Fletcher's positive influence on the Mariners

Her favourite iPod track may be Pink's 'Bad Influence' but US midfielder Kendall Fletcher has definitely been a good influence on Westfield W-League side Central Coast.

Her favourite iPod track may be Pink's 'Bad Influence' but US midfielder Kendall Fletcher has definitely been a good influence on Westfield W-League side Central Coast.

The Mariners go into this weekend's round unbeaten in their last four and in second spot behind Brisbane Roar. With a forward line lead by goal-machine Michelle Heyman (eight goals) and Fletcher carving out the opportunities from midfield, Central Coast has found a potent attack.

Fletcher likens her game to her hero, Arsenal's Spanish star Cesc Fabregas.

"My job is to be a playmaker in midfield and also be a link between defence and attack and join the attack when I can," she said.

"Michelle's really blossoming and she's great one-on-one," added the North Carolina-born midfielder, who debuted for the full US national team earlier this year.

This season, Fletcher has been one of three US imports adding impetus to the Mariners. The bubbly 25-year-old has been joined on the Coast by her St Louis Athletic team-mate Jillian Loyden and striker Lydia Vandenbergh.

Since arriving, it's taken a few games to gel but Fletcher, formerly of US club sides Pali Blues and Los Angeles Sol, said the adjustment has become easier and the results have reflected that.

"It's always interesting to come into a team that has different countries represented but these last few games we've really made that adjustment. It takes time but I think we've figured it out," she said.

After finishing sixth in last season's inaugural Westfield W-League, the Mariners have impressed this time around with five wins, a draw and just one loss (that to reigning champions and current league leader Brisbane Roar).

In fact, the Mariners (16 points) could overtake the Roar (17) on Saturday afternoon. Fletcher's team play fourth-placed Melbourne Victory in the second game of a double-header at Sydney's Leichhardt Oval (kick-off 5.45pm).

Fletcher, a former US U-19 and U-21 representative, added that the belief in the Mariners squad is building after last week's 6-0 demolition of Adelaide United, which included a Heyman hat-trick.

And with three rounds to go, including the final two games at home, Central Coast in on track for its first finals appearance.

"The Roar is a really good team but all the pressure is on them," she said. "They've got to defend their title. We don't have that, we're the underdogs and we have nothing to lose."

Fletcher and her US compatriots live in apartments close to the Mariners' training base in the west of Sydney. It's helped the transition off the pitch but she still retains an on-field competitiveness at home.

"Friday nights are 'family nights'," explained Fletcher. "We cook, watch DVDs and play board games with our Aussie room-mates. Last time we played Pictionary it was USA v Australia ... and we kicked their butts!"

It's Fletcher's competitive edge that the Mariners will look to as the Westfield W-League moves into the business end of the season.

"The biggest thing is we believe. And we want to prove to the Westfield W-League, the club and our fans that we are really competitive," she said.