Season Preview Series: Central Coast Mariners

In the lead-up to the 10th of the A-League we’ll be doing an extensive preview of the league club by club- continuing today with Central Coast Mariners .

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Last Season: 3rd (Lost Semi final to Western Sydney Wanderers)
Central Coast’s title defence plans altered significantly after just five rounds when Graham Arnold departed for the J-League. Phil Moss then did an excellent job leading the side to a top 3 finish before losing in the semi-finals to the Wanderers. Add in a solid showing in Asia and it was a solid season.

New Kit:

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Squad:
1) Matthew Nash, 2) Storm Roux, 3) Joshua Rose, 5) Zac Anderson, 6) Brent Griffiths, 7) John Hutchinson, 8) Nick Montgomery, 9) Mitchell Duke, 10 Anthony Caceres, 11) Nick Fitzgerald, 12) Liam Reddy, 14) Malick Mane, 15) Matthew Sim, 16) Liam Rose, 17) Richard Vernes, 18) Glen Trifiro, 19) Matt Simon, 20) Anthony Kalik, 21) Michael Neill, 22) Tom Slater, 23) Isaka Cernak, 24) Hayden Morton, 25) Eddy Bosnar, 26) Kim Seung-yong.

In:
Anthony Kalik, Liam Rose (Both Australian Institute of Sport), Malick Mane (IFK Goteborg- season long loan)), Matthew Nash (Bonnyrigg White Eagles), Richard Vernes (Budapest Honved- Hungary (2 year loan)).

Out:
Mile Sterjovski, Adam Kwasnik (both retired), Justin Pasfield (Tampines Rovers- Singapore), Marcos Flores (Newcastle Jets), Marcel Seip- (FC Emmen- Netherlands), Michael McGlinchey (Wellington Phoenix).

Central Coast have had to them what is a typical off-season- they’ve lost a couple of key contributors in the shape of Sterjovski and McGlinchey and replaced them with a pair of youngsters with huge potential. They’ve also gone in a different direction when it comes to overseas recruitment by opting to bring younger players in on a loan basis as opposed to more experienced players on a more permanent basis.

Expected Starting XI:

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Central Coast will be going into the season with one of the more settled line-ups with minimal changes from last season to this. The retired Mile Sterjovski is out, and will be probably replaced by loan signing Malick Mane. Apart from that it figures to be a settled line-up, with Nick Fitzgerald’s pre-season form likely winning him a starting spot leaving January signings Isaka Cernak, Kim Seung-yong and off-season buy Richard Vernes all fighting for one spot.

Pre-season form:
The Mariners haven’t played as many games as most clubs this pre-season, and they’re winless in their clashes against the A-League clubs (they’re also unbeaten with three draws). Add in their two wins in the FFA Cup and they’ve had a reasonable, if unspectacular pre-season.

Central Coast Mariners 4-1 Central Coast Mariners Academy
Melbourne City 1-1 Central Coast Mariners
Brisbane Roar 1-1 Central Coast Mariners
Central Coast Mariners 0-0 Newcastle Jets
Central Coast Mariners 1-5 Australia u/20’s

All-time record against Central Coast Mariners:

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On the surface of things the Mariners form and recruitment looks to be slightly underwhelming, however they’ve shown countless times they can find a replacement for anyone. They should be in the mix for one of the last finals spots once again which would be a solid achievement for Phil Moss and his men.

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