A fully fit Oliver Bozanic is locked in a three-way battle for a starting berth as the Central Coast Mariners prepare to host A-League pacesetters Adelaide at Gosford.
A fully fit Oliver Bozanic is locked in a three-way battle for a starting berth as the Central Coast Mariners prepare to host A-League pacesetters Adelaide at Gosford on Saturday night.
The former Australian under-23 skipper made his first appearance of the season off the bench last week and helped set up Tomas Rogic's winner against Brisbane.
Now Bozanic feels he is ready to start in the top-of-the-table clash with the Reds at Bluetongue Stadium.
Victory would put the Mariners on top of the table for the first time this season.
With Rogic on Socceroo duty and Mile Sterjovski injured, Bozanic, Adriano Pellegrino and youngster Anthony Caceres are in line for a start in midfield.
Bozanic has been one of the team's most consistent performers for the past two seasons. A knee injury kept him out for several weeks.
He returned via the National Youth League and is raring to go.
"I'm like all players, I want to start as many games as possible," Bozanic said.
"It was great being back against Brisbane after so long out."
Bozanic is capable of doing a job in the centre of midfield but his best often comes when he plays wide on the left.
His combination play with left back Josh Rose was a feature of the club's charge to the Premier's Plate last season.
Bozanic is off contract at the end of the season. He said his immediate concern was cementing his position at the Mariners but admitted he has a burning ambition to play overseas again.