representing the Mariners this year, with Nick Fitzgerald and Liam Reddy in the fold for the Mariners. Fitzgerald offcourse is a championship winner with the Roar and returned to the Mariners in January, while Reddy is on something of a resurrection mission after an ill-fated stint with Sydney FC lead to him being sacked for getting drunk before a finals game in 2012.

Despite the sale of some key players, they’ve recruited well in the shape of Simon, Seip and Flores. Even still it will be arguably Arnold’s greatest feat in management if he can get this squad back to the summit, as he will be dependant on youth more than ever. Despite that im not writing them off and think they’ll end up in the bottom half of the top 6.


One Comment on “Season Preview: Central Coast Mariners”

  1. […] United Brisbane Roar Central Coast Mariners Melbourne Heart Melbourne Victory Newcastle Jets Perth Glory Sydney FC Wellington Phoenix Western […]

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