Choices for Arnold ahead of semi-final

Mariners coach Graham Arnold has to choose between youth and experience as Central Coast strives to end Brisbane's unbeaten A-League run in the first leg of the major semi-final at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Saturday night.

Mariners coach Graham Arnold has to choose between youth and experience as Central Coast strives to end Brisbane's unbeaten A-League run in the first leg of the major semi-final at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford on Saturday night.

Veteran defensive midfielder John Hutchinson and talented Rostyn Griffiths are both in the running to anchor Arnold's diamond midfield set up.

Griffiths has been in the team for the bulk of the season before being left out of the club's past two games as he was one yellow card away from a suspension.

Hutchinson, who has mainly been utilised off the bench, was given starts against Gold Coast and Newcastle and was among the team's best in both outings.

Arnold has indicated he is unlikely to make a final decision on who will start until game day.

"That's a close call," Arnold said this week.

"Hutch has come in and done a great job, he's an experienced player, but he's developed this season."

"Rostyn was great before he picked up three silly yellow cards which gave Hutch a chance in the starting side."

"It's a good position to be in, I won't decide until late who will play."

Hutchinson was a feature of the Mariners first team for several seasons and was disappointed to lose his place early this year.

To his credit, he has worked hard at training and has put enormous pressure on Griffiths to retain his place.

"I've got a few tough decisions to make and that is certainly one of them," Arnold said.