There will be a youthful feel to Mike Mulvey's first match at the helm of Central Coast Mariners tomorrow night, with the new boss set to hand several debuts to academy young guns.
With several first teams stars sidelined through injury, Mulvey is looking at Wednesday's FFA Cup round of 32 meeting with Hyundai A-League rivals Adelaide United as a chance to blood new talent.
Mulvey has named academy prospects: Lewis Miller (17), Josh Nisbet (19), Charles M'Mombwa (William) (20) and Alec Vinci (18) in the Mariners’ provisional squad of players who are eligible to take part in Wednesday night’s match.
“They’ve certainly been training quite well with us,” Mulvey told the official Mariners' website.
“The thing about young players is that they all need an opportunity on a stage, and this is it.
"It might be that this is the only ever time that they get the opportunity to play in the first team, so they’ve got to take it with both hands. I’ve got absolutely no qualms putting them in the mix, because that’s how you find out if people can sink or swim."
It may still be early in the club's plans for the upcoming Hyundai A-League campaign, but the former Brisbane Roar coach says tomorrow's fixture is the perfect platform to set the tone for a strong season.
“We’re going down there with our eyes wide open, we’re going to give it a go, and that’s got to be the mantra for the whole season," Mulvey said.
"We’ve got to have a go all the time, we’ve got to go for 90 minutes."
Wednesday night will be an exciting opportunity to see the likes of Jack Clisby and Kalifa Cisse in a Mariners’ kit for the first time, while returning favourites Matt Simon and Michael McGlinchey are both set to feature.
With the likes of Antony Golec, Jonathan Aspropotamitis and Tom Hiariej still on the road to recovery following long-term injuries, the Mariners will also be without Corey Gameiro and Mario Shabow, who are unavailable due to minor hamstring complaints.
Andrew Hoole will miss the game after injuring his foot last week at training, while Joe Gauci is also ineligible to take part as he featured for West Torrens Birkalla in the 2018 FFA Cup before joining the Mariners.
When it comes to injured bodies, Mulvey’s playing it safe on Wednesday night.
“We’re not going to take anyone that is underdone, if they’re still in rehab," he said.
"Antony Golec had an injury toward the end of last season, and he is still not ready, he’s not far away but we won’t be risking him, Tom Hiariej is the same, he had an operation so we won’t be using him.
"Andrew Hoole picked up a little knock last week, so he’s going to out for a couple of weeks.
“We’re looking forward to this game, because it will give us a gauge of where we’re actually at right now, we’ve done a lot of very good training, in the gym and on the park, we’ve worked on some tactical stuff, and we’re ready to rock and roll, but we’ll be a little bit rusty to start with.
“We’re not going to risk anybody if it could be detrimental to their recovery. So, what we’re going to do is take some young kids. We took four players out of our youth team on the weekend to bring them along, and it’s a great opportunity for them, and I welcome that opportunity."
Wednesday, 1 August 2018
FFA Cup 2018 Round of 32
Match: Adelaide United vs. Central Coast Mariners
Venue: Marden Sports Complex, Marden
Kick-off: 7:30pm (AEST)
TV Broadcast: The match will be live streamed via foxsports.com.au
Hash-tag: Join the match conversation using #ADLvCCM #FFACup #MagicOfTheCup & #CCMFC