FFA Cup 2019: Izzo warns Adelaide against 'completely different' Mariners
Paul Izzo believes former team Central Coast Mariners are a transformed side ahead of next Wednesday evening’s FFA Cup 2019 Semi Final reunion.
The 24-year-old goalkeeper, who made 42 appearances for the Mariners between 2015-2017, says Adelaide cannot afford to take Alen Stajcic’s side lightly as the Reds prepare to book a fourth FFA Cup Final appearance.
“We know Central Coast are a completely different side to what they were last year,” Izzo told Adelaide’s website.
“They’re looking very promising and they’ve recruited very well, so we’re expecting nothing short of a good game.”
Since meeting in the Semi Finals of the inaugural 2014 FFA Cup – which the Reds won 3-2 before defeating Perth Glory in the Final - Adelaide and the Mariners have endured a stark contrast of fortunes in Australia's biggest knockout tournament.
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While Adelaide have made two more Final appearances and won the 2018 edition, the Mariners had been knocked out at the Round of 32 stage in the four consecutive seasons that followed.
Two of those national round exits were at the hands of Member Federation opposition – NPL Victoria side Green Gully in 2016, a match that Izzo was present on the Mariners bench for, and against NPL NSW outfit Blacktown City in 2017.
But the Mariners, who have finished bottom of the Hyundai A-League for the last two seasons, have been making all the right moves under Alen Stajcic during the 2019 tournament.
Izzo knows Adelaide must avoid complacency when they travel to Gosford next Wednesday evening.
“Obviously being the cup holders there’s always a target on our back,” he continued.
“We’ve made another Semi Final now, so it’s a big competition that we love being a part of and we remember how good the feeling was when we won the final last year.
“I think to replicate that again it would be fantastic for the boys, the new players that have come in, and especially the fans.
Adelaide defender Jordan Elsey added: “This is our cup, this is our cup last year and we take this cup very seriously so we’re looking forward to a tough game.”
Central Coast Mariners host Adelaide United in the FFA Cup 2019 Semi Finals on Wednesday, October 2, kick off 7:30pm AEST. Purchase tickets HERE.